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VOL. 76 PART 4 JULY 2018
a single word. (For the uninitiated, counsel do not introduce themselves in
that court; rather, the court introduces counsel.) Moreover, he can take
pride in saying that he has never lost a case in the Supreme Court of
In November 1999 Mike decided it was time to establish his own firm. He
shared office space with Mike Klein until 2005 when he rejoined Harper
Grey as associate counsel. In 2010 he moved his practice to a criminal law
chambers shared by Brock Martland and Joe Saulnier and that is where he
was when, in the late spring of 2017, he received the phone call from the
Minister of Justice, 28 years after his call to the bar.
Mike’s accomplishments as an advocate have been significant, as have
his contributions to the legal profession. Beginning in 1992 and for many
years thereafter, he was co-sponsor of the Peter Burns Moot of the UBC Faculty
of Law. He served on the executive of the VBA between 1994 and 1996.
In the 1990s he was a member of the executive of the Vancouver criminal
justice section of the CBA, also serving as chair. From 1997 to 2004 he was
a supervisor with the UBC Criminal Clinic. Since 2002 he has been an
instructor in the McEachern Advanced Trial Advocacy Program. In 2009 he
was added to the special prosecutors list. Starting in 2010 he began acting as
commission counsel for the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.
In 2013 he was appointed Queen’s Counsel.
In all his endeavours, Mike has benefited from the great support of his
wife, Victoria Hanna. It is fair to say that absent her support he would not
be where he is today. Fittingly, Mike and Victoria met in July 1993 at the
Federation of Law Societies National Criminal Law Program in Montreal. At
that time, and continuing to the present, Victoria was a member of the
Crown counsel office. A year later, in the summer of 1994, they were married.
Together, they have three sons and one daughter. Sean, 22, will graduate
with a degree in engineering from the University of Alberta this year.
Likewise, Sam, 21, is about to graduate with a business degree from the Ivey
School of Business at Western University. Conor, 17, and Portia, 14, are both
in high school and have bright futures ahead of them. Clearly, Mike and
Victoria have much to be proud of.
Apart from family and the law, Mike is a dedicated jogger, voracious
reader (from Shakespeare to Elmore Leonard), avid jazz fan (Coltrane, Bird
and Miles) and devoted follower of the San Francisco 49ers and the New
Zealand All Blacks rugby team. He is possibly the only judge in the western
hemisphere who bears a tattoo of the All Blacks fern.
We are fortunate to have Mike Tammen as a justice of the Supreme Court.
He has a quick intellect coupled with a wealth of experience. Put simply, he