236 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 78 PART 2 MARCH 2020
real shift in legal work in Prince George due to the consolidation of local
industries and the centralization of bank work. A lot of the legal work was
moved out of town. There were a lot of foreclosures, though. When I
started in Prince George in 1998, there were four resident Supreme Court
judges, one resident master and usually one visiting judge. Seven years
later there were two resident Supreme Court judges and no master.
It’s a bit sad to say, but over the years I have noticed a loss of collegiality
among members of the bar. There may be various reasons for that, but
I think some of it is due to the decline in participation in CBA subsections
and dinners, which decline started around the time mandatory
membership in the CBA ended.
Q: Do you have any advice for young counsel? Or any counsel, for that
A: Know your materials well, and do more listening. More than half of
advocacy is listening, not talking. This includes listening to the judge;
comments from the bench should not be treated as annoying intrusions
but rather as an opportunity to persuade. Second, talk to opposing counsel—
remember that, as Lenny Bruce said, sometimes “the only justice
in the halls of justice is in the halls.” Engage with your friend and work
things out. Finally, you don’t need instructions to agree to an adjournment.
If opposing counsel needs an adjournment, then give him or her
a break because what goes around, comes around. Someday you may
need that kind of break.
I have some other suggestions, not just for young counsel. I think that
every judge or master should have to ride the buses twice a year. This
might ensure they don’t become too removed from the public. Also,
everyone should attend citizenship court at least once. You’ll see people
who have sacrificed everything to be here. It’s part of what makes our
country one of the best in the world.
Q: You were on the Rules Committee for many years. Its work is confidential
due to legislative privilege, but is there anything you can comment
on that stands out?
A: I was on the Rules Committee for six or seven years from about 2004 to
2010. I have no comment on how things were after that, or how they
are now, but I will say that during my time on the committee, which was
very ably guided by Mr. Justice Malcolm Macaulay, there was always a
collegial and consensual approach, and there was mutual respect
between the judiciary, the practitioners and the Attorney General’s representatives.
We always built a consensus.