Alumnus and professor emeritus remembered by legal community

Walter Mis, QC, lauded for dedication as legal scholar

Sarah Kent - 10 December 2021

Alumnus and Professor Emeritus Walter Mis, QC, is being remembered by the University of Alberta Faculty of Law for his contributions as a legal scholar and his thirty-year career as an educator.

Mis died on November 17 at the age of 80.

"Professor Mis was a long-serving, valued member of our Faculty,” said Dean Barbara Billingsley of the Faculty of Law. “Many members of the legal community in Alberta and elsewhere have benefited from his dedication and expertise as a law professor."

Mis held a bachelor of arts from the University of Alberta and was a member of the Faculty of Law’s Class of 1964. He went on to earn his LLM from the London School of Economics in 1965 and was called to the bar that same year. 

He worked as an associate and then a partner with Milner & Steer before joining the Faculty as an associate professor. In 1974, He was promoted to full professor, teaching in the areas of company law, taxation, corporate securities and estate planning.

“I remember Walter as a gifted, congenial, and highly supportive colleague who showed an unwavering can-do spirit every day,” said Professor Shannon O’Byrne. “His trademark response to the query, ‘How are you today, Walter?’ was always:  ‘Terrific!’”

His corporations class attracted media attention when he assigned a class project that required students to establish a public company and to take it through every stage of development, including a listing on the Alberta Stock Exchange. 

“His sense of humour was evidenced by the business of the company, which was to manufacture and market widgets,” said Professor David Percy. “‘Widgets’ existed only as a figment of law professors’ imaginations, as they were used only to describe as a mythical thing that was bought and sold only in examination problems.”

“Walter and Joan’s children were allowed to amuse themselves by using excess copies of the company prospectus as colouring books,” said Percy.

In 1974, Mis founded Juriliber Limited, a publishing company specializing in legal texts, and served as its editor. 

The company was originally created to publish An Introduction to the Law of Contract by Jean Côté, later Justice Côté of the Alberta Court of Appeal. This was the first Canadian textbook published on contracts since 1914.

Juriliber has since published over a dozen books and is well known among practitioners through the Alberta Civil Procedure Handbook and the Civil Procedure Handbook, both written by Côté and the late Justice William A. Stevenson of the Supreme Court of Canada.

During his time at the Faculty, Mis served as project director for the Ukrainian Legal Training and Curriculum Development project, which trained law professors for the Centre of Legal Studies in Kyiv.

He retired from teaching in 1999 and was named as Queen’s Counsel in 2006 in recognition of his contributions to the legal profession.