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"NIM" 2005 Obituary


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NIMAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-11-15 published
James McLEOD, Writer, Lawyer And Teacher (1947-2005)
University of Western Ontario professor who was regarded as 'the conscience of the family law bar and judiciary in Canada' was misunderstood as a sexist reactionary
By Ron CSILLAG, Special to The Globe and Mail, Tuesday, November 15, 2005, Page S9
Toronto -- It's no small feat to be compared in one's lifetime to libertarian journalist H.L. Mencken and right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh. James McLEOD just sought to make the world a better place but, on at least one occasion, was adjudged to have done the opposite.
A prolific writer, editor, appellate lawyer and professor at the University of Western Ontario's law school for 33 years, Prof. McLEOD was remembered by colleagues as Canada's pre-eminent barrister and scholar of family law. Those close to him recall a frighteningly encyclopedic knowledge that could be summoned in an instant, with clarity, accuracy and wit. His mastery of family law was so prodigious and widely known that a judge once openly wondered whether Prof. McLEOD slept with a dictaphone.
Known to Friends as Jay and to family members as Gary (his middle name,) Prof. McLEOD's name was virtually synonymous with Canadian family law and all its arcana. As editor-in-chief of Reports of Family Law for 27 years, he screened tens of thousands of cases -- virtually every written family law ruling in the country.
And as author of more than 1,000 case commentaries (known as annotations), he helped shape and develop important legal concepts. Those annotations were the stuff of legend; while highly regarded, they were not always flattering.
"Much as a producer of a new Broadway play waits anxiously to read the reviews by the critics the next morning, judges were always apprehensive about what Prof. McLEOD might think of their decision and whether they would pass his rigorous standards," wrote long-time colleague, co-author and self-described tag-team partner, London, Ontario, lawyer Alfred MAMO, whose firm Prof. McLEOD had joined for 17 years to write opinions and handle appeals.
One tribute to Prof. McLEOD's "phenomenal" stature in family law is the fact that his writings have been quoted with approval by virtually every court in the land with jurisdiction in family law, and on numerous occasions by the Supreme Court of Canada, Mr. MAMO said. "To a large degree," he added, "Jay was the conscience of the family law bar and judiciary in Canada," and his comments were "the gold standard" for legal analysis in family law.
Sometimes, his parsing of a case was longer than the case itself. Toronto family lawyer Harold NIMAN, a long-time friend whose daily e-mail exchange with Prof. McLEOD would begin at 5: 30 a.m., recalls a court ruling this year on whether a set time a child spends with one parent should be calculated in hours or days. The decision was contained in half a page. Prof. McLEOD's annotation ran for four pages "as he analyzed in his Einstein-like way the abstruse existential territory of time-space and relativity, and whether sleeping and being in school qualified" as time spent with a parent.
Prof. McLEOD was "often like a dog with a bone when it came to a legal issue.... He was without a doubt the most energetic and entertaining speaker I have ever heard. He could pack more into a lecture than any person I have heard or seen. I was so exhausted after hearing him speak that I often needed to have a nap," said Mr. NIMAN, whose firm Prof. McLEOD joined as counsel in 2003. "Jay was the H.L. Mencken of family law."
He was able to reduce the most intricate and forbidding legal case to its "barest human essentials," wrote University of Western Ontario colleague Rande KOSTAL in the student newspaper Nexus. "He regarded the law as a way -- an imperfect way -- of imposing some rational order on the unruly tragicomedy of everyday life. And he strove, with legendary success, to be the funniest man on the funniest subject of them all: the rituals of human love, marriage and parenthood."
To others, he wasn't always so funny.
In the late 1980s and early '90s, Prof. McLEOD championed the "causal connection" theory of spousal support, which posited that a person shouldn't be obliged to support an ex-spouse unless the marriage "caused" or contributed to the ex's need for support. His theory was promptly attacked as reactionary and sexist; according to a 2000 profile in Lawyer's Weekly, he was once introduced at a conference as "family law's answer to Rush Limbaugh." (He was also reportedly pelted with buns at a dinner.) A band of family law practitioners even wrote and performed a protest song, The Ballad of Jay McLeod.
A 1992 Supreme Court of Canada decision put an end to the theory and, although Prof. McLEOD later said he regretted that it had been used to hurt long-term spouses (almost always middle-aged women), he defended it: "All the causal connection theory said was, 'You come into marriage as individuals. You leave marriage as individuals. And you shouldn't have a right to support from the other person unless somehow the circumstances that cause you to need money are somehow related to the relationship," he said in the Lawyer's Weekly piece. "That was it."
Born to a full-time homemaker and a labourer who had served in the wartime Canadian navy, he was the oldest of five siblings and the first member of his family to attend university. And he did so with a vengeance. After two years as an undergraduate at Western Ontario, he enrolled in law school (because there was "no market for Robin Hood," he would later quip), and placed first in each year, going on to win the Gold Medal by a wide margin in 1971. He earned a master's degree in law at the University of London in 1972, the year he joined University of Western Ontario's faculty to teach corporate and commercial subjects, and two years before his call to the Ontario bar.
In 1978, he was invited to annotate and edit the Reports of Family Law, and he never looked back. "Once I got going in the area and started to write these things, all of a sudden it dawns on you, 'My God, in three pages you can have a lot of fun saying this stuff,' " he recalled. "It took on a life of its own. The annotations basically built and created me."
He went on to edit other legal publications, including those on child custody and matrimonial property. Many lawyers eagerly awaited his pithy and popular weekly on-line newsletter, This Week in Family Law. When he died, he was the University of Western Ontario law school's associate dean for administration and a respected teacher at the university's Ivey School of Business.
While taking one of Prof. McLEOD's third-year classes, an older student, a single mother of two, turned to her friend and wondered, "Is he always such a jerk?"
The word became a "term of endearment," chuckles Margaret McSORLEY, who married her professor in 1981. Years later, the two legalists found themselves on opposite sides of a case, he representing the wife, she the husband. They soon negotiated an agreement.
"He talked a mile a minute and would always make you laugh," says Ms. McSORLEY, a family lawyer who was named a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice in 2003. "But what a stickler."
Indeed, Prof. McLEOD was a long-time proponent of rigour in family law. "We are law, too, and I want it treated that way," he said. Even the Supreme Court of Canada was criticized for laxness. "I think this court is a discretion court and that hides a multitude of sins," he said five years ago. "I don't like undisciplined power or uncontrolled power. I like rules. I like some form of clearly structured discretion."
He helped set some of those rules, winning important cases before the Ontario Court of Appeal, including Elliot v. Elliot, which set a precedent on compensatory support in the province.
He didn't relax much, apparently. Some golf, maybe an old movie. Mostly, he worked. He wanted to make a mark. "I'd hate to think that I would go through life and was nothing but average as I did it," he told Lawyer's Weekly. "So I have got an opportunity doing this stuff, and I try to use it."
James Gary McLEOD was born in Guelph, Ontario, on November 29, 1947, and died in New Hamburg, Ontario, on October 4, 2005, of a heart attack. He was 57. He leaves his mother, Pauline McLEOD, his wife, Margaret McSORLEY, five children and four grandchildren.

