"Guru of mediation" awarded honorary LLD at Toronto Call to Bar

TORONTO, Jan. 29, 2016 /CNW/ - The Law Society of Upper Canada presented a degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LLD), to The Honourable George W. Adams, QC, at its Call to the Bar ceremony this morning at Roy Thomson Hall.

Adams is considered a pioneer of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in Canada. The former law professor, award-winning author and former judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has acted as a mediator and facilitator in almost every type of conflict and conducted many public policy facilitations. (Full biography follows.)

Law Society Treasurer Janet E. Minor awarded the honorary LLD to Adams, who then delivered the keynote address to the soon-to-be lawyers, members of the audience and distinguished guests.

The Law Society awards honorary doctorates to distinguished people in recognition of outstanding achievements in the legal profession, the rule of law or the cause of justice.

In her message to the newly called lawyers, Treasurer Minor, noted, "Our democracy is founded on the Rule of Law maintained through an independent judiciary and an independent Bar. You are now a major actor in this enterprise. You have important obligations and responsibilities to your clients with a high standard of integrity, professionalism and competence, to further the administration of justice and access to justice. Addressing access to justice is one of the most important challenges we face."

There were 187 new lawyers called to the Ontario Bar at this morning's ceremony.

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Biography

The Honourable George W. Adams, QC

The Honourable George W. Adams, QC, is a professional mediator. Since establishing his alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practice in 1997, Adams has been called upon to mediate or facilitate a vast range of disputes and public policy issues affecting important and sensitive areas of Canadian life.

Adams earned his BA from McMaster University (1967), his LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School (Bronze Medal; 1970), and an LLM from Harvard Law School (Mackenzie King Travelling Scholarship; 1971).

He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1973 and soon after served as Assistant Deputy Minister of Labour – Ontario (1975–79) and chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board (1979–84). He was made Queen's Counsel in 1981.

Adams was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in 1991. As a judge, he handled major cases in all areas, including the Commercial List and Divisional Court. Many of his decisions are widely reported.

He resigned as judge of the Superior Court in 1997, in a rare instance of a judge stepping down from the bench, believing he could better serve the Canadian justice system through other means. He established his alternative dispute resolution practice — Adams ADR Services Ltd. — later that year.

A former professor, Adams taught contracts, contract remedies, labour law, international business transactions and dispute resolution as an Associate Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School (1971–78) and at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law (1990–91). He was an Adjunct Professor with the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law (2003–09).

He was awarded the Walter Owen Book Prize in 1987 by the Foundation for Legal Research for the labour law treatise, Canadian Labour Law, published by Canada Law Book. Adams also wrote the book Mediating Justice: Legal Dispute Negotiations (CCH Canadian; 2nd ed., LexisNexis, 2011). The second edition is a comprehensive text that provides a practical and theoretical framework for mediating rights disputes in Canada.

SOURCE The Law Society of Upper Canada

Image with caption: "The Hon. George W. Adams, QC (centre) was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa by Law Society Treasurer Janet E. Minor (left) at the Jan. 29th Call to the Bar ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. Law Society Bencher Peter Wardle (pictured) places the ceremonial LLD hood on Mr. Adams. (CNW Group/The Law Society of Upper Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160129_C5825_PHOTO_EN_609179.jpg

Image with caption: "The Hon. George W. Adams, QC (centre), holds the honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree presented to him by The Law Society of Upper Canada at its Jan. 29th Call to the Bar ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. Mr. Adams is congratulated by Law Society CEO Robert G.W. Lapper, QC (left) and Law Society Treasurer Janet E. Minor (right). (CNW Group/The Law Society of Upper Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160129_C5825_PHOTO_EN_609181.jpg

Image with caption: "The Law Society of Upper Canada (CNW Group/The Law Society of Upper Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160129_C5825_PHOTO_EN_609231.jpg

For further information: Media contact: Susan Tonkin, Communications Advisor, Media Relations, at 416-947-7605 or stonkin@lsuc.on.ca

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