Catherine Christensen (Lawyer, Call Sign: Empress)
Catherine Christensen is the owner and founder of Valour Law. When she studied military law in law school, the Lt Colonel who taught the course encouraged her to work with military families since she “got it” even as a civilian.
She brings a wealth of life experience to her law practice that gives her an insight into the realties and solutions twisted up in any legal issue. Catherine’s biggest joy from being a lawyer is getting closure for her clients so they can move on with their life. She gives clients the options to get to their “clean break” and she makes a complicated situation less complicated for everyone involved.
Her clients appreciate her open mind, quick wit and no-nonsense, non-judgemental approach. Catherine is known as a strong advocate for her clients in Court and up the Chain of Command when it is needed to defend one of her guys. Her military clients love that she understands their lingo—from the recce to the intel to knowing that situational awareness is crap without situational understanding when planning the best tactics to use in the battle.
Catherine has represented members of all the branches of the Canadian military. She has dealt with the issues of the guys in the ranks and the guys in the officer corp. It is not uncommon for her to take on cases where a former partner wants to move the kids to the other side of the country, claims from former spouses for an extra cut of a soldier’s biggest asset—his pension–and extracting guys from messy domestic situations where the ex is trying to use military service as a parenting liability to deny them parenting time with the kids.
She has gone as high as the Court of Appeal to fight for a soldier dad. She also deals with VAC to assist veterans with their disability claims. One client thought he had a knee claim and after a review—he actually had 8 claims related to his service. Catherine passionately goes balls to the wall for what a military member wants should they be badly hurt or killed — documents properly done are essential in a military career and the one page crap handed out in deployment briefings doesn’t cut it..
Catherine is an active supporter of the military community. Valour Law often donates items for fundraising auctions as well as the whole team attending charity events to support such causes as the PPCLI Foundation, Heroes Hockey Challenge and the Yellow Ribbon Gala. She has been a House Ambassador for Valour Place, a “home away from home” for military families needing medical care. She has also been a frequent presenter and advisor at the Edmonton Garrison working with the MFRC where she provides military families with the information they need for their unique family law matters and estate planning needs for deployments around the world.
When not practising law, Catherine likes to travel and read trashy novels. She also likes to follow the latest archaeology news from around the world. She lives in the St. Albert area with her grown up son and her Bernese Mountain Dog, Miles (yeah, he hangs out at the office a lot of days to share his sweet personality with our clients). She looks forward to her son’s career as an airline pilot so he can fly his great mom all over the place (he hasn’t convinced her to buy him his own plane and runway… yet).
Michelle Roe (Lawyer, Call Sign: Lucky)
Michelle’s legal education and career in Dublin, Ireland, began where she was born and raised. During and after her legal education Michelle had various positions in criminal law firms in Dublin. Before moving to Canada with her family she completed the Law Society of Ireland Entrance Examinations.
Since moving to Canada in 2013, Michelle and her family have called Edmonton their home. She quickly got into the legal field and worked as a legal assistant/paralegal in law firms in Edmonton, while she was taking her NCA (National Committee on Accreditation) examinations which enabled her re-commence her legal career in Alberta. Upon completing her NCA exams, she completed her articles and was admitted to the bar in 2017.
Michelle has experience and keen interests in the areas of family law, child protection (child welfare), wills and estate and real estate. Michelle is a great advocate for her clients both inside and outside of the court.
She uses her excellent negotiating skills (her Irish charm) and sound judgment to assist clients in resolving matters outside the courtroom, but when the circumstances call for litigation, Michelle is ready to take the client’s matters to court. Michelle has already acquired a great deal of courtroom experience and she has appeared at the Provincial Court and Court of Queen’s Bench at different locations in Alberta, with excellent results. Preparation is an important part of Michelle’s practice and her clients enjoy the benefits of her attention to detail, efficiency and readiness at all times. Michelle is a good listener and has the ability to make sure she is on the same level as her clients, as there is never any job too big or small for her.
Michelle enjoys doing volunteer work for charities, organising events and has participated in Edmonton Court Law Day.
When not working on clients’ files, Michelle enjoys traveling and exploring new places with her family, keeping fit and supporting her son’s highly competitive soccer team. She also enjoys spending time with and spoiling the family’s two other kids (dogs). When she can find any more time in her busy schedule she enjoys socializing (going the pub) with her Irish community!
Colin Basaraba (Lawyer, Call Sign: Padre)
Colin was born and raised in Alberta. He was admitted to the bar in 2019 and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Alberta in 2018.
Prior to attending law school, Colin completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from the University of Alberta in 2015, graduating with distinction.
Colin was actively involved with various organizations during law school.
He was a member of the adjudicate body of the University of Alberta Students’ Union, serving as a Tribune on its Discipline, Interpretation and Enforcement Board.
Colin also served as a Vice President for the Energy Law Club and the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators’ University of Alberta Chapter.
