My name is G. Dewar Laing. I am a lawyer and have been practicing law in Windsor since 1985.
I am in private practice. Since 2008, I have operated in a limited liability partnership with Laurie L. Parent under the firm name Laing & Parent LLP. I also teach the Conflicts of Law course in the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor.
My practice has traditionally been corporate commercial and business law in nature. As such, I frequently represented commercial landlords and secured business creditors. One of the frustrations over the years was the difficulty in finding a Bailiff to help enforce the rights of these clients because of the lack of bailiffs in Essex County at the time.
In years past, the use of bailiffs was common and well understood. Legislation enacted in previous decades depended on bailiffs to implement the protections contained in them. Now, few people, including lawyers, remember exactly what it is that a bailiff is intended to do, mainly because they have not been used.
In 2003 I received an appointment as a Bailiff for the Province of Ontario. I held the appointment from 2003 through 2015 and gained invaluable experience in the enforcement of statutory securities and liens.
The rights of a secured creditor, discharged properly, are fundamental to business and commercial law. A professional who can assist you and protect you from the pitfalls that accompany “self-help” remedies is necessary to implement seizures in the event you do not get paid o a secured debt or a lien right. If banks, lenders and other creditors were unable to enforce their securities, business would grind to a halt.
I step into your shoes as your legal attorney to enforce the rights that the law has given you. If you have lien rights or security, my job is to avoid the delay, cost and inconvenience of going to court. There are a number of pieces of legislation that specifically entitle creditors to seize goods in the event of non-payment in satisfaction of a debt. These are what I mean by “self-help” remedies. Even the police do not always understanding the legal status of what a secured creditor or commercial landlord can do, but they tend to take a dim view of “self-help” remedies when it involves taking someone else’s property away from them. Police often are called to intervene in “self-help” matters. The police are often unsure of what to do in such circumstances, because they are not familiar with the civil law that authorizes these rights. This is why it is fundamental to have an experienced professional represent you as a creditor. Otherwise the police will usually tell both parties to go get a court order to figure out everyone’s rights. However, this is precisely why the self-help remedy was built into the statute: this cost and delay is avoidable. But you need a professional who knows the law and your rights to ensure you get the benefit of your security.