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(and to this day remains) Grant’s legal assistant. As a young child, Briana
showed a keen interest in what her parents were doing at the office and
specifically what her dad was doing when he went to court. Rather than
simply talking about what they did at the office over dinner, Grant and Debbie
decided that Briana would make a perfectly fine junior to Grant. Thus,
beginning at the age of five, Grant began bringing Briana to court with him
on a regular basis.
In the early days, this largely involved Briana reading aloud all of the road
signs and billboards en route to whatever rural courthouse Grant was appearing
in and sitting quietly observing in the courtroom. As time evolved, Briana
started to ask questions about the judicial process, and the conversations on
the drives to and from the various courthouses took on a different and more
intellectual character. This progressed into Briana becoming employed at age
eight at Grant’s law firm during the summer holidays.
She filed documents at the court registry, handled bank deposits, made
inter-office deliveries and spent endless hours updating corporate minute
books. To put this in perspective, Grant was raised on a farm in rural
Saskatchewan, and putting the kids to work at an early age is not out of the
ordinary! In addition to getting paid for her work, Briana joined Grant for
lunch almost every day and they would, most generally, talk about the law.
This was the best part of the job to both Briana and Grant’s recollection.
Grant and his most junior of juniors travelled to courtrooms throughout
British Columbia as Grant conducted a wide range of criminal and civil trials.
By the time Briana was in high school, she had more time in a courtroom
accompanying her father and observing the trial process than many
young lawyers have in the first years of practice!
Grant is a highly respected barrister, and his skills in the courtroom are
well known. His work ethic and strong character are equally well known.
Having a father to observe in court at such a young age ensured that Briana
had a solid foundation in the very skills that would later make her outstanding
counsel and will make her a very capable judge.
Given Briana’s early exposure to the law and her fascination with it, Briana’s
career choice was probably inevitable. Indeed, since those early days,
Briana never once wavered in her desire to become a barrister.
However, as we all know, a simple desire to succeed in the practice of law
is not enough. One must have a strong work ethic and sound judgment. In
these two areas, Briana also had a strong example in her parents.
In addition to jointly running a full and active litigation practice and parenting
their two daughters, Grant and Debbie were fully immersed in their
other two passions: horses and farming. The passion for horses was some-