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Nick Avis, Q.C., graduated with degrees in physics from Memorial University (1976) and law from Queen’s University in Ontario (1980). He was admitted to the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar in 1980 and was appointed as a Queen’s Counsel in 2001. He has taught the Bar Admission Course since 1983. He joined the firm of Browne Fitzgerald Morgan & Avis in 2001. He is the senior member of the firm.
He was one of two senior counsel, along with Ed Ratushny, to the late former Chief Justice of Canada, Antonio Lamer, for the Lamer Inquiry into wrongful convictions (2003 – 2006). In 2001 he was appointed Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission, a position he held for 13 years. When living in Corner Brook, for eight years he was a member of the Corner Brook Committee on Family Violence, which ran the local transition house, during which time he was chair of the committee for 4 years and chair of the Transition House Board for four years.
Throughout his career he has been a trial and appellate lawyer and has litigated cases in most areas of law. He has done numerous lengthy and complex cases both civil and criminal; and has represented numerous professionals in disciplinary matters.
He has acted as Crown counsel and for several government agencies; he has done some 50 jury trials and over 100 criminal and civil appeals (including prerogative writs or their equivalent); and he has litigated in the following areas: civil and human rights, constitutional law, every kind of family case, wills, estates, real estate, professional negligence, consumer law, shareholder disputes, injunctions, personal injury cases, contract cases, construction cases – including ones involving buildings and highways, insurance claims, slander and defamation and employment issues.
Currently, his family law practice includes clients with substantial business and corporate interests, wills, estates, family trusts and real estate.