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A proposal was discussed at the second general meeting of the members of the Alberta Bar, which met with about 100 members in attendance in Edmonton, that the roll of barristers and solicitors be separated here as in England. In support of this motion C. L. McCaul, K.C., Edmonton, gave an able address, sketching the history of the British Bar. James Muir, K.C., president of the Law Society of Alberta, addressed the meeting, and an address of welcome was extended to the visiting members by J. C. F. Bown, K.C., of Edmonton. J. L. Fawcette, Macleod, was elected chairman, which C. F. Adams, Calgary, acted as secretary. The question of separating the solicitors and barristers on the roll aroused a good deal of interesting discussion. In favour of the motion Mr. McCaul urged the advantages to be derived from a division of labour, that the barristers were most apt to have the right judicial temperament, the prejudices of the client often affecting the solicitor, the greater influence with the Courts of barristers of long experience and recognized standing and also the tendency to specialization. He pointed out that under a division of the duties of barristers and solicitors, barristers were able to specialize in such subjects as company law, property, banking, constitutional law, private and international law. He also urged that great counsel were born and not made. Other speakers followed, both for and against. James Ross, an Irish solicitor, advised against the practice on the ground of the great increase it would entail in the cost of litigation. He also said that in Ireland the best legal business was controlled by about a dozen leading barristers, who would not undertake any case, no matter what the interests involved unless their special terms were agreed to. Further he contended that it would not be in the interests of the profession, because where it was a custom that counsel had to be engaged by the solicitor, the counsel very often did not give sufficient time to their cases in order to properly grasp them and as a consequence the clients and the solicitors who had the cases in hand suffered. On a vote being taken the motion to separate the two branches of the profession was lost by a large majority.
W. Beattie of the law firm of McKay, Adam, Beattie & Fear, has severed his connection with that firm to remove to Medicine Hat, Alta., where he will open an office for the practice of law.
Mr. Israel I. Rubinowitz has received the appointment of police magistrate for Richmond municipality of British Columbia, from the municipal council, filling the office rendered vacant by the resignation of Mr. P. S. Falkner. The salary of the new magistrate will be $100 a month during the summer and $75 monthly through the remainder of the year.
T. P. St. John, barrister, formerly a member of the firm of Lynd and St. John, has opened offices in the Willoughby building, where he will carry on his practice in future. Mr. St. John is well known in Saskatoon, having lived here for a number of years. He is well known in athletic as well as legal circles and was a strong asset to the Young Liberal football club. He also has no mean reputation as a hockey player.
News of the death of John Kerr, prominent barrister and chief of the St. John fire department, came as a great shock to his friends.
He was a son of the late David Shanks Kerr, who was a widely known barrister in that city. Chief Kerr had been in charge of the fire department for thirty-one years. He had handled all the fires in the latter day history of the city, including the Indiantown fire about fourteen years ago. He knew the fine points of the scheme of fire-fighting and trained his men accordingly.
Chief Kerr was born in St. John about 66 years ago. He was admitted as an attorney in 1869, and as a barrister in 1870, and by the time of his appointment as chief of the fire department in 1882 he had won an enviable reputation as a criminal lawyer. One of his most celebrated cases was the Theall murder trial, in which he defended the prisoner, carrying the case to the Supreme Court and succeeding in having the verdict reduced to one of manslaughter. Since his appointment as chief of the fire department his law practice was confined more to office work. Chief Kerr was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity and was also a member of the Loyal Orange Lodge.
Messrs. Russell, Russell & Hancock, of Vancouver, beg to announce that Mr. J. A. Russell has retired from the firm, and that they have taken into partnership, Mr. M. A. Macdonald, formerly of Cranbrook, B.C., Mr. J. McDonald Mowat, formerly of Kingston, Ont (a member of the Ontario Bar), and Mr. Wendell B. Farris, formerly of Nelson, B.C., who have been with the firm for the past year, and that they will continue their practice under the firm names of Russell, MacDonald & Hancox and Russell, Mowat, Hancox & Farris, at their present offices.
After practising for upwards of twenty-two years as a barrister in the city of Hull, Mr. G. C. Wright has decided, in view of his increasing business, to amalgamate with two well known Ottawa lawyers. From the first of May next Mr. Wright's office will be known by the name of Wright, Gamble and Smart. The two new members of the firm are well known in law circles in the Capital. Mr. Wm. Gamble, K.C., has been practising in Ottawa for a number of years, having offices at the Sparks Street Chambers, while Mr. R. S. Smart is a late partner in the firm of Fetherstonhaugh and Smart, patent attorneys.
