I was called to the Bar in 1990. I was a recipient of the Bassel Sullivan and Leake Prize in Civil Procedure at Osgoode Hall Law School, I have focused extensively on all areas of real estate, from purchases and sales to mortgage enforcement remedies. As well i have extensive litigation and construction lien experience. I was a lecturer at the Bar Admission Course on real estate and frequently lecture to professionals involved in real estate. I have been involved in thousands of real estate related transactions.
Outside of the office , I like to spend my leisure time reading and learning about military history. I have toured the Plains of Abraham , the Canadian war museum in Ottawa and at Juno Beach. I have been to Gettysburg twice. Any Civil war buff must see Gettysburg. The town is a sleepy farming community that saw the battle that changed the course of the war. It is awe inspiring. Seeing Big and Little Roundtop where Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin led his men was mystical as was walking the battlefield of Pickett's Charge. Pickett never forgave Lee . I have also been to Arlington National Cemetery.
The beaches, cemeteries and towns of Normandy was a real bucket list trip. Having our base in Bayeau we toured, St. Mer Eglise St.Low and the now tranquil fields outside of Caen. We stopped at countless crossroads and bridges to recall pitched and prolonged skirmishes and battles that put the allies ashore. We walked the beaches of Normandy, Juno, Sword, Gold , Omaha and Utah. I confess that we did the beaches in no partucular order . The first beach we came upon was Utah. Upon first sight I imagined the largest naval armada in history pounding german fortifications. The Americans took Utah with relative ease compared to Omaha. If you saw Saving Private Ryan the first scene takes place at the American cemetary in Normandy which is a place of truly hallowed ground.The beach scene in Saving Private Ryan is Omaha beach. It is almost beyond comprehension to imagine the enormity of the D-Day landing. The bravery of the soldiers who fought and died for the cause, is something that needs to be instilled in all freedom loving people. Too bad Canadian youth know so little about the the greatest cataclsym in history. The French coast is pretty rugged and when you imagine the defensive positions on the beaches and inland it is truly a marvel that the Allies came ashore. In fact, General Omar Bradley nearly issued orders to call off the landing as the Amercians were in deep trouble at Omaha beach. Had it not been for the big guns from offshore the landing at Omaha may well have been scrapped.
On a visit to Prague i was taken to the spot where Himmler's deputy , Rienhard Heydrich, was assassinated. Retribution for this assasination was brutal . I also was taken to Theresienstadt concentration camp. Thousands of people were killed here. I have a client who is a survivor of this camp. He is remarkable to listen to . From the Czech Replublic we made our way to Austria . From a military perspective , Hitler annexed Austria in a bloodless coup. Hitler bet correctly that the western powers would have no appetite to oppose him. We we taken to Mauthausen concentration camp which is about 20 km's east of Linz. This camp became one of the largest slave labour camps in Europe, it contained massive quarries where inmates were literally worked to death cutting stone . It was also an extermination camp where between 120,000 to 320,000 people were killed. Exact numbers are unknown.
Recently I visited the battlefields in the Lire Valley in Italy touring , Anzio, Salerno, and Cassino. The Italian campaign was fierce as the Allies struggled to drive the Germans from Italy. Winston Chuchill called Italy the "soft underbelly" and was adamant that the allies move through Italy, although Roosevelt believed Italy was more a sideshow as enormous resources were going to be required for the invasion at Normandy.
Of course, I would be remiss if i did not acknowledge the patience and perserverence of my wife, Elaine, who allows me to guide her to old battlefields , towns from the past and other far away places that have become distant and often unpleasant memories in the dust bin of history.