- I may be a high school drop-out, but I have a PhD in law from Cambridge.
- I’m a recreational blacksmith (note that I didn’t say I’m a good recreational blacksmith), and I’ve just started to learn woodturning!
- At one time, I was self-employed as a glazier & metal mechanic (not engines – storefronts and those big buildings made of glass and aluminum).
- 6 kids, 5 dogs, 2 cats.
- My partner, Meredith Galbraith, is the world’s best veterinarian. If there was a Nobel Prize for vetting, she would win.
- I really like law – practicing it, teaching it, writing about it, and so on.
- The house I live in pre-dates Confederation by about thirty years. The stone was quarried on site. The timbers holding up the main floor were cut and shaped by hand as there were no saw mills in the area at the time. The original owner was a German soldier in the British army (this was still the time of the Hanoverian kings so that George III was not only King but also Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg ) who was granted the land for his service in fighting American rebels.
I practice in the areas in which my teaching and scholarship is concentrated – trusts and estates litigation and disputes respecting capacity. I feel that my academic and practice work strengthens my expertise and keeps me current in a way that I could not achieve by restricting my work to either one of them alone. In my teaching, I try to concentrate on foundational principles and skills so that students understand the content of the law and the manner in which it is applied in real situations. In practice, I am very conscious of the time and cost that is involved in bringing a dispute to a conclusion. The goal is to obtain an acceptable result as soon as possible and within a reasonable budget.
LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
MA, Oxford University
PhD, Cambridge University
Estates & Trust Law (Law Society of Upper Canada)
Law Society of Upper Canada
Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
The Advocates Society
The Frontenac Law Association
Speaking Engagements and Selected Publications:
The Law of Civil Procedure: Cases, Materials & Commentary (Thomson Reuters)
‘Top Estate & Trusts Cases 2017’
‘The Court’s Rectification Power in Contracts, Trusts, and Wills: Is There a Difference?’
‘Drafting and Attacking Charging Clauses in a Will’ (2017), 36 Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal 160; reprinted in Lindsay Histrop, Estate Planning Precedents: A Solicitor’s Manual [Forthcoming, Thomson Reuters Canada]
‘Drafting and Attacking Charging Clauses in a Will’ [Law Society of Upper Canada, Annual Estates and Trusts Summit]
Co-author, Oosterhoff on Wills, Eighth Edition (wrote chapters on “Dependants’ Support” and “Substitute Decision-Making”)
‘Drafting and Attacking a Charging Clause in a Will’ [Forthcoming, Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal]
“Administration of Trusts” chapter in The Law Of Trusts: A Contextual Approach, 3rd Edition (Emond Montgomery)
‘Accessorial Liability for Breach of Trust and Fiduciary Duty’ [Law Society of Upper Canada, Annual Estates and Trusts Summit]
“Probate Contests And The New Law Of Summary Judgment” (2014), 34 Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal 199
‘Trends in the Application of the Limitations Rules in Trusts & Estates Litigation’ [Law Society of Upper Canada, Annual Estates and Trusts Summit]
‘Why Passing of Accounts Matter’ [Law Society of Upper Canada, 15 February 2014]
Halton County – Estates and Family Law Seminar [May 9, 2014]
‘Variation of Trusts’ [16th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit, Law Society of Upper Canada, 11 November 2013]
‘The ‘Opinion, Advice, and Direction’ of the Court: Principles, Procedures, and Judicial Blessings’ (2013), 32 Estates Trusts and Pensions Journal 41
‘Mediation of Estate Disputes’ [Estates Planning Council, 25 Sept. 2013]
‘Care of the Frail Elderly: Navigating the Maze’ [Centre for Studies in Aging and Health, 5 June 2013]
‘Legal Issues Affecting Residents and Families of Residents in Long-Term Care’ [Reach Canada, Ottawa, 23 May 2013]
‘Civil Law Seminar: Persons and Property from Cradle to Grave (and Beyond)’ [National Judicial Institute, 14-15 May 2013]
2nd Annual East Region Estates and Trusts Seminar: (1) The Use of Insurance Trusts and other Family Trusts in Estates; (2) Review of Mutual and Mirror Wills; (3) Exculpatory Clauses [Perth/Lanark Law Association, 1 May 2013]
‘Civil Litigators Series – Wills and Estates’ [Law Society of Upper Canada, 22 Feb. 2013]
‘The ‘Opinion, Advice, and Direction’ of the Court: Principles, Procedures, and Judicial Blessings’ [Law Society of Upper Canada, Annual Estates and Trusts Summit]
‘Disputes Amongst Multiple Trustees: What Rights Does A Minority Estate Trustee Have Against An Oppressive Majority?’ (2012), 32 Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal 41
‘Mutual Wills’, and, ‘Lapse & Anti-Lapse’. Both at the County of Lanark Law Association East Region Estates and Trusts Seminar
‘The Developing Law of Unjust Enrichment: Cohabitational Relationships’, Frontenac Law Association, Estates & Trusts Section
‘Addressing Oppressive Conduct by Jointly-Appointed Estate Trustees’, Law Society of Upper Canada, Annual Estates and Trusts Summit
‘The Implications of Alberta v Elder Advocates of Alberta Society for Elder Law’, 41st Annual Workshop on Commercial and Consumer Law, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
‘Summary Judgement and the Changing Face of Estate Litigation’, Kingston & the 1000 Islands Legal Conference
‘Elder Law’ Elders Gathering, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte
‘The Fiduciary Principle at the Intersection of Private and Public Law’ Estates & Trusts Group, Ottawa
‘Elder Law and Elder Abuse’ PEAN, AGM
‘Elder Law’ Retirees’ Association Queen’s
‘Misfeasance, Nonfeasance and the Self-Interested Attorney’ (2011), 48 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 457
Power of Attorney Issues, Estate Planning Council of Eastern Ontario
‘Elder Law in Canada: A Country without a Flag’, Canadian Conference on Elder Law
Power of Attorney Issues, Law Society of Upper Canada, 13th Annual Estates and Trusts Summit
‘Elder Law’, AGM, Kingston Community Legal Aid Clinic
‘Substitute Decision-Making and Fraud’, Elder Law Clinic Event for Professionals, Kingston