J. E. Martin, K.C., was unanimously elected Batonnier of the Montreal Bar Association at the annual meeting. The name of Mr. Martin was proposed by A. W. Atwater, K.C., who was supposed to be a rival candidate. Gonzalve Desaulniers, K.C., was elected syndic and Aime Geoffrion, K.C., treasurer, both unanimously. Other appointments made were five members of the council and one secretary. The nominees for the council of the Bar were F. de S. Bastien, K.C., ; P. Beullac, K.C.; A. W. Atwater, K.C.; J. L. Perron, K.C.; G. W. Macdougall, K.C; N. K. Laflamme, K.C.; M. A. Phelan, C. de Mattigny, and J. O. Fournier. As there was one candidate too many, the ballot was cast. It was the same for the secretary. The nominees are L. Delage, T. Jette, P. Raymond and J. Delorimier. Scrutineers were appointed and the ballot closed. Previous to the election, Georges St. Pierre, the retiring secretary, read the report, which stated that 37 new lawyers were admitted to the Bar of Montreal during the year: 4 lawyers suspended for periods varying from one to five years; that the standing of the association was heightened by the attendance of His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught at the annual banquet, and that strong recommendations for a new Court House had been placed with the Provincial Government.
The list of attendance for 23 meetings shewed 23 visits for Mr. St. Pierre, the secretary, and 22 each for Mr. Archambault, and J. E. Martin, the retiring and new Batonniers respectively.
J. W. Neelands, barrister, of Winnipeg, has taken over the practice of G. A. Colquhoun, who is leaving to practise his profession in Regina. Mr. Neelands has been connected with two of the largest law firms of Winnipeg and has had a very wide experience, and should meet with success in his practice here.
Mr. Neelands is an Easterner, having received his education at Brampton High School and the University of Toronto. He came west in 1907, and commenced the study of law with the well known firm of Campbell, Pitblado Co., of Winnipeg, and was called to the bar in November, 1911. Since that time he has been connected with the law office of Wilton, McMurray, Delorme, Davidson & Wheeldon, one of the largest laws firms of Winnipeg.
Practice at the Bar has its exciting moments, as A. Cohen of Nicholson and Cohen, St. James street, can testify. Mr. Cohen is one of the younger members of the Bar, and has been practising only a few months. One of his first cases was the defence of two of the accused now awaiting trial on the charge of abduction made by Miss Schachter.
Now, Mr. Cohen is in receipt of an anonymous letter threatening that he will be shot if he continues with the case. The letter has been ingeniously put together by means of words cut out of a newspaper and pasted on a sheet of paper. It bore no handwriting whatever, and was enclosed in an envelope on which one of Mr. Cohen’s business cards had been pasted as an address.
The letter was posted in Montreal, and has been placed in the hands of a private detective agency for investigation.
A Robertson Smith, barrister, has taken as a partner G. R. Fleming, the late assistant city solicitor.
The new firm will practise under the firm name of Smith and Fleming, Saskatoon, and also at Wilkie. Mr. Smith will continue in charge of the Saskatoon office, and Mr. Fleming will manage the office at Wilkie, where he has already taken up his residence. Both members of the firm . qualified as solicitors in Scotland, Mr. Smith taking his law course at Glasgow University and Mr. Fleming at Edinburgh University.
The Board of University Governors of Saskatoon were the recipients at their quarterly meeting this morning of many gifts which will aid the city's young Varsity, but out of the number two are of such munificence that they are worth singling out for special mention.
Mr. Frederick Engen has endowed the University to the extent of $100,000 by the donation of $5,000 a year. Mr. Engen in his gift has specified that it shall be used for original research, and Principal Murray states that it will be used for the scientific side of political economy.
Another gift which is highly munificent is that of Mr. Allan Bowerman, who will establish a large bronze statue of the late Edward the Seventh in his role of Edward the Peacemaker.
The statue will be placed in a prominent position at the entrance to the University. Mr. Bowerman has been going over a number of plans submitted by leading American and European sculptors, and it is stated has arrived at a decision in the matter.
Principal Murray declined to state just how much the statue would cost, but rumor saith that it will be in the neighbourhood of $10,000, which will mean that Saskatoon will have one of the finest specimens of the sculptor's art in Western Canada.
While these bequests show the generosity of the citizens of Saskatoon, perhaps the most important item that was dealt with by the governors at their morning session was the question of the establishment of a law school in connection with the University of Saskatoon. This decision was arrived at after much discussion, and Principal Murray is authority for the statement that it is hoped to have this department organized and ready to start work by the fall of the year.