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personal
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excellence
Mr. Trotter's approach to legal disputes is goals-oriented and flexible.  Where matters must proceed to litigation he represents his clients in a focused, thorough, and convincing manner.  Mr. Trotter has represented his clients before all levels of court in British Columbia, at the Supreme Court of Canada, and before the BC Human Rights Tribunal.  He is an alumnus of the Inns of Court Program, and is an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law at Allard Hall.   Mr. Trotter is also a trained mediator and was a member of the Civil Roster of MediateBC from 2006 - 2014.





Geoffrey Trotter
604-678-9190
gt@gtlawcorp.com
Geoffrey Trotter
604-678-9190
gt@gtlawcorp.com
About Geoffrey Trotter

Geoffrey Trotter founded his own firm in 2013 after practicing for over three years as an associate lawyer with Vancouver boutique Gudmundseth Mickelson LLP litigation counsel where he gained experience in a wide variety of civil litigation matters, ranging from major commercial litigation trial and arbitration work (largely under the guidance of Howard A. Mickelson, Q.C.) to smaller plaintiff-side personal injury, fraud defence, and administrative law matters.  Previously, Mr. Trotter articled with Bull Housser & Tupper LLP (now part of global  firm Norton Rose Fulbright) and worked as a judicial law clerk with the BC Supreme Court in Victoria where he worked closely with five judges in discussing the legal issues arising in their cases, performing legal research, and assisting with the preparation of reasons for judgments.
Selected Matters:
  • Trial Counsel to the Strata Corporation for 850 Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver sued by an owner whose tenant ran a meth lab which caused a fire.  Owner's claim dismissed and Strata's Counterclaim allowed after 10 day trial, with the court confirming for the first time in BC that when damage is predominantly to a single strata lot, the owner, not the Strata, must pay the insurance deductible for the repairs (court also confirmed that $50,000 deductible applicable to drug-related damage reasonable given insurance market conditions).  Trial judgment.  News and industry coverage: Richards Buell Sutton LLP, Harper Grey LLP, Vancouver Sun, Canadian Condominium Institute, Insurance Business.
Outside of work, Geoffrey and his wife Karen are kept busy with their four children.  Geoffrey has always enjoyed the outdoors, whether playing casual or competitive soccer or ultimate frisbee, camping, or gardening.  Geoffrey completed the Tofino Marathon in under 3 hours in 2008.  He commutes to the office by bicycle year-round. 

