2015 Sidney B. Linden award goes to Bob Richardson

Published: January 28, 2016

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TORONTO- On February 25, 2016, Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) will celebrate the accomplishments of criminal lawyer Bob Richardson, the Sidney B. Linden award winner for 2015, at the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Mr. 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.

“I am deeply honoured to receive this award from an organization that advocates so strongly on behalf of those who might otherwise be denied access to justice,” says Mr. Richardson. “I have always believed that people who cannot afford a lawyer deserve proper representation in our courts regardless of their station in life, and this reward recognizes the importance of this belief.”

“We are very pleased to honour Bob’s decades of invaluable work, his dedication and skill as a criminal lawyer, and his deep commitment to public service,” says LAO Board Chair John McCamus. “Bob has demonstrated, time and time again, that an ability to relate to people from all walks of life, combined with knowledge, preparation, generosity of spirit and quiet persistence, make for a formidable advocate. He is truly a role model for anyone working to improve access to justice for marginalized people.”

A distinguished member of the legal profession

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.

LAO Chair John D. McCamus will host the Sidney B. Lindon ceremony honouring Bob Richardson on February 25, 2016, at the Law Society of Upper Canada.

About the award

LAO’s Sidney B. Linden award recognizes exceptional individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to helping low-income Ontarians in the pursuit of access to justice. Until now, the award has been presented to eight 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.