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NIMMERT o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2005-04-14 published
LOTZ, Kurt
Kurt LOTZ (member and treasurer of German Canadian Club of London and Philatelic Club) peacefully on Tuesday, April 12, 2005, surrounded by his family at the London Health Sciences Center, University Campus, in his 85th year. Beloved husband of Gabrielle LOTZ (nee POWELL) for 24 years and the late Ellie LOTZ (1979.) Loving father of Christine (Klaus) NIMMERT and grand_son Peter (Kelly) NIMMERT and their family. Step-father of Robin (Colleen) STEVEN, Laurence (Jan) STEVEN, Chris (Freda) STEVEN, Tim STEVEN, Calvin (Michele) STEVEN and their families. Kurt will be missed by family in Germany. The family will receive Friends and relatives at Forest Lawn Memorial Chapel, 1997 Dundas Street East (at Wavell), London, for visitation on Thursday from 7-9 p.m. Funeral service will be on Friday, April 15, 2005 at 11 a.m. Interment at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens. In remembrance, donations to the London Health Sciences Foundation, c/o: Burn Unit or the Parkwood Hospital Foundation, c/o: Wound Care Fund would be gratefully appreciated. Arrangements entrusted to Memorial Funeral Home 452-3770

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NIMMO o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2005-01-20 published
BROUGH, Beatrice " Bea" Florence (McCOWAN)
At the Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital on Wednesday, January 19, 2005. Beatrice "Bea" F. (McCOWAN) BROUGH of Parkhill in her 92nd year. Beloved wife of the late John C. BROUGH (1962.) Sister of Mary SMITH of Seaforth. Predeceased by sister Elizabeth NIMMO, brothers John and Peter McCOWAN. No funeral home visitation and no funeral service. M. Box and son Funeral Home, 183 Broad Street, Parkhill in charge of funeral arrangements. Share a memory or send condolences to www.boxfuneralhome.ca. M. Box and son will plant a tree in living memory of Mrs. BROUGH at Ausable-Bayfield Conservation Parkhill.

