Gerald A. Dust
PERSPECTIVES ON THE PRACTICE
Q: Is there such a thing as a 'typical' legal transaction?
A: No, because no two people's lives are exactly the same. A substantial part of a Will or incorporation might be standard, but there's always an element that that's unique to the client. And that special aspect defines the deal or the legal exercise. It's why, even with Will kits and other online resources, people still need the guidance of a good lawyer. The Internet is a great source of information but it's no replacement for experience and judgment.
Q: Is there anything your clients all have in common?
A: We serve people from literally all walks of life, but what's the same is that everyone who comes through our door has a problem they need solved or a need to be filled. We draw on our experience and understanding to arrive at the best possible solution, what's truly right for them. That personal focus is why so many of our relationships are long lasting. We recently handled the sale of a client's business which we helped him buy 30 years ago. That to me is a testament to trust and to the caring, people-oriented approach that we take with our clients.
Q: Do you ever find it challenging to wear the two hats of 'lawyer' and 'business owner'?
A: Actually, it's been a huge benefit to the business law side of our practice that we operate a small business ourselves. I truly believe you are what you've lived. I have worn the management hat for over 30 years, managing offices of two to 25 lawyers. I have a deep understanding of the importance of business culture, of knowing who you are and what you stand for. Our culture is built on three pillars: client service, professionalism and community.
Q: Why is being active in the community important to you?
A: Integrity is one of our core values, and part of that for us is contributing to the community we serve. The arts, youth, economic development: we’ve given our time and expertise to a lot of different causes we feel are essential to the vitality our community. The satisfaction you get from contributing is reward enough. It was icing on the cake to receive the Orléans Chamber of Commerce ‘Chamber Champion Award’ in 2009 for long-term service to the community.
Bachelor of Economics and Business Administration - the University of Western Ontario
Law degree - Queen's University
Called to the Bar 1978
Current Community Involvement
Business Club d'Orléans - Member
Chambre de commerce d'Orléans Chamber of Commerce - Member
Pro Bono Counsel to a number of community-based not-for-profit entities and endeavours
Carleton County Law Association's Real Estate Committee - Member
Law Society of Upper Canada's Working Group on Real Estate - Member