Rod practices general civil litigation, with an emphasis on class actions, toxic tort litigation, products liability, securities litigation, construction and engineering law, insurance law, mining law, aboriginal law, banking law and complex corporate/commercial disputes generally. Rod has also had significant cases in the areas of trusts, wills and estates, charitable institutions, employment, personal injury and constitutional and administrative law.
Rod has also been counsel or co‑counsel in cases in Delaware, Texas, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Quebec and Newfoundland.
Rod is currently co‑counsel for the federal government in class actions and other major Canadian tobacco litigation.
Rod has acted for both defendants and plaintiffs groups in major class actions and other large, cross-border claims, including:
* Co-counsel for the government of Canada in national tobacco litigation
* Canadian counsel in a "mega" bankruptcy proceeding in the United States with cross border implications, involving thousands of product liability claims
* Counsel in the landmark Privest Properties case, the first asbestos property damage case to be litigated in Canada, which ended in success for our client, W.R. Grace, after a two-year trial and affirmation of the decision on appeal
* Counsel in two multi-million dollar cases in Saskatchewan involving insurance issues
* Counsel for the insurer of a manufacturer of an allegedly defective product (succeeded in obtaining an order striking the action against it)
* Counsel for various financial services companies and their representatives in civil actions and in proceedings before the B.C. Securities Commission
* Defence counsel in a multi-million dollar intended class action involving securities and corporate issues
* Defence counsel in a class action in which a multi million dollar claim has been brought against a major utility involving allegations of overcharging on rates (the action was struck on jurisdictional grounds after a six day hearing, and the appeal was abandoned)
* Defence counsel in an intended class action involving the alleged privatization of a major utility
* Defence counsel in an intended class action against the Province and a major crown corporation alleging breach of contract and various alleged duties concerning the ferries system in the interior of B.C. - the case has been discontinued
* Co counsel for the defendant companies in a multi million dollar Alberta class action involving securities - the case has recently settled
* Defence counsel in a multi-million dollar Saskatchewan case involving securities, involving claims by approximately 100 plaintiffs
* Defence counsel in B.C. and Saskatchewan, and co-counsel in Ontario, in a multi-million dollar case involving securities sold across Canada
* Plaintiffs' counsel in a significant class proceeding against a credit union, involving overcharges, which resulted in judgment for the plaintiff after an eleven day summary trial, and judgment was affirmed on appeal with respect to one of the two major issues
* Counsel for a major resource company in an action against the Province of British Columbia, involving a claim in excess of half a billion dollars - the case settled
* Editorial Advisory Board, Class Action Defence Quarterly (Butterworths), Member
* Canadian Bar Association
* CBA, Student Mentor Program, Mentor
* CBA, National Civil Litigation Section, Former Chair (Chair on the Section twice)
* CBA Civil Litigation Section Vancouver, Chair
* CBA National Sections Council Executive, Member
* CBA Legislation and Law Reform Committee, Member
* CBA Professional Liability Committee, Member
* B.C. Continuing Legal Education Society and the Professional Legal Training Course, Frequent Lecturer
* Queen's Law Journal, Queen's University Law School (Ontario), Former Editor‑in‑Chief
* Vancouver Bach Choir, Board of Directors, Former Member
* Vancouver Academy of Music, Former Trustee and Vice-Chair
* Naval Officers Association of Vancouver Island, Associate Member
* "Friends of H.M.C.S. Vancouver" Society, Member
* University of Victoria Endowment for Aboriginal Justice, Board of Directors, Former Member
* Mt. Seymour Soccer Association, Former Member of the Executive
* Former Cub Leader
"'A Two-Way Street': Comity and Conflicting Certifications of National Classes" forthcoming in Class Action Defence Quarterly, Co-Author with with Gordon Kuski, Q.C. and Chris Dafoe
"Evidence on Certification/Authorization Motions: Est-ce qu'il y a vraiment 'Deux Solitudes'?," presented at Le Barreau du Quebec conference, Montreal, (October 2007), published in Developpements Recents En Recours Collectifs, Volume 278, Les Editions Yvon Blais Inc., 2007, at pp. 127-168, Co-Author with Chris Dafoe and Jude Samson
"Focus on Civil Litigation: Inter-jurisdictional Muddle Conspires Class Actions Report Recommendations" The Lawyers Weekly, p. 9. (May 26, 2006), Co-Author with Chris Dafoe
"Towards Order and Fairness: Reforming the National Class" 1 Class Action Defence Quarterly 19 (2006), Co-Author with Chris Dafoe
Case Comment: "B.C. Tobacco Certification: Limited on Appeal" 1 Class Action Defence Quarterly 59 (2006), Co-Author with Chris Dafoe
The Chinese Head Tax Class Action: No Legal Basis (January 7, 2002)
Rod has published and presented over 45 papers on class actions, product liability, torts, legal research, construction and engineering law, and administrative law. He has also written a scholarly book and several articles and reviews on literary topics published in leading Canadian, American and English academic journals.
Rod is teaching a course at the University of Victoria, entitled "Class Actions and Mass Litigation," a course Rod designed and has taught for several years. Rod has also taught the following courses:
* University of Victoria (Class Actions and Mass Litigation; Business Associations; Legal Process; Civil Procedure; Advanced Legal Research and Writing; Engineering Law; and Major Paper Supervision)
* University of British Columbia (Class Actions and Mass Torts; Construction Law; Advanced Legal Research and Writing (Supervisor); and Engineering Practice, Legal Aspects)
* Guest lecturer at Akitsiraq Law School, Iqaluit, Nunavut (Statutory Interpretation; Torts)
* Formerly an English professor, and taught full‑time at Dalhousie University, University of Western Ontario, the University of Alberta, and University of Ottawa (where he was Chair of the Honours English program and a Director of the Association of the Professors of the University)
Rod has been the chair of, and/or participated as a panel member in, numerous legal conferences, including for the Canadian Bar Assocation, the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, and Continuing Legal Education Societies, in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and New Foundland. Rod has also presented national on-line CLE conferences for the Canadian Bar Association.
Rod was chair of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada National Class Actions Project. The committee he chaired presented a report on "The National Class and Related Interjurisdictional Issues" which was the basis for Saskatchewan's new legislation on the national class.
Rod was also a member of a smaller committee which produced a supplemental report for the ULCC on the topic of multi-jurisdictional class actions in Canada. In addition, he has also been a member of a committee working with the CBA and the courts which has succeeded in setting up a national class actions database.
British Columbia (1984)
University of Victoria (B.A., first class honours)
University of London (Ph.D)
Queen's University (LL.B., 1983)
Rod was a Commonwealth Scholar, and was awarded a Canada Council Doctoral Scholarship, a Killam Postdoctoral Scholarship, and numerous other prizes and scholarships as an undergraduate, graduate and law student.