Canadian Lawyer

July/August 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 14 of 35 13 broken bones and lacerations might encounter longer than average wait times or even errors in treatment. Embury says those cases, too, may be protected by a stretched resource argu- ment. One of the key resourcing issues Embury sees is nurses. He notes that many nurses in Ontario have school-aged children and the Ontario government has guaranteed pay if they need to stay at home and take care of their children. What that will mean, though, are acute shortages of nurses. The ramifications for medical malpractice law will be "massive," according to Embury, who says this may make advancing malpractice cases very difficult. He says, as well, that the societal cost of the pandemic might require medical malpractice lawyers to step back from their harder adver- sarial positions. "I think our world is going to change to a certain extent arising out of this event," he says. "Whether those changes are positive or negative depends on the narrative that we all write now." On empathy and advocacy in pesonal injury practice Q&A Called to the bar: 2001 Licensed to practice law in B.C., Washington State and California Governance roles: president of Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. (2014), member of the board of governors for the American Association for Justice, member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Accident Practice Manual Richard Parsons Partner COLLETTE PARSONS CORRIN LLP Why did you decide to venture into personal injury law? I was working at a large Vancouver firm as an associate and personal injury defence work was the first work they offered me. I was immediately surprised by how much I liked the area. Personal injury law is really a study of people's lives, which I find very interesting. I am also fascinated by the intersection between law and medicine, and I enjoy the opportunity to learn about the medical areas we deal with. I came to realize that I was more interested in working on the plaintiff side. In turn, I sought out a job at a plaintiff firm and eventually started up on my own with a partner a few years later. How did you come to specialize in brain and spinal cord injury law? The medical issues in brain and spinal cord injury cases are fascinating and nuanced; there is usually a twist and a learning experience in each case. The strategic considerations in a personal injury case are also much more nuanced than many lawyers may think. I focus deeply on my client's cases and strive to maximize their compensation, They only get one shot at it. I worked hard and was fortunate with some good results for clients early in my career and my practice has grown from there. What are some of the unique challenges that come with focusing on these cases and how do you overcome them? Plaintiff personal injury lawyers face unique business challenges because of the nature of contingency work. There can be pitfalls associated with being paid once on each file, usually years after being hired, along with issues related to funding disbursements in order to properly prepare each case. Some people are critical of personal injury lawyers because they only look at the success stories. My advice to anyone starting out would be to focus on doing a great job for each client and to allow their practice to grow at a pace at which they can keep up the quality of the legal services they offer each client. "Whether [the pandemic-caused] changes are positive or negative depends on the narrative that we all write now." 1-866-685-3311 |

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