VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 26, 2012) - The Canadian Bar Association, British Columbia Branch (CBABC) honoured five outstanding lawyers who have contributed to their profession in three areas of service: Community Service, Equality and Diversity, and the President's Medal. The presentations were made this past weekend at the CBABC Provincial Council meeting by President Sharon Matthews who stated, "As a profession, and as members of the community, we each owe a debt of gratitude to the individual lawyers whose actions reflect not only the best qualities of their own character, but also the highest ideals of our profession." The five BC lawyers honoured are as follows:
CBABC Community Service Award
To recognize the valuable contributions of CBABC members serving the communities in our province, the CBABC sponsors Community Service Awards every other year. The awards honour CBABC members who have demonstrated outstanding dedication, service and commitment to the community.
James Sutherland (Vancouver)
James has been volunteering for Special Olympics BC for approximately eight years. As a parent of an individual with an intellectual disability, he has a valuable perspective and a strong voice. James has used both of these effectively for the betterment of Special Olympics BC, which has had a major impact on the lives of individuals with an intellectual disability. James' volunteerism does not begin and end with Special Olympics BC as he has been coaching with the North Vancouver Minor Hockey Association for five years as well.
Jeff Zilkowsky (Kelowna)
Jeff is committed to social justice, and he is extremely sensitive to the needs and experiences of minority groups. Jeff volunteers for the Salvation Army Pro Bono Clinic, Okanagan Advocacy Resource Centre Pro Bono Clinic, and the Restorative Justice Program. He also volunteers for Castanet News were he writes weekly columns regarding legal issues, with intentions to reduce misinformation about the law and justice system. Jeff has also volunteered for the Kelowna General Hospital, the RCMP, Kelowna drop-in centre, and many other community groups.
Georgialee Lang (Vancouver)
Georgialee has a passion for the law and for those who cannot access justice due to their personal financial circumstances. She has a heart for the "underdog" and has taken on pro bono clients with extremely challenging and complex cases. In 2005 Georgialee initiated a free legal clinic at CityReach Society, a non-profit entity that feeds, clothes, educates and does so much more for the poor and working poor of Vancouver's eastside. Georgialee holds her clinic once a month from 6pm to whenever the last client is done. Remarkably, the line-up for her clinic starts several hours before the clinic even opens. Georgialee is also the coordinator for the BC Court of Appeal Pro Bono Program, a role where she is expected to locate lawyers to provide oral or written opinions to clients who are bringing appeals and have no counsel.
CBABC Equality and Diversity Award
Each Year, the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association is proud to present the Equality and Diversity Award to celebrate the accomplishments of a lawyer who has succeeded in advancing equality within BC and more specifically, the legal profession. The award recognizes significant contributions to improving the status of women, people with disabilities, people of colour, aboriginal peoples, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or two spirited people, or people who are members of historically marginalized communities.
Jennifer Spencer (Vancouver)
In her professional life, Jennifer has an interest in social issues, including policing, mental health, and access to justice. She has appeared at all levels of courts in British Columbia, and before various federal and provincial tribunals, including the Coroner's Court. Jennifer has an extensive commitment to pro bono work, assisting both individual and not-for-profit litigants and acting as pro bono duty counsel in civil chambers. Jennifer speaks and publishes, on a variety of legal issues and her written work has been filed in the Supreme Court of Canada. She teaches legal research and writing to articled students and has coached UBC Faculty of Law moot team at the national Kawasklmhon Moot for five years.
CBABC President's Medal
Awarded personally by the CBABC president each year, this medal honours an outstanding lawyer who been recognized for one or more of the following: legal academic proficiency, works of legal scholarship, significant contribution to the profession, or noteworthy contribution to Canadian public life. This year, the CBABC President's Medal was awarded to David Dundee.
David Dundee (Kamloops)
Fearless advocate, committed volunteer, thoughtful and knowledgeable colleague are the words that describe this year's medal recipient, David Dundee. A member of the CBABC's Provincial Council since 2000, David has served as an elected member and Section chair, and currently serves as both. David is an instrumental leader among the National and BC Family Law Sections, chair of the Family Law Working Group and member of the Family Law Bench and Bar Committee. He is also a member of the CBABC Legal Aid Committee and has served on various other committees including Law Week, Membership and the Planning and Priorities Committee. David has dedicated countless hours to law reform in BC, and played a key role in the introduction of Best Practice Standards for Family Lawyers. He has been an exceptional volunteer on behalf of the profession and the public, and deserves accolades for his leadership on difficult issues.
The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization representing more than 38,000 lawyers, judges and law students in Canada, including 6,700 members in British Columbia.