432 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 3 MAY 2019
into sports. Jim replied, “Yes,” but Wilf had a particular point of view: sports
are fixed, don’t bet. For two years when Jim called in the bet I responded
with: “I got a long-distance call from Wilf from on high; he says the game
was fixed.” Jim roared with laughter and said, “I guess we have to investigate.”
At the end I said, “Hogan, if you don’t make it to the next Super Bowl,
you forfeit your bets.” He didn’t make it.
During the course of attempting to write this obituary I spoke with many
of Jim’s peers, all of whom emphasized how outstanding Jim was as counsel.
I include a few of their comments in an attempt to illustrate Jim’s character.
I met Jim Hogan in 1974. I was a Vietnam War draft dodger. I lived on an
island. I started teaching his partner, Billy Furman, how to play chess. They
asked me to come work for them. The Law Society was not quite as welcoming.
They called the RCMP in Parksville who told them that all those guys on
that island were fugitives from justice, cattle rustlers and pot growers. I of
course denied the allegations. Eventually I was allowed in. They called me
eccentric. It didn’t seem to stop Hogan and Company. We did some great work
together. I was his researcher and junior on many infamous trials. We did the
last capital murder case in Canada, I believe called Ellery Long. We came in
second. Wally Oppal prosecuted a lot of cases that Jim Hogan defended. We
argued R. v. Cohen, the first case to go to the British Columbia Court of
Appeal on s. 24(2) of the Charter.
Jim had tremendous instincts and was usually right. As a student, I was asked
to help him write a factum on an appeal from a murder conviction. A new trial
was ordered three months into my call. Jim directed me to take the trial on my
own. I complained I had never done a jury trial. Jim said, “It’s a piece of cake.”
I replied: “A piece of cake? He has already been convicted once!” Because of Jim’s
confidence in me I took the trial which resulted in an acquittal.
I met Jim on the “Toilet Bowl”, that aptly named, vicious ski hill at Whistler, in
the spring of 1970. His friend and super-skier Jack Cram had been teaching
Jim how to ski. Hogan had mastered pointing the skis straight downhill. I had
to assume that the lessons on when and how to turn would come later, as Jim
just took off, and instead of skiing around the moguls he just sheared the tops
off them. There was an athlete there. The Hogans and the Crams shared a ski
chalet at Whistler in those early years, the scene of many prayer meetings.
Jim had recently left the prosecutor’s office, where he was a favourite of the formidable
chief city prosecutor, Stewart McMorran. Jim shared a small office
with a fellow rascal, Bob Gardner. They were pranksters.