THE ADVOCATE 757
VOL. 80 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2022
vulnerable individuals. She represented them with compassion and passion.
She was their fierce advocate in court, and also quietly helped them
attain stability in the community, even arranging for transportation and
other things out of her own pocket.
Michelle involved herself early with the community, including the Kamloops
Bar Association (“KBA”), eventually becoming its president. She made
fast and lifelong friends wherever she went. Whether she was hosting her
famous martini parties, organizing a fundraising gala for the KBA, fundraising
for the Kamloops Art Gallery (she was chair of the board), hosting bench
and bar barbeques at her home (persisting even after the power went out!),
or whipping together dinner for friends on a moment’s notice, her friends
often wondered when she had time to sleep!
Whatever the event, Michelle’s infectious laughter and tremendous
sense of fun would always fill the room. A “curator of life”, Michelle loves
to decorate her home and create comfortable spaces, and source interesting
foods, music and recipes, to bring joy to her life and the lives of people
around her. She has a passion for travel, food and art. Any road trip with
Michelle involves a cooler filled with snacks and beverages!
In 2016, Michelle was elected as a bencher. Her effectiveness quickly led
to leadership positions, including on the executive and credentials committees.
She was instrumental as the vice chair of the Law Society’s mental
health task force in developing a proposal for an alternate discipline process
for lawyers experiencing mental health issues.
Kamloops and Yale County benefitted greatly from Michelle’s five years as
bencher. Making the Kamloops courthouse library her second home, she regularly
met there with articling students and lawyers. She and the library
team worked hard to develop programs and resources that continue to this
day, including the Bencher Lunch and Learn, the Kamloops area practice list
and an expanded Inns of Court program. Although her friends in the library
miss her constant presence, they are reminded of her not only through the
programs she developed, but also by her beautiful clothing that remains
hanging behind the door and the “Stanford snacks” that remain stashed in
the cupboard of her honorary library office (a.k.a. the storage room!).
Michelle was on the board of governors of Thomson Rivers University
and volunteered many hours in support of the new law school, including as
a guest lecturer, moot court judge, mentor to students and supervisor of students
working in the pro bono clinic. She worked with professor Ruby
Dhand and others in developing a proposal for a mental health court in
Kamloops. Michelle was one of the driving forces behind this initiative, collaborating
with doctors at Interior Health in support of the project.