TODD BELL exclusively practices in family law and generally in litigation assisting in family disputes which have not been able to be resolved through the preferable routes of mediation or collaborative law. He is a partner with the law firm of Schuman Daltrop Basran & Robin. He is presently co-chairing the Family Law Drafting Basics course being held on Thursday & Friday, April 9 & 10, 2015, and is a member of the BC Family Practice Manual editorial board.
How and why did you get involved with CLEBC?
I joined the firm in which I am now a partner when I was in my first year of law school. Volunteerism is a fundamental part of the culture of the firm and set through example by my senior partner Jim Schuman, QC. Every member of our firm has been involved as a volunteer with at least one of the following: Access to Justice, the Canadian Bar Association, guest lecturing at the Professional Legal Training Course (“PLTC”) and of course CLEBC.
What are you are currently working on (or have most recently worked on) with CLEBC?
I chair the Family Law Basics course over two days every three years, co-chair aside my partner Kathryn Basran the Family Law Drafting Basics course over two days every three years and am in my third year as a member of the Editorial Board for the BC Family Practice Manual. I also present on various issues from time to time for other colleagues chairing courses of their own.
What has been your most memorable CLEBC experience?
Having my friend Scott Booth speak on a paper at a course I was chairing at the same time I was receiving through email (over my phone) trial reasons for judgment we were opposing counsel on. He won. Not my best day.
What’s the most valuable piece of advice you have received?
Mr. Schuman first taught me to be civil, collegial and respectful in all manner of practice; then he taught me the law.
What advice would you give newcomers who are interested in working in the legal profession?
Write it down.
What has been the most rewarding part of your career?
Having the resources to be modestly but nevertheless generous with my friends and family.
Other than law, what are you passionate about?
I go completely off the grid every summer with my better half, son and dog for ten days or so and canoe remote circuits generally in the northern half of the Western Provinces or around Lake of the Woods. They are the best days of the entire year.
What are some of your favourite legal resources? (blogs, websites, etc.)
CLEBC materials, of course. Also, I, like probably every family lawyer in British Columbia irrespective of seniority, frequently look to J.P. Boyd’s significant contributions to the practice in order to find answers.