1. Preamble
  2. Canadian Lawyers' - Hall of FAME
  3. Canadian Lawyers' - Hall of SHAME
  4. Canadian Judges' - Hall of FAME
  5. Canadian Judges' - Hall of SHAME
  6. Refererences & Citations


The Canadian Lawyer and Judge Hall of FameIt is evidently an unenviable if not impossible ... and admitdly subjective, task to purport to list the greatest (and worst) lawyers and judges of Canada, but with the proper amount of research it is here prsented. Judges and lawyers are human and do err. J Fudges especially benefit from a self--promoted aura of priesthood of tha law. Yet they bring their personalities, their impatience, their own lives into the Courtroom every day. In this, the lst humanizes judges by showing that though we have a system of vetting applicants for judgeship, some bad apples get through or some turn into tyrants once they put that gown on and enter the Courtroom, everyone obliged to rise and bow to one who wants others to call him or her "Lord".

With judges, the choices are often clear and based on their actions in Court; actions, they often remind us, speakinf louder than words. But with judges and even more so with lawyers, some seem to qualify for both the Hall of Fame and of Shame. The recently deceased Doug CChristieof Victoria being a good example, Doug was a fearless defender of the little guy and of those who would not otwise have a lawyer. As he lay dying in hospital, his last words to me were, "the Government, the Government ... always help the little guy." But Doug also has an eccentric side - always wearing a cowboy hat and publicly supporting what seemed crazy causes such as, on one occasion, a political party to secede BC from Canada. He also crossed the line during his defence of Nazis for which Canada was seeking to charge with war crimes or  extradite to Europe to fce ar crime trials. He woul stand up on the steps in front of the Federal Court and berate the judge and the "Government" for his Nazi client al with his passion, few observors could tel which words were Doug's and which were his client's. In any event, airing a matter before the press while it is in the course of hearing is patently unfair to the other side, "government" though they may be, and unfair to the judge who Christie was not shy of calling out.

Beverley McLachlin is another example. She did (and still does as of 2014-09-04 ) to lead Canada's Supreme Court but her recent crossing of the line in recently contacting the executive branch of Government and then promptly declining to take responsibility for her transgressions, and the political if not outright defiant, and at the least assertive path she seems to be leading the Supreme Court of Canada in regards to decisions of Canada's Parliament, could well create a constitutional crisis if it persists. She does not see the wisdom and  opportunity to retire now. Private chauffeur, private chef, and over $200K a year in salary alone will do that to you. Add in the inevitable and ever growing  dotage of being, now, 70 years of age, that sets up the prima donna syndrome, a begetter of the Law's Hall of Shame if ever there was one. Worse, it will serve as a model to other judges' in their conduct.

This list not only includes the more obvious choices such as Sir the first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald but also other, lesser known greats of Canadian legal history, certainly a list can be generated and that is what we have done here. Others may disagree with the nominations, but most will agree that once they peruse the list, most of whatever might be undermined ought to be included and is in fact included in this list. We're also trying to not build up too much of a old boys club list where the individual we are celebrating is the most financial or politically successful lawyers as opposed to those lawyers who actually made a difference. every single court in Canada would like to think that the very first judges on their court, as every single large law firm in Canada would like to think that their founding lawyer deserves to be on this list. We get that but this is the wrong place for that. Here, we want select appointments that can withstand scrutiny and who earned their place, nor do we have any interest in,acting favorably to our peers to gain stasis or fancy that will eventually be used to our advantage.

To-date, the vast majority of Canadian prime ministers have been lawyers. In addition, most members of Parliament legislatures from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, also been lawyers. that being said, this this is not only representative of the best of the bench and of the bar in Canada but also a veritable Who's Who of Canadian history.

The appointees to the all Canadian lawyer and judge Hall of Fame are listed in alphabetical order. Where a biographical article exists for these individuals preferably on this website and if not, it elsewhere, the name of the individual will be hyperlinked. In typical duhaime.org fashion, we are not inclined to provide cleansed information but rather the true facts as they were without embellishment or concealment.

appointed may occasionally be removed for example in the event of serious misconduct or the revelation of some fact about them not previously known.

the editors have consulted quite widely on this list and the name of those contributors may or may not be listed within these pages at the option of the contributor. Still, we are not adverse and in fact encourage nominations and for that purpose, please follow the contact link at the bottom of this page. nominations need not be limited to persons deceased or even of long-past history. in new technologies, in their courage in recent judgments, sitting judges and practicing lawyers in exceptional circumstances, would be considered for the Canada - Lawyer and Judge, All-Time Hall of Fame. [Lloyd Duhaime, September 2014]

All-Time, Canadian Lawyers •HALL OF FAME

  • Cartier, Georges Etienne (1814-1873, Quebec)
  • Casgrain, Threse (1896-1981, Québec)
  • Macdonald, John A., The Right Honourable (1815-1891, Ontario)
  • MacIsaac, Ron F. T. ()
  • Mulroney, Brian, The Right Honourable (born 1939, Quebec). Law school: Université Laval, Quebec City. Called to the Québec law society (Barreau du Quebec) in 1965
  • Scott, F. R. Scott
  • Trudeau, Pierre, The Right Honorable (1919-2000, Quebec). Law school: Université de Montréal, graduated in 1943.
  • Scott, FRank ("Grank" SCOTT (Quebec).

Canadian Lawyers • Hall of Shame


Canadian Judges • Hall of Shame

References & Citations