758 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2018
At Victory Square, Diane worked closely with Catherine Wedge, John
Rogers, Q.C., and other firm lawyers representing workers and their
unions. Although working full-time, Diane was also completing her Ph.D.
dissertation evenings and weekends. She successfully defended her dissertation,
becoming a very rare type of professional: a practising lawyer with
a Ph.D. in law.
Diane was dedicated and very thorough in preparing arguments for her
clients. One senior partner at Victory Square recalls Diane calling the office
after delivering her opening statement in her first hearing. She had been so
persuasive that the other side conceded the breach of the collective agreement.
However, Diane was not content with the other side conceding the
case. She had called to check if she was required to accept the concession
and resolve the case on that basis or if she could continue with her submissions.
Happily for opposing counsel, the partner advised her that she would
have to accept she had won.
While in private practice, Diane advocated for the importance of a
diverse array of client appreciation activities. Like many firms, the partners
took clients to hockey games. Diane recognized that some clients preferred
other activities and she convinced the firm to allow her to take them to
cooking lessons instead.
Diane eventually moved from Victory Square to the British Columbia
Teachers’ Federation (“BCTF”), where she was general counsel for many
years. Her work at the BCTF encompassed a wide variety of legal issues
ranging from advice on labour, human rights and constitutional issues to
advice on governance, human resources and pension issues. As her original
ambition was to teach, it was fitting that she worked with the BCTF.
Being general counsel to the BCTF was not for the faint of heart. Not only
was Diane counsel on complex litigation and advised on numerous legal
issues, but she was also required to give advice at governance body meetings.
This included the quarterly representative assemblies and the AGM, a
meeting attended by approximately 700 delegates, staff, members and
guests. At any point over the four-day meeting, Diane had to be prepared to
respond to diverse requests for legal advice on a wide variety of issues.
Diane faced this challenge with determined poise and eloquence. One colleague
has recounted that although the delegates did not always like the
advice, everyone appreciated her blunt and straightforward assessments.
This skill will serve her well on the bench.
During her time at the BCTF, Diane became a mother. Her daughter,
Megan, grew up attending BCTF events and sometimes drawing or reading
at the BCTF offices while Diane was preparing her next legal argument.