Page 131

May Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 3 M A Y 2 0 1 7 449 Appeal before her call to the bar in Alberta in 1988. She worked in private practice as a criminal defence lawyer until 1992, when she was called to the bar of British Columbia. She began working as Crown counsel in Victoria the same year. Her abilities were soon recognized by her appointment as Administrative Crown Counsel for the Victoria Youth Court. Patti met journalist Gordon Clark in 1993 and they married in 1994, with Patti transferring to the Vancouver Crown Counsel office. They made their home in Kitsilano. They soon had two sons, Hamish (born in 1995) and Isaac (born in 1997), who are now both attending UBC. In 1999 Patti took on the position in the Crown Counsel office at 222 Main Street in charge of prosecuting files involving mentally ill offenders. She left the Crown to join the defence bar in 2002 to advocate for mentally ill persons involved in both the criminal justice and mental health systems, work she continued to pursue up to her appointment as a Provincial Court judge in January 2017. When mental health and the criminal justice system collided, Patti was there to offer her skill and great expertise where they were needed most. She assisted those charged with minor offences and, once they were stabilized, would ease them out of the criminal justice system. For those charged with more serious crimes, Patti was their loyal advocate. Very few lawyers have the stamina to take on these difficult briefs. Patti never backed away. She was a relentless advocate for her clients and an important member of those legal teams counting on her expertise. She brought much to the table. Patti was also a great friend to those practising in the criminal bar. A colleague going through a difficult time could rely on her to assist with files if necessary, cover court appearances or just share her wicked sense of humour. She understood the challenges of being a criminal lawyer and recognized when someone around her was struggling. She remained a loyal friend whom you could count on to be in your corner—always. Patti was generous with her time. She often spoke at conferences about mental health law. For the past several years she presented at the Allan McEachern Advanced Trial Advocacy session on Provincial Court practice where she shared her wisdom with students. Her storytelling provided insight into the many obstacles she faced in her line of advocacy. For law students considering this work, Patti was an invaluable resource. In her work as a lawyer and her friendships with colleagues, Patti was consistent: work in criminal law, for people who needed help to be understood and tell their stories, was always her idea of fun. Even when it was difficult, or occasionally heartbreaking, Patti provided the humour and the strength to meet the test of a real advocate.


May Advocate 2017
To see the actual publication please follow the link above