By Colin Sheehan, RCS Reporter.
In this episode of Roofing Road Trips, RoofersCoffeeShop® (RCS) partner, Heidi J. Ellsworth chatted with two friends from the north, Jeremy Power and Samuel St-Jean, the newest associate attorneys of Cotney Construction Law Canada. The three discussed Cotney’s recent launch in Canada and what that means for both Canada and U.S. contractors. They also enlightened us on the legal differences between Canada, the U.S. and Quebec, the French-speaking province of Canada, as well as Cotney Construction Law’s appointment as general counsel for the Canadian Roofing Contractors Association.
Jeremy grew up on the east coast of Canada in St. Johns, Newfoundland. He went to law school at the University of New Brunswick and was practicing law in Toronto for about a year and a half before he received a call from Trent Cotney about a job opportunity.
“Trent Cotney reached out to me and I was a little apprehensive at first because, you know, it was a unique opportunity and one I didn’t expect. I’m super happy to be on the team now [and] obviously, it’s a little weird starting a job when you can’t visit any of your colleagues or even go to the country where your head office is,” said Jeremy.
Sam was raised in Quebec’s Laurentian region, just north of Montréal. His father is a contractor and Sam grew up going to construction sites and watching his father work, and even worked on construction as a teenager. He then studied law at the University of Montréal and has been practicing commercial and civil litigation law for about four years before Cotney approached him to open a branch in Montréal, which started in September.
“Jeremy and I had our own respective legal experience before in practice, but opening a branch for the firm in itself [is a] whole other thing [and] a brand-new thing at least for me,” said Sam.
The two expressed the importance of being involved with the CRCA, especially as the firm is full service, meaning Cotney Law serves everyone in the construction business for a variety of needs. “When we opened Cotney Canada...we really wanted to get involved with the CRCA any way we could and after some discussions they took us on as general counsel and it's been a great ride ever since,” said Jeremy.
Jeremy and Sam are both working on a library for CRCA and Cotney Canada. This library is meant to be a practical resource for people in the Canadian roofing industry and is currently being translated and adapted for Quebec law by Sam, for the Cotney Construction Law location in Quebec.
“There are kind of two levels of translation as I like to say. You translate the language and translate the legal aspects as well. You have to put it into Quebec legal language and sometimes it’s not obvious, but it's in the language. But sometimes it goes as far as legal implications too and legal obligations. But most of the time it's more of a cultural difference,” said Sam.
Sam went on to say that Canada and the U.S. are more similar in legal language than Canada is with Quebec. This means finding and changing the nuances in legal language ensures that the CRCA library is correct and as useful as possible for all roofers in Canada.
Listen to the entire podcast for more on Cotney Construction Law in Canada.