THE ADVOCATE 231
VOL. 78 PART 2 MARCH 2020
MASTER DOUG BAKER:
A RETIREMENT INTERVIEW
By Mr. Justice Murray Blok
Master Doug Baker is retiring after a 21-year career with the
Supreme Court. Master Baker is very well known to those
lawyers who do chambers work, but they may not know he
is a baseball-loving, book-reading, bee-keeping, kayakbuilding,
banjo-playing Renaissance man who lives in an environmentally
friendly house built in large measure from carefully repurposed materials.
He will credit much of the latter to his wife, Gail, but even she would say
Doug worked very well under her direction.
After practising in Burnaby for years, Doug accepted an appointment as
master in Prince George and was later transferred to Vancouver. In both
locations he brought his common sense and practical approach to the discharge
of his duties.
His extensive travels throughout British Columbia over his lengthy
career have given him a unique perspective on the provincial legal scene.
I had the privilege of interviewing my friend and colleague just prior to
his final sitting weeks in December. An edited form of that interview
appears below. But first, a brief biography.
Born and raised in east Vancouver, Doug Baker obtained a degree in
forestry and then worked for the B.C. Forest Service for about 18 months.
His undergraduate studies included a brief foray into animal husbandry,
which evokes inevitable comparisons to the management of a busy chambers
courtroom. He then turned to law and, degree in hand, articled and
then practised at McQuarrie Hunter for a few years before venturing into
partnership with other callow lawyers in their own law firm, Corrigan,
Bernardino, Dorman and Baker. Doug notes that this firm punched well
above its weight in that its alumni include two Provincial Court judges, a
mayor, a master, an executive director of the Law Foundation, a member of
the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal and a president of the Trial
Lawyers Association. In July 1998 he was appointed as master and posted
to Prince George. He remained there until 2007, when he was transferred
And now, the interview.