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288 V O L . 7 5 P A R T 2 M A R C H 2 0 1 7 THE ADVOCATE Within three years, she will be the administrative Crown counsel for the Vernon office and will be increasingly recognized and relied upon as a writer and speaker for Crown counsel training sessions around the province. As a junior prosecutor in Vernon, Joyce’s advocacy skills are forged in the crucible of Judge Klinger’s courtroom. In a notable early trial, she puts a 13- year-old witness on the stand, the oath is administered and examination-inchief begins. The first question posed to the witness is this: “How old are you?” “Just a minute,” the judge breaks in, “Don’t we need a section 16 inquiry here, first?” “Well … perhaps,” replies the slightly confused rookie prosecutor. Judge Klinger can read the look on her face and has a compassionate side, so he calls the morning adjournment. Joyce skims frantically through various possible statutes looking for the right section 16. Fifteen minutes later, with the utmost composure and poise, she reappears before His Honour and conducts a complete and effective inquiry into the young witness’s competence to testify, pursuant to section 16 (as it then was) of the Canada Evidence Act. Flash Forward: 1995/1996. Joyce is junior counsel on a murder case. She has inherited an indomitable work ethic from her Dutch immigrant parents, so she works late in the office every night, even though she is eight months pregnant with her daughter, Emily. One night, after she has finally left, senior counsel calls her at home. It is 11:00 p.m. Joyce’s husband, Gerry, answers the phone. “Just a minute,” he sighs, “She’s doing charge approvals.” When Joyce gets on the line, senior counsel can hear the sound of water sloshing in a bathtub. Joyce is multi-tasking: getting through her charge approvals, answering the questions of senior counsel and calming her “inner child” with a relaxing bath. The next day, one of the towering stacks of newly approved files she delivers to her bewildered support staff is sopping wet! Flash Forward: 2001. Joyce leaves the Vernon Crown counsel office for the Crown Criminal Appeals and Special Prosecutions (“CASP”) office, where she comes under the tutelage of Greg Fitch, Q.C. (now Fitch J.A., who will very soon have new opportunities to oversee, comment upon and maybe even overturn her work product). Others in the Criminal Justice Branch start to notice, look upon with awe and even slightly fear Joyce’s incomparable and unremitting work ethic. Up by 3:30 a.m., she starts sending out emails on her BlackBerry by 4:00 a.m.—not occasionally, but regularly. Not only check-ins or quick responses, but also fully reasoned legal


March Pages 2017
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