Last night, I had the privilege and pleasure of meeting and dining with Canada’s premier class action litigator, Harvey Strosberg, Q.C. of Sutts, Strosberg LLP. I met with Harvey, his son and co-worker, David Robins, and Michael Rosenberg (who won this year’s Harvey T. Strosberg Essay Prize for the best student essay on class actions). FYI, I was the 2007 winner of the Harvey T. Strosberg Essay Prize for my submission, “Shareholder Class Actions in Ontario – Putting John C. Coffee, Jr.’s Findings to the Test”.
For those of you who don’t know him, Harvey (who lives half the time in Windsor and the other half in Toronto) is a senior partner at Sutts, Strosberg, LLP, a Bencher (Director) of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the editor of the Canadian Class Action Review and a lecturer at the law faculties of the University of Windsor and the University of Ottawa. Harvey is the former Treasurer (President) of the Law Society of Upper Canada and past Director of Legal Aid Ontario. He was called to the Ontario bar in 1971 and his practice is concentrated in civil litigation with his main focus on commercial and class action litigation.
Over dinner and drinks, we talked about old war stories (well, mainly David and Harvey did), family and friends, the legal profession and my uncle’s famous dry rub spice mix for meats. Harvey mentioned how he’s had a big impact on the legal profession – from managing a $154-million deficit in the lawyers’ liability insurance fund in 1994 to revising the bar admissions process and reviewing the rules of professional conduct. Here are my 3 takeaways from meeting with Harvey:
- It’s the cases you don’t win that you learn the most from.
- There’s going to be a great opportunity for lawyers to develop lawyering skills once the new small claims court rules come into effect next January.
- Sometimes, it takes a couple of letters to wake up judges who have reserved judgment years after the trial ended – so it’s generally better to settle in the interim.