Michael began his legal career with Bennett Jones LLP. Michael joined Carbert Waite LLP in 2003.
In 2020, Michael was appointed Queen’s Counsel by Alberta’s Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, Doug Schweitzer. Appointments of Queen’s Counsel are awarded to lawyers who have made significant contributions to the legal profession and have demonstrated exceptional leadership.
Michael is an accomplished advocate and maintains an active civil and commercial litigation practice. Michael is recognized nationally as a leading health lawyer. Michael advises and represents healthcare institutions, physicians and other health professionals on a wide range of complex issues.
As an experienced employment lawyer, Michael advises employers and employees on various employment, disability and human rights issues.
Michael has extensive experience in Estate Litigation including challenges to wills, Family Maintenance and Support Applications, Guardianship and Trusteeship disputes and Executor compensation disputes.
Michael’s other primary areas of litigation practice are Commercial Litigation and Civil Fraud. Michael’s commercial practice has generally been focused on large contractual disputes, collections and private company disputes including directors and officers issues and succession. Michael is experienced dealing with civil fraud cases (on behalf of both Plaintiffs and Defendants) and has acted as Independent Supervising Solicitor for Anton Pillar/Attachment Order searches and seizures.
Michael has appeared before all levels of court in Alberta and the Federal Court of Canada, as well as the Alberta Humans Rights Commission Tribunal.
MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION PRACTICE
Michael has 20 years of experience in general commercial and civil litigation. Michael completed mediation training through the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law.
Michael is comfortable conducting mediations and arbitrations in a wide variety of subject matter areas. His most significant areas of practice expertise would be in serious personal injury/medical malpractice (involving catastrophic injuries), general commercial litigation, employment law and estate litigation (including guardianship/trusteeship). Over his career, Michael has acted roughly equally for plaintiffs and defendants and has a balanced and practical approach to the law and to effective dispute resolution. Michael is skilled at defusing tension and emotional barriers to resolution.
Michael believes in a flexible approach to mediation. The process should bend to suit the needs of the parties and the nature of the particular dispute. Michael is prepared to play a facilitative role or to engage on the facts and the law as much as is necessary and desired by the parties. Michael values the role that counsel plays in mediation and always respects their relationship with their client(s). The role of the mediator is to create an atmosphere where the parties can come to their own unique resolution. Creativity and persistence is key.
Arbitration also requires creativity and flexibility. In order for it to function as intended, as a shorter and less expensive alternative to a trial, the parties and the arbitrator need to be pragmatic in designing a process that will serve the ultimate goal. Michael has a common sense approach to the law. My experience working for plaintiffs and defendants throughout my career means that I am not predisposed to one side or the other and can focus on the facts and the law in coming to a fair and balanced decision.
AWARDS AND SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY
Michael has been named a leading lawyer for medical negligence representing defendants in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory every year since 2015. Michael has been recognized by Best Lawyers for his work in Estates and Trusts for 2020.
In 2009, Michael received the prestigious University of Calgary Faculty of Law Honourable W.K. Moore Award for outstanding commitment and contribution to the Faculty of Law.
In 2007, Michael was named one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 by Calgary Inc. magazine (now Avenue Magazine).
Michael taught Health Law as an adjunct professor at the U of C Faculty of Law from 2006-2018 and has been a member of the Faculty’s Mooting and Debating Committee since 1999. Michael was instrumental in the creation of the Bennett Jones Health Law Moot in 2011 and continues to be one of the moot’s organizers.
Michael is a member of the Board of Directors of Legal Aid Alberta and is Vice-Chair of the Board of Hospice Calgary. Michael is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Calgary Medical Legal Society. Michael is a member of the National Executive of the Canadian Bar Association Health Law Section and was National Chair from 2014-2016.
- University of Calgary (B.A., 1992; LL.B., 1998)
- University of Alberta (LL.M., 2006)
- Law Society of Alberta (1999)
- Law Society of British Columbia (2015)
- Canadian Bar Association
- Calgary Bar Association
- Calgary Medical Legal Society
Trust and Estates 2020