Michael was born and grew up (mostly) on Vancouver Island. Following an undergraduate degree in Asian Studies at the University of Victoria. He went on to the University of British Columbia for law school and graduated with a LLB in the “ADR Track”.
Throughout his law career he has focused on helping people to deal with several types of problems and disputes:
- Accident related injuries;
- estates, property and trust related disputes;
- employment and inter-office disputes;
- contract and construction disputes and builders liens; and
His aim has always been to find practical solutions, preferably through negotiation or mediation, rather than going to court (don’t get him wrong, he actually enjoys going to court, but it is seldom the best option for his clients, so it is generally a last resort.)
After articling at a downtown Vancouver law firm and practicing in the lower mainland for another six years, he returned with his then wife and three daughters to Vancouver Island in 2010, where they could raise their girls in a smaller community and near their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Beginning in January 2017, he has made mediation, and alternative dispute resolution generally, a primary focus of his practice and he is expanding his scope into family mediation and into arbitration. In order to help more people, more efficiently, and particularly those in remote areas that may be under-serviced, he also conducts mediations and arbitrations by way of video conference.
Michael’s other significant area of focus is personal injury. Helping people with injuries get the care and compensation they need is another thing he is passionate about and his prior experience as a First Aid attendant has helped significantly here as well (Yes, you are reading that correctly, he went from being an “ambulance attendant” to an “ambulance chaser”).
Michael believes in giving back to the community and is heavily involved in local organizations including the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce (Past Chair) and sits on an advisory commission for the City. He has MC’d various functions for charities including Cameryn’s Cause for Kids, a not-for profit to support local families of sick children.
Another great passion for Michael is Aikido. A practitioner since about 1994, he is a founding member of the Campbell River Aikido club since the end of 2011 and the assistant instructor at his dojo. He is particularly interested in the nexus between Aikido and conflict resolution and has recently created a program to teach conflict resolution skills to kids and adults using Aikido principles.