March 1, 2018 marks the one year anniversary of Breedon Litigation. I wanted to take a moment to look back on the past year and to acknowledge the many people who have helped us along the way.
In 2015 Wendy and I made the decision to move our family to Barrie, to be closer to our respective families and to reprioritize our lives. As part of that decision, I resigned from the partnership of Lenczner Slaght, the firm where I had spent my entire career. I suspect that many of my friends and colleagues thought I had lost my mind.
After a short stint as counsel in a small firm in Vaughan, we decided that it was time to open an office in Barrie. This was probably another decision that defied conventional wisdom, as I did not have a portable practice and had few professional contacts in Barrie, but we felt confident that it was time to make a move.
Marketing people tell you never to talk about politics or religion on your website, but I have always picked my own path, and see no reason to stop now. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (Matthew 6:25-34)
I am no saint, but we have always tried to live by these words. In early 2017 we decided to take a leap of faith. I resigned (again!) and we started Breedon Litigation. We opened the office on Ash Wednesday with 12 files, nothing in the calendar, and no idea whether the phone would ring – in fact, on that first day we didn’t even have a phone.
The past year has certainly rewarded that faith. As of February 28, 2018, we have opened a total of 137 files – some of which have already been closed, and many of which are ongoing. We have been retained by international corporations, local businesses, charities and ordinary people. I have been particularly gratified to have been retained by several lawyers to help them with trials in all sorts of different cases.
Along the way we have ended up with two appeals (both successful), a lengthy hearing at the Licence Appeal Tribunal (also successful, although currently under appeal), a medical malpractice trial against one of my former partners (currently under reserve), and of course motions, discoveries, mediations, and on and on. This upcoming year looks to hold several trials, appeals in both the Divisional Court and Court of Appeal, and more. Not bad for a guy with an empty calendar one year ago.
One of the things I am proudest of is this website, which I wrote myself. I have some plans for it over the next year: first, this blog, which I have broken down and added to the website because apparently every lawyer is supposed to have a blog, since everything we say is fascinating.* Second, I hope to have some more articles along the lines of How to Pick the Right Lawyer and What to Expect If You Have to Sue Someone, which hopefully people will find useful.** Third, I recently prepared a list of my reported cases, which was a trip down memory lane. I am going to add stories from some of the cases, which may be of general interest to people who visit this site. Finally, when I started the firm I had some ideas for legal videos I wanted to make, and I hope to produce a couple over the next year. These may or may not involve Star Wars.
I have been touched by and wish to acknowledge publically the support of my former clients, many of whom tracked me down and either retained me or referred me cases, and of my colleagues in the profession, who have been a great source of encouragement and assistance. It has been especially gratifying to receive referrals from lawyers who I do not personally know. I would like to particularly acknowledge my former partners at Lenczner Slaght, who continue to be a tremendous support.
Lastly, I would like to take a moment to thank my wife Wendy, without whom this whole operation would grind to a halt. When we opened the firm, our original plan was that Wendy would work in the office until we hired someone. Fairly quickly we discovered that, to our surprise (and I think that of most of our friends), we actually enjoy working together. There is something gratifying about working in a true family business - or perhaps I just like it because I get to be the boss for once.***
Ryan Breedon, March 1, 2018
* Not my actual opinion. Stay tuned for an article on Crazy Things Marketing People Tell You.
** One topic will have to be, given the number of calls we have received about it, What To Do If You Have Eaten Something Gross. I thought Donoghue v. Stevenson was pretty unusual, but apparently it happens. All. The. Time.
*** Wendy probably disagrees with this, but she doesn't know how how to update the website.