Kathleen (Kathy) Thomas has worked as paralegal in the field of civil litigation since 1976. After years working across a diverse range of legal practices, Kathleen has chosen to focus her career on personal injury law and motor vehicle claims. Kathleen plays a key role in the early review and assessment of files and helps ensure claims are progressed in a cost effective manner. Her support of claims includes drafting pleadings (Response to Notice of Civil Claim, List of Documents, Court Orders, Affidavits) and reviewing and analyzing police records and vehicle damage records to determine potential liability issues and potential witnesses for interview. She also reviews and analyzes medical, education and employment records to provide a summary and analysis of the plaintiff’s claim.
Kathleen’s career in the legal sector commenced in 1976 with her training with the law firm of Matthew, Bryden & Dalton. In 1980, Kathleen joined the firm of MacMinn & Company, where she worked for 24 years with R. Allan W. Trann whose practice focused on plaintiff and defendant personal injury and insurance law. In 2004 Kathleen began providing paralegal services on a contract basis to various law firms in Victoria, before joining Carfra Lawton lawyers LLP in July of 2009.
What is your favorite legal term?
"volenti non fit injuria" – (definition) Comprehends the perils and voluntarily exposes himself/herself to it, although not negligent in doing so, is regarded as engaging in an assumption of risk and is precluded from recovery for any injury ensuing therefrom.” An example of this would be: when a person consents to riding as a passenger in a vehicle being driven by a person who is impaired by alcohol or drugs, when he/she knew or ought to have known that the driver was impaired.
What advice would you offer someone starting out as a paralegal?
My #1 advice would be to be organized. As a number of people will be working on the file, it is important to be organized, whether by use of charts, checklists, or notes, with the objective being that it should not be difficult for the lawyer (or anyone else) to locate a document at any given time or to know the status of the file in terms of document production in order that the lawyer can determine what further steps need to be taken in regard to the file.
What is your deepest obsession outside of work?
Recycling. I am big proponent of recycling. I will pull items from the garbage if I see something that should be recycled. It is something that I have done long before it became mandatory through municipal law, to the point where (in or about 1990 onwards) I would get the neighbors to collect their recyclables (i.e. newspapers, cans, bottles etc.) and take all of it to the local recycle centre. I also started the recycle program used at MacMinn & Company, including paper, cans, juice cartons and toner cartridges.
Stats & Facts
1973 – Graduate Belmont Senior High School
1973-1974 – 1st year Nursing at St. Joseph School of Nursing, Victoria, BC
1975-1976 - Certificate in Business Administration, Camosun College, Victoria, BC
1980-1986- various computer courses (Excel, Word Perfect, MS Word), accounting courses;
1980 – to present – various continuing legal education courses