Gavin has appeared before the Federal Court of Canada, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Provincial and Family Courts and the Courts of Appeal and Superior Courts of many other Provinces and Territories. He has also appeared before the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board and the Nova Scotia Labour Standards Tribunal. He has tried matters before both juries and judges alone. The matters in which he has been involved have been reported almost 100 times.
As an Adjudicator of the Small Claims Court of Nova Scotia (since 1994) and as that Court’s first and only Chief Adjudicator (since 2001), he has presided over more than 3,500 hearings and has rendered approximately 3,300 written decisions. Gavin also serves the Province of Nova Scotia as its single member Private Career Colleges Appeal Board and as a mediator and arbitrator.
Outside of his practice, Gavin is an active member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society; currently serving a third two-year term on its elected governing Council and Chairing its Law Office Management Standards Committee. He is a past member of the Barristers’ Society’s Executive and Finance Committee and a past Chair of its Supreme Court Liaison Committee. He is also a member of the Canadian Bar Association, and on its behalf has co-authored two comprehensive reports, one on Judicial Salaries and Benefits and one on the Salaries and Benefits of the Prothonotaries of the Federal Court of Canada.
Gavin is a frequent presenter at continuing professional development conferences offered by the Canadian Bar Association, the Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia and the Real Estate Lawyers Association of Nova Scotia. His most frequent paper and presentation topics are on retention and billing, timekeeping, client service and the development of client service standards by lawyers and law firms, and practice civility. He also presents at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law on Chambers practice and at the Nova Scotia Bar Admission Course on Experts. In the past taught, he has lectured in Business Law at Saint Mary’s University.
Very active in his community and in pro bono legal circles, Gavin is a Past President of the Nova Scotia Branch of the Canadian Red Cross and a Past Chair of the Atlantic Zone of the Canadian Red Cross. He is currently a member of the Canadian Red Cross National Board of Governors and was recently elected as the organization’s National Vice-Chair. His work within the Red Cross is concentrated in mother and child health in west central Africa, in the rehabilitation of northern and western Canadian Indigenous Peoples’ communities and in domestic natural disaster relief. In 2012, Gavin was the recipient of the Canadian Red Cross National Distinguished Service Award and in 2015 he was invested into The Order of the Red Cross.
Gavin’s pro bono legal work involves public pension benefit entitlements, debt relief and affordable housing, particularly for the elderly poor and criminal and regulatory defence work for young people ineligible for legal aid.
LL.B., Dalhousie University (1985)
B.A., Saint Mary's University (1981)