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he had to “gown up” for an upcoming small claims hearing when advised by
the barristers in the office that it was mandatory he do so.
Nothing stopped Al. In addition to being a family man and successful
lawyer, Al attained many influential positions as a volunteer and active
member of the community, including the following:
• President of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce
• President of the BC Chamber of Commerce
• President of the Victoria Bar Association
• President of the Victoria Golf Club
• Chair of BCIT
• Chair of Glenlyon Norfolk School
• First chair of the then newly created Victoria Airport Authority
You might ask whether Al had time to bill his work. He believed a bill
should be drawn with care, and it should explain in simple terms just what
the firm had done for the client. He believed there was an art to drafting a
bill. He never issued a bill based on straight time, but insisted that the fee
be a meaningful one and based on value to the client. He explained to
young lawyers that a client might be quite happy with a bill for $2,000 but
upset if charged $27.50 for photocopies at 25 cents a page. And he was right.
Al was a lawyer’s lawyer. He loved debate. He had a unique take on legal
issues. Other lawyers in the office learned to consult him after coming to a
very firm conclusion on matters, for Al could always be counted on to offer
another perspective on the problem that had not been considered.
One of his strengths was recognizing the limits of his knowledge in a particular
area of law, and he never hesitated to seek advice from other lawyers
in different practice areas. He derived immense enjoyment from this. One
of his methods was to seek out an opinion from another lawyer in the office,
and then, only after having gotten the opinion, to disclose additional facts,
which often triggered an entirely new opinion (and the comment, “Well, if
you would have told me that … ”). He enjoyed observing how other lawyers
proceeded intellectually through the problem-solving process.
Al initially “retired” at 67 but came back to the office after a few months
of travel with Rosemary and proceeded to have the most successful ten
years of his practice until finally pulling the pin for good.
Al was highly respected by his colleagues, staff, clients, fellow board
members, associates and acquaintances. He was a credit to the bar and will
be sadly missed.