THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 9 P A R T 3 M A Y 2 0 2 1 337
THE HONOURABLE SUSAN GRIFFIN
By Jacqueline Hughes, Q.C.
It is no easy task to profile someone who does not like the spotlight.
Indeed, it took more than a little convincing to get Justice Susan
Griffin to agree to take her turn in gracing the cover of the Advocate.
This is not surprising to those who know Susan. Outside the courtroom,
she cherishes her privacy, remaining as she has been from the start:
humble, kind and always with a self-deprecating joke at the ready.
Susan’s humility likely stems from her childhood growing up in smalltown
Ontario, where she spent her days roaming the nearby woods with her
dog, playing hockey and trying to keep up with her two big sisters, Cathy
and Cynthia. It was in many ways an idyllic childhood, brought about
thanks to her wonderful parents: her dad was an engineer turned vice-
principal and math teacher, and her mom was the heart of the household.
Both instilled in her a lifelong love of reading and appreciation for education.
In a credit to her well-rounded upbringing, Susan capped off her graduation
from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1984 by winning the John
Willis Award for best combining academic and extracurricular activities.
Susan spent her formative years at the bar working with Darrell Roberts,
Q.C., at Roberts & Associates, where she started as an associate in 1985 and
became a partner in 1989. This well-respected boutique would go on to
become a source of stellar jurists, as Susan had the good fortune of working
alongside Paul Williamson (now a retired judge of the B.C. Supreme Court),
Leslie Muir (now a master) and Wendy Baker (now a judge of the B.C.
Supreme Court). Susan credits Darrell with imparting his incredible work
ethic and teaching her the importance of putting in the work necessary to
ensure you have a thorough understanding of the evidence and the law to
best plead your case. Most importantly, however, she admired his persever-