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NIMMO o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2005-03-01 published
SMITH, Mary Marjorie
Peacefully at Huronview Home, Tuckersmith Twp. on Monday, February 28, 2005, Mrs. Mary Marjorie SMITH, formerly of Seaforth in her 99th year. Beloved wife of the late Alex SMITH (1966.) Loving mother of June and Murray COCKWELL of Atwood, Marjorie and Bruce COLEMAN of Exeter and Mark SMITH and Kathy NIGH of R.R.#2 Kippen. Cherished grandmother of 9 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. Predeceased by daughter-in-law Mary Anne SMITH, great-grand_son Michael COCKWELL, 2 sisters Beth NIMMO, Bea BROUGH and by 2 brothers John and Peter McCOWAN. Friends will be received at the Box and Smith Funeral Chapel, 47 High Street, Seaforth on Tuesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. where the funeral service will be held on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 at 2 p.m. Pastor Stephen HILDEBRAND will officiate. Spring interment Maitlandbank Cemetery. As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations to the charity of one's choice would be greatly appreciated.

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NIMMO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-02-10 published
DAVISON, William Gordon
94, of Lower L'Ardoise, Nova Scotia, formerly of Toronto and Long Point, Balsam Lake, Ontario passed away on February 6, 2005 at the Strait-Richmond Hospital in Evanston, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Born in Toronto, he was the son of Harry and Jean (NIMMO) DAVISON, predeceased by brother Esler and daughter in law Wendy, and survived by his wife and best friend of 66 years Jean (Fraser), children Bruce of Brampton, Ontario, Drew (Louise) of Kirkfield, Ontario, Marilyn of Lower L'Ardoise, Nova Scotia, grandchildren Cara, Gordon, Michael, Lindsay, Stephen and Meghan and great grandchildren Emily, William, Jacob and Emma.
He was a graduate of the University of Toronto (Commerce), a Chartered Accountant, an executive with William Neilson Ltd. for 25 years and a long term member of St. George's United Church in Toronto.
Gordon will be remembered for his love of family and Friends, his wonderful sense of humor and his lively intellect.
Cremation has taken place and a funeral service will be held at St. Peter's United Church in St. Peter's, Nova Scotia at 2: 00 pm on Saturday, February 12, 2005, In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the palliative care unit at the Strait-Richmond Hospital.

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NIMMO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-02-09 published
DAVISON, William Gordon
94, of Lower L'Ardoise, Nova Scotia, formerly of Toronto and Long Point, Balsam Lake, Ontario, passed away on February 6, 2005, at the Strait-Richmond Hospital in Evanston, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Born in Toronto, he was the son of Harry and Jean (NIMMO) DAVISON, predeceased by brother Esler and daughter-in-law Wendy, and survived by his wife and best friend of 66 years Jean (FRASER,) children Bruce of Brampton, Ontario, Drew (Louise) of Kirkfield, Ontario, Marilyn of Lower L'Ardoise, Nova Scotia, grandchildren Cara, Gordon, Michael, Lindsay, Stephen and Meghan, and great-grandchildren Emily, William, Jacob and Emma. He was a graduate of the University of Toronto (Commerce), a Chartered Accountant, an executive with William Neilson Ltd. for 25 years and a long term member of St. George's United Church in Toronto. Gordon will be remembered for his love of family and Friends, his wonderful sense of humour and his lively intellect. Cremation has taken place and a Funeral Service will be held at St. Peter's United Church in St. Peter's, Nova Scotia, at 2: 00 p.m. on Saturday, February 12, 2005. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Palliative Care Unit at the Strait-Richmond Hospital.

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NIMMO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-12-26 published
BODDY, Stephen Thomas
Suddenly at the Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, Veteran's Residence, on Saturday, December 24, 2005. Steve BODDY, dearly beloved husband of the late Peggy BODDY (nee NIMMO.) Cherished father of Thomas, Stephen and Robert and his wife Andrea. Devoted grandfather of Alexander, Christopher, Kevin and Patrick. Resting at Newediuk Funeral Home, Kipling Chapel, 2104 Kipling Ave. (two blocks north of Rexdale Blvd.) on Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Funeral Service in the Chapel on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 at 11 a.m. Private interment. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, Veteran's Residence, or a charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family. "Be kind to someone today, tomorrow or any day thereafter. "

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