Richard Stewart has made a career out of a foundational principle. “All legal problems are human problems first,” he said. “The thing that gives me the most satisfaction is when a matter has been settled for a client and they are relieved and happy. Sometimes I even get a hug. And if I get to laugh at something, all the better - the practice of law has no end of situations where humour can occur.”
Resolving complex, often painful matters is the driving force behind Richard’s success in the courtroom. As a veteran of the firm – literally, as he was a UN Peacekeeper in Egypt in the 1970s – he also believes in a strong staff bond as a measure of a lawyer’s professionalism. He also insists in maintaining “a good relationship with those lawyers who are on the other side of a matter. Incivility serves no useful purpose and gets in the way of a resolution of a problem.”
His life experiences and his legal experiences help him be a direct and empathetic lawyer who gets to the heart of the all-too-often painful and emotional matters that come to him.
A self-described “army brat,” Richard was born in Chilliwack and lived in a number of places across Canada and internationally during his youth. It fuelled an ongoing interest in reading, history, and politics. He even ran for provincial office once, in a Saskatchewan election, earning 25 per cent of the vote as a first-time candidate.
He also picked up a love of running, along life’s long road. When he crossed the age 65 checkpoint, he had crossed the finish line in 132 marathons, five ultramarathons, and he is still pounding the pavement. He is one of the co-organizers of the Mad Moose Ultramarthon in Prince George, saying “if you like running trails and getting muddy, this event is for you: www.madmoosemarathon.ca . Shameless plug.” He and wife Patty have seen their children grow up and venture out on their own, so they look after Baxter and Bingo these days, two dogs that also love to run.
Even when Patty and Richard take their perennial winter vacation to Hawaii, he turns it into a race. He competes in the Maui Oceanfront Marathon every chance he gets, but he admits he “counts the days until spring” because although he isn’t a fan of shoveling snow, he does love Prince George.