|For immediate release||January 14, 2002|
Prince George lawyer elected 2002 Law Society of B.C. President
Richard Gibbs, Q.C. has been elected President of the Law Society of B.C. for 2002. A graduate of the University of B.C. law school, Mr. Gibbs began his legal career in 1975 in his hometown of Powell River where he articled for Rod Johnston of Johnston and Co. In 1977, he began practising in Prince George as a criminal defence counsel and he frequently appears as counsel for trials in Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Quesnel.
Elected a Bencher for Cariboo County in 1996, Mr. Gibbs has served the Law Society in many capacities, most recently as Chair of the Credentials Committee and Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee. Mr. Gibbs has also served the legal profession as President of the Prince George Bar Association, as a founding director of the Association of Legal Aid Lawyers and as the Northern Representative of the Lawyers' Assistance Program.
During his one-year term as President, Mr. Gibbs will focus on reviewing the Law Society's Bar Admission Program to ensure that newly qualified lawyers receive the best possible training and testing prior to certification.
Mr. Gibbs' agenda for 2002 also includes the Law Society's constitutional challenge of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) Act. "All lawyers support the government's initiatives to stop money laundering, but this law was enacted heedless of the constitutional rights of Canadians," Mr. Gibbs said. "Law Societies must be vigilant to ensure that the public always has access to lawyers who are independent of the government."
With more than 10,000 members, the Law Society of British Columbia is the governing body for the B.C. legal profession. Its chief executive officer is the Executive Director and its senior elected official is the President. The Benchers are members of the Board of Directors. The Law Society's principal responsibility is to uphold and protect the public interest in the administration of justice and to set standards for the education, professional responsibility and competence of practising lawyers in the province.
A photograph of Richard Gibbs, Q.C., is available in electronic format. Mr. Gibbs is available for interviews in both English and French. Please call the number below.
Law Society of B.C. media contact:
Brad Daisley, Public Affairs Manager
Office: 604-443-5724 or 1-800-903-5300 toll-free in B.C.