Geoffrey has also been very involved in faith communities over the years, including University Christian Ministry during his undergraduate degree, the Christian Law Students Association during law school, and the Christian Legal Fellowship (CLF) since 2004, first a student (including two years as a board member) and then as a lawyer, including as a member of the CLF Intervention Advisory Council since 2011.  Geoffrey and Karen are long time members of Redemption Church, of which Geoffrey served as a director from 2010-2017.
  • Intervener co-counsel at the BC Supreme Court and Court of Appeal (with Geoff Cowper, Q.C.) and Supreme Court of Canada (with Mr. Cowper and the Ontario legal team) in Trinity Western University's judicial review against the Law Society's refusal to recognize the credentials of future TWU School of Law graduates.  BCSC factumBCSC Reasons for Judgment. (see paras. 24-25, 78, 138, 152)  BCCA factumBCCA Reasons for Judgment (see paras. 83, 103, 106, 115-116, 120, 128, 130-131, 145, 158, 164-166, 178, 181-193). SCC factum. SCC Reasons for Judgment (see paras. 260-342). Commentary on SCC judgment for client's stakeholders. Other involvement in this issue includes participating in by-invitation debate at the UBC Law School in March 2014, and speaking at the Law Society's June 2014 Special General Meeting.
  • Through marshaling of "overwhelming [historical] evidence," successfully obtained the first reported contested order for a strata plan amendment under the error-correction jurisdiction of s. 14.12 of the Strata Property Regulation, preserving 75% of a townhouse complex's visitor parking from being lost to individual owners due to an error by the land surveyor who prepared the strata plan 27 years earlier. Reasons for Judgment (quote from para. 27).
  • Co-counsel in a successful judicial review appeal in a free speech case where the Court of Appeal quashed Translink's refusal to sell my client political advertisement space on the side of its busses. Factum. Reasons for judgment.
  • Trial counsel to a Strata Corporation in a flood insurance deductible chargeback case in which the owner of the source unit accused the Strata Corporation of civil fraud and conspiracy. Obtained full recovery for the Strata Corporation and complete vindication of the strata council, contractors, and property manager. Costs penalty imposed on defendant for the making of the unsupported fraud allegations. Reasons for judgment. (see paras. 25-33, 43-46)
  • Counsel to Bethany Paquette in her successful Human Rights Complaint against Amaruk Wilderness Corp. for religious discrimination and harassment in its rejection of her employment application because her resume disclosed that she was a graduate of Trinity Western University.  Reasons for Decision.  Media coverage: CBC 1, CBC 2, CBC 3; National Post 1, NP2, NP3; Vancouver Sun. Legal industry coverage: Roper Greyell LLP, Carters, McMillan.
  • Obtained summary dismissal of a commercial litigation case on the basis that the allegations against my client were res judicata, and successfully defended the dismissal on appeal. BCCA judgment.
  • After a hotly contested two-day application, obtained an order for the removal of a litigation guardian due to a conflict of interest.  Reasons  for Judgment.
  • Lead counsel for an intervenor before the BC Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada in the landmark Carter v. Canada physician-assisted suicide case.  [reasons granting intervention motion at BCCA; BCCA factum; BCCA oral submissions; BCCA appeal judgment - see particularly paras. 279-280 reflecting the thrust of my submissions; SCC factum; SCC Oral submissions (video: 427-437 minutes; text); SCC judgment; commentary on SCC judgment]. Retained in 2017 by the same intervenor to represent it in the sequelae Lamb v. Canada litigation which seeks to expand eligibility beyond that permitted in Parliament's Bill C-14 response to Carter.
  • Following a 9-week arbitration in Montreal, obtained judgment in favour of my Mexican client against a Canadian company for interference with contractual relations (co-counsel with Howard A. Mickelson, Q.C.). [private arbitration confidential award; 2012].
  • Defeated a defence plea of novation and obtained judgment on a $350,000 commercial bridge loan by way of summary trial, plus $261,000 in interest through notional severence of the portion of the interest rate which was unintentionally in excess of the legal maximum [Vancouver #VLC-S-S-137391; unreported; 2014].
  • Obtained a favourable ruling from the Worker's Compensation Appeals Tribunal on behalf of my injured client, dismissing the employer's application to have the motor vehicle accident ruled subject to the Worker's Compensation Act which would have stayed the court action. [reasons for decision]
  • Successfully obtained one of the few orders ever granted in BC for security for costs against a BC-resident individual plaintiff; $120,000 ordered posted (co-counsel with Howard A. Mickelson, Q.C.). [reasons for judgment]
  • Successfully represented clients and negotiated favourable settlements for owner of upscale home resisting contractor's builder's lien claim for alleged extras, plaintiff-side personal injuries, in defence of whitecollar fraud claim, for damages to a listed home due to alleged negligence by the realtor resulting in a flood, on both sides of various employment disputes (wrongful dismissal, discrimination), in fire insurance dispute, etc.
  • Following attendance throughout a 9-week trial, obtained judgment for the Canadian equivalent of $820,000 US in a sale-of-business commission case (co-counsel with Howard A. Mickelson, Q.C.). [reasons for judgment]
Personal:
Geoffrey is the youngest son of life bencher William M. Trotter, Q.C. (ret'd), and was raised on the family farm and woodlot in Courtenay, B.C.  Geoffrey was enrolled in the French Immersion program for ten years, and excelled in chess, drama, and classical guitar.  Geoffrey studied International Relations (Economy and Development) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) on full scholarship, graduating in 2004.   Geoffrey then studied law at UBC, graduating in 2007 in the top 15% of his class, and earning multiple awards including the Panvini Law Scholarship and the Bruce H McColl Memorial Prize in Human Rights.  A paper he authored was published in the Saskatchewan Law Review in August 2007 shortly after his graduation.