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Royal Roads professor named Queen's Counsel

December 22, 2011
Times Colonist

The most eagerly awaited list of the year for lawyers came out Thursday, with 28 lawyers from throughout the province named Queen's Counsel.

The QC designation is an honour given select lawyers to recognize exceptional merit and contribution to the legal profession.

The attorney general calls for applications in September. An advisory committee vets the submissions and decides who receives the honour. Generally, fewer than 30 QCs are given in a year. The advisory committee includes judges, the president of the B.C. Law Society and the deputy attorney general. The list of appointments usually comes out the week before Christmas.

Five Victoria lawyers were awarded QCs: Mary Mouat, Diane Turner, Diane Heather Raven, Craig Jones and Jack Woodward.

Mouat is a well-respected family law lawyer and mediator and has been a partner with the Quadra Legal Centre for more than 20 years. She was among the legal experts consulted for the province's recently enacted Family Law Act. Mouat has been involved in numerous volunteer groups and associations, including leading the B.C. Law Foundation in 2009-2010. Although economic times were tough, the foundation maintained stable funding for its grantees, who provide legal services for groups in need.

Turner started her career as a Crown prosecutor in Vancouver and Victoria before moving into private practice where she is active in the international criminal bar. Turner served on the B.C. Task Force on Family Violence Against Women in Relationships and on various committees of the B.C. Law Society. She is an associate faculty member at Royal Roads University and teaches at the Hague University in the Netherlands.

Raven is the University of Victoria's associate dean of law and a member of the Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation. When appointed associate dean in 2009, Raven was the first aboriginal person to become a senior administrator in a Canadian law faculty. Before teaching, Raven practised employment and labour law in Vancouver. She is active in the community, and has sat on the B.C. Police Commission, the B.C. Public Service Appeal Board, the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, and the Law Foundation of B.C.

Jones is a provincial government lawyer and is supervising council of the constitutional and administrative law group at the Ministry of the Attorney General. He was most recently counsel for the province in the polygamy reference case to determine whether Canada's polygamy law is valid. He taught at the University of B.C. and is the author of Theory of Class Actions, a leading Canadian text on the topic.

Woodward practises aboriginal law and has been an instructor and adjunct professor of aboriginal law at UVic for 16 years. He created the university's first credit course in this field. Woodward is the author of Native Law, a leading text on aboriginal law in Canada.

Nanaimo lawyer Stephen McPhee was also given a QC. McPhee, who practises family law, was recently president of the B.C. branch of the Canadian Bar Association.

Click here to see the full list