THE ADVOCATE 101
VOL. 77 PART 1 JANUARY 2019
fession and finishing off medical school at UBC and Dirk following in his
parents’ legal profession and starting his second year of law school at UBC.
The members of Barbara’s former firm will always remember her as an
exceptional lawyer, a highly valued partner and a wonderful friend who
made the journey of practising law much more fun than it would have been
without her. They note that her presence is missed every day; everyone
who knows Barbara will agree that the bench is strengthened immeasurably
by her appointment.
It is not only the lawyers at Harper Grey who share those sentiments; it is
all lawyers and parties in the legal system who have experienced her sense
of fairness and principled practice. Barbara always defended her client’s
interests without compromising her ethical principles and never resorting to
arguing technicalities or using hardball tactics. This extended beyond her
dealings with other lawyers and was exemplified in how she treated the selfrepresented
parties with whom she dealt. She recognized that these parties
lacked an intimate knowledge of the law and legal processes and that many
suffered from various types of barriers to accessing the justice system. She
was always fair and accommodating to them and made every effort to assist.
This approach was recognized in MacDonald v. Stevens, 2008 BCSC 1018,
where Madam Justice MacKenzie noted the “generous approach” that Barbara
had taken towards the self-represented plaintiff.
Her professional generosity is further evidenced through her volunteer
activities with the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association,
where Barbara produced exceptional contributions to federal government
consultations regarding “lawful access”, the powers of search and seizure
over electronic communications.
On how the public will benefit from her appointment, let me quote
Barbara’s words from her questionnaire submitted in support of her application
to become a judge:
They will see a working mother. They will see a person who has had
much of the same experiences they have had. I was neither rich nor poor,
but I was privileged and I understand the advantages I have had, and recognize
the challenges of those who are less fortunate. The public will see
a person who recognizes that not all our experiences are or will be the
same, and that therefore we will view issues through different lenses.
They will see someone who is patient and empathetic, and who will work
hard to make the right decision in a culturally respectful way, taking into
account all perspectives and backgrounds. Finally, they will see someone
who takes very seriously the heavy burden that is on a judge.
Barbara will be dearly missed by her firm, by the lawyers of the province
who had the privilege of working with her on files and by her clients, but the
citizens of British Columbia will benefit immensely by her appointment.