He assisted Edmonton’s low-income community by providing access to justice as a volunteer for Student Legal Services’ Criminal Law Project.
Colin practiced primarily in the area of family law during his articling year upon graduating, representing clients in both the Provincial Court of Alberta and the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.
Colin’s practice today continues to focus principally in the area of family and divorce law.
Colin resolves matters as amicably and at the least expense to everyone involved as possible; he utilizes the court processes when appropriate.
When not in the office, Colin loves to jog, hike, golf (watch for him at those golf tournaments!), fish, play recreational sports and explore the areas surrounding the North Saskatchewan River.
He is an active volunteer with the Edmonton Community Legal Centre, a non-profit organization that provides legal services to members of the greater Edmonton area’s low-income community.
Naomi Auber (Paralegal, Call Sign: Guard-at-the-Gate)
Naomi is an ex-pat Brit who is here in Alberta (which she fondly refers to as “the Arctic Tundra” — she refuses to acclimate) with her retired Patricia, actively looking for ways to enjoy this land a bit more – please send her any staycation referrals. She hopped the pond about 17 years ago, but is told her accent is still present, so Catherine shamelessly has her on the phones with her posh tones (but Ladouce is the multilingual mastermind).
She met her Patricia on holidays in Cuba and hasn’t looked back.
When not at the office you can find her walking with her Rottweiler, sipping tea, and causing the usual mayhem (this is privileged information, right?).
She volunteers her time as a vigilante veteran aide, and makes all the referrals to appropriate mental health resources if needed (shoot her a message and she’ll be happy to help where she can).
Catherine scooped her up and introduced her to the legal industry in 2016. Since she’s dipped her toes in, she’s been seriously considering taking the plunge to law school.
She enjoys the many perks of her job, and editing the hell out of documents (her English teachers would be so proud). She’s happy to serve those that have and continue to serve our nation.
Lindsay (Guard-at-the-Gate for the Home Front)
Lindsay was born and raised in St. Albert, but also lived on the family farm in Saskatchewan.. After graduating from SACHS, she achieved her Professional Paralegal Diploma in 2005. Lindsay has had the opportunity to dapple in all areas of law. Real Estate was her calling.
Lindsay tailors her real estate skills to meet the needs of various clients. And she’s funny as hell.
On Lindsay’s off time, first and foremost she loves spending quality time with her husband, 2 children and 2 wolf hounds, on their farm.
Gardening and fishing are her favourite past times in the hot season. However, all year long is concert season with her Twin Sis and her almost of age daughter (Eeeekk) getting their groove on.
But wait there’s more……
GO RIDERS GO!!
Janessa (Aster; First Line of Defense)
Janessa is launching into her reception and administration career at Valour with enthusiasm.
She has no previous law experience, but she’s eager to learn the ins and outs of law and gain new skills.
Janessa has spent the last seven years of her career as a florist, four of those years as a manager of a floral shop in downtown Edmonton.
She is highly organized and has experience working in a high stress environment (I know what you’re thinking – how can flowers be high stress? Bridezillas. Valentine’s Day. Funerals…you get the picture).
Janessa is a born and raised Edmontonian and she has a great love for the city, its many festivals and the great niche Edmonton has for arts, food and innovation. As a self-proclaimed foodie, she loves to explore the food scene and try new things.
Janessa and her husband are big Netflix fans and love their adorable pit-bull/lab cross, Naiya, who thinks she is a lap dog.
Nick (Crankshaft; Intern)
Nick is currently a full-time member of the Canadian Forces specializing in the restoration of museum pieces (commonly referred to as a vehicle technician repairing the fleet of the Canadian military).
When he is not swearing at the antiques, he can be found glued to his computer screen at MacEwan University where he is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in anticipation of entry into law school.
He has been posted to Edmonton since 2006, following training in St. Jean and Borden and has never looked back (apparently the air here is better).
Nick entered the legal field in 2018 via trial by fire following what likely amounted to a mid-life crisis, also known as his decision to enter law.
He enjoys anything from drafting documents to pondering complex legal conundrums (unbeknownst to him, legalese is his second language).
He has always been driven and motivated to help his fellow soldier, now volunteering his time at the firm to do so.
Kingsley (Top Dog in the Office)
Most days our office has the friendliest Rottweiler on the planet hanging out and looking for petting opportunities (and treats… don’t forget the treats).
He’s up for joining in on meetings and being that quiet support on tough days.
When he’s off duty from the demands of a busy law firm, he looks after his retired Patricia and his wife, plus baby boy who has joined the family.
Miles (Top Dog in the Office in Training)
Miles is our latest puppy addition.
His Mum and Dad are therapy dogs so this puffy ball of fur and energy loves to make people smile even on their bad days.
He’s especially keen to trade love for treats (might have learned that from Kingsley…hmmm).
When he’s not at the office, he hangs out at the Boss’ house contemplating the Universe from his podium in the backyard.