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The Advisory: Volume 8, Issue 1, January 2010


Click here to view the PDF version of The Advisory

Long Service Awards Honour Eight Alberta Lawyers

An excerpt of a speech made by Peter Michalyshyn, QC, President of the Law Society of Alberta

On behalf of the Law Society of Alberta, I am honoured to welcome you to the 2009 Long Service Awards to commemorate those members who have provided 50 and 60 years of service in the legal profession. This year, we are honoured to have five individuals who will be presented with 50-year long service certificates and three individuals who will be presented with 60-year long service awards.


On December 3, 2009 in Edmonton, Law Society of Alberta President Peter Michalyshyn, QC (far left) presented long service awards to the following recipients (from left to right): Roy A. Philion, 50 years of service; James D. Ross, 50 years of service; William G. Chipman, QC, 60 years of service; The Honourable Mr. Justice A.H. Wachowich, 50 years of service; and The Honourable Mr. Justice P.S. Chrumka, 50 years of service. (Missing are: Kenneth R. Biddell, QC, 50 years of service; Roderick A. McLennan, QC, 50 years of service; the Honourable Samuel S. Lieberman, QC, 60 years of service; and the Honourable Joseph J. Stratton, QC, 60 years of service.).

60-Year-Long Service Recipients

The year 1949 was notable for the following major international, national and provincial events: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization treaty signed and ratified, Louis Stephen St. Laurent was the Prime Minister of Canada, Ernest Manning was the premier of Alberta, and the John Howard Society of Alberta was formed.

At the Law Society of Alberta, Henry Stuart Patterson, KC was the president and the significant event of the year was transfer by the Law Society of the complete administrative and financial control of the law libraries to the Department of the Attorney General.

In the year 1949 the following were called to the Alberta Bar:

 William G. Chipman, QC, born in Bridgetown, N.S., received his arts degree from Acadia University (1943). After serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force, he earned his law degree from Dalhousie University (1948), and was admitted to the Nova Scotia bar the same year. He was called to the Alberta bar on August 9, 1949 and was duly sworn in by the Honourable Mr. Justice S .J. Shepherd.

The law firms that he worked for in his 60-year law career were varied and included his own practice, McLaws & Company, Parlee McLaws LLP, Chipman, Koch & Company. He currently works with Gunn Prithipaul & Hatch. Mr. Chipman was appointed QC in 1962.

The Honourable Samuel S. Lieberman, QC, born in Edmonton, earned his arts degree (1947) and law degree (1947) from the University of Alberta. He was called to the bar on August 10, 1949 before the Honourable Mr. Justice H.H. Parlee.

In his extensive career, the Honourable Mr. Lieberman served as Judge of the District Court of Northern Alberta, Justice of the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Alberta, Justice in the Court of Appeal of Alberta and the NWT and Deputy Judge of the Supreme Court of the NWT. He retired from the Bench in 1997 and practises law with the firm Miller Thompson LLP. He was appointed QC in 1962.

The Honourable Joseph John Walter Stratton, QC, born in Calgary, joined the Royal Canadian Navy and served on convoy escort duty during WWII . He earned his arts degree (1947) and law degree (1947) from the University of Alberta. Before the Honourable Mr. Hugh John Macdonald, he was admitted to the bar on June 1st, 1949.

The Honourable Mr. Stratton began his varied career in law with Nolan Chamber and later formed his own firm of Stratton Lucas. He was appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench in 1980 and to the Court of Appeal of Alberta in 1987. He returned in 1995 to private practice with Davis LLP. He was appointed QC in 1968.

50-Year-Long Service Recipients

The year 1959 was notable for the following major international, national and provincial events: Queen Elizabeth and US President Eisenhower opened the St. Lawrence Seaway, making it the largest inland waterway, the prime minister of Canada was John Diefenbaker, and Ernest Manning continued his reign as Alberta premier.

At the Law Society of Alberta in 1959, the significant event of the year was a decision made by the Benchers to engage a full-time secretary. The secretary of the Law Society had been parttime when Benchers decided to make the position full-time. Today that role is fulfilled by the Executive Director.

Also in 1959, the following were called to the Alberta bar:

Kenneth Roy Biddell, QC, born in Regina, Sask., earned his bachelor of education degree (1954) and law degree (1958) from the University of Saskatchewan. He was called to the bar June 10, 1959 before the Honourable Mr. Justice Cairns.

He began his 50-year law career with the firm Biddell, Risher & Link. I n 1990, the firm name changed to Biddell & Link. He began a solo law practice in 1995 in the Biddell Law Office in Medicine Hat. He was appointed QC in 1985.

The Honourable Mr. Justice Paul S. Chrumka, born in Tilley, AB, received his arts degree (1955) and his law degree (1958) from the University of Alberta. He was called to the bar June 5, 1959 before the Honourable Mr. Justice J .W. Riley.

Mr. Justice Chrumka practised law with Edward J . McCormick QC and, in 1961, joined the Calgary Crown Prosecutors Office. I n 1975, he became Chief Crown Prosecutor for Calgary and the Judicial District of Calgary. He was appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (1982), Deputy Judge of the Supreme Court of Yukon (1991), Deputy Judge of the Supreme Court of NWT (1991), and Deputy Judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice (2002). After a quarter of a century on the bench, he stepped down from the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta (2007). He was appointed QC in 1976.

Roderick A. McLennan, QC, born in Bracken, Sask., completed his arts degree (1957) and law degree (1958) at the University of Alberta, and was admitted to the bar on May 29, 1959 before the Honourable Mr. Justice Neil Primrose.

He began practising law at McLennan Ross LLP, and for 50 years remained a one-firm lawyer. Mr. McLennan is now senior partner and one of Alberta’s most experienced counsel. He has practiced in the areas of commercial litigation, construction law, professional liability and media. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1974.

Roy Albert Philion, born in Edmonton, earned his arts degree (1954) from the University of Alberta and his law degree (1958) from the University of Saskatchewan. He was sworn into the bar on June 30, 1959 before the Honourable Hugh John Macdonald.

Mr. Philion immediately hung out his shingle in Edmonton, thus embarking on a 50-year career as a sole practitioner.

James D. Ross, born at Elk Point, Alberta, earned his arts degree (1955) and his law degree (1958) from the University of British Columbia. He was called to the bar and sworn in by the Honourable Mr. Justice Peter Greschuk on July 15, 1959.

The 50-year law practice of Mr. Ross began with the firm of Peterson Ross on the same day he was called to the bar. This association lasted until April 1991, until he formed James D. Ross Professional Corporation where he continues to practise today.

The Honourable Justice A.H.J. Wachowich, born in Edmonton, received his law degree from the University of Alberta (1958) and was called to the bar on May 29, 1959 before the Honourable Mr. Justice Peter Greschuk.

He began his distinguished law career in private practice focused on insurance law before being appointed to the District Court of Northern Alberta in 1975. Three years later, he was appointed to the Court of Queen’s Court Bench. Mr. Justice Wachowich was appointed in 1993 Associate Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench. I n 2000, he was named Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench. Mr. Justice Wachowich has also served as a Deputy Judge of the Yukon, the NWT and Nunavut.

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