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178 V O L . 7 5 P A R T 2 M A R C H 2 0 1 7 THE ADVOCATE Enter Jane, in 1981, bravely serving as chair of the joint British Columbia Real Estate Association–CBA committee to standardize provincial real estate agreements. The committee’s efforts resulted in the first standard contract of purchase and sale for use in residential real estate transactions throughout the province, replacing approximately 23 forms previously in use. Her CBA work continued with Jane’s membership on Provincial Council between 1982 and 1985 and then as chair of the three-member Notaries Committee in the late 1980s. Her involvement in bar activities continued into the 1990s as president of the Fraser Valley Bar Association, as a member of the board of the Continuing Legal Education Society and as a member of the eight-member National General Practice Conference of the CBA. All of this points to an aspect of Jane’s practice that, for some, is frightening. General practice? What is that? Jane is the resource person for both new and experienced practitioners on just about everything that does not involve trial litigation. As she warns those lawyers who query, her legal knowledge is “a mile wide and a foot deep”. From a younger practitioner’s perspective, Jane’s generosity with her time is reflected in the following account given by Sara Forte, called in 2004, in which Sara recalls being advised by Vanessa Van Sickle, called in 1988, to talk to Jane about moving to White Rock to open up her own practice: Once I had made the decision to open my solo practice, I followed Vanessa’s direction and reached out to Jane. Jane quickly agreed to a lunch date in a brief introductory call, and even before our lunch had referred a client to me. As a diligent young lawyer, when Jane and I sat down at lunch, I got out my pad of paper and pen. Jane scoffed at this— what could she possibly have to say that I would want to make notes about? Not wanting to offend, I put away my pad and we proceeded to get to know one another. It was immediately apparent that Jane is a force. She is bright and full of energy, with an impressive wit. She has an unusual combination of confidence and self-deprecating humour, which makes her inspiring but also approachable to someone like me. In our discussion about her legal education, it came up that she graduated in 1976, the same year I was born. Jane regaled me with stories of what it was like to be a law student in the early days of the building wave of women in law school. I attended law school from 2000–03, when female law students composed fifty per cent or more of the student population. Jane described how she was able to get an extra cubicle for the women’s washroom (no, her name was not on the door), and told me a great story about the female students sending back their diplomas to have the “he” whited out. Partway through our lunch, Jane said, “Get out that pad of paper.” She proceeded to give me a list of local lawyers and accountants with whom I should connect. Duty to community is a concept nurtured in Jane’s birthplace of Brandon, Manitoba, where she experienced a notably happy childhood in a rel-


March Pages 2017
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