We're very pleased to announce that Robert (Bob) Arthur has joined our firm. We will operate our new location in Bob's current office, located at the corner of Markham and Pembina, right across from the University of Manitoba. Bob brings a wealth of experience and a long tradition of serving South Winnipeg clients. You can visit our contact page for more details about our new location.
I thought we should get to know Bob a little better. We met recently, and our relationship only started when we started discussing merging our two firms. I enjoyed meeting Bob to talk over our plans over lunch in St-Boniface (La Gare and Inferno's Bistro). Our discussions, at the time, revolved around our future plans. While we did talk about family, we never did get a chance to "dig" into what makes us tick.
Let's get the basics out of the way first. Bob was called to the bar in 1982. He completed his studies at the University of Manitoba and articled at McTavish and Associates. He has remained in practice serving south Winnipeg since then, working at various locations along Pembina highway.
For the purposes of getting to know him better, I sat down with him for a Q&A.
Here are the results:
Where did you grow up, and when did you become a lawyer?
I am originally from Alexander, a small community just west of Brandon. I completed my undergrad at BU (Brandon University) with a double major in environmental sciences and botany. I was always intrigued by the idea of practicing law, so I completed my undergrad, intending to apply for law school. I decided on a science undergrad simply because I found those areas interesting. I knew that if I completed courses that interested me, I would get better marks. Before attending BU, I started a business degree at U of M. I didn't enjoy the program. I decided to go back home. At BU, I won the gold medal for the faculty of science, so clearly, I made the right decision!
What is the craziest situation you encountered in your practice?
It's hard to pick a single craziest event. Crazy situations occur often enough. In one family case, after a court hearing, the client was so upset with the result that he grabbed and injured my hand as I was reaching for the file. In another case, a client sent a recorded cassette with indirect threats. I didn't consider them credible for several reasons, so I never involved the police. But that was quite strange. In another case, when I regularly travelled to one of our rural offices out of town, I represented a person who the local doctor was treating. The client was so enamoured by the doctor that she agreed to transfer her property to him without receiving any consideration. We had to discreetly threaten to sue the doctor to have the land transferred back to her.
What drives you crazy about lawyers?
What drives me crazy the most is certain lawyers have to distinguish between the advancement of law from the client's self-interest. While I understand that we must follow client instructions, we must also advise the client appropriately. If the client takes a weak or unreasonable legal position, I believe we have a responsibility to convey that message and convince our clients otherwise.
If there's one thing you could change about the law, what would it be?
I find that privacy laws have gone too far. I am finding it more and more difficult to obtain documents and information on behalf of clients. This barrier is adding time and costs to everything we do. We should have the ability to get transparency from different agencies and companies when we act on behalf of clients.
Tell us about your family.
I have been married since August 2008. I have one daughter from my previous relationship and three step-children, and a total of five grandchildren. All of them live in and around Winnipeg, so I saw the grandchildren every two weeks (before COVID-19).
What is your favourite activity with the grandchildren?
Anything to make them laugh! I am known as the funny grandpa. My wife is jealous. The first thing they say is when they come for a visit is "where's papa?" I haven't taken any trips with them yet. I want to take them to Disney at some point or Mexico.
What's your favourite vacation spot?
We love the Caribbean. In winter, we normally travel there. However, my favourite spot there is St-Lucia. People are super friendly, and the beaches are great. The food is also delicious. I particularly enjoy the lobster. I haven't been there for about 10 years. When I was young, I travelled up and down Mexico's coast with some friends, so I am a little Mexico'd out.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Gold medal at BU for the faculty of science in 1976.
What makes you laugh the most?
Good sarcastic humour - My favourite TV show is Seinfeld, and my favourite character is George Costanza. "Master of my Domain" was probably my favourite episode.
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
I've never been to Europe. It's on my bucket list. I'd like to take a tour of an ancient castle. In particular, I'd like to visit France, England, Spain and Italy.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
British Columbia because of the weather and the mountains. I have a buddy who lives in Comox. I really enjoy Vancouver Island. I also had an uncle who lived in the Okanagan. Either place would work.
What are your hobbies?
I love to curl, and I am the lead on our team. I've been a member of the Pembina Curling Club and am a past president. I used to curl at the Granite Curling Club. However, some time ago, my brother asked me to join his team at Pembina. My brother stopped curling, but I've been there for 22 years now. I've been curling with a good friend for that entire time. I also like to golf but haven't been able to in years. When I was young, I worked at the Brandon golf and country club. After our shift, we golfed a round before sunset. I'd like to take that up again.
What is the worst gift you have received?
I wouldn't be able to say, but in law school, we won the horse's ass award for the worst team in the law league. I still blame Bob Bouvier for that one!