2010 Distinguished Service Awards Presented By The Law Society of Alberta Canadian Bar Association - Alberta January 29, 2010 Westin Hotel Calgary, Alberta Noon - 1:30 PM Gerald Gall, OC Distinguished Service 2010 in Legal Scholarship Distinguished Service Awards Solomon J. Rolingher, QC Distinguished Service to the Community Virginia M. May, QC Distinguished Service to the Profession Late John A. Weir, QC Distinguished Service in Pro Bono Legal Service G erald G all , OC V irGinia M. M ay, QC SOlOMOn J. rOlinGher, QC L ate JOhn a. Weir, QC Service in Legal Scholarship Service to the Profession Service to the Community Service in Pro Bono Legal Service The commitment After three decades As an inspired For more than five made by Professor of trailblazing and community builder decades, the late John Gerald Gall, OC, career challenges, who is dedicated to Weir, QC, expressed to legal scholarship it’s not surprising improving cultural his commitment to and to human rights that Virginia May relations, Solomon J. pro bono service by organizations is is regarded by Rolingher’s service has taking on hundreds unsurpassed. Law many lawyers as an significantly made a of pro bono cases, students at the inspirational role model. difference in the quality virtually all of them University of Alberta of life in Edmonton. on a client-by- have been enriched by his world-class expertise Few individuals have overcome the obstacles client basis. His clients found him to be a through his roles as scholar, champion of that challenged Virginia May when she left His visionary work brought together kind advocate who had a genuine affinity for human rights, educator, author, mentor and a successful broadcasting career in England Edmonton’s Islamic, Jewish and Christian the underdog. John Weir’s decades of selfless advisor. to enter law school as a mature student. Her leaders to help diffuse growing tensions in the dedication to pro bono work ensured access to choice of law as the centerpiece of her life aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The justice for many Albertans who may otherwise Professior Gall has served, since 2001, as the reflects her passion to help those in need, founding of the Phoenix Multi-Faith Society not have received it. President and Chair of the John Humphrey to make the world a fairer place, to oppose for Harmony, unique in Canada, has become Centre for Peace and Human Rights, an oppression. a role model for other cities seeking to unite Born in Edmonton, Alberta, John Weir earned organization dedicated to advancing the culture disparate and conflicted communities. his arts degree (1956) and law degree (1956) of peace and human rights through education In 1980, she graduated with her law degree from the University of Alberta. He articled and community organizations. For 24 years, he from the University of Calgary, and articled He initiated and continues to chair his law firm, under Arnold Fraser Moir of Edmonton, was has played a prominent role with the Canadian Duncan & Craig’s, hugely successful Laurel admitted to the bar in May 1958, and began with Burnett, Duckworth and Palmer LLP. Human Rights Foundation. Awards lunch which recognizes the enormous In 1986, she became partner, one of the first practising with Newsom Brumlik. In 1990, he contributions made by volunteers in non- women to do so at a major law firm. In 1995, created the firm of Weir Bowen LLP, partnering His expertise with the Canadian Charter of profit organizations. His greatest project is the she founded May Jensen Shawa Solomon LLP with Maurice Bowen. In the late 1980s, he was River Valley Alliance, for which he has secured Rights and Freedoms is well known, and he is and is now senior partner. appointed by Canada’s Solicitor General to funding to create a metropolitan riverfront recognized as an expert on Constitutional Law. conduct the Gringras Inquiry. park in Edmonton. As a legal scholar, Professor Gall is co-editor of Her service to the profession began in the a newly published casebook on Constitutional 1990s with four consecutive elections to the John Weir was personally committed to Notwithstanding his inspired and varied Law, and is author of the treatise, The Canadian Benchers of the Law Society of Alberta. The ensuring that everyone had access to justice, contributions to the general community, he is Legal System, now in its 6th edition and pride she felt in her profession and the concern even if it required him to provide services recognized as an outstanding lawyer who works translated into many languages. she harboured for her community informed tirelessly and with passion for his clients, and without compensation. He provided these her work around the board table. As a Bencher, who has contributed towards mentoring and professional services without any expectation of Professor Gerald Gall received his Bachelor she chaired five major Law Society committees education within the legal profession and the personal recognition, and always exhibited the of Arts from Queen’s University at Kingston and served on more than a dozen others. general community. He serves the University highest levels of excellence and professionalism. in 1969, and his Bachelor of Laws from the of Alberta as a university governor, senate University of Windsor in 1972. Two years Virginia May is known as one of Alberta’s member and with four faculties. Maurice Bowen, John Weir’s friend and later, he was admitted to the Law Society of leading litigators, as a mentor and guide professional colleague, believes that the Upper Canada. Professor Gall’s longstanding for many junior lawyers, and is held in high Solomon Rolingher graduated as a petroleum hardships John faced early in life kindled and dedication to humanitarian causes was esteem as a role model and inspiration. engineer from the Colorado School of Mines in fueled his powerful sense of empathy and celebrated when he was appointed in 2001 as 1965, and then graduated as Juris Doctoris in compassion. Presented posthumously, the an Officer to the Order of Canada. 1968. He was called to the bar in 1969. 2010 Distinguished Service Award for Pro Bono Legal Service honours John A. Weir, QC, for his dedication to access to justice.
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