Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

March 28, 2006 13:14 ET

AG Wally Oppal, Lawyer Dugald Christie, Judge Jane Godfrey

A Pro Bono Champion and a Founder of Drug Treatment Court to be Recognized at Annual Event Honouring Excellence Among Lawyers and Judges... Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor VANCOUVER/BRITISH COLUMBIA/NEWS RELEASE --(CCNMatthews - March 28, 2006) - BC Attorney General Wally Oppal to Speak at Presentation Luncheon for Lawyer Dugald Christie and the Honourable Judge Jane Godfrey

Event: Bar Award Luncheon
Date: Friday, March 31
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: Westin Bayshore Resort & Marina
Address: 1601 Bayshore Drive (Salons E & F)

(Vancouver) - On March 31, the Trial Lawyers Association of BC (TLABC) will recognize the substantial efforts of two people whose work in the province continues to be exemplary.

* Vancouver-based lawyer Dugald Christie will be presented with the 2006 TLABC Bar Award.

* The Honourable Judge Jane Godfrey will receive special recognition as a member of the bench.

"Our nominations committee was very enthusiastic about this year's selections," said Carla Terzariol, TLABC's Executive Director and CEO. "Mr. Christie and Judge Godfrey are highly impressive. These law professionals stand as strong examples of how determined individuals can make positive and important contributions to the lives of BC citizens."

With respect to the Bar Award winner, TLABC President Gary Weatherill said: "In essence, Mr. Dugald Christie could very well have earned this award back in 1990, the year he founded the Western Canada Society to Access Justice. His long-term dedication to the cause of justice - particularly with regard to helping others access it - is a highly significant effort on behalf of citizens who would otherwise be without legal assistance."

"Mr. Christie's work is of fundamental importance," explained Mr. Weatherill. "This began with research efforts to further the cause of justice and has been followed by his ongoing work to establish pro bono clinics. Most recently, Mr. Christie has been the one leading the way in a legal battle to eliminate the PST on legal fees in BC."

As for this year's bench honouree, Mr. Weatherill said: "Our association is equally proud to recognize the Honourable Judge Jane Godfrey of the Provincial Court. Her efforts as a founder of Vancouver's Drug Treatment Court have been remarkable and her work as an advocate for alternatives to the criminalization of addiction is both unique and courageous."

TLABC was founded in 1980 by a small group of lawyers. Today, the association has the strength of nearly 1,000 members throughout British Columbia, in other parts of Canada and in the Unites States. Since 1982, TLABC has formally honoured members of the bar and bench through annual awards and recognition.


Mr. Dugald Christie has been selected as the recipient of TLABC's 2006 Bar Award. He is a Vancouver-based lawyer who earned his call to the bar in 1967. A barrister and solicitor, Mr. Christie is also the president of Western Canada Society to Access Justice, an organization he founded in 1990. At inception, the society's primary function was that of research, whereby senior litigation lawyers produced papers pertaining to court proceedings and legal access. For the past seven years, the society's key objective has been the development of pro bono clinics across Western Canada. To date, 61 clinics have been established between Campbell River and Winnipeg and more than 400 lawyers are aboard as volunteers. Mr. Christie's recent efforts include the lawsuit he launched, on behalf of BC citizens, to oppose the province's tax on legal services. It is a matter in which he and his counsel, Darrell W. Roberts QC, have been successful with in BC courts and one that is likely destined to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Judge Jane Godfrey will be given special recognition as a member of the bench. Judge Godfrey was appointed to British Columbia's Provincial Court in 1981 and elevated to County Court four years later. Attracted to the varied pace and populace of Provincial Court, Judge Godfrey returned there in 1990, shortly after the County Court and Supreme Court merged. Judge Godfrey has been a strong advocate of developing alternatives to the criminalization of addiction and a legal innovator in this regard. After extensive research, she developed a program specifically for Vancouver, where she served as an administrative judge for many years and became the founder of its Drug Treatment Court, a special entity within the legal system that emphasizes rehabilitative treatment for non-violent addicts rather than incarcerating them.

/For further information: IN: JUSTICE, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Bentley Doyle, Director of Communications, Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
    Primary Phone: 604-682-5343 ext. 302
    Toll-Free: 888-558-5222