Brian Vail
Brian Vail
QC,
Partner
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Brian Vail is a partner in the firm’s Edmonton office with more than 30 years of experience representing individuals, businesses and public institutions in a broad range of civil and criminal litigation matters before trial and appellate courts throughout Alberta. He has extensive experience with cases involving a combination of civil and criminal law issues in multiple venues, defending businesses, individuals and public institutions facing emotionally-charged claims and complaints of embezzlement, sexual offences, misconduct or other serious wrong-doing.  He feels it is important to keep up to date on the law and to look for common ground and shared concerns on every file so as to facilitate resolution by settlement if possible and by litigation if necessary.  He takes satisfaction from taking the mystery out of the law applicable to his clients’ situations.

Brian's practice is primarily focused on the following:
  • Insurance – approved litigation defence counsel for several major insurers throughout Canada
  • Emerging Technology and Privacy – cyber-liability, autonomous (driverless) vehicles and related insurance issues
  • Criminal Defence – assault, sexual offences, child pornography offences and internet luring offences, embezzlement, fraud 
  • Education Law – defence of teachers and schools against all types of misconduct claims
  • Personal Injury – defence of motor vehicle accident, work accident, product liability and other negligence claims
  • Complex Commercial Litigation – breach of contract, shareholder actions and partner disputes 
Before joining Field Law, Brian articled with the Alberta Court of Appeal. He has spoken at industry events and published numerous papers discussing trending topics in insurance,  personal injury, criminal, emerging technology and education law. He is also a former sessional lecturer at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Law.  Brian was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2012.
 
Brian is a past chair of the National Insurance Section of the Canadian Bar Association and past chair or co-chair of the Insurance, Criminal Justice and Education Law subsections of the Canadian Bar Association (Northern Albert) and a past chair and current member of the Canadian Defence Lawyers and a member of the Defence Research Institute and the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association.

Outside the Office

Brian is an avid reader of history and science fiction and an amateur archer.

Canadian Bar Association Alberta, Education Law Section (North)
Executive Member
2006-Present
Canadian Bar Association Alberta, Criminal Justice Section (North)
Member
2005-Present
Canadian Bar Association Alberta, Criminal Justice Section (North)
Past Co-Chair
2010-2016
Canadian Bar Association, Insurance Law Section
Member
1985-Present
Canadian Bar Association Alberta, Insurance Law Section (North)
Member
1985-Present
Canadian Bar Association Alberta, Insurance Law Section (North)
Past Chair
1997-Present
Canadian Bar Association Alberta, Civil Litigation Section (North)
Member
Calgary Personal Injury & Insurance Law
Member
2011 - Present
Alberta Association of Insurance Adjusters
Member
2010-Present
Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association (ACTLA)
Associate Member
1990-Present
Criminal Trial Lawyers' Association
Member
1982-Present
Edmonton Insurance Association
Member
2010-Present
Edmonton Bar Association
Member
1982-Present
Law Society of Alberta
Member
1982-Present
International Order of the Blue Goose
Member
1999-Present
St. Thomas More Lawyers' Guild
Executive Member
2007 - Present
Canadian Defence Lawyers
Executive Member
2004-2008
Canadian Defence Lawyers
Member
Listed Insurance Law
The Best Lawyers™ in Canada
2016 - 2018
Queen's Counsel
2012
"Distinguished"
Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™
2017
"Repeatedly Recommended"
Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory
2008 - 2012
Capital Region Archery Club
Member
2014 - Present
Catholic Social Services
Legal Sector Liaison, Sign of Hope Campaign
2000 - 2015
St. Thomas More Catholic Parish
Recorder
2010 - 2011
St. Thomas More Catholic Parish
Chair, Parish Council
2009 - 2010
St. Thomas More Catholic Parish
Vice Chair, Parish Council
2008 - 2009
St. Joseph's Basilica Parish
Parish Council
2001 - 2004
Gilson v. Fort Vermillion School Division No. 52, 61 A.R. 225, Board of Reference Under the School Act
