Personal Reflection. The heroic advocate

AuthorThe Honourable Eleanore A. Cronk
e eric acae
I’ve chosen to discuss the topic of the heroic advocate, for three rea-
sons. First, because in these times there is a great need for heroic advo-
cates. Second, because an examination of the lives of heroic lawyers
may remind us why we went to law school in the rst place. Margaret
Ross, a past president of The Advocates’ Society, said in a recent speech,
“For most of us, it was to serve the public … through the pursuit of jus-
tice.”1 The demands of contemporary legal practice may result in this
being easily forgotten. Third, because the occasion for this discussion is
the Society’s annual evening of celebration. It marks the notional com-
pletion of another busy court year, when advocates gather in fellowship,
to toast the joys and diculties of life at the bar. On this special occasion,
it is tting to speak in praise of advocates, to honour that which is best
in the barrister.
I approach this topic with some trepidation. I well recall Theodore
Roosevelt’s disparaging comment about Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., when
Holmes, who was Roosevelt’s rst appointment to the United States
Supreme Court, dissented from a majority Supreme Court decision that
enforced Roosevelt’s antitrust legislation of 1890. Roosevelt reportedly
1 Margaret A. Ross, “Challenges to the Standards of Professionalism in the Legal
Profession,” a speech presented to the Chief Justice of Ontario’s Advisory Commit-
tee on Professionalism: 10th Colloquium on the Legal Profession, Ottawa, March
28, 2008, online at .

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