Sidney B. Linden Award
2015 Sidney B. Linden award winner Bob Richardson
Bob Richardson has earned the respect of Ontario’s judiciary and Ontario’s most marginalized clients for his success in taking on the province’s most serious and complex criminal cases and for his commitment to going above and beyond for his clients, many of whom are people dealing with mental health issues. He has never shied away from a challenge, has courageously combined advocacy for his clients with compassion for their victims, and has gained the gratitude and respect of generations of young lawyers for his boundless generosity in mentoring them.
Mr. Richardson completed his LLB at Queen’s University, and was called to the Bar in 1981. He has been working as a criminal lawyer since 1984, including two years as a duty counsel. He is well respected for his commitment to defending people charged with a wide variety of criminal charges, ranging from minor offences to murder and dangerous offender applications.
Among his accomplishments, he has been:
- a Board member and former Director of the Criminal Lawyer’s Association (CLA)
- recipient of the CLA’s Distinguished Service award in 2004
- an instructor in criminal procedure for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s bar admission course
- participant in educational programs on behalf of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association and the Law Society of Upper Canada
- member of the Ontario Review Board since 2014.
Legal Aid Ontario created the Sidney B. Linden Award to honour exceptional individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to helping low-income people, and have given their time and expertise towards ensuring access to justice in Ontario.
The award is named in honour of Justice Sidney B. Linden, Legal Aid Ontario's first chair of the board of directors. Justice Linden has been involved with legal aid for over 35 years, and his distinguished professional career has been characterized by a genuine commitment to issues concerning access to justice.
Since its inception, the Sidney B. Linden Award has been presented to eight deserving recipients: William A. (Bill) Sullivan, Fergus J. (Chip) O'Connor, Peter G. Kirby, Michael Bossin, Barbara Jackman, J. Robert Kellermann, Paul Copeland and the late Dianne Martin.
The award statue
Toronto sculptor Siggy Puchta designed the Sidney B. Linden Award. The statue depicts the concept of access to justice through the upward and open gesture of 'the lady of justice' holding the scales of justice while at the same time welcoming those in need of legal aid services. Siggy's design also captures the spirit of LAO's logo.