Michael Ford (post until Oct. 31/19)
Personal Injury

Superior preparation is Ford's competitive advantage

Kamloops personal injury lawyer Matt Ford will leave no stone unturned in the search for better results for his clients.

Ford, a partner with Cates Ford Epp LLP, tells AdvocateDaily.com he aims to challenge the legal profession’s reputation for caution and negativity, and show clients that an optimistic lawyer is not an oxymoron.

“Lawyers are often cautious, and rightly so, but I think some take it to extremes," he says. "You can’t be promising the moon and stars, and then fail to deliver, but at the same time, it’s not much of a service if you’re telling people they’re dead in the water.

“When a client comes through our door, the last thing they want to hear is why they can’t do what they want to do," Ford adds. “Whether it’s achieving vindication in court or a particular quantum of damages, I’m going to try everything to find a way of making it happen.”   

The law is a second career for Ford, who originally worked in cancer therapeutics after receiving a master's degree in microbiology.

“There is a kind of logic process involved in both the scientific and legal worlds,” he says. “But the law has always appealed to me, and I thought it would be a better fit.”

After flirting briefly with patent law, a frequent stomping ground for lawyers with scientific training, Ford switched his focus to practice areas that would maximize his time in court.

“I wanted to be on my feet and running trials,” he explains.

And Ford has certainly found his feet, appearing on behalf of his clients at the B.C. Provincial Court, the B.C. Supreme Court, the B.C. Court of Appeal, and the Federal Court of Canada as part of a practice largely devoted to plaintiffs’ personal injury matters. A smaller portion of his work covers estate litigation and criminal defence.

“I’m passionate about criminal law, but it is also great for the rest of my practice,” Ford says. “The rules of evidence are really strict, and if you can master those, it will serve you very well in other litigation files.”

He takes a traditional approach when in the courtroom.  

“I’ve been known to be a little abrasive in court. I tend not to pull any punches,” Ford says. “I am a strong believer in the idea that we have an adversarial system.

“The way that’s supposed to work is you have two parties who are competent and skilled, and they go to battle. If all things are equal, the best case should emerge,” he says.

But Ford says he’s ready to go the extra mile and earn whatever advantage he can for his clients.  

“I have a coffee mug in my office that says, ‘May the best-prepared win,’ and I think that sums it up really well,” he says. “Even though we have this adversarial system, the reality is that most opponents are not equally prepared.

“Sometimes the party with the case that is slightly less persuasive on its face can still win by being better prepared and anticipating the arguments the other side will make,” Ford says.

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