THE ADVOCATE 593
VOL. 76 PART 4 JULY 2018
The Honourable Judge George Leven
One could almost hear the applause echo through
the legal community in northern B.C. on March 8,
2018 after the press release announced George
Leven’s appointment to the Provincial Court bench.
George is truly a legendary figure in the courts of the
north and the rule of law is in good hands with him.
George is highly regarded for his legal acumen and
established a reputation as one of the most effective criminal lawyers in the
north. He leaves big shoes to fill in the criminal defence bar. However, the
legend of George Leven comes as much, if not more, from the pursuit of his
life’s true passion: the outdoors. The stories of George’s exploits in the
wilderness regularly circulate in courthouses throughout the north. He is as
comfortable with a rifle on top of a mountain in the northern Rockies as he
is in a courtroom.
George’s parents immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1960 and took
up residence in southeast Kelowna. George’s first language is German. He
spoke little to no English when he entered school in Kelowna, but he proved
himself a quick study and soon settled in. George was lucky to grow up on
a small acreage with plenty of Crown land behind and soon discovered his
passion for the outdoors by exploring the hills around his family’s home.
Those hills are where George first developed the fearless independence and
love for the wilderness that define him to this day. Rumour has it that
George had to conquer his fears early because he was forced to escape two
small forest fires of his own creation before the age of seven.
George survived the forest fires and graduated from KLO Secondary in
1985. He then spent a year abroad in France, where he became fluent in
French. George graduated from Simon Fraser University in 1990 and from
law school at the University of Alberta in 1994. George moved to Prince
George in 1995 and articled at Hope Heinrich, where he became a partner
and worked until 2003.
George left Hope Heinrich to start his own practice focusing on criminal
defence work. He instantly developed a busy defence practice focused in
Prince George, but spanning many northern communities. He fearlessly
travelled through often challenging road conditions to provide legal services
in smaller communities, including Mackenzie, McBride, Quesnel and
Valemount. On one occasion, as he returned from court in McBride, his