A founding member of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) is the recipient of this year’s Ontario Bar Association’s (OBA) Award for Distinguished Service.
Patricia DeGuire, who was called to the provincial Bar 19 years ago, will be presented with the award on April 26.
A professional adjudicator and mediator for the last 16 years, DeGuire has served on federal and provincial tribunals, including the Immigration Refugee Board Appeal Division, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario where she was vice-chair and the Pay Equity Hearings.
The first vice-president of JusticeNet, DeGuire has served on the board of directors of Legal Aid Ontario and she has been a member of the provincial and federal bar associations since 1988. She sits on the executive of the OBA’s feminist legal analysis section and is the editor of the OBA’s VOICES newsletter and the co-editor of the first Canadian Insurance Dictionary for the Insurance Institute of Canada.
Over the years, DeGuire has presented in the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunal’s conferences and she was a frequent lecturer at the Organization of Commonwealth Caribbean Bars Association, the International Law Forum and the Mexican Judiciary.
Six years ago, DeGuire was presented with the Law Society of Canada’s Lincoln Alexander Award that recognizes an Ontario lawyer who has demonstrated a commitment to the public and its well-being through community service. She is also the recipient of Legal Aid Ontario’s GEM Award for Outstanding Public Service for providing access to justice for low-income individuals and communities.
She co-founded the Julius Alexander Isaac Scholarship for students enrolled in the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law. To acknowledge her dedication to students and young lawyers, the Black Law Students Association of Canada renamed its moot cup to honour her.
DeGuire holds an LLM in Constitutional Law and she’s a Fellow of the Certified Insurance Professionals of Canada.
By RON FANFAIR