Monday, 16 March 2015

A Wide Exposure to Litigation Disputes

As we begin to turn down the home stretch for our articling terms at MB, I think this is a good opportunity to give prospective students an idea of the sort of matters that cross our desks on a day-to-day basis. The big advantage in articling at MB being exposed to a large number of practice areas.

...each case and event in the file demands a unique approach.

In my own experience, I have had the opportunity to assist on a range of matters from product liability to professional negligence, from employment disputes to landlord and tenant disputes and from bodily injury to accident benefits. I have seen subject matters ranging from disputes over leaky pipes to errors in large infrastructure projects, matters involving children and adults and, even animals! I have been asked to assist with preparations for motions, mediations, pre-trial conferences and trials. I have had the opportunity to interview expert witnesses, prepare witnesses, and speak to clients and opposing counsel.

What I have found is that although the work at MB is usually through the lens of civil litigation process, each case and event in the file demands a unique approach. By being exposed to every aspect of a dispute, and many types of disputes, I have quickly learned that, despite how similar the various aspects of the files appear to be, every matter demands a unique approach. As a result, we are constantly learning how to navigate new challenges and come up with new approaches to best meet the needs of our clients.

The lawyers at MB commonly look to us, the articling students, to be more than “paper pushers” for the file. Instead, many lawyers want us, and in some cases encourage us, to be a contributing member of the “team”. I have found that we are frequently challenged (in a positive way) to offer our thoughts on how to best approach the file. For someone who best learns by doing, I have found this approach to be a very effective way to engage me in the file and has allowed me to really become invested in the work that I am asked to do. As a result of this engagement I have become more and more confident in my own abilities as the articling term has progressed. I think if I were to ask the other articling students if they feel the same, they would agree.

My hope as I look towards the end of my articling term is that my knowledge base continues to be challenged and, as a result, continues to grow. Based on how my time has progressed thus far at MB, it is more than likely that my hopes will be realized.