A,B,…QC…Congratulations Greg DelBigio, Joe Fiorante, and Stephen McPhee

Marni MacLeod

We are delighted to extend our congratulations to three legal professionals (who happen to be Skunkworks clients) on being honoured with a QC designation. Each of these lawyers has exhibited professional integrity, exceptional skill and creativity in their chosen fields of practice and have made ongoing selfless contributions to the legal profession and the broader community both in BC and internationally.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting Greg, Stephen and Joe a little background is in order on this auspicious occasion.

We first met Vancouver criminal lawyer Greg  DelBigio in 2006 when we worked with him to establish his online presence (www.gregdelbigio.com). Since then we have followed his continued accomplishments and pestered him (regularly) to put them on his website – he is extremely modest. Greg is widely known and well respected as a leading criminal lawyer whose career includes, intervening in a variety of significant cases before the Supreme Court of Canada for the Canadian Bar and the BC Civil Liberties associations and acting as pro bono counsel for the Canadian Bar Association on the Air India Inquiry. His cases as intervenor counsel have ranged from issues concerning when a court may refuse to allow criminal defence counsel to get off the record for non-payment of fees (R. v. Cunningham), arguing for publicly funded counsel for people targeted under Canada’s anti-terror laws, and appearing for the BC Civil Liberties Association in the landmark security certificates case Charkaoui v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration). And there’s more. In addition to teaching and editing Canada Law Book’s Charter of Rights Newsletter for the past 11 years, Greg is also a past recipient of the CBA President’s Award for his many contributions to the legal profession. Greg is a delight to work with, a credit to the profession and a truly decent human being. N.B. Greg if you are reading this…Please remember to add your QC to your website.

Stephen McPhee is a partner with long time Skunkworks client Ramsay Lampman Rhodes of Nanaimo. Stephen practices in the areas of civil litigation, family law, personal injury, insurance law and commercial litigation. Stephen heads up the firm’s family law group and is a leader in the Nanaimo family law bar.  He has consistently included pro bono work in his contributions to the community and maintains a strong interest in alternate dispute resolution having been the chair of the CBA Nanaimo ADR subsection since 2004. Most recently, Stephen was president of the Canadian Bar Association, BC branch, and chaired the Steering Committee for the Public Commission on Legal Aid that was struck in an effort to give momentum to the recommendations articulated in the Public Commission on Legal Aid Final Report.  The ongoing efforts of this committee have resulted in the “We need legal aid campaign.” If you missed the message from current CBA, BC Branch President, Sharon Matthews, you need only visit the website to find a number of practical (and easy) ways that you can contribute to helping resolve the current legal aid crisis in BC. We encourage you to take a look and be a part of the solution.

Last, but certainly not least, we are pleased to congratulate a client new to Skunkworks – Joe Fiorante. Joe is a partner with Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman in Vancouver (new website to launch in 2012). With a talent for identifying and elucidating the perfect storm of variables that precede aviation disasters, Joe is respected both nationally and internationally for his skilled counsel in complex aviation cases.  He is also well known for his counsel work on the product liability side of the ledger. Both practice areas tend to involve cross-border issues and Joe is regularly sought after for his understanding of international law and procedure.  Joe is also a regular contributor to the SMU Air Law Symposium and the Pacific Northwest aviation law and insurance seminar. A humanitarian at heart, Joe volunteers for the Compassion Fruit Society and he is the current Board Chair of Project Somos Children’s Village, a project focused on building an ecologically and financially sustainable model village in Tecpan, Guatemala to house and nurture abandoned and orphaned children. The group is hoping to create a template that can be used to develop other sustainable villages throughout Guatemala. You need only visit the Somos website and check out those ear to ear grins to see the hope this project has inspired. At this time of year and given the state of the world we are creating for future generations…inspiration is what it’s all about.

Gentlemen, – Kudos. You are each individuals who are giving back in a way that is unique, valuable and … inspirational. We salute you. Thank you for all your hard work and enjoy your holidays.

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