Our guest star for July's "Featured Member" series is Kathleen Robichaud, current Chair of the Business Law Executive and a sole practitioner at the Law Office of Kathleen Robichaud in Manotick, Ontario. We thank Kathleen for her participation and hope you enjoy getting to know her!
Tell us about yourself!
I am a sole practitioner. I do solicitor’s work which includes business law, wills and estates and real estate law. I have a husband and two boys. One of my sons is in law school. The other works in technology. I have a beautiful grandson who turned one in April of this year. Our dog, Bruno, is our greeter at the office. I live and work in Manotick, Ontario, a semi-rural community just outside of central Ottawa along the Rideau River.
How long have you been involved with the OBA? Why did you join?
I have been involved with the OBA since I was student. I have been actively involved for many years. I joined for the networking opportunities and because it was important to me to be involved in the development of laws, regulations and policies in our society and to contribute to our profession in a way that helps us all to be better at it and to enjoy being part of it.
What has been your most valuable experience as part of the OBA Business Law Section?
There have been so many valuable experiences that I have had as a member of the Business Law Section and being Chair of the section has been a great experience as well. I wish I could have had at least one in person meeting while chair, but, I suppose the ability to share and when needed, call on colleagues with knowledge, skill and judgment has been the most valuable.
What is the best career advice that you’ve been given?
The best career advice I have been given has been to use the down times, the quiet times, the change times to rest and to prepare for the busy times. The clients will come. It has been and continues to be an incredibly helpful tip that has made things easier when everyone seems to or even does need help right away and all at the same time.
What are your interests outside of the law?
I love food! I enjoy cooking new foods at home, and trying new restaurants is something I look forward to doing more of. I love to travel. I love the water and to swim, kayak and canoe. I look forward to improving my skill on my paddle board.
What’s one thing - either industry-related or not - you learned in the last month?
I know there are many things I have learned in the last month. It is hard to pinpoint any one thing that stands out. Things like bad drafting can mess up an employment contact, and drafting what you thought was OK might also cause problems. That is what happened in the Waksdale V. Swegon North America (2020 ONCA 391) (“Wakesdale”) decision, whereby the court struck down the "without cause" provisions of an employment contract as a result of the "with cause" provisions not meeting standards required under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). As a result, the employer was not able to rely on the contract, which provided that in the circumstances, only one week of pay in lieu of notice had to be paid. The employee claimed common law notice and obtained a much larger amount of pay in lieu of notice. But, that is not really something I did not already know.
I learned that a mix of peroxide and water tilled in the soil can prevent flea beetles from surviving and eating your tomato plants. That was new. There were a lot of things like that.
If you could have dinner with anyone on earth, who would it be?
There are so many fascinating people in the world who I would love to have the chance to sit down and talk to. It would take me days to narrow the list to just one. It would be cool to have dinner with someone famous like Jennifer Aniston, or someone brilliant and chatty like Mozart (assuming I can pick someone no longer alive – that really expands the list and I am not sure what I would do with that added to the options). It could take me days or months to pick if my choice had to be narrowed to just one person!
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