Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray Would Definitely Be an Ambassador for Canada

Andrew Murray – The personal injury lawyer and partner answers some rapid-fire questions…

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be:

An ambassador for Canada, posted to another country.

Best career advice I’ve gotten:

Let your reputation be such that should anyone speak ill of you, no one will believe it!

The three qualities that got me where I am today:

Persistence, patience, and perspective

Moment I felt I made it:

When I was an associate lawyer at Lerners I received a retroactive pay increase and had enough money to buy a Taylor acoustic guitar, which I still play nearly every day.

The easiest career decision I’ve ever made:

This may seem too hard to believe, but when I was in law school, Michael Lerner came to my class as a guest speaker. Right there I determined I wanted to end up as a Lerners lawyer. I have been fortunate to have articled at Lerners, return as an associate, and to have been a partner since 2001.

Favorite perk of the job:

I just love the size and layout of my office and my attractive wood desk….it makes it so pleasant to pop into the office.

Worst pitfall of the job:

Because we have grown so large, Lerners no longer has a “night bell” to indicate a call coming in on the central phone line, after hours. As a young lawyer, often working at night, there were many times I’d hear that night bell, answer the main phone line thinking it was something that would have to be important, only to rue that decision…..definitely the worst pitfall, but no longer a problem as we’ve done away with the night bell.

What does your career look like in 5 years?:

I am well established at this point in my career and imagine my career in five years will still look much as it does today, but, the prospect of a major legislative change to my predominant area of practice – car crash cases – could result in dramatic changes for me. This is actually one of the nice things about this career….no two days are ever the same, no two clients are the same, the defence lawyers have their own personalities and idiosyncrasies, and the law is always evolving and shifting.

Change you’d like to see in your industry?:

From the “back to the future” perspective – I’d like to see a return to shorter trials. I wish insurance companies afforded their senior adjusters the kind of responsibility and authority that they had when I first started practice.
For true change – I wish that the efforts to make our court system paperless (or somewhat paperless) could gain traction. The courts have lagged behind other professions and industries in keeping abreast of technological change. For my own practice area, I wish the government quit trying to save money in the auto insurance system, on the backs of the accident victims.

Who do you admire and why?:

I’ve always admired my grandfather. He was a self-employed pharmacist, back before the chain pharmacies took over. He fulfilled his civic responsibility by sitting one term as a Federal MP for Woodstock, as part of the Louis St. Laurent government. He was active as a member of the Masonic Lodge. He was a good public speaker. Above all, he was honest, decent, reliable, and prudent. He sold his pharmacy to a chain store when he was 75 years old, then continued on “part-time” until he was 80, in order to make sure that his customers were properly looked after.

What’s the last thing you binge-watched?:

I’ve just enjoyed watching several episodes of “Fresh Off The Boat”.

What book left a lasting impression on you?:

Each book that I read gets incorporated into my thoughts and attitudes, so it is very hard to pick just one. If I think about it however, there are few books that I seem to reference more frequently than George Orwell’s “1984” as the general fears, the theme of the book, and the future dystopianism all continue to seem so relevant today.

What song would you want played at your funeral?

I have actually remarked out loud, and not when I was feeling sombre, that there was a song by a group called Deep Forest, which mostly does ethno-music mash ups, that I’d like played at my funeral, called “L’ile Invisible”

What should every man try once in his lifetime?

Durian – the King of Fruits

Would live in a foreign country, where would it be?

Australia – I spent 10 months there as an exchange student in the mid-80s and have never been able to get the country out of my head.

If I could compete in an Olympic sport, I’d like it to be:

Tennis

Relationship advice to my younger self:

Believe what you hear from your elders, as they actually do know what they’re talking about. If something (or someone) is too good to be true, it probably is.

Andrew Murray

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