Nicole Smith’s practice focus is a combination of work for personal injury law clients, and for BC employers related to workplace investigations.
Nicole’s personal injury clients have been involved in accidents (vehicle or otherwise) that have left them with significant and long-lasting injuries. She also represents injured people in disputes with long-term disability insurance providers, and she is experienced in commercial and civil litigation. She has represented hundreds of people throughout all of BC.
Where possible, Nicole will work to reach solutions for clients through negotiation or mediation; however, she is an experienced trial lawyer who will not hesitate to proceed to trial if going to court to resolve a dispute is in a client’s best interests. She has successfully represented clients in all levels of court in British Columbia.
Nicole also holds a certificate in workplace investigations from the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA). British Columbia employers have obligations under WorkSafeBC to ensure worker health and safety, including preventing incidents of bullying and harassment. This requires that employers have defined processes and procedures to deal with complaints or workplace incidents in various contexts. Nicole’s work in this area includes helping businesses and institutions develop their investigation processes and procedures and conducting investigations in cases of complaints and incidents.
Nicole is a member of the HRPA and has served on the boards of the Nanaimo Child Development Centre and the Nanaimo Brain Injury Society. She coached the University of Victoria’s Client Consultation moot team to three consecutive national championships. She is currently chair of the Canadian Client Consultation Committee and is Canada’s representative to the International Client Consultation Committee.
Before law school, Nicole worked in radio as an on-air personality, a reporter, and a creative director. She also previously owned and operated her own clothing store.
Accreditations + Certifications
- Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA), certified in Workplace Investigations.
Cases of Note
- Hastings v. Mathew, 2020 BCSC 1418
Nicole represented a male in his thirties who was injured in what was described as a ‘minor’ collision. He suffered from a back injury that was made worse by the fact he had a pre-existing congenital deformity. At the time of the accident he was working in RV repair rather than in his red-seal trade of commercial construction. After some time away from the work force, her client began his own business doing home renovation work. This was less remunerative than his red-seal occupation. Nicole successfully argued that the proper comparison for loss of past wages was the red-seal trade work rather than the lower-paying RV repair work he had been doing immediately prior to the accident. The court awarded damages for pain and suffering, loss of past and future capacity to earn income, out-of-pocket expenses and loss of domestic capacity. The loss of domestic capacity award resulted from the client’s difficulty with home renovation work, yard work, and housekeeping tasks.
- Bland v. Bland, 2017 BCSC 1712
Nicole was co-counsel in this dispute between two brothers that were both farmers. Nicole’s client (the Petitioner) owned property that could only be accessed by a 400 metre dirt road that was partially located on the Respondent’s land. The Respondent placed cement blocks on its portion of the roadway, effectively blocking the Petitioner’s ability to use the road with farming equipment. The Respondent did not want the Petitioners to be able to use the road and insisted that they should have to build a new road. The court ordered that title to the existing road should be transferred to Nicole’s clients, in exchange for payment equivalent to fair market value of the land that was transferred.
- Donovan v. Parker, 2014 BCSC 668
Nicole represented a male logging truck driver in his 30s. He was injured in what the defendant argued was a “minor” collision that resulted in only minimal damage to his vehicle. Within a few months of this collision the truck driver was involved in a more significant collision for which he was at fault. Nicole successfully argued that the first accident caused her client’s permanent nerve damage and muscle wasting in the area of his left shoulder and the court awarded him damages for pain and suffering, future loss of earning capacity, cost of care and out-of-pocket expenses.
- Aubin v. Ball, 2013 BCSC 962
Nicole represented a young woman who was injured in a motor vehicle accident. She suffered a moderate whiplash, low back sprain and muscular pain in her hip and buttock which the court found would likely be permanent and have a negative impact on her ability to earn money in the future. The court awarded Nicole’s client damages for pain and suffering, past and future loss of earning capacity, costs of care and out-of-pocket expenses.
- Neidermayer v. Gillies, 2012 BCSC 143
This case involved the sale of a mobile home. Nicole represented purchasers that were told by the seller that the mobile home park was “here to stay” despite the fact she was aware of rumours that the mobile home park would be redeveloped in the near future. Less than a year after purchasing the mobile home, the mobile home park was sold and the purchasers were forced to find a new location for the mobile home and incur significant moving costs. The court found that the seller had made a negligent misrepresentation to the purchasers and awarded damages to Nicole’s clients.
- Power v. White, 2010 BCSC 1084, and 2012 BCCA 197
Nicole was co-counsel on this case where a mill worker was injured in a motor vehicle accident after his car was struck from behind when he stopped on the highway for a deer. The defendant denied responsibility for the collision, but the court found in Mr. Power’s favour, providing him compensation for pain and suffering, as well as past and future wage loss.
Disclaimer: The outcome of every legal proceeding varies according to the facts in individual cases. References to successful case results where the lawyers at RLR have acted for clients are not a guarantee or indicative of future results.
Recognition + Awards
- BC Association of Broadcasters Award for Excellence in News Reporting, 1999
- Radio and Television News Directors Award for Continuous Coverage, 1999
- Contributing author to the British Columbia Trial Handbook, 4th Edition
- Prior Nanaimo County Provincial Council representative for the Canadian Bar Association
- Member, Canadian Bar Association
- Member, Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
- Member, Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA)
- Juris Doctor, University of Victoria, 2008
- Nicole and her teammate placed first in North America in the Client Consultation Competition, and represented Canada in the international competition held in Australia.
- Nicole and her teammate represented the University of Victoria in the national Negotiation Competition
- Legal Skills award
- B.A. (History – with distinction), Vancouver Island University, 2005
- Malaspina University Degree Entrance Scholarship
- Gregory Heide Scholarship in History
- William Barraclough Scholarship in History
- Broadcast Communications diploma, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 1999
- Bill Smith Memorial Prize for Copywriting
- CFOX Women in Broadcasting Scholarship
Year of Call + Jurisdiction
- 2009, British Columbia
- Current chair of the Canadian Client Consultation Committee, and Canada’s representative to the International Client Consultation Committee.
- Served on the boards of both the Nanaimo Child Development Centre and the Nanaimo Brain Injury Society.
- Coached the University of Victoria’s Client Consultation moot team to three consecutive national championships.