THE ADVOCATE 665
VOL. 76 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2018
Before Brian was diagnosed with cancer, he and Jim were having lunch
and talking about some emerging aches and pains and he uttered one of his
famous statements. This time it was: “You know how they say that the older
you get the better it gets?” Jim said, “Yeah?” Brian continued, “What a pile
of crap!” But Brian was joking because he was happy and life was very good.
In retirement, Brian and Jennifer, along with their canine companions,
Coach, Brillo and Bubba Looey, had many trips in their RV exploring his
beloved U.S. southwest. As he had as a young man, Brian loved the open
road and could drive for miles with his favourite music booming. Many
enjoyable winters were spent at the Two Springs RV Resort in Palm Springs
where the personable Brian made new friends, perfected his pickleball
skills and explored the ghost towns of the Southern California desert.
When Brian was in his final weeks of life, family and friends gathered to
say goodbye and he reflected on his life, his family and his career. In passing
away, he was mentoring his family and friends as he led the way into the
great unknown that awaits all of us. Brian faced his illness with clear thinking,
fortitude, humour and grace. There is no doubt he passed on his own
terms and was at peace. He lives on in the hearts of generations of former
football players who learned that football is more than a game but also a
metaphor for life. And for members of the legal profession, Brian left a deep
legacy of generations of lawyers who strive to improve the lives of those who
are marginalized and less fortunate. His life was a gift and a blessing to us all.
In Brian’s memory, a memorial scholarship fund has been established at
the Allard School of Law at UBC to support a worthy LSLAP student. Donations
can be made at <memorial.support.ubc.ca/brian-higgins>. Special
thanks to the Law Foundation of British Columbia for generously contributing
$15,000 towards the endowment.
1. Kelsen v Imperial Tobacco Co (of Great Britain and
Ireland Ltd), 1957 2 QB 334.
2. The Kelsen decision held that the intrusion of a sign
some four inches into the airspace of a neighbouring
occupier amounted to a trespass, not nuisance,
and an injunction was issued for its removal. There
are academics who agreed with Brian’s view of the
case. See e.g. Gerald Dworkin, “Trespass to Air
Space and Injunctions. A Pointless Remedy” (1970)
33:5 Mod L Rev 552.
3. Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston was a poker player
who won five times in World Series of Poker events,
was elected to at least four gambling halls of fame
and played poker with Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson
and Richard Nixon, drug lord Pablo Escobar
and magazine publisher Larry Flynt, who dropped
$1.7 million. See Douglas Martin, “Amarillo Slim,
Gambler with a Sly Wit, Dies at 83”, The New York
Times (30 April 2012), online: <www.nytimes.com/
4. See Peter A Allard School of Law History Project,
“Brian Higgins”, online: <historyproject.allard.ubc.
5. Frank Smith took the position at UBC in 1973 and
coached until 1994. During this period, he won five
conference titles and, in 1982 and 1986, won
Canadian Interuniversity championships. See
British Columbia Hall of Fame, “Bob Ackles Lifetime
Achievement Winners – 2008 Frank Smith”, online: