Richard R. Sugden, QC to receive 2004 Law Society Award

Richard R. Sugden, QC will receive the Law Society Award in 2004, in recognition by the Benchers of his exemplary service over his 30 years at the bar. The Law Society Award is given every two years to honour the lifetime contributions of the truly exceptional within the profession and the legal community, based on integrity, professional achievements, service and law reform.

The Award presentation will be made on November 17 in Vancouver at the Bench & Bar Dinner, an event co-sponsored by the Law Society and the BC Branch of the CBA. If you are interested in attending the Dinner, please mark your calendars now. Full details will be included in the next Law Society mailing.

Mr. Sugden was called to the bar in 1973. He practised law in Vancouver with Braidwood & Company until 1988, and with Sugden, McFee & Roos until his recent retirement.

In its recommendation to the Benchers, the Law Society Award Selection Committee noted that Mr. Sugden is universally regarded as pre-eminent counsel at all levels of court and as "a model of thoughtful integrity." The Committee remarked on Mr. Sugden's generosity as a volunteer, reflected in his service to the Lawyers' Assistance Program, the Inns of Court, the UBC Trial Advocacy program, the Judicial Appointments Committee, the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Trial Lawyers Association.

The Committee also noted Mr. Sugden's exceptional service as a advocate for other lawyers in personal crisis, consistently on a pro bono basis ? in particular his help to lawyers who have faced professional discipline arising in combination with marital breakdown, substance abuse and other emotional trauma.

Lawyers writing in support of Mr. Sugden's nomination consider him the "lawyer's lawyer" who has been widely regarded as the source for advice on all manner of professional and ethical issues. The esteem in which he is regarded was summed up by one lawyer this way:

His has been a career that any young lawyer would be wise to use as a model for what the profession expects of its top performers . Mr. Sugden has been an ornament to the profession.

The Award is a bronze statue of Sir Mattnew Baillie Begbie, cast by the late Pender Island sculptor Ralph Sketch.