SCOTT BOOTH is a partner with the Vancouver firm Jenkins Marzban Logan LLP. His litigation/dispute resolution practice focuses on family law matters, and he regularly appears before all levels of BC courts in relation to a broad range of matrimonial and family law disputes. He is also a certified family law mediator.
Scott is a long-time member of the Editorial Board for CLEBC’s Family Law Sourcebook and has contributed faithfully to a multitude of CLEBC family law courses and course materials. In the past year, Scott actively participated in CLEBC’s course offerings for lawyers and legal support staff to prepare the profession for the new Family Law Act.
How and why did you get involved with CLEBC?
My partner, Dinyar Marzban, KC, pointed out to me that writing and speaking are great ways to both stay on top of legal issues and to get your name out there in the bar. He and I made a point of letting people at CLEBC know that I was interested in volunteering. When I got involved I realized that there is a fantastic group of leaders in the bar who are on editorial boards, chairing, and speaking at these courses. The opportunity to get together with and learn from them made me want to say yes to virtually every request CLEBC has made of me.
What has been your most memorable CLEBC experience?
It was hilarious but embarrassing. At the biennial Family Law Conference, a colleague planted a joke question to me that caught me totally by surprise. I turned three shades of red and was tongue-tied in front of a room of around 250 lawyers and judges.
The Family Law Act took effect last March. Is there any particular section that has significantly impacted your practice or how you counsel your clients?
Practice is very much the same. It is mostly about solving problems. What I tell people about their rights to property and their rights and obligations with respect to some child centered issues has changed—and I am talking to more unmarried spouses. However, the types of problems leading people to seek out family counsel haven’t changed.
What’s the most valuable piece of advice you have received?
Generally, look after your health. With respect to courtroom advocacy, be yourself.
What has been the most rewarding part of your career?
These are two things I find most rewarding:
The first is the sense that I am actually helping. Family lawyers often deal with people who are under immense stress and pressure due to relationship breakdown. They often aren’t functioning at their very best and they need support and advice. Helping them to manage and resolve some of their problems in a discreet, practical, and dignified way is inherently rewarding. Things don’t always play out that way but, when they do, I take a lot of pride and satisfaction in being part of the process.
The second is that the time and hard work invested in building a good family law practice has really paid off. I get to work in a great firm, I have some choice over the files I take, and many of my files involve lawyers and other professionals who are fun to work with despite the difficulty of the subject matter.
Other than law, what is your passion?
My wife and kids. They are terrific. My partner, John Logan, likes to remind me that I am punching way above my weight in the gene pool when it comes to my spouse.
What are some of your favourite legal resources? (blogs, websites, etc.)
I still like a lot of raw materials—case law and statutes. I also value CLEBC and other conference materials. The JP Boyd on Family Law wikibook is terrific.
Is there anything that you’d like to shamelessly plug here (favourite charity, book, social cause, etc.)
There’s a CLEBC program coming up on April 25, 2014, titled: Property Under the FLA—Lessons from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. I am co-chairing with pre-eminent counsel—Jeff Rose, KC and Barb Nelson, KC. It’ll be good. Wise people should turn out in huge numbers.