I’m a partner at CAM LLP where I focus on helping people who have suffered serious personal injuries.
I’m the kind of lawyer who likes to talk to my clients regularly, and while I don’t mind talking on the phone or communicating electronically, I do like to meet my clients face to face so I can make sure they understand any important information they need to know. My clients tell me they find I am a good listener and they have confidence in my ability to do a good job representing them. I make it a point to always know what is going on in their lives and to keep them up-to-date on what’s happening with their claims.
Insurance companies and their lawyers know of our firm’s reputation. They also know that I’m always prepared and that I will keep them informed of relevant developments in a client’s situation. I believe in transparency in the claims process so that insurance companies know early on in the process the proper reserves they may need to set to provide proper compensation for my clients. Although it is sometimes necessary to take a personal injury case to trial to achieve a fair result, in my experience, taking a practical, collaborative approach to resolving cases usually results in claims being resolved far more efficiently and effectively for my clients.
Dealing with insurance companies is difficult and can be very stressful. I’m happy to be in a position where I can use my skill and knowledge to help. Even if you aren’t sure if you have a claim or if you want to hire a lawyer to help you, I’m not too busy to talk to you and give you some information. Sometimes that simply means identifying resources (like the Brain Care Centre or Spinal Cord Injury Alberta) that may help you cope with your situation.
What Happens When You Hire Me
I start by gathering all the information that I need about your claim. I will flag any legal issues that might affect your case, and we will talk about them. Then I will walk you through what you can expect from the process and what we will do for you if you decide to start a claim and retain our firm to help.
I cover the basics like the limitation periods and the kinds of financial assistance that may be available to cover immediate expenses. From there I will explain what happens as a claim progresses including what we do as lawyers to collect the evidence we need to assess liability (who’s at fault) and quantum (the amount of damages that may be available to you).
I often get asked how much a claim is worth. The answer is that I can’t accurately assess a claim until I know how you recover from your injuries and have been able to obtain final opinions from your medical care givers as well as any other necessary expert reports. At that point, I can sit down with you and go through a detailed assessment of how a court will likely assess your compensation.
I will explain the general steps in a personal injury lawsuit, what typically happens at each step and the approximate timing of those steps all the way up to trial if your case goes that far. A lot of people still have the notion that all cases go to trial and this can make them very anxious. Most cases do not end up in court so we’ll talk about the other ways to resolve your claim. I will also take you through how contingency fees and disbursements work so you know right up front that we cover the costs of starting your claim and getting the expert reports needed to prove your claim. There are no upfront costs to you, and we don’t get paid until we get you compensation.
One of the biggest misunderstandings I address concerns the time it takes to resolve a serious personal injury claim. For serious injury claims it can take up to three years and sometimes longer just to get final medical opinions and the necessary workups to calculate the loss of income, cost of care, and loss of housekeeping capacity claims. I explain why it’s important to follow your doctor’s advice and how courts like us to present evidence to make sure damages are assessed properly.
Given the length of time involved in resolving a serious injury claim, a question that often arises is “How am I going to pay my bills and survive while I’m in recovery?” I will review all the benefits available to you including Section B benefits from your insurance and third party benefits you may have through work.
We will also discuss whether EI, CPP Disability or AISH benefits are available to you. In serious injury cases, once a lawsuit has been started, it is sometimes possible to apply to the court for an order that the insurance company make an advance payment on your claim. We’ll talk about what is needed to succeed in this type of application if it becomes necessary.
I will be available to you every step of the way to answer any questions you may have. I will keep you informed of the status of your claim, review any settlement offers with you and guide you through any actions you need to take to bring your claim to a successful conclusion.
- Admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1992, I joined Cummings Andrews Mackay LLP (CAM LLP) in 1996 and have been representing seriously injured people ever since. I have been the Managing Partner of the firm since 2004.
- Before joining CAM LLP, I worked for one of the bigger law firms in Edmonton doing insurance defence work, so I know how insurance companies approach personal injury files and what needs to be done to move a client’s claim to a successful resolution.
- I was certified as a Level II mediator in 2003, and I use my mediation knowledge and skills regularly to help my clients.
- In addition to dealing with a wide variety of serious personal injury claims, I also have a lot of experience helping people deal with wrongful death claims and seeking compensation under the Fatal Accidents Act. The tragic nature of these cases makes it imperative that they are handled with empathy, sensitivity, and professionalism.
- Member, Law Society of Alberta.
- Former Edmonton Judicial District Representative for the Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association (ACTLA) and ongoing ACTLA member.
- Peer Rated 4.4/5 for High Professional Achievement, Martindale-Hubbell®, 2019 endorsed for high ethical standing.
- Before taking over as Managing Partner, I did a lot of Wills and Estates work in addition to handling personal injury claims and I used to write a regular column in a publication put out by The Society for The Retired and Semi-Retired (now called SAGE). This experience has given me a good deal of insight into the unique situations faced by elderly clients who find they have sustained a serious injury.
- Over the years I have been actively involved in coaching minor sports and volunteering on various boards in the community. I’ve coached soccer, hockey, and baseball at a variety of ages and levels. It’s been great to see my kids and their friends enjoy sports as much as I do.
Outside the Office
- I’ve always been involved in sports. I played junior hockey and played baseball in the top league in Alberta. I was also a power skating instructor and in the summer taught summer sports camps for kids. Today I continue to play hockey and am an avid golfer, mountain biker and stand up paddle boarder. Weather permitting, I regularly commute to and from the office by bike.
- I’m also a life-long traveler, having travelled extensively throughout North America, South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific