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Krystyne Rusek – Pallett Valo Women Leadership Interview

Krystyne RusekTell us about your position at Pallett Valo

I am currently the only lawyer at Pallett Valo dedicated solely to estate litigation, which area deals with estate, trusts and capacity-related disputes and court proceedings.  I am also the head of the Student Committee, which is tasked with recruiting and hiring summer students and articling students for the firm.

What is your biggest achievement within your legal career and why is it so important to you?

In 2012, I was co-counsel in a 7-day trial involving the financial abuse of a 90-year old man by his much younger caregiver.  Basing our case on principles and remedies under both contract law and equity, we were successful in having title to our client’s home returned to him and in defending various monetary claims made by the caregiver.  It was the culmination of four years’ of time and effort on our part, as his legal team, but also on the part of the client’s neighbours and friends, who provided key testimony at the trial.  This case was important for me because it showed that hard work and perseverance are the keystones of successful litigation, and that justice can prevail despite the many obstacles that may be encountered.

What advice would you share with young women entering the legal profession?

At the beginning of your career, you will often question your knowledge and judgment.  You cannot be afraid to ask questions and seek advice from more senior lawyers.  Find a mentor, either within your workplace, or at another firm, and use that person as a sounding board when you encounter problems that you cannot resolve on your own.  You will hopefully receive sound advice not only with respect to the legal issues that confound you, but also with respect to the practice of law and how to conduct yourself as a lawyer.