I graduated from law school in 1977, and started to work as a practicing lawyer in 1978. From 1977 to 2006, I was connected to two Winnipeg law firms. I was with Walsh Micay & Company from 1977-1999 as litigation counsel, partner and managing partner. I had responsibilities for liaison with and reporting to Law Society of Manitoba. Walsh Micay was a full service law firm; a smaller medium sized firm, as things were counted in the era, in a smaller city. After that I was associated with Brodsky & Company, a criminal defence firm, still focusing on civil cases and appellate work. In March 2006 I joined the Revenue and Taxation Group of the Legal Services Branch, in the Ministry of the Attorney General of British Columbia. Between May 2009 and February 2010 I began to work on civil litigation cases and shifted into the Civil Litigation Group. I was with Civil Litigation until I retired in June 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic
Early in my career, there was some emphasis on motor vehicle, bodily injury, and small collections. I acted as the primary researcher to support senior members of the firm in various projects and to handle unconventional and challenging cases. Harry Walsh was one of Canada’s great trial lawyers, perhaps unrecognized because he spent his life in Winnipeg. He will be remembered for his role in fighting for the abolition of the death penalty. I became recognized in my firm for handling more complex matters. I dealt with two pools of clients. Some clients approached the firm for tort work, attracted by the reputation of senior partners. Other clients were in business – institutional clients including banks and lenders, construction suppliers and contractors, real estate management and development. I had a varied general litigation practice.
I worked for hundreds of private clients including private individuals, business people, small and large corporations, financial institutions, insurers, insolvency firms, charitable organizations and public interest bodies. I was engaged by the Public Interest Law Center of Legal Aid Manitoba, by the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Association for Community Living in public law and public interest cases. I wrote Briefs and written arguments and acted as co-counsel and lead counsel for many challenging criminal law, extradition, and Charter cases in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
I was often consulted on ethical and disciplinary issues in my law firms. On about 5 occasions from 1993-1999 I was involved in auditing and cleaning up the files of lawyers with problems at Walsh Micay & Company, and acted as the firm’s liaison with the Law Society. I was loyal to my firms and partners and supportive, but in several instances I disagreed with some of my partners about hiring new lawyers or the services provided to some clients.
I was not good at handling the bullshit that comes with the business of law, and I was unhappy in Winnipeg’s legal community. I was initially happy with the idea of acting for the government representing the people, but became unhappy with management by the BC Public Service Agency and the primacy of hierarchical managers.