University of Alberta's former Dean of Law and eight sessional instructors named Queen's Counsel

Prestigious honour celebrates exceptional contributions to the legal profession

Helen Metella - 06 March 2020

Paul Paton, the former Dean of the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, was named Queen's Counsel on March 4, as were eight other prominent Alberta lawyers who are currrently sessional instructors at the Faculty.

The lawyers who were given the prestigious honour are Doris Bonora (who teaches Wills & Administration), Dino Bottos (Criminal Law), Sandra Hawes (Professional Responsibility). Maureen McGuire (Appellate Practice & Procedure), Leslie Paetz (Insurance Law), Christine Pratt (Insurance Law, and next term Civil Procedure), Tom Rothwell (Constitutional Litigation) and Karen Smith (Professional Responsibility).

Paton is currently on a sabbatical/administrative leave from the University of Alberta after completing a five-year term as dean of law in July 2019. He is also the Thomas W. Lawlor QC Professor of Law and Ethics at UAlberta and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford Law, the American Bar Foundation and the UConn School of Law (University of Connecticut).

"I am delighted to congratulate Professor Paton on his appointment as Queen's Counsel," said Interim Dean of Law David Percy, QC. "It recognises his contributions, particularly in respect to his work on legal ethics, and his service to the Faculty and the legal profession."

The designation of Queen's Counsel honours lawyers who have made considerable contributions to the legal profession in their service and expertise, or to public life.

In Canada, both the federal government and the provincial governments have the constitutional authority to appoint a lawyer as Queen's Counsel.

These appointments were made by Alberta's Minister of Justice and Solicitor General through a selection process that included consultation with the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of Alberta and the province's Courts.

Once named Queen's Counsel, lawyers use the designation "QC" after their names, when the British Commonwealth's reigning monarch is a queen. The designation is "KC" when a king is reigning. In French the designation is "CR" at both times.