Focus On

The Advocates’ Society names 2020-2021 executive at virtual meeting

Monday, June 15, 2020 @ 1:08 PM | By John Chunn


The Advocates’ Society announced that it had nearly 1,000 registrants for the first virtual version of its annual End of Term celebration on June 11. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures the event was held virtually via webcast, followed by collegial networking on Zoom.

Joining president Guy J. Pratte on the society’s 2020-2021 executive committee are Deborah E. Palter, Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP (vice-president), Peter W. Kryworuk, Lerners LLP (treasurer) and Dominique T. Hussey, Bennett Jones LLP (secretary).

The virtual event was hosted by Pratte and Palter, and featured a fireside chat with Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada, greetings from Chief Justice Richard Wagner and David Lametti, minister of justice and attorney general of Canada, a tribute to outgoing president Scott Maidment, McMillan LLP, and music from the NAC Orchestra and its member band, The Force Majeures.

Six award recipients were acknowledged during the program:
  • Richard Dearden, Gowling (WLG) Canada LLP, recipient of the John P. Nelligan Award for Excellence in Advocacy in Ottawa. Dearden has played a key role in the advancement of the law and has dedicated his career to excellence in advocacy.
  • Sarit Batner, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, winner of the Douglas K. Laidlaw Medal for Excellence in Advocacy, the society’s highest honour for mid-career advocates in recognition of Batner’s oral advocacy skills across diverse practice areas, and her long-standing leadership in the profession.
  • Brian Grant, Brian Grant Mediation, recognized with The Advocates’ Society’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for being highly valued as a teacher of advocacy skills and for devoting so much time and expertise to the society’s education programs.
  • Ranjan Agarwal, Bennett Jones, the first recipient of the Eric Hoaken Award for Excellence in Mentoring recognized for his generosity of time and expertise in mentoring other advocates.
  • Oliver Ho, JSS Barristers, recipient of the first Alberta Excellence in Mentoring Award for his commitment to mentoring young advocates in Alberta. 
  • Gina Addario-Berry, Eyford Partners, winner of the David Stockwood Memorial Prize for excellence in legal writing. Her article “Emotion and Advocacy: Optimizing Outcomes for Conflict Resolution” will appear in the Fall 2020 Advocates’ Journal.

“Our mission has never been more important or relevant, including our goal of promoting meaningful equal access to justice for all,” said Pratte, a partner with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, after the event. “We are committed to modernizing the justice system, without sacrificing that goal.”