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VOL. 77 PART 3 MAY 2019
emergency department. Along the way, Trudy completed her bachelor of
science in nursing from the University of Victoria.
After moving to Vancouver, Trudy met Duncan Macdonald, who was living
in Victoria at the time. They married in 1987.
Despite a successful and meaningful nursing career, Trudy still wondered
… Actually, she knew what she wanted to do. Off she went to UBC Law.
Trudy continued to work part-time in the emergency department at VGH
throughout law school. Her strong work ethic was evident, but it was not
easy. In her second year of law school, she became pregnant and went into
false labour during a final examination in Constitutional Law. Conor was
then born in June 1992.
After articling at Peterson Stark & Fowler (later Peterson Stark Scott),
Trudy became an associate, and later became a partner. She remained there
for 23 years until her appointment to the bench. At the start of her legal
career, Trudy intended to practise municipal law. Being the effective and
successful family lawyer she would become was not on her radar. She had
not even taken family law in law school!
Trudy’s practice really found her, rather than the other way around. In
the early years of her career, she worked as counsel for the Family Maintenance
Program and did a great deal of work for the then REMO (reciprocal
enforcement maintenance orders) program involving interjurisdictional
maintenance files. Alongside her family practice, Trudy worked as a contract
defence counsel under the Young Offenders Act, and then the Youth
Criminal Justice Act, for children in care. She also was regularly retained by
the Ministry of Justice for such diverse tasks as providing legal advice to
family justice counsellors; representing children in care on an ad hoc basis
under the Child, Family and Community Service Act; and consulting on federal
initiatives such as the child support recalculation project.
Throughout her career practising family law, Trudy was tough, direct,
fair and kind. She practised with compassion but steered herself with reason.
It has been said that she saw empathy, but not sympathy, as the seminal
trait of a family practitioner. Universally respected by her colleagues,
Trudy was a very effective and successful courtroom advocate. She was
well aware of the toll the court process takes on individuals and families.
As a consequence, she favoured a collaborative approach wherever possible.
She believed that in the right circumstances, parties are better off crafting
their own resolutions than relying on the courts to do so for them. She
was a founding member of the Lower Mainland Collaborative Family Law
Association and also belonged to the Collaborative Divorce Vancouver