174 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 2 MARCH 2021
Dean also knows when decisions are to be made and does so effectively, in
a balanced and certain manner.
I believe all of these qualities have influenced the path Dean has taken
in his career so far and will shape his legacy as president of the Law Society.
Let’s now look back on Dean’s fine story.
Many of us treasure teachers and other mentors who have touched our
lives and uniquely inspired our journey. For Dean, one of those special
mentors is Ed Reimer, his high school teacher in North Vancouver. Mr.
Reimer was an early mentor to Dean, instilling the importance of fairness
and justice, which seemed to have had quite an impact and may have contributed
towards the development of Dean’s interest in other cultures and
work in reconciliation as a bencher. It will be of no surprise to those who
know Dean that he still maintains contact with Mr. Reimer, who is now in
In fact, before venturing into law, Dean explored teaching after obtaining
his English (B.A. Hons.) degree. He obtained his teaching certificate and
enjoyed teaching high school for a short interval during his early years of
marriage to his partner, Barb, a teacher of young children, and before they
had their own children, Jessica and James. Dean’s strong interest and
involvement in education has continued throughout his law career, including
being a mentor and principal to many, an active speaker and author in
various contexts, and a sessional lecturer at the University of Victoria Faculty
Dean was in the third class of students at the UVic law school. That is
where he first met Jim Carfra, when Jim was a lecturer in advocacy. Jim
invited Dean for lunch one day after class and they struck up a friendship
thereafter. Two years later, Jim invited Dean to article with his firm, Jones
Emery & Carfra, instead of moving back to Vancouver as Dean had originally
planned. The next year, Dean joined Achtem Alexander following
completion of his articles to supplement a growing litigation department.
Ralston Alexander, Q.C., advises that, from the beginning, Dean demonstrated
a talent for the required detail of litigation and a strong work ethic.
As Ralston puts it:
Dean prospered at Achtem Alexander as counsel and soon became a target
for other firms looking to add to their bench strength. Important case
in point, Jim Carfra—at that time, a best friend of the Alexander of
Achtem Alexander. That friendship apparently did not impair the “raid”
and in 1984, after a few short years with Achtem Alexander, Dean left to
become an associate with Jim.
When Dean and Jim Carfra joined forces and founded their partnership,
their remarkable relationship grew based on mutual respect, a love of the