892 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2018
After a few years of teaching elementary school Bob was ready for a new
challenge and a career change. He considered banking but soon found out
that was not his “cup of tea”. He was, however, intrigued by the prospect of
going to law school at UBC. Bob and Olga moved to Vancouver and while
Bob attended law school, Olga worked as a nurse at Vancouver General Hospital.
During the summer Bob drove a Greyhound bus the first year and
spent the next summer with the Vancouver City Police, where he undoubtedly
learned valuable lessons about both the police and the accused persons
they apprehended. His legal career was shared between the roles of prosecutor
and defence counsel.
I met Bob in the summer of 1985 when I moved from Cranbrook to Victoria.
I transferred to the Victoria Crown office but maintained a private
practice renting an office from Dwight Whitson, who had the federal prosecution
contract. Bob Jones had worked for a while as a federal prosecutor
for Dwight but earlier that year had left to form his own law firm with his
partner Fred Easton, practising criminal defence law.
Bob proved to be an excellent lawyer and was well respected by the bar
and bench alike. As the Administrative Crown Counsel at the time, it was
my duty to ensure that all courtrooms had prosecutors assigned to them,
and I often had to retain ad hoc counsel. Bob Jones soon became my “go-to
guy”. Prosecuting cases in the late ’80s and early ’90s was different. If a prosecutor
had an early day because of guilty pleas, no-shows or adjournments,
the trial scheduler would transfer another case or two to that prosecutor,
cases for which the prosecutor had no chance to prepare. That may work
well for judges because they are not supposed to be aware of the evidence
before it is called. But for prosecutors, not so much! Some counsel were not
able to deal with the unexpected. Bob Jones excelled at it. He never seemed
flustered. His good common sense and superb judgment always ensured
that justice was done, no matter the challenge. Bob managed to do so not
only because of his legal skill and personality, but also because he had the
trust of his colleagues at the bar and the respect of the court. He practised
law in the best traditions of the bar.
Fortunately, Bob was persuaded to join the Crown full time and we
became colleagues before I left the Crown office in 1999 to go to The Hague.
During the time we worked together we also became fast friends and
remained so until his untimely death. Bob became the Administrative
Crown Counsel for both the Provincial Court and the Supreme Court at various
times and also served as Deputy Regional Crown Counsel before his
retirement in 2009. He was a mentor to junior counsel and was particularly
adept at the difficult task of charge approval. It was not always easy to