96 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 1 JANUARY 2019
in math and grade 13 in French. She finished the five-year Ontario high
school term (inclusive of Ontario grade 13 or OAC level for university) in
three years. Skipping grades was not an easy shortcut either, as she had to
self-study to learn the subjects in the grades skipped.
She started her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto at age
18 and took a bachelor’s degree in French language and literature. Her decision
to go into law was unusual in the Toronto Persian community. Her parents
were supportive of her choice but did not know why she made such an
unusual choice. She applied and was accepted to Windsor Law with a plan
to work towards a joint Canadian/American law degree.
Once in law school, her friends chose corporate law hoping to become
commercial lawyers. But Dela’s passion was criminal law. Early on she
knew she wanted a career where she could help people, fight for the underdog
and protect people’s rights.
She met her husband, Owen, at Windsor Law. Dela was organizing a food
drive and heard of another law student (Owen) who had gotten Loblaws to
agree to match each food item collected through the drive. On the day they
were supposed to meet for the first time to collect the food, Dela was in a
car accident and never made her meeting with Owen. However, fate intervened
and two weeks later they met at a birthday party for a mutual friend,
who had invited them in the hope that they would meet each other because
the friend felt the two would make a great couple!
After finishing law school Dela moved back to Toronto and articled at a
small boutique criminal law firm. Before her call to the Ontario bar she
worked at Pinkofsky Lockyer, a well-known criminal law firm in Toronto.
But realizing she needed more hands-on experience, she joined Legal Aid
Ontario, where she dealt with poverty law issues.
Affairs of the heart intervened and in 2001 Dela travelled across Canada
to marry Owen and settle in Vancouver. Following her call to the B.C. bar in
2002 she took up practice with Don Boyd, who remained her partner-in-law
until her appointment to the bench. Her practice soon turned into a mixed
criminal and family law practice. She loved the challenges of each area, but
when one area became either too overwhelming or monotonous, she would
change things up and switch to the other.
As years passed, she frequently attended the courts and developed a
busy, if not eclectic, practice. She dealt with a wide range of cases involving
divorce, custody and guardianship disputes; property division and support
matters; parents’ rights in child protection matters; and the prosecution of
drug and other federal offences. She appeared before every level of court in
the province and enjoyed success in her practice.