92 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 1 JANUARY 2019
is more, but let us end with this: Chris set up and maintained the CMLA
Readers unfamiliar with maritime law may wonder how 32 years of practice
in this area have prepared Chris to sit as a judge in a generalist court
with inherent jurisdiction. The answer is that maritime law is mostly just
common law and equity applied to a certain kind of subject matter with one
or two special rules relating to security and enforcement of claims. Chris
has litigated seamen’s wage claims, claims for personal injury on ships and
airplanes, claims for collisions between ships, and allisions the authors of
this piece clearly intended to test readers’ maritime law knowledge! – Asst. Ed.
of tugs against bridges. He has forced the sale of ships in international bankruptcies
and enforced bank letters of credit. He has drafted time charterparties
(which are basically leases for ships) and exclusion clauses in towage
contracts. He has represented shipbuilders, ship buyers and ship chandlers
and bunker fuel suppliers. He has defended ship engine manufacturers in
product liability cases. He has, as we have seen, handled cases dealing with
the sale of goods, sometimes twice. He has handled oil pollution claims and
claims for hazardous materials spills. Given the international nature of
shipping, conflict of laws has been his bread and butter. His practice has
been as broad as most.
And now some remarks touching on the topical subject of judicial temperament.
Chris and Robert Margolis practised law together for 21 years without a
partnership agreement. Elyn Underhill joined the partnership three years
after its founding. Having been Chris’s partner at his previous firm, Elyn did
not ask for a written agreement. In the 21-year existence of Giaschi & Margolis
not a voice was raised in the office nor a temper lost. Chris is steady, kind,
honest, respectful and fair. All those who practised with him and all those who
were on the other side will attest to this. It is no coincidence that the partners
of the firms he left are his strongest references.
With this appointment it is finally certain that Chris will not be returning
to Bracebridge to run the family businesses. This does not mean he is forever
lost to the Heart of Muskoka. Two years ago he gave up his dream of
buying a cabin at Whistler when he acquired the family cottage located at
the mouth of the Muskoka River. It was not a difficult choice. Chris’s father
substantially built the cottage with his own hands, Chris hand-built the new
fire pit and the property is waterfront in the Muskokas which, we are
assured, is in summer the best place in Canada.
So Chris never made it to the “show”. For this, his partners, the maritime
bar and his many clients in North America, Europe and Asia are thankful.
We are confident that the lawyers who appear before him will be thankful