Law school and text books alone do not produce passionate and effective litigation lawyers. Mentorship by someone skilled and experienced in the profession is the key to learning and developing sharp and effective skills as a litigation lawyer. There is no other way.
I am always quick to acknowledge that I am not a legal scholar. However, perhaps due to the solid mentorship that I was privileged and blessed to have received from the handful of lawyers who saw it as their duty to assist me in acquiring my skills - I have felt as qualified as any other litigator to litigate anything from a summary conviction criminal trial to an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on a Charter of Rights and Freedom matter.
I feel a deep sense of obligation to acknowledge the lawyers who have helped me to develop my skills as a litigation lawyer over the years. It is now clear to me that without their mentoring and guidance I would not have come this far. In the next few posts, I will write about how each of the following lawyers have contributed to my development as a litigation lawyer - the late Charles Roach, the late Ian Scott, Q.C., former Attorney General of Ontario, the late Austin Cooper, Q.C., Mr. Robert S. Hart, Q.C., Mr. Crawford McIntyre, Q.C. and Mr. David Harris. Each of these lawyers went beyond the call of duty and have brought me to where I am today - able to handle criminal, civil, administrative law matters - trial and appeal with efficiency, passion and an unwavering respect for the Rule of Law. The profession is in need of more like them for sure.