Eugene Meehan, Q.C.

I was born in Baillieston, Scotland in 1952. My christened name, Eugene, is an uncommon one in Scotland. My grandmother, Madeleine Thorel was French from Normandy. She married a Scottish soldier named John Doig at the end of World War I. She insisted on only two conditions to her new husband: that the children be raised Catholic and that their names be French. As it turned out, whenever she spoke English, I learned French (because she generally could not remember the English word).

After graduating from the University of Edinburgh (LL.B., 1975), I was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to pursue an LL.M. (1977) at McGill University. In the Québec milieu, I (mis)treated Montréalers to French spoken with a Celtic accent. People thought I was from northern Québec ... way north (some figured I came from Abitibi Temiscamingue). I did a second LL.B. (1978) at the University of Ottawa, and then a Doctorate in Civil Law (1984) back at McGill.

A teaching opportunity drew me to Edmonton where I was a Law Professor at the University of Alberta. During eight years in western Canada, I also articled and practised law in Edmonton. After that, Law Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Ottawa, when Chief Justice Lamer asked me to be his (first) Executive Legal Officer.

My spouse Giovanna was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice, sitting in Ottawa, on April 11, 2003.

And one last thing: a photo of my grandmother (she hand wrote “juillet 1955” on the back) is always on my desk – as well as of course a photo of Giovanna and the kids on the wall.


Languages

French, English

Education & Bars

Called to the following Canadian provincial and territorial bars:

  • Ontario
  • Alberta
  • N.W.T.
  • Yukon
  • Nunavut

Called to the U.S. state bar of Arizona and SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States)
McGill University, D.C.L. (Doctor of Civil Law), 1984
University of Ottawa, LL.B., 1978
McGill University, LL.M., 1976
University of Edinburgh, LL.B., 1975

Professional Activities

Practising member of seven Bars
Board of Governors, University of St. Paul, Ottawa, 1994-2007
Appointed Queen’s Counsel 1999
National President, Canadian Bar Association, 1999-2000
Professor of Law, University of Alberta 1978-1986; Professor of Law, University of Ottawa 1986-1990; Director of Graduate Studies, University of Ottawa 1988-1990
Executive Legal Officer, Supreme Court of Canada, 1990-1992
Board of Governors, University of Ottawa, 1988-1992

Professional Associations

Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario
Ontario Bar Association
Canadian Bar Association
Advocates Society

Law Volunteer Positions

Grapple Law Editorial Board 2015 to date
Law Day Ottawa, Co-chair, 1992 to 2016
Council Member, CBA Ontario, