Michael A. Hardy – Lawyer/Partner
Michael took his undergraduate studies at McGill University and received his bachelor of laws from Osgoode Hall Law School. He was called to the Bar in 1973. Michael worked in private practice in Toronto from 1973-1979 as a partner in the firm of Grant, Grant and Hardy. Michael later worked for the Law Society of Upper Canada from 1980 until 1985 when he moved to the “Near North” with his wife, Marilyn and 3 children. He later joined Doug Smith in the general practice of law in Sundridge in 1986, which became the firm of Smith and Hardy.
Michael studied Taoist Tai Chi and other internal “soft-style” arts with the founder of the Taoist Tai Chi Society, Master Moy, Lin-Shin, from 1973 until his death in 1998. Michael has continued to teach Taoist Tai Chi since 1974.
Robert W. Niemi – Lawyer/Partner
Robert joined the practice in September 2012 and became a partner in January 2014. He graduated from Liberty University School of Law in May 2011 after obtaining a Bachelors Degree in Business Finance. He is a licensed lawyer in both Virginia and Ontario having passed both Bar exams in each country. Before joining the practice Rob worked for J. Chris Ireland in Huntsville and gained experience through his internships at Advance Auto Parts & the Liberty University Legal Department.
His home life keeps him busy as he and his wife Katelyn are raising their 2 year old daughter and are getting ready to welcome a baby boy in August. In his spare time you will find Rob playing hockey and golf.
Doris Sands – Law Clerk
Doris brings a wealth of knowledge to the firm, having worked as a law clerk for 46 years. She has worked in our Sundridge office for 27 of those years assisting Michael Hardy and previously for a law firm in Parry Sound. She has experience in all areas of law but now primarily focuses on estate planning, estate administration, uncontested family law and miscellaneous real estate matters.
Lynda Carleton – Law Clerk
Lynda has been a law clerk for 45 years, previously working in Toronto, Oshawa and for the past 27 years in Sundridge. Her main expertise is real estate. She was a Municipal Councilor and deputy Mayor for 22 years with the Township of Machar. Lynda has been married 43 years and has 4 children. She loves a good laugh and taking time with our clients.
Becki Carleton – Legal Assistant
Becki is a graduate of the Legal Assistant Program at Canadore College. She has been working for the firm for 16 years and is currently the assistant to Robert Niemi. Over the past 16 years she has become knowledgeable in various aspects of the law. She enjoys meeting and chatting with our clients and in her spare time takes care of her two young children and husband while also furthering her education. She recently completed Levels I and II of Conversational French at Canadore College.
Nancy Niemi – Law Clerk
Nancy is the newest member of the team and will be working in the new Huntsville office. She brings over 35 years of legal experience working for a lawyer in Mississauga. She looks forward to her creating a new life for her and her husband in the Huntsville area.
Barbara Belrose – Account & Office Manager
Barbara joined the practice under founder Doug Smith in 1986. She previously worked for CIBC and a law firm in North Bay and has a partially completed CGA Course from York University. She is a mother to 4 children, 9 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren and balances work responsibilities with downtime at home with her 2 dogs. As an avid gardener at home, she keeps the office gardens the talk of the town.
Kathy Cripps – Office Administrator
Kathy joined our office in September 2013 and is the first face you see when you enter the Sundridge office. She is responsible for day to day office administration and assists with legal matters. She was previously an administrator for Coldwell Banker in Sundridge for 24 years. She is a wife, mother of 2 children and has 1 grandchild. She loves to garden in her spare time.