Mike is the founding partner of Valent Legal. His entire career has been dedicated to representing victims of serious injuries, sexual abuse, medical negligence, and corporate and pharmaceutical wrongs. Over the past decade, he has built a reputation as a tireless victim advocate and strong promoter of access to justice. In 2015 he was named as a finalist for Public Justice’s North American Trial Lawyer of the Year. From 2017-2019, Mike has consistently been included in the Lexpert Directory as a leading lawyer in Canada in his area of practice. He was recognized in the 2020 edition of Best Lawyers in Canada in the area of personal injury litigation. Mike is also a part-time professor at Dalhousie’s Schulich School of Law where he teaches in class action law and procedure.
While earning his Juris Doctorate degree from Dalhousie Law School, Mike volunteered at the university’s legal aid clinic and Pro Bono Students Canada. He continues to serve as a legal representative for the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s Research Ethics Board and volunteers with ReachAbility, a non-profit organization whose mandate is to improve access to justice, equality, and human rights for people living with disabilities. Mike also served as a legal advisor to Nova Scotia’s Restorative Inquiry into the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children and issues of systemic racism within the province. He sits on the Board of Directors of the John Howard Society.
Mike is past chair of the Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association’s Young Lawyers Division and currently sits on the Association’s Education Committee. He has lectured at the Nova Scotia Bar Admission Course and has been invited to speak at numerous conferences in Canada and the United States. He has been published in national publications and quoted in national media like the Globe and Mail and CBC.
Given his reputation as a passionate advocate, Mike regularly receives referrals from, and works with other lawyers on, personal injury and medical malpractice cases, as well as numerous class actions. Mike has successfully helped hundreds of victims of personal injury and sexual abuse. He has had the great honour of advancing victim rights and access to justice in a number of precedent-setting cases.
Barton v. Sobeys Group Inc., 2009 NSSC 75 – successfully represented an injured lady in the first civil jury trial in Nova Scotia where jurors could be challenged for cause on the basis of the possibility of racial bias.
March v. Hyndman, 2010 NSCA 100 – represented victim of medical malpractice in appeal of jury verdict. Successfully argued for the Court of Appeal’s rare overturning of a jury verdict on basis of trial judge errors in the charge to the jury.
Morrison (Estate of) v. Attorney General (Nova Scotia), 2011 NSSC 479 – represented hundreds of nursing home residents who allege wrongful nursing home fees. Successfully acted as class counsel in the first contested class action certification motion in Nova Scotia history.
Brown v. Cape Breton (Regional Municipality), 2011 NSCA 32 – represented an injured pedestrian in a crosswalk accident and successfully argued this precedent setting case before the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal which set scope of disclosure for civil litigation in Nova Scotia.
Anderson v. Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, 2012 NSSC 360 – successfully represented patient in who developed locked-in syndrome in a multi-million dollar medical malpractice trial. Important precedent on informed consent and causation in the medical negligence context.
Elwin v. Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children, 2013 NSSC 411 – represents hundred of survivors of childhood sexual abuse at the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children. Successfully argued for the certification of their claims as a class action before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
Gay et al. v. RHA7, 2014 NBCA – represented hundreds victims of hospital and physician negligence case get access to the courts via a class action. The case was successfully argued before the New Brunswick Court of Appeal and is the first certified class action in New Brunswick history. It is also the first time in Canada where an action alleging medical malpractice was certified as a class action.
Wright Medical Technology Canada Ltd. v. Taylor, 2015 NSCA 68 – represents Canadian victims of alleged defective hip products in class action lawsuit. Successfully argued the certification of the first product defect class action certified in Nova Scotia and the first national class action certified in the Province
Nova Scotia (Attorney General) v Murray, 2017 NSCA 29 – represents mentally ill patients over allegations of unlawful strip searches in breach of Charter rights. Successfully argued certification of one of the first constitutional class actions in Canada, which was upheld on Appeal.
King & Dawson v. Government of PEI, 2019 PESC 27 – successfully worked as lead counsel in the first class action to be certified in PEI, while representing a class of PEI residents suffering from mental disabilities over their exclusion from a government disability support program.