Outstanding legal professionals honoured at annual awards
Toronto, ON —
Members of Ontario's legal professions were recognized for their exceptional
career achievements and contributions to their communities at the annual Law
Society Awards ceremony held on May 24, 2017, at Osgoode Hall in Toronto.
“Tonight's awards are among the highest professional honours granted by the
Law Society of Upper Canada,” Treasurer Paul Schabas told those attending the
“It is important that we publicly recognize those who bring
distinction and honour to our professions. In doing so, we are not only
recognizing the contributions they have made, but we are also identifying them
as role models to other members and reaffirming the public’s confidence and
trust in our professions.”
The following brief biographies highlight the
achievements of the 11 medal and award recipients.
Patrick Case, Guelph: Called to the Bar in 1988,
Patrick Case has shown extraordinary leadership advocating for social justice in
the area of equity and racism and has led the way in establishing policies and
practices on how to address racism.
Larry Chartrand, Ottawa:
Called to the Bar in 1991, Larry Chartrand is widely recognized for his work
advancing Aboriginal and Métis rights. He is a leader and an innovator in the
study of Aboriginal Law and is one of the country’s top scholars on Métis
Sarah E. Colquhoun, Thunder
Bay: Called to the Bar in 1984, Sarah Colquhoun is a recognized for
her leadership and advocacy, having devoted her career to increasing social
justice for low income people and First Nation communities in Ontario’s
Michael Eizenga, Toronto: Called to the Bar in 1991,
Michael Eizenga has established himself as an undisputed leader in the class
action Bar. He is also recognized for his outstanding commitment to public
service and volunteerism.
Marie Henein, Toronto: Called to
the Bar in 1992, Marie Henein is being recognized for her outstanding skills as
a criminal defence lawyer with a deep and abiding commitment to the
administration of justice and the rule of law.
Toronto: Called to the Bar in 1999, Joanna Radbord is being recognized for
her numerous contributions to LGBTQ rights, family law, constitutional and human
rights in the province of Ontario.
Gary Yee, Toronto: Called to
the Bar in 1985, Gary Yee is being recognized for his activism and advocacy for
Chinese and other racialized communities, including the redress campaign against
the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act, as well as for his leadership in
administrative justice and the tribunal sector.
Thora H. Espinet, Toronto: Called to the Bar in
1984, Thora Espinet is recognized as one of the first Black women lawyers in
Ontario. She has demonstrated a passion towards community service and leadership
in promoting social change as well as addressing issues of discrimination and
Laura Legge Award
Toronto: Called to the Bar in 2000, Breese Davies has demonstrated
extraordinary achievement and leadership throughout her career as a criminal
defence and constitutional lawyer. She has contributed greatly to the
advancement and retention of women criminal defence lawyers in Ontario.
William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award
D. Castro, Hamilton: Licensed in 2012, Dena Castro has demonstrated
extraordinary dedication and an exemplary work ethic as a licensed paralegal at
a criminal law firm in Hamilton. In addition, she played a critical role in
establishing the Drug Treatment Court Program for the Ontario Court of Justice
in Hamilton and volunteers at numerous community and charitable
J. Shirley Denison Award
Alcaide Janicas, Sault Ste. Marie: Called to the Bar in
1994, Grace Alcaide Janicas has worked in the community legal clinic
system in northern Ontario for more than 20 years. She has shown a deep
commitment to serving those most marginalized and disadvantaged in her work as a
lawyer and through volunteer activities.
More information about
the Law Society Medal and Awards is available online.
The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in
Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a mandate to protect the
public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of
law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and act in a
timely, open and efficient manner.
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