My areas of practice included auto and premises liability (including plaintiff side), first party disputes (of all kinds), product liability, commercial litigation, including construction losses, as well as fire losses, professional negligence and dog owner liability cases. I have had years of experience handling large losses. Of the hundreds of cases that passed through Houser Associates, I oversaw all of them, collaborated on most, and always maintained my own caseload. (I miss collaborating with the team the most. Meetings, webinars, committees and countless productivity measures, a bit less!) It was a good run, a run that included Trial, arbitration and appellate work—and more mediations than I can count.
I cared deeply about both oral and written advocacy and prided myself on negotiating in a tough, but fair, manner. While I always pushed for the best result for my client–at times fiercely–it was never a bad day when the result was fair to all parties. It was even better when it was civil litigation.
Some cases must head to Trial, but the overwhelming majority should be resolveable at mediation. In addition to appropriate levels of preparedness, motivation and authority (as well as a dash of patience), my experience is that the chances of resolution are highest with a strong mediator. In aspiring to be one of the best, I’ll work tirelessly to resolve cases that have even the slimmest chance of being resolved.
While parties’ representatives have responsibility for hundreds of other cases, I won’t forget that parties themselves may only ever have that one case and that the result affects them directly, often very substantially.
In my spare time, I shuttle my now-15-year-old to baseball, hockey, golf, and [name other teen boy activity here], depending on the season. He plays Rep baseball and hockey. He still talks voluntarily to his Dad, which I might say reflects favourably on my job skills. 🙂 I coached his baseball teams for almost 10 years. We always did very well (Ontario runner-up in 2019), but it was critical to play the right way, support teammates, and have a ton of fun. I served for years on the board at Annette Baseball Association, an outstanding community program on the west side, and at George Bell Arena, an iconic west-end City facility.