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Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 1 and Meredith v. Canada (Attorney General),
2015 SCC 2; B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association v.
British Columbia (Attorney General), 2017 SCC 6; and Federal Government
Dockyard Trades and Labour Council v. Canada (Attorney General), 2013 BCCA
371; Moulton Contracting Ltd. v. British Columbia, 2015 BCCA 89; and Jaswal
v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles), 2016 BCCA 245, to
name but a few.
Karen was noted for her courage in the practice of law and never failed
to flourish in its challenges. She is a creative problem solver and is able to
analyze complex legal issues and translate her conclusions into accessible
submissions (and now decisions). Throughout her career as legal counsel,
she constantly counselled her colleagues and juniors to offer practical solutions
when appearing in court; in her view, there is no higher praise for a
lawyer than to be called “helpful” by the court. Karen is held in high regard
in the legal profession as well, among the many counsel with whom she has
interacted throughout her career and by her judicial colleagues. In 2016, she
appeared as counsel for a party in the Supreme Court of Canada three times
in a one-month period. Her work ethic, advocacy skills and dedication did
not go unnoticed; in fact, Supreme Court staff came out to introduce themselves
in admiration that counsel could accomplish such a feat and then
return to argue a complex appeal in the B.C. Court of Appeal the following
week. Karen truly embodied the practice of referring to opposing counsel
as her “friend”, in fact befriending counsel throughout the course of many
Karen’s warmth draws people to her; you always knew when she was in
the office by the sound of laughter emanating from the inevitable group of
colleagues gathered in her office and around her doorway as she shared stories
about her most recent court appearances with her trademark humour.
These gatherings formed the backbone of the incredibly close-knit and
loyal team of lawyers and staff Karen built within Legal Services Branch.
These were not only opportunities to find some much-needed levity in a
very busy practice, but also to share “war stories”, commiserate over failures
and celebrate successes.
Throughout her rich legal career, Karen has been a mentor for a generation
of lawyers, a role she excels in and which has no doubt continued to
the benefit of her judicial law clerks. She thrives in team environments and
always found a way to involve junior colleagues in her cases in a meaningful
way. Karen provided exceptional mentorship, and her colleagues strove
to make her proud, achieving more through her encouragement and example
than most would have otherwise considered possible. Karen was, and