Extensive trial experience and ‘end-game mentality’ key to Boland Romaine’s track record

Firm most proud of municipal cases that had a positive impact on public safety, says Darcy Romaine

Name partner Darcy Romaine speaks to the firm’s full trial report card, including its success in municipal negligence cases, and discusses how a senior partner’s philosophy — that to properly represent the injured, lawyers need the fortitude to say no to unreasonable offers, and the skill and commitment to take that case to trial — is still the animating force behind Boland Romaine today.

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Greg Greenberg  00:00:08 

Hello and welcome to Canadian Lawyer TV. I'm Greg Greenberg from Key Media, and today we're speaking with Darcy Romaine, Main Partner at Boland Romain LLP. recognized for their commitment, skill and trial experience. The firm was recently named one of Canadian Lawyer's, Top Personal Injury Boutiques. Darcy, welcome, and thanks for joining us today. 

Darcy Romaine  00:00:28 

It's pleasure to be here, Greg. Thanks for having me. 

Greg Greenberg  00:00:31 

To start off, tell me about the firm's overall approach. What is Boland Romaine bring to the cases it takes thought? 

Darcy Romaine  00:00:39 

I think what we bring to the to the cases that we take on is our wealth of trial experience, is that trial experience that informs the evidence that we gather the themes that we're advancing the counter arguments that we're trying to employ against arguments being raised against our client. It gives us Greg a real end game mentality from when we initially take on a file. We build every case, so that it's trial ready. You know, so by example, you know, we're very careful in sourcing experts who we think are going to give us the greatest insight into the truth of of what transpired, those that are at the top of their game. So you know, in terms of some that we've sourced had been unique over the years, I think we retained a good year scientist who developed the the test track for a good year to try and determine how road friction works with respect to tires. I hired a lighting expert who would actually was responsible for lighting patriots stadium, who I flew here from Massachusetts to look at a small municipal baseball diamond to deal with an injury of a child that was hurt playing, playing there. I mean, I even did source a boomerang expert. 

Greg Greenberg  00:02:00 

Wow, Boomerang expert. That's interesting.  

Darcy Romaine  00:02:03 

If you can imagine who had developed boomerangs as gifts for teen Charles back in his Prince Charles, in dealing with a case with a shot project at a at a local high school that that went went poorly based fundamentally on on bad designs. So it's that sort of dedication and awareness of, you know, what evidence we're going to need to present and how to do it. In that kind of endgame thinking that really animates the approach that we take this firm. 

Greg Greenberg  00:02:33 

Can you go into a bit more detail for us on the firm's trial expertise? 

Darcy Romaine  00:02:38 

Well, dug deeper in terms of historical, really, our trial report card is, is pretty full. Our guiding force has always been the philosophical views of the senior partner, timbul. And we've been running this practice. Since the 1980s. He won a landmark wrote decision back in the 1990s, called Roycroft versus East Gwillimbury. Some people call it Roycroft, and kite. And it's among one of the earlier cases dealing with municipal roadway and signage issues. His philosophy was that in order to properly represent the injured, the lawyer needs to have the fortitude to say no to unreasonable offers, and the skill and commitment to take that case to trial. And so it's that philosophy that's really animated our our practice and led to over the past 20 years, or more or less doing numerous trials on, you know, just a wide variety of difficult liability situations, difficult causation pieces in difficult injuries, to try and help our clients as much as possible.  

Greg Greenberg  00:03:53 

Would you say it's Boland Romaine's aggressive advocacy on behalf of its clients, and the lawyers willingness to go to trial when necessary, that sets the firm apart? 

Darcy Romaine  00:04:03 

I think as as I've covered, the trial experience, for sure sets us apart. It's not an easy thing to obtain. It's very difficult to take cases to trial. So the fact that we've done as much as we have we think is a significant distinguisher for us. But I wouldn't say that it's our aggressive advocacy. I'd like to think that it's our professional, thorough, capable advocacy that that is the distinguisher. You know, I'd say Greg bit like being an effective at trial. It's not a contest between who's the most aggressive. It's about who's the most prepared, who's the most strategic, who is the most capable at questioning and cross examining, and who has aligned their case and develop the evidence with the truth being the ultimate end result? and balancing the risks that I think is what really distinguishes a capable lawyer that the courts aren't really here to champion bullies. They're here to find the truth, and our job is to is to help them do it. 

Greg Greenberg  00:05:14 

You're specifically known for your work on trials involving municipal negligence, where liability is really complex, can you give us a few highlights we are successful cases in this area. 

Darcy Romaine  00:05:25 

So I'd say the cases that we're most proud of would be the ones where we'd like to think we've had a positive impact on improving public safety, which certainly is a benefit of the municipal cases that we've done. If we do reach back to that older case that Tim started in Roycroft versus East Gwillimbury. You know, right after that trial, the municipality did flatten the hill, that was the the problem that that caused the injury. In 2017, I did a case called Lauryn Hill versus your region. And in in that case, there were a set of regulations that the government had drafted that we felt set, very, very low standards that left the public exposed to injury based on slippery and poorly maintained roadways. And so Thornhill was not only the first case to be able to expose the inadequacy of those regulations, but to also cause the government thereafter to change those regulations to to put in new patrolling standards to increase municipal awareness. In 2021, during COVID, Tim and I did a a zoom trial together that was very complex. You know, the poor young woman, her injuries were, by the end of the day, the judgment was $18.3 million. So it was a very profound case, and complex, one that required us to call municipal engineers and mechanical engineers, human factors, experts, forensic experts, etc. And that case exposed, those regional municipalities are municipalities that that were not living up to the Modern expectations of winter maintenance standards. And in each of those cases, really liability was an all or nothing contest. So those would be some of the highlight cases in the municipal world that that we're most proud of. 

Greg Greenberg  00:07:25 

So is municipal liability, an area of increased focus for the firm? What's on the horizon for Boland Romaine? 

Darcy Romaine  00:07:32 

Sure. Well, I wouldn't say it's increased focus. It's always been a focus. It is true that based on our our successes over time, more lawyers are have, you know, in our education work that we do it with our fellow colleagues, that that more lawyers do refer more municipal cases to us, although we do take on all manner of of liability basis. In terms of what's on the horizon? I'd say we do have a number of tragic municipal cases that that we're working on, many of which may end up in the courts, we'll see. 

Greg Greenberg  00:08:11 

And finally, what does it mean to the firm to be recognized as a top personal injury boutique? And how will you ensure you keep making the list? 

Darcy Romaine  00:08:19 

Well, the award as we know it is a is a cross border recognition by our colleagues on both the plaintiff and the defense side. So to the extent that the award recognizes, you know, our trial work, professionalism, and collegiality. We're honored to be chosen by our by our peers. We certainly recognize that there are many fine lawyers who have not received the award. I mean, I can say to that, and we believe that the public also needs to look past the word though we're very proud of it and to really examine the trial experience of whoever it is that they're they're selecting to represent them. In terms of continuing to make the list. Well, I can say we hope to continue to earn the respect of our of our fellow plaintiff and defense lawyers, through a continuation of fair minded professional art fought to advocacy that champions the cause of the injured. 

Greg Greenberg  00:09:21 

Darcy, thank you for sharing your insights and reflections on the firm and its future. It's been great chatting with you today. 

Darcy Romaine  00:09:28 

Nice to meet you. Thank you, Greg. 

Greg Greenberg  00:09:29 

And thanks to our audience for joining us today. Make sure you stay tuned for more award spotlights. I'm Greg Greenberg for Canadian Lawyer TV