In most litigation you can't tell the client with 100 per cent conviction where the dispute will end up. But what I can do is to dig deep into an issue and offer some concrete recommendations clients can be confident in. One of Michael's clients says of his insurance coverage advice: You are full of wonderful information that makes my work seamless.
He has prepared written submissions in cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, Alberta Court of Appeal, the British Columbia Supreme Court and various administrative tribunals in Alberta.
As Field Law's research lawyer, Michael's clients and colleagues look to him to thoroughly analyze legal issues and make the analysis accessible. Describing himself as having an academic disposition , his aptitude for research and writing makes him the go-to person when clients need a comprehensive and knowledgeable legal opinion or a well-crafted written submission for a court, arbitration panel or tribunal. With more than 15 years of experience, Michael offers his clients the proficiency needed to write effective submissions that have received excellent feedback from the courts. Michael's clients appreciate that his legal opinions consistently provide a candid and forthright assessment of the pros and cons of the client's legal position.
Outside of Work
I have two teenaged sons who keep me busy. Michael says. His love of the fiddle also keeps him busy. I started playing when I was young. When I came to Field Law I found other musicians here and I became part of the firm band.
The following is a list of presentations, seminars or speaking engagements previously given by Michael:
Finding the Killer Case Legal Education Society of Alberta December 2009
The Problem of the Late Suing Plaintiff Canadian Bar Association, Southern Alberta Research Lawyers Sub-Section September 2008
Bill 11, Insurance Amendment Act 2008 Field Law Clients and Guests 2008
Consent to Operate a Motor Vehicle -Liability and Coverage Field Law Clients and Guests November 2005
Questionable Coverage - Non-Waivers and Reservations of Rights Field Law Clients and Guests November 2005
Advanced Payments by Automobile Insurers Canadian Insurance Law Reporter August 2013
Advanced Payments by Automobile Insurers Insurance E-Bulletin July 2013
Saskatchewan Trial Court Awards Record Punitive Damages for Insurer Bad Faith April 2013
If a Tree Falls in Quebec, Can Anybody Sue? Insurance E-Bulletin July 2012
Fundamental Breach R.I.P. Freedom of Contract Gains Traction in Supreme Court's Decision in Tercon March 2010
Finding the Killer Case Advanced Legal Research November 2009
Protecting Pre-Trial Privacy Truth and Consequences October 2008
Compellability of Witnesses in Arbitration Construction Law Conference April 2008
Implications Arising from Parallel or Related Proceedings - Use of Evidence - Res Judicata - Having Proceedings Stayed Construction Law Conference April 2008
Pre-Trail Privacy The Winston Report Winter 2008
Prepare Now to Avoid the Pitfalls of E-Discovery Later 2007
Party On? Supreme Court of Canada Rules on Liability of Social Hosts for Guests' Drunk Driving May 2006
Goodbye Statutory Condition 14: Limitations Act Amendment Places in Doubt the One Year Limitation in All-Risk Property Policies March 2006
Court Rejects Challenge to Alberta's Insurance Reform November 2005
To Belt or not to Belt: New Limits on Contributory Negligence October 2005
Twenty-First Century Damage:Non-Pecuniary Damages Awards in Cases of Catastrphic Injuries - Western Provinces and Ontario Since 2000 to March 2005 LESA Personal Injury Seminar April 2005
Privilege and Rule 26(2.1) of the B.C. Rules of Court 1999
The Principled Approach to Hearsay in Civil Procedure since R. v. Khan 1998
•The firm's client occupies a specialized market in property and liability insurance in Alberta. The client was in the process developing a new wording for its property and business interruption insurance. The client came to Michael for legal support because of his familiarity with the client's existing policy wording, experience in providing coverage analysis involving that wording and familiarity with the client's specialized market. The client's objective was a clear, rational and intuitive policy wording. Michael worked with the client's primary drafter to develop a new policy wording that addressed the client's insuring objectives in clear and accessible language and met the requirements of Alberta insurance law. The client remarks: I am pleased with Michael's consultative approach to our project. We were able to address policy wording challenges in an effective manner because of the open dialogue followed by his research and presentation of realistic and actionable options to each issue I raised.
•The firm acted for an Alberta municipality and its liability insurer in a factually complex lawsuit brought by a real estate developer against the municipality. The lawsuit arose from a residential real estate development. Working with one of Field's leading insurance litigation partners, Michael's legal research helped identify an opportunity to shorten the lawsuit by pursuing summary judgment on specific issues. Michael took the lead in preparing court materials supporting a summary judgment application, including affidavits and written arguments on behalf of the client. Following a three-day hearing in 2016 a Queen's Bench Justice's decision (reported at 2016 ABQB 735) dismissed all claims, sparing the clients the expense and inconvenience of a lengthy trial.
Calgary Bar Association Member 2000-Present
Canadian Bar Association Alberta, Research Law Section (South) Chair 2016-2018
Canadian Bar Association Alberta, Research Law Section (South) Chair 2012-2014
Canadian Bar Association Alberta, Research Law Section (South) Secretary/Treasurer 2010-2012
Canadian Bar Association Alberta, Research Law Section (South) Chair 2008-2010
Canadian Bar Association Alberta, Research Law Section (South) Secretary/Treasurer 2007-2008
Canadian Bar Association Alberta, Research Law Section (South) Member 2003-Present
Law Society of Alberta Member 2000-Present