Clear and concise documents; efficient and effective research.
Have you ever signed a contract that stated it was “signed, sealed, and delivered” or that it was executed “in witness whereof”? Have you ever asked about the legal effect of these phrases? Were you given a satisfactory answer?
Legal writing — contracts, bylaws, pleadings, memos — remains rife with archaic and repetitive phrases that, at best, add nothing or, at worst, add ambiguity. As a historian of legislative drafting (PhD, University of Ottawa), I have a keen awareness of which phrases have substance and which phrases are mere ornament.
I draft well organized and concise documents that are easy to review while remaining comprehensive and precise. Due to the technical nature of a contract or bylaw, you may not immediately understand every provision I draft, but I make the purpose of every provision clear and I can quickly explain what any provision means in practical terms and why its inclusion is important.
My research memoranda provide concise summaries paired with detailed notes: memos that are quick to review while providing an effective starting point if further research needed. I have prepared efficient and effective research reports for my entire adult life. Despite only having degrees in political science (MA, Alberta), history (PhD, Ottawa), and law (JD, Toronto), I spent years conducting patentability searches where I successfully applied my research skills in technical and scientific areas. I have the experience and breadth of knowledge to identify often overlooked issues, with the experience and adaptability to know where to find the answers.
Individuals skilled in the art of legislative drafting are rare outside of provincial and federal legislative counsel offices. I am one of those rare individuals.
Drafting legislation is not a skill taught to most lawyers, either in law schools or at law firms. However, legislative instruments abound in the form of municipal bylaws, orders of agencies, boards, and commissions, and the rules of self regulated professions.
I provide cost-effective and high-quality legislative drafting to organisations that may lack the internal capacity of a skilled and passionate legislative drafter.
Suggested revisions to a provincial bill (Bill 21)
Sample draft mask bylaw
My comments on Edmonton's mask bylaw from my blog.
I prepare research memos that offer concise answers while resting upon comprehensive and well-documented research. These memos are quick to review, while remaining effective foundations for additional research if needed.
My breadth of knowledge and experience make my research services particularly useful for novel and complex issues. I approach research with an academic's passion to understand, while offering greater cost certainty for such research.
While legal research is generally not a recoverable disbursement in the absence of special circumstances, outsourcing such research to an individual with my experience and credentials may contribute to such special circumstances on some files, particularly where the research may be historically focused or otherwise outside of conventional research methodologies used by lawyers.
Intellectual property is an essential element of more and more business, yet it is a subject area that remains obscure to many lawyers. If you need a licence agreement or a contract reviewed to make sure your IP is protected, I can draft concise licence agreements or specific IP provisions in other contracts (e.g. in the asset sale of a business) to ensure these increasingly important business assets are protected.
Born and raised in Alberta, I spent a decade working and studying in France, Quebec, and Ontario, including a doctorate from the University of Ottawa and a law degree from the University of Toronto. During my studies, I was the recipient of numerous academic awards, including a Tri-Council Canada Graduate Studies Doctoral Fellowship and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. With a passion for public policy and law, I articled with the programs and policy branch at Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General. After completing my articles, I returned to home to be closer to family, and worked for four years in a boutique intellectual property practice. During that period, I took on a variety of files, including a judicial review before the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal, briefs for Canadian and American patent tribunals, copyright and trademark litigation, drafting licence agreements and other intellectual property related contracts, drafting legal research memos, and conducting patentability searches.
I am passionate about what makes legal instruments (statutes, regulations, contracts) clear, concise, and effective and I have an academic’s love of in-depth research.