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The Advisory: Volume 8, Issue 1, January 2010


Click here to view the PDF version of The Advisory

Law Society of Alberta and CBA Alberta Honour
2009 Distinguished Service Award Recipients

The 2009 Distinguished Service Awards were bestowed on the following individuals at the 2009 Alberta Law Conference on January 30, 2009.


The recipients of the 2009 Distinguished Service awards and their presenters are, from left to right: Diane Young, Past President of the CBA - Alberta; John B. Ballem, QC, Distinguished Service in Legal Scholarship; Anne S. de Villars, QC, Distinguished Service to the Profession; J. Alan Bryan, QC, Distinguished Service to the Community; Doug H. McCallum, Distinguished Service in Pro Bono Legal Service; and Perry Mack, QC, Past President, Law Society of Alberta. The 2009 Distinguished Service Awards were presented at the 2009 Alberta Law Conference held January 30, 2009 in Edmonton.

John B. Ballem, QC, Distinguished Service in Legal Scholarship

There are few lawyers in Canada who understand the complexities of energy-related legal issues better than John Bishop Ballem. His work in this area spans more than 50 years and he is recognized as a world-class scholar for his extensive published works in the field. John Ballem’s books and legal papers are regularly used in prominent court cases and at universities across Canada, with some even being referred to as the “bible” of energy law.

Mr. Ballem earned his law degree (1949) from Dalhousie University and became a lecturer and assistant professor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law from 1950-52. Since then, he has worked for Imperial Oil Ltd., Westcoast Transmission, and Pacific Petroleum Ltd. before starting the law firm Lougheed, Ballem & McDill, which later merged with Gowling Laflleur Henderson LLP in 2001. He remains counsel with the firm.

Anne S. de Villars, QC, Distinguished Service to the Profession

Anne S . de Villars has become a pioneering force in the world of trust law and administrative law in Alberta since she was called to the Bar of Alberta in 1979 after completing her law degrees from the University of Southampton, England and the University of Alberta by 1978. It is her unwavering efforts in the evolution of the legal system and community that has won praise in her career, including the Abe W. Miller Prize in Criminal Law and the Carswell Company Book Prize, among other accolades.

She serves not only as a mediator, independent arbitrator and lawyer specializing in trust and administrative law with her firm de Villars Jones (Edmonton), but also has a long history of serving professional legal organizations that have resulted in moulding new changes in areas such as labour law and estate law. She was been appointed chair of a Board of Enquiry for the Human Rights Commission, chaired a panel hearing disputes under the Fair Trading Act and is a cofounder and president of the newly established Collaborative Estate and Trust Lawyers mediation body dealing with collaborative law.

J. Alan Bryan, QC, Distinguished Service to the Community

Throughout J . Alan Bryan’s distinguished legal career, the mark he’s left both professionally and personally on communities in Edmonton and Alberta is far-reaching. Born in Edmonton in 1936, he received his law degree from the University of Alberta in 1959 and has practiced mainly in areas of municipal law, land development and utility rate regulations representing land developers and municipalities.

J. Alan Bryan’s diverse achievements and impact on the community go far beyond his professional accomplishments. His involvement in various community organizations, not-for-profit groups and university foundations has been extensive. He has served on almost 20 different church boards, government and economic advisory committees, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Minerva Foundation, Edmonton Art Gallery and many charitable foundations. He is currently a member of the board and past chairman of the Mental Health Foundation (Capital Region) and continues to make an impressive contribution to the community.

Douglas H. McCallum, Distinguished Service in Pro Bono Legal Service

What began as a career in litigation after earning his law degree from the University of Alberta in 1977 stretched into a diverse career of more than 30 years with an emphasis on insurance defence work and marked by a dedication to pro bono legal service. Mr. McCallum is a founding board member and is currently on the board of directors of Pro Bono Law Alberta. He was involved with the Pro Bono Stakeholder Working Group that led to its creation in 2007.

Since 2005, Mr. McCallum has been a founding board member and current chair of Lethbridge Legal Guidance and has served as president of the Lethbridge Bar Association. He has also played various roles with the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society, Defence Research Institute, Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association and is a member of the Canadian Bar Association.

He has practised law in Alberta and B.C. as a trial lawyer at all levels of court in Alberta, specializing in personal injury insurance defence and general civil litigation. Mr. McCallum has also worked extensively as a sessional lecturer at Lethbridge Community College, the Legal Education Society of Alberta, and worked with intensive trial and appellate advocacy groups. He has contributed many hours of pro bono legal service and helped to develop and support the organizations that rely on people like Douglas H. McCallum every day.

Award Ceremony To Shine a Light on Four Outstanding Lawyers

Please plan to attend the Distinguished Service Awards Luncheon to honour four recipients of the 2010 awards.

Thank you to all who submitted nominations.

The 2010 Distinguished Service Awards luncheon will be held January 29, 2010 at the Alberta Law Conference in the Westin Hotel in Calgary, AB.

Luncheon tickets are available through the Canadian Bar Association - Alberta at: www.cba.org/alberta/main/home/.

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