Page 18

May Advocate 2017

336 V O L . 7 5 P A R T 3 M A Y 2 0 1 7 THE ADVOCATE In his first year of university, in 1969, Joe was in a car accident that left him a paraplegic. It changed the way he saw the world, since he suddenly became a member of a minority group. He learned about facing obstacles that are invisible to the majority, and he experienced discrimination and prejudice first hand for the first time. Joe’s passion for representing the interest of minority groups, and the great empathy he feels for his clients’ causes, are deeply grounded in his own experiences. He has enormous interest in and patience for listening to his clients’ stories, because he has learned that a different perspective can change so much about how the world is understood and experienced. But it must also be said that the one thing Joe cannot abide is being told that he cannot do something. His Uncle Aldo no doubt thought him stubborn, but now we call it determination, and in Joe, it is spiked with a very strong dose of courage. Joe has, steadfastly through his life, refused to accept limitations imposed upon his ambitions. Obstacles became challenges to meet. And so his disability did not interfere with him sailing solo to circumnavigate Vancouver Island or conquering Whistler as the first sitskier or travelling into the wilderness to find the best fishing. And when you have the fortitude to overcome barriers like that everyday, what’s to worry about overturning a court decision or making new law? Joe earned his first law degree at the University of Western Ontario. He was called to the Ontario bar in 1977. He pursued graduate studies at Harvard University where he earned his master of laws degree. He was in the same class as Peter Gall, Q.C., and Madam Justice Mary Newbury. We do not know what was in the water in Cambridge, Massachusetts that year but all three are famous for not only their intellects but also their appetites for hard work. After returning to Canada, Joe taught law at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law before he moved to British Columbia to work in the constitutional and administrative law division of the Ministry of the Attorney General. That was 1981, one year before the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into force. In 1987 Joe was named Queen's Counsel, one of the youngest in recent memory. In 1990 he entered private practice and cofounded the firm of Arvay Finlay with the late John Finlay, a celebrated litigation lawyer who hailed from McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto, and Murray Rankin. Joe is currently a partner at Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy in Vancouver. Joe has earned many awards including the Walter S. Tarnopolsky Human Rights Award, the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia Bar Award, the Robert S. Litvack Award for exceptional public interest


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