In 1981, Anne-France Goldwater started her solo practice. In 1991, she partnered with Marie-Hélène Dubé and the firm Goldwater, Dubé was officially born.
Since that time, our firm has grown to develop an outstanding reputation in family law and has been at the centre of some of the most important decisions in recent Canadian history.
We have persuaded judges to award some of the highest child support awards ever granted, render precedent-setting decisions in matters as diverse as international kidnapping, animal welfare rights and the interpretation of religious marriage contracts, as well as help establish the legal recognition of common-law spouses and the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Passion. The best advocacy shoots from the heart before it gets to the mind. Mastering this link is the stuff great lawyers are made of. This is why we seek out and encourage lawyers who cultivate their passions, train mind to follow heart and put the whole to the service of those in need.
Compassion. Trust and empathy are the pillars of every solid attorney-client relationship. Regularly maintaining them ensures the best representation. This is why we strive to build a full, frank and honest professional relationship with each client and represent them like we would a close friend.
Tenacity. Passion and compassion are nothing without a firm intention to arrive at a desired outcome. At every stage, advocacy is an adversarial process, a clash of different interests. This is why we drill ourselves to be perpetually poised for war when it is necessary and yet primed for peace when it is possible.
In one of the most divided decisions it has ever rendered, our "Eric v. Lola" case is processed by the Supreme Court of Canada who declares the absence of legal protection between common law spouses discriminatory, but decides that this discrimination is a "reasonable limit" under Section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The firm makes new case law obligating Revenu Québec to automatic withhold at source the professional fees earned by self-employed physicians found in the hands of the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ), just like the revenue of any salaried employee obligated to pay alimentary support.
The firm successfully obtains a dismissal of divorce proceedings against a recalcitrant wife who refused to receive the Jewish divorce (the ghet) from her husband. The judgment is later confirmed by the Quebec Court of Appeal.
The firm challenges the applicability of the Quebec Child Support Guidelines in divorce proceedings under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The unfair discrimination against children with parents residing in Québec and the greater generosity of the Federal Child Support Guidelines applicable to other Canadian children creates a new social awareness.
The firm wins a judgment from the Quebec Court of Appeal on behalf of a woman known as "Lola" in the highly-publicized "Eric v. Lola" saga. Our client, "Lola", is the common law spouse of a billionaire businessman, "Eric", seeking the same rights as married spouses. The judgment highlights the absence of financial protection for common law spouses and recognizes them as a discriminated class under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The firm appears before the Supreme Court concerning the civil right to obtain a Jewish divorce (the ghet). The judgment becomes part of a larger cultural debate surrounding the limits of "reasonable accommodation" in a secular society and civil law, and is today studied in civil liberties classes in law schools across the country.
The firm wins the largest child support award in Quebec history, persuading the Court to go well beyond the Quebec Child Support Guidelines given the billionaire status of the paying spouse. Drawing upon detailed financial analyses and case law across the western world, our arguments help guide the Court on how to calculate a just quantum in such exceptional circumstances.
The firm is instrumental in obtaining the right for spousal and child support creditors to execute their own judgments, notwithstanding the law which gives the power to execute to Revenu Québec. Thanks to our efforts, the government can no longer withhold information from the these creditors, nor can it make "deals" with the support debtor without the creditor's consent.
The firm wins a decision before the Quebec Court of Appeal affirming the rights of non-custodial parents to exercise joint parental authority. The judgment finally and clearly prohibits custodial parents from withholding information of their child's welfare from the other parent.
In one of our proudest achievements, the firm successfully obtains the right of same-sex couples to marry and with the exact same rights and protections afforded to opposite-sex couples. The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference (SOGIC) bestows upon us an Ally Award for our efforts.
The firm successfully persuades the Quebec Court of Appeal to affirm the right of children to be represented by a lawyer of their choice in legal proceedings between their parents. Children may now obtain "party" status in a litigation between their parents so justice can better hear their voices.
The firm convinces Quebec tribunals to recognize parental alienation syndrome (PAS) for the first time in a Quebec custody case. The notion that PAS children "express themselves like perfect little photocopies of the alienating parent" is finally brought to the fore.