May 7, 2010

April 2010

Lyle Harris

Welcome to our new website, and the second edition of our firm’s blog. The first edition of our firm’s blog was posted by my partner, Robert Brun, as part of his (successful) campaign for election as Second Vice President of the Canadian Bar Association. Robert will assume his office at the annual convention in Niagara Falls in August 2010, and will accede to the office of First Vice President in 2011, before becoming President of the Canadian Bar Association at the Vancouver convention in August 2012. Congratulations Robert!

This edition of the firm blog features another one of our lawyers, Lina Giustra. In an era where “tradition” can be taken to mean anything that exists for over five years, it is important for our clients to know that Lina Giustra articled with the firm in 1987, and has practiced with our firm exclusively since 1988 – almost twenty-three years!

During that time, her reputation has continued to grow through word of mouth, and she is held in very high esteem by her colleagues at the firm, by her clients, and by counsel who are her adversaries.

Lina has done a wide variety of civil litigation practice throughout the years: personal injury, insurance defence, workers’ compensation, and tort claims involving the worker-worker bar.

One of Lina’s present areas of practice is dealing with the jurisdictional and conflict of law issues that arise when motorists insured by American insurance companies get into motor vehicle accidents in British Columbia.

As those of us who practice law in British Columbia well know, the monopoly created by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia has resulted in a lot of “made in B.C.” issues of law and practice.

Claims representatives of insurers stationed in (for example) New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota or Washington are often amazed to find out that the insurer has signed an undertaking with the British Columbia government that alters (usually raises) the insurance limits that were paid for by the insurance premium, to the (usually much higher) British Columbia limits. Lina takes her clients through these steps, which usually involve a learning process, and advises them of the risks and pitfalls of defending claims in British Columbia.

Lina has proven very adept over the years at advising her clients about our mandatory no-fault system which provides greater benefits than do many American states, our mandatory Under-insured Motorist Provisions (UMP) with its many deductibles, and the recently enacted Health Care Costs Recovery Act which now requires insurers to reimburse the government for expenses incurred in British Columbia’s universal health care scheme, administered to accident victims.

During her spare time (what there is of it!) Lina, along with husband Glen, enjoys skate-skiing, roller-skiing, snowshoeing, cycling, hiking and rollerblading. She and Glen have travelled extensively in Hawaii and the Rockies, and have done cycling vacations in Austria, Germany and Great Britain.

A law firm is only as good as its members, and as you can see from the above, Lina Giustra is one of the major assets of the firm.


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