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greatly enjoyed the stories he heard of his uncle’s work with the Crown, and
Paul credits his interest in pursuing the law as a profession to what he saw
and heard of his uncle’s work. Not content to simply inspire Paul, Uncle Pat
also put him to work as a law student helping to edit his textbook on criminal
law defences. The legal community undoubtedly owes Uncle Pat a debt
of gratitude beyond the benefit of his textbook, as his efforts cemented
Paul’s interest in the criminal law and his career as Crown counsel.
Paul was called to the bar in 1996 after articling with the Department of
Justice, where he met his future wife Karen. After articles, Paul joined the
Federal Prosecution Service (now the Public Prosecution Service of Canada,
or “PPSC”), where he spent the entirety of his legal career prior to his
appointment to the B.C. Supreme Court.
Originally, Paul spent time “in the trenches” doing trial work in the
Provincial Court at Main Street in Vancouver. He was a gifted prosecutor
who quickly became an invaluable resource to his fellow junior lawyers for
legal and procedural advice. He was an extremely hard worker, obviously
dedicated to learning and applying the law.
Early in his career, his more senior colleagues at the office noted his legal
acumen. He was recruited by the likes of Ken Yule, Q.C., and S. David
Frankel, Q.C. (now Frankel J.A.) to work on B.C. Court of Appeal cases.
After appearing as second chair on a few appeals, Paul had earned the
opportunity to appear on his own in the Court of Appeal as a youthful fiveyear
call. The Court of Appeal obviously agreed with Paul’s recruiters and
in a 2001 judgment1 Huddart J.A. pointed out how well the Crown argument
had been put to the court by Paul.
Despite all that British Columbia had given him, it appeared that Paul’s
loyalty was still on the East Coast. Paul and Karen moved back to Halifax to
be closer to family. In 2002 they moved into a house in Halifax and Paul
could walk (or run) to work at the Department of Justice’s Halifax office.
After 18 months away from B.C., they moved back. It seems that the lure of
exorbitant real estate prices and lengthy Lower Mainland commutes was
simply too much to resist. Trading a house within walking (or running) distance
of work cannot have been easy, but Paul adapted. Karen and Paul’s
new home in B.C. was too far for Paul to run to work (at least daily), so he
started his tradition of an extremely early arrival at the office in order to
give him enough time to run through the still-dark streets of downtown
Vancouver before his workday began.
Paul became a regular in the B.C. Court of Appeal and by the time of his
appointment to the bench, he had appeared in approximately 200 conviction
and sentence appeals. His excellent work in appellate litigation in B.C.