THE ADVOCATE 499 VOL. 77 PART 4 JULY 2019
a P.E. teacher. We are grateful for your father’s contribution to the development
of the law. Clearly a knack for persuasion runs in the family.
Although it is easy to attribute your skills as a lawyer to pure natural talent,
such characterization does not discern your full measure. You work in a
way that is humbling. You complete a set of notes—sometimes 30 pages in
length—only to rip them off your yellow pad so that you can start them
afresh. You dissect, consume, dismantle and caress a case to the point that
you can identify every strength and every weakness.
You are the consummate strategist. Your greatest achievements sometimes
happened outside the courtroom. So inexorably did you move the pieces
around the board that the litigation was changed by the time the case was
called. You shaped the litigation so that the game would be played in the
sandbox that you had built.
You are a storyteller. You believe that there is a story underlying anything
worth saying in the courtroom. You found the story by searching out that
one fact that kept coming back to you and then you organized and reorganized
it until you found the story that you wanted to tell. You sit with your
worst facts while they gestate, chrysalis like, and emerge as your best facts.
You ensured that the story was relevant, simple and brief. Having harnessed
the story, you would then deploy it at every opportunity, including
in your opening, closing, examination-in-chief and cross-examination.
Your mastery of the story made you a brutally effective, though unfailingly
kind, cross-examiner. Your conf idence about how and where the witness’s
evidence f it into the story meant the witness was no match for your unwavering
purpose and resolve.
Your presence in the courtroom was unique and almost impossible to
describe. Without fanfare or notice you would make an argument that was
utterly captivating and compelling. Sometimes your reasoning was not logical
in the way that the court would expect, but in revealing the core of an
issue, the logic of your position would be laid bare. You were scrupulous to
ensure that every argument you advanced was meritorious, and as such you
became counsel that the court could trust every time, in every case. You do
not need simply to rely on the authors of this letter for this fact. Justice
Finch (as he then was) took judicial notice of your reputation in Stiles v.
Beckett, 1993 B.C.J. No. 3 (S.C.) after opposing counsel questioned your
152 As to Mr. Berardino, his, and his firm’s, reputation for integrity, and
for the highest standards of professional conduct, are well known to anyone
familiar with litigation practice in this province.