Thursday 28 March 2013

Survey Says...

For this week’s blog, I thought I would switch things up a bit. I thought it would be fun to show you the faces that I have the pleasure of seeing every day.

After devising this survey  >   >   >

I then asked (ok -forced) the MB Students to share a bit more about themselves and about their favourite parts of articling at a civil litigation firm.

I have put together below some of their best (in my humble opinion) answers.


  Q2: Settlement conference – It makes me feel like the
lawyer, I thought I would be.

Q3: The Bancroft Court of Justice - Because of the
beautiful countryside drive.

Q5: Harvey's– in two words: Original Burger

Q2: Motion all the way

Q4: Mediations – You generally get to hear the whole story from the beginning and really get a sense of the issues in the case.

Q5: IQ– Quinoa, the superfood.

Q1: Rule 49 - Offer to Settle - Because why can't
everyone just get along?

Q3: The Oshawa Court of Justice - Because it reminds me of 'Gringotts Wizarding Bank' (from Harry Potter, for those that don't indulge in wizardry).

Q5: Aroma– FREE chocolate, need I say more.

Q1: Rule 37 – Motions!

Q3: The Orillia Court of Justice – My first Settlement Conference.

Q5: IQ – healthy and delicious!

Q1: Rule 49 – It promotes a resolution of the issues and "punishes" those who are not willing to cooperate or be an effective lawyer.

Q4: Mediations - Another opportunity to resolve the claim and make the client happy.

Q5: Chinese noodle soup place at the Sheraton Hotel -when I visit my colleagues in Toronto.

Q2: Settlement Conference - I like the opportunity to meet opposing counsel face to face.

Q4: Examinations for Discovery - Network Reporting has great food!

Q5: Thai Express – Not exactly "express" but worth the wait!

Q2: Motions - I think it's a good opportunity to practice oral advocacy and to have to think quickly on your feet.

Q4: Mediations - I haven't been to a lot of them and it is interesting to watch different lawyers' negotiation strategies.

Q5: Freshii – I collect points on my phone and get free

Q3: The Cobourg Court of Justice - I took the train there at 6:50 am in the middle of a snowstorm!

Q4: Mediations - I like to see how different mediators engage both sides.

Q5: Sandwich Box is my favourite lunch spot – 'you don't make friends with salad' (-Bart and Homer Simpson)

(This is mine :) 

Wishing you a Happy Easter & Long Weekend!


Thursday 21 March 2013

Oh The Places You’ll Go!

In the previous blogs, my esteemed colleagues have given you a glimpse of the kind of work we do as articling students at MB. What they haven’t told you is that our files often lead us to new and exciting places…and I’m not trying to be flowery or intellectual - I mean geographically.  

STOP. Hammer time! 

Yesterday, I embarked on a journey to the bustling metropolis of Hamilton for a settlement conference for one of MY files. The “Hammer” as it is fondly called, is a city I had not yet had the pleasure of visiting. While I don’t have too much to report in terms of the aesthetics of the city (my apologies to the proud Hamiltonians), the experience as a whole was very positive. The settlement conference was for a professional negligence action involving an insurance broker. Although the matter didn’t settle, I had the opportunity to advocate on behalf of my client (who was in attendance), engage in negotiations with the opposition, and receive positive feedback from the Deputy Judge. All in all – a good day.  

As this is a blog about our travels, before writing, I took a quick poll of the rest of the articling students and together we have collectively travelled to more than 25 different cities/towns in the last 8 months! The Hammer, the ‘Shwa, Burlington, Cobourg, Bancroft, Nappanee, to name a few…  

Perhaps the common theme in all of our blogs is one of journey. Together the 7 of us have journeyed from our positions as summer students to our new adventures as articling students. We have gone from knowing very little and knowing only each other, to becoming a real part of the MB family and slowly but surely, learning the ropes. This year we excitedly welcomed another member to our articling team as the firm opened a new office in Ottawa. As MB continues to grow, so too do our horizons – both in terms of geography, as well as our exposure to different practice areas and legal experiences. I offer a shameless plug for a firm I am truly proud to be a part of…we are indeed reaching new heights.  

Indeed, what better time to reflect on our journey than now as we turn the corner into the hire-back season. In a few short months, we will join the ranks of our much-admired associates and start a whole new journey…optimistically…at MB…*wink*wink…*nudge*nudge.  

As an end to this blog, I leave you with a little excerpt from a book we are all quite fond of here in the “student bunker”; an ode to all the places we’ll go…  

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And you are the guy who'll decide where to go…


                                                         - Dr. Seuss -

Friday 15 March 2013

March Madness...

As per MB tradition, the athletically-inclined articling students (a group from which I exclude myself) recently started the annual March Madness pool. While I now know that March Madness is a basketball competition, I couldn't help but think we've been experiencing some “March madness” ourselves. The first couple weeks of March were so busy for the students - it seemed at least one of us was out of the office every day at various court appearances, examinations and client meetings.

We welcome the hustle-bustle because it makes the days fly by and keeps things interesting. That said, it is nice to get a little reprieve once in a while. Since this week is March Break, a lot of lawyers are out of the office on family vacations. The atmosphere seems a little calmer, a little quieter. There was actually a day where all seven of us were in the office at the same time and we got a chance to go for lunch together to celebrate embarking on our eighth (!) month of articling. Also, this week marks the first of a series of Pilates classes in the office. Once a week, an instructor from the Adelaide Club comes into the Learning Centre and leads a Pilates class over the lunch hour. It was a lovely way to unwind and de-stress (made even sweeter because it was free).

Articling at McCague Borlack is anything but boring - you never quite know what to expect from week to week. But I’ve learned there are some things I can count on: a laugh or two with my fellow students, friendly faces in the hall and a firm that genuinely cares about us. There will be crazy times and there will be relaxed times - and we “march” on.

Friday 8 March 2013

No Shortage of Excitement...

Here we are... week 5 of the blog already! This blog is meant to be a window into the articling experience here at MB and, as my fellow students have set out in previous posts, there is no shortage of exciting things to talk about.

For example,

Monday 4 March 2013

A Look Back...

After reading my fellow articling students’ posts, I was really looking forward to sharing my own experiences with all of you.  Each and every one of my weeks at MB has been filled with interesting and exciting experiences, so I was sure that I would have no problem writing a blog post. And then this week happened… no court appearances, no discoveries and/or mediations to attend – just a week of playing catch up on missed calls and emails, etc. 

While it was great to catch up on these rather mundane tasks, writing about my filing … well that‘s not very exciting for you, the readers… Therefore, I decided to take you back to my last week, and tell you what happened... (trust me, it’s good).