THE ADVOCATE 441
VOL. 79 PART 3 MAY 2021
has held down the family ties to Ontario, where he has followed in Tom’s
footsteps as a high school guidance counsellor.
Jeff’s commitment to family is reflective of his reputation as a lawyer:
making time for the little things that make life rich. Eric Gottardi (now
Q.C.) joined Peck and Company four years after Jeff. As he recalls, Jeff has
always been known for extracting colleagues from their cases to focus on
more pressing matters. Over the years, this has included playing in a recreational
’80s-themed dodgeball league, attending concerts and even joining
a competitive BBQing team, The Rack Pack, whose brisket won silver medal
at “BBQ off the Bypass” in Langley. Since 2015, Jeff has added cycling to his
repertoire of interests. He was first hooked on the sport after completing a
126 km race in the Okanagan summer heat on a steel-framed bicycle, wearing
a tank top, baggy shorts and gym shoes. His gear has since become
flashier and more aerodynamic. Recently, Jeff was also a steady contributor
on and off the diamond for the Peck and Company softball team. His position
will be reserved despite his appointment.
This zest for life amidst the thickets of law was perhaps most noticeable
when Jeff was “on the road”. Counsel who have joined Jeff for a case out of
town know well how he would make the most out of the trip. Whether that
was a summer bike ride during a Kelowna jury trial, a game of pool at a dive
bar in a small town or fine dining at an unheralded yet exquisite restaurant,
working a case with Jeff was always about more than what happened in the
courtroom, which was often quite successful. It was a life experience.
Jeff became a partner at Peck and Company in 2010. In his two decades
at the firm, he helped it evolve from a small operation with four men to a
larger office with a proud reputation for diversity. Throughout his career, he
became known as a trusted advocate, taking on increasingly challenging
cases, both as defence counsel and as a special prosecutor on high-profile
cases in British Columbia and Ontario.
A supremely effective and accomplished lawyer, Jeff’s practice was not
only defined by his courtroom aptitude. He always prioritized education
and mentorship. He was a principal to many articled students. For years, he
acted as a supervising lawyer with the UBC Innocence Project and the UBC
Criminal Law Clinic. As one of the founders of the Criminal Defence Advocacy
Society, Jeff volunteered hundreds of hours to promote free education
for students and young lawyers in criminal law.
In 2015, Jeff was appointed of Queen’s Counsel. His father, who was wintering
in Florida at the time, took a day-long journey to Victoria just to be
present for Jeff’s ceremony, such was his pride at his son’s accomplishment.
Tom recently passed away after a life lived to its fullest. Jeff was by