Toronto, ON — Members of Ontario's
legal professions were recognized for their exceptional career achievements and
contributions to their communities at the annual Law Society Awards ceremony held
on May 23, 2018, at Osgoode Hall in Toronto.
“The Law Society is very proud and pleased to
celebrate the achievements of these 10 exceptional legal professionals,"
said Law Society Treasurer Paul Schabas. "Their commitment to serving
society and the legal professions is exemplary.”
awards included: The Law Society Medal, The Lincoln Alexander Award,
The Laura Legge Award, The William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal
Award and the The J. Shirley Denison Award.
The following brief biographies highlight the
achievements of the 2018 recipients.
Law Society Medal
Lenny Abramowicz: Called
to the Bar in 1987, Lenny Abramowicz has committed his career to the Ontario
community legal clinic system, starting with his articles in 1986 at the
Parkdale Legal Clinic, and most
recently as the Executive Director of the Association of Community Legal
Clinics of Ontario. For the past 30 years, Mr. Abramowicz has worked
tirelessly to promote access to justice and equality for low-income Ontarians.
Kathleen Lickers: Called to the Bar in 1995, Kathleen Lickers,
a Seneca from Six Nations of the Grand River, is widely recognized for her work
in Indigenous affairs. She is renowned for her expert counsel and as an
accomplished negotiator between Indigenous agencies, First Nation governments
and federal and provincial ministries.
Olthuis: Called to the
Ontario Bar in 1987, the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar in 2015 and the Alberta
Bar in 1965, John Olthuis has spent 40 years working with First Nations across
Canada from Labrador to the Northwest Territories for recognition and
implementation of their Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, including finding
innovative ways to secure cultural and habitat protection and economic benefits
from projects they consent to in their Traditional Territories.
Gilles LeVasseur: Called to the Bar in 1994, Gilles LeVasseur,
a proud Franco-Ontarian, has dedicated much of his career to working to
protect, promote and enhance the constitutional and language rights of
Ontario’s Francophone community, including human rights.
Professor Carissima Mathen:
Called to the Bar in 1994, Carissima Mathen has championed women’s equality,
respect for the rule of law and public legal education throughout her career.
From her work on ground-breaking sexual violence cases, to her constitutional
scholarship and informative public commentary, she has become one of Canada’s
leading legal voices.
Walter Martin Traub: Called to the Bar in 1973, Walter Traub is
highly regarded as one of Canada’s foremost experts and authorities in real
estate and mortgage law. He is the Editor in
Chief of the leading book on mortgage law in Canada, “Falconbridge on
Mortgages” published by Canada Law Book in 2003 and he has made a
remarkable contribution to the law and practice of real estate through his role
as a teacher, mentor, writer and leader in the real estate bar.
Jim Cimba: Called to the bar
in 1981, James Cimba is known to the Hamilton community for his generous and
selfless community involvement. His past and ongoing commitments encompass a
wide range of organizations and causes, including arts and culture, sports and
recreation, community building, relief of poverty, social and healthcare
agencies, charitable projects and professional associations.
Mary Lou Fassel: Called to the Bar
in 1983, Mary Lou Fassel has demonstrated extraordinary achievement and
leadership throughout her work at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic.
Over the past 30 years, she has dedicated herself to improving legal services to female
survivors of violence and to the reform of laws and legal system responses to
Shirley Denison Award
Antree C. Demakos: Called
to the Bar in 1992,Antree has devoted her entire career to demystifying
the law and helping millions of Canadians obtain better access to justice.
Antree founded, and continues to be the driving force behind Legal Line, a
federal non-profit organization. For 25 years, she has helped millions of
Canadians obtain free legal answers and professional referrals through her
pre-recorded, 24-hour information telephone line, live telephone support and
the website — Legalline.ca
William J. Simpson Distinguished
Harry D. Fine: Licensed in 2008, Mr. Fine served as an
adjudicator at the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal. At the end of his term, he
opened a private practice providing legal services as a paralegal. He has
taught a variety of paralegal courses at various community colleges and has
served as a director of both the Paralegal Society of Ontario and the Ontario
Paralegal Association. He has also volunteered as president of the Landlord’s
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