R. v. Wasylyk , [2015] A.J. No. 1466 (Alta.P.C.)  
Stubbard v. Hajduk Gibbs LLP, 2015 ABCA 73, Alberta Court of Appeal
R. v. Paolinelli, 2012 ABPC 213
R. v. Edna Smith, Docket No. 100631498P1, Alta.P.C., per Watson, P.C.J., Alberta Provincial Court
R. v. Jonkman, 2010 ABPC 245, Alberta Provincial Court
R. v. Eszczuk, [2009] A.J. No. 1503 (Alta. Q.B.)
R. v. McNally, [2008] A.J. No. 586, Alberta Provincial Court
R. v. Sautner, 2008 CarswellAlta 2235, Alberta Provincial Court
J.N. v. G.J.K., 2004 ABCA 394, Alberta Court of Appeal
Synod of the Diocese of Edmonton v. Lombard General Insurance Co. of Canada, 2004 ABQB 803, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Park v. B&B Electronics Ltd., 2003 ABQB 594, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Calliou Estate (Public Trustee of) v. Calliou Estate, [2002] A.J. No. 74, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Magna IV Engineering Ltd. v. Orbis Engineering Field Service, [2002] A.J. No. 836, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Neal v. Kozens, [2002] A.J. No. 1400, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
GMAC Leaseco Ltd. v. Chamberlain, [2000] A.J. No. 368, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Budget-Rent-A-Car of Edmonton Ltd. v. Lombard Canada, [1998] A.J. No. 1320, Alberta Court of Appeal
Budget-Rent-A-Car of Edmonton Ltd. v. Lombard Canada, [1998] A.J. No. 230, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
J.H.O. Holdings & Management Ltd. v. Schafer, [1997] A.J. No. 359, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
MacDonald v. Oxford Properties Group Inc., [1996] A.J. No. 252, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Winget Estate v. Sedgwick Tomenson Inc., [1996] A.J. No. 1345, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Winget v. Sedgwick Tomenson Inc., [1996] A.J. No. 1327, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Structus Developments & Holdings Ltd. v. Mah, [1995] A.J. No. 1605, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Structus Developments & Holdings Ltd. v. Mah, [1995] A.J. No. 1604, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Finnemore v. Clarke Tolentino Rampling & McTavish, [1994] A.J. No. 765, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Finnemore v. Clarke Tolentino Rampling & McTavish, [1993] A.J. No. 1204, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
R. v. Gorsline, [1993] A.J. No. 961, Alberta Provincial Court
Vanovermeire v. Edmonton (City) Police Commission, [1993] A.J. No. 347, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Finnemore v. Clarke, Tolentino, Rampling & McTavish, [1992] A.J. No. 138, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Kempo v. Tie Rack (Canada) Ltd., [1992] A.J. No. 472, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
R. v. Wright, [1992] A.J. No. 409, Alberta Court of Appeal
Oshry v. Edmonton (City), [1991] A.J. No. 930, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Van Cleef Manufacturing Ltd. v. Pafco Insurance Co., [1988] A.J. No. 428, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Van Every v. Kroeker Estate, [1987] A.J. No. 1304, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Farm Credit Corp. v. Stadynk, [1986] A.J. No. 453, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Henuset Brothers Ltd. v. I.U.O.E., Local 955, 73 A.R. 194, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
R. v. Cameron, [1985] A.J. No. 537, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Bank of Montreal v. Carter, [1984] A.J. No. 72, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Ed Miller Sales & Rentals Ltd. v. Rosen, 55 A.R. 172, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Henuset Brothers Ltd. v. I.U.O.E., Local 955, 57 A.R. 258, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Mataris Restaurants Ltd. v. Richardson Greenshields of Canada Ltd., 52 A.R. 223, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Battaglia v. Ballas, [1983] A.W.L.D. 829, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
August 2017
Defence & Indemnity - August 2017
August 2017
The Best Lawyers in Canada 2018
25 Field Law Lawyers Recognized
25 Lawyers from Field Law Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2018 Field Law is pleased to announce that 25 lawyers have been included in the 12th Edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada. Three of these lawyers are new additions and represent t...
June 2017
Defence & Indemnity - June 2017
March 2017
Intersection of Family and Criminal Law
February 2017
Defence & Indemnity - February 2017
December 2016
Defence & Indemnity - December 2016
October 2016
Defence & Indemnity - October 2016
September 2016
Cyberbullying IRL
August 2016
Defence & Indemnity - August 2016
July 2016
Alberta Government Updating 2004 Auto Insurance Reforms
July 2016
Police Access to Accused Statements to the Insurer
June 2016
Defence & Indemnity - June 2016
May 2016
Keeping Your Cards Close To Your Vest
May 2016
Keeping Your Cards Close to Your Vest - Protecting Confidentiality for Statements
April 2016
Defence & Indemnity - April 2016
April 2016
Social Networking in Litigation
March 2016
When the Police Come Knocking: Police  Access to Airbag Control Module Data and the Insured’s Statements
March 2016
When the Police Come Knocking: Police  Access to Airbag Control Module Data and the Insured’s Statements
February 2016
Defence & Indemnity - February 2016
Febraury 2016
Everyone is Watching: Social Media and Litigation
November 2015
Defence & Indemnity - November 2015
September 2015
Social Media and the Law
April 2015
Social Networking in Litigation for Legal Education Society of Alberta
February 2015
Case Summary: Rollins (Litigation Guardian Of) v. English Language Separate District School Board No. 39
September 2015
Social Networking in Litigation
November 2014
Teacher and School Civil Liability For Sexual Abuse of a Student
November 2014
Social Networking in Litigation for Canadian Independent Adjusters Association
November 2014
Social Networking in Litigation
March 2014
New Cases in Negligent Supervision
February 2014
Lee (Litigation Guardian of) v. Toronto District School Board
October 2013
Cyber Liability: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Internet (but not too much)
September 2013
Indecent Exposure: Privilege as Applied to Claims Adjusting
July 2013
Alberta Court Wipes Out Privilege Over Insured Statements To Adjuster
April 2013
Litigation in E-Space: Social Networking and the Law, Legal Education Society of Alberta, 46th Annual Refresher
April 2013
Litigation in E-Space: Social Networking and the Law
February 2013
The "Teacher's Defence": Section 43 in the Modern World (Part 2)
January 2013
The "Teacher's Defence": Section 43 in the Modern World
December 2012
Insurance Law Issues
October 2012
Joined at the Hip:  Interface: Criminal - Civil Law Interface, Legal Education Society of Alberta
October 2012
Interface between Civil Litigation and Criminal
October 2012
Joined at the Hip:  Interface:  Criminal - Civil Law Interface
August 2012
Overlapping Auto Coverage in the New Age
May 2012
Cure for the Hangover: Criminal Investigation Issues for Teachers and School Districts - Part 3
March 2012
One Court, Two Processes: The Interplay of Civil and Criminal Proceedings
February 2012
Cure for the Hangover: Criminal Investigation Issues for Teachers and School Districts - Part 2
November & December 2011
Cure for the Hangover: Criminal Investigation Issues for Teachers and School Districts - Part 1
November 2001
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Recent Developments Regarding The Duty to Defend
June 2011
Stupidity in E-Space: Social Networking Sites and the Law
June 2011
Stupidity in E-Space: Social Networking Sites and the Law
April 2011
Cure for the Hangover:  Criminal Investigation Issues for Teachers and School Districts
February 2011
Host Liquor Liability
May 2010
Windows on the World: Social Networking Sites and the Law, Legal Education Society
May 2010
Windows on the World:  Social Networking Sites and the Law
April 2010
Windows on the World: Social Networking Sites and the Law, Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law in Education
April 2010
Mischief and Mayhem in the Schoolhouse: Allegations of Criminal Misconduct in the School Environment
April 2010
Windows on the World: Social Networking Sites and the Law
April 2010
Mischief and Mayhem in the Schoolhouse: Allegations of Criminal Misconduct in the School Environment
January 2010
Police Civil Liability To Suspects For Negligent Investigation After Hill
January 2010
Police Civil Liability to Suspects for Negligent Investigation After Hill
November 2009
Host Liquor Liability in Canada
November 2009
Social Networking Sites
October 22, 2009
Host Liquor Liability
October 2009
Impaired Driving Issues in Auto Insurance
September 2009
Surveillance, Privacy, Spoliation and Privilege
September 2009
Difficult Counsel, Surveillance and Privilege
June 2009
The Alberta Minor Injury Cap Webinar
May 2009
Three Sheets to the Wind: Host Liquor Liability in Canada
May 2009
Catholic Separate Schools and the Protection of a Distinct Catholic Denominational Philosophy When Religious Rights Meet Employment Rights: Part 2
Co-Author: Kevin P. Feehan
May 2009
Three Sheets to the Wind: Host Liquor Liability in Canada
February 2009
How Big  is That Umbrella?: An Analysis of Recent Appellate Coverage Cases, Canadian Defence Lawyers
February 2009
"Indecent Exposure": Privilege as Applied to Claims Adjusting
January/February 2009
Vehicle Insurance Issues and Impaired Driving
November 2008
Automobile Insurance Issues Relating to Impaired Driving
October 2008
Clearing the Confusion on "Use of Vehicle" Coverage
September 2008
Coverage for Losses "Arising from the Ownership, Use or Operation" of a Vehicle: Untangling the Maze
July 2008
Alberta Court of Appeal Rejects Industry-Wide Stay with Respect to Cap Challenge
June 2008
Blurring of the Line Between "Natural Causes" and "Accident"
May 2008
Law & Order: Recent Criminal Law Changes of Interest to Educators
April 2008
The Alberta Minor Injury Regulation: "Where the Heck Are We Going?"
April 2008
The Alberta Minor Injury Regulation: Where the Heck are We Going?
March 2008
Who Can Be Sued for Sexual Torts - What Educators Should Know
Co-Authors: A. Remmington and K. Feehan, Q.C.
March 2008
Causation, Quantum and the Burden of Proof in Sexual Torts - What Educators Should Know
Co-Authors: A. Remmington and K. Feehan, Q.C.
November 2007
Direct and Indirect Liability in Sexual Torts - What Educators Should Know
Co-Authors: Andrea Remington and Kevin P. Feehan, Q.C.
August 2007
Accident: The Blurring of the Lines Between "Natural Causes" and "Accident"
June 2007
Scuttlebutt
June 2007
Practice Issues
June 2007
Quantum/Damages Issues
June 2007
Liability Issues
June 2007
Case Law
June 2007
Morrow and Pedersen: Arguments in the Minor Injury Cap Challenge
March 2007
Alberta Law Update
2007
Morrow and Pedersen: Arguments Presented at the Minor Injury Cap Challenge
April 2004
Current Issues in Sexual Torts of Concern to Educators
April 2004
Current Issues in Sexual Torts of Concern to Educators
April 2004
Limitations in Alberta
March 2004
Sexual Investigations From the Defence Perspective
November 2003
Blasts From the Past: Discoverability Under Alberta's New Limitations Act
November 2003
Blasts From The Past: Discoverability Under Alberta's New Limitations Act
April 2003
Dealing With the Outside World as to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Against Teaching Personnel
Co-Author: T. Haykowski
April 2003
Dealing With the Outside World as to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Against Teaching Personnel
March 2003
Apportionment of Liability Among Concurrent Tort-Feasors and The Seat Belt Defence in Alberta
March 2003
Apportionment of Liability Among Concurrent Tort-Feasors and The Seat Belt Defence in Alberta
2003
Treasure Troves or Hornet's Nests?: A Civil Defendant's Disclosure Obligation for Crown Disclosure Received in Related Criminal Proceedings"
Co-Authors: P.J. Stein and P. Fitzpatrick
2003
Privilege Issues in Insurance Bad Faith Actions
Co:-Authors: P.J. Stein and P. Fitzpatrick
2003
Three Sheets to the Wind: Host Liquor Liability in Canada
January 2003
Privilege Issues in Insurance Bad Faith Actions, Production of Documents
January 2003
Treasure Troves or Hornet's Nests: A Civil Defendant's Disclosure Obligation For Crown Disclosure Received in Related Criminal Proceedings - Production of Documents
November 2002
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Recent Developments Regarding The Duty to Defend
February 2002
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Recent Developments Regarding The Duty to Defend
March 2001
Social Host Liability in the Wake of Hunt v. Sutton Group
October 2000
Municipal Liability for Negligent Building Inspection
September 2000
Occupiers' Liability in Canada
June 2000
Automobile Insurance Issues Relating to Impaired Driving
June 2000
Update on The Duty to Defend
February 2000
Mary Carter Agreements Approved
February 2000
Personal Liability of Adjusters and Claims Examiners to Insureds
November 1999
Update on Occupiers' Liability
September 1999
Can Information Obtained on Discovery be Used in Other Proceedings?
August 1999
Basic Principles Regarding The Duty to Defend
July 1999
Host Liquor Liability - A Popular Theme
June 1999
Practical Pointers Regarding the Use of Financial Experts
1999
Basic Principles Regarding The Duty to Defend
March 1997
Chronic Pain Cases Most Difficult to Litigate
1997
Adjuster's Reports: Privileged
1997
Apportioning Responsibility for Damages in the Face of Non-Tortious Contributing Factors
1997
The Law of Privilege as Applied to the Claim Adjustment Process
1996
My Mistake, Your Problem: The Duty to Defend Liability Claims in Canada
August 1995
Recent Cases of Interest to the Defence Bar
March 1995
Production of Documents in Advance of Trial
March 1995
Conduct Money in the Context of Examination for Discovery (The Defence Perspective)
1995
Recent Tort Cases of Interest to the Defence Bar
August 1993
Recent Cases of Interest to the Civil Defence Bar
1993
Recent Cases of Interest to the Civil Defence Bar
Education
University of Alberta, 1981, Bachelor of Laws
University of Alberta, 1978, Bachelor of Commerce, With Distinction
Admissions
Alberta,1982