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Farewell to the Law

Author: Christopher Green

On a grey June morning in 1977 I walked up the steps of the old Vancouver court house as an articled student, and walked down again an hour later, resplendent in my new robes, as a newly minted lawyer.

So much has changed since then!  The old court house has long since heard its last case, and been re-purposed as the Vancouver Art Gallery, and now I too have tried my last case, and reared up on my hind legs to bray in court for the last time. 46 years after first hanging out my shingle as a lawyer, I am now taking it down for the last time, and retiring, hoping to re-purpose myself, like the old court house, into something useful, and possibly artistic.

I know this announcement will be met with  astonishment, and even skepticism by old time clients who remember my previous half- hearted attempts at retirement, and fully expect to see me back at my desk after the holidays


– but this time I mean it! (Honest!). In my defence, the practice of law has been so hard to leave simply because it is such a rich, rewarding and varied career- offering endless variety and never-ending challenges. A career in law has been many things, but never boring, and so it has taken several attempts to actually pull the plug.

Law is all about people- it is the human condition writ large, and our files are full of tales of tragedy and triumph. Passion, ambition, heartbreak and redemption create the situations that animate our cases, and to represent a client is to embed yourself in their life for a time and to share their joy and their sorrow, their worry and their hurt. As I tidy up my files I realize that I have been intertwined with some of my client’s lives for decades: I’ve watched their children grow up and their businesses mature, and helped them through failed marriages and the loss of loved ones- everything that life could throw at them.

While I have no qualms about leaving their legal matters in the capable hands of my colleagues at Darnell Law Group- I know they will be well looked after- I will miss those clients dearly, and it is they, most of all, that I want to thank, for allowing me to be part of their lives.

People often say “You have so many stories – you should write a book!” and its true that anecdotes accumulate as the inevitable result of a long career rubbing shoulders with the larger than life characters – lawyers, judges and other assorted rogues and villains, that seem to populate our courthouses. Unfortunately most of the best tales are cloaked in solicitor/client privilege, and can never be repeated,  but still, some can, and if I am to follow the lead of the old court house and re-purpose myself artistically, I need to take a shot at scribbling some of those stories. So, if if you want to keep in touch, please check out my retirement project- its a blog I started the last time I tried to retire, and I hope that it will help fill the hours no longer spent practicing law. Its free, but ya gotta give up your email address and subscribe. Check it out at:

So, to all my clients – thank you!

and thank you as well to the lawyers and staff at Darnell Law Group for putting up with me for the last last  six years.

and especially- thank you Rebecca for taking in a stray lawyer  who had grown bored with early retirement!