912 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2019
Street to SE Marine Drive and then back again to meet a client with minutes
to spare. During his final years of practice he moved his office to North Vancouver
near Lonsdale Quay.
Fashioning his career earned Bruce his colleagues’ respect, his clients’
loyalty and the enmity of his adversaries. When out and about in the city,
either walking the street or sitting at a restaurant, he would frequently be
interrupted by clients who were eager to thank him for a job well done and
catch up with the latest gossip. Several became longtime friends well after
their files were closed. However, an example of the other side of the coin
occurred one evening when I sat next to a lady at the Playhouse Theatre.
While waiting for the curtain to rise, our conversation drifted to family
lawyers. I mentioned I wasn’t a family lawyer, but my good friend Bruce
Katz was. Was she looking to hire someone? Her face darkened and she
hissed, “How can you be friends with a man like that?” She was either unsatisfied
with the play or my presence because she did not return after intermission.
When I told Bruce of her, he was disappointed that I failed to get
her name. He wanted to tell his client.
Few people had the opportunity to know the Bruce that his family and
friends knew. Much of the world only saw the abrasive, combative exterior,
but he was a loving and kind soul with a generous heart. And such a softie.
Jane Grafton recalled this moment:
A wonderful moment of softness: I’ll never forget the day ... I was the
unofficial wedding day planner. When Susan stepped out of the elevator
in her wedding gown and Bruce saw her for the first time that day, he
burst into tears. I was tearful too.
Trying to reduce a person’s life to a thousand words or so is a somewhat
futile exercise. The end result fails to encompass the multifaceted complexities
of the departed. The many people whose lives were touched by Bruce
all hold individual little pieces of what he was and what he meant to them.
At Bruce’s celebration of life we collectively wove some of those pieces
together, bound together by the common thread of love and respect for our
dear friend who will be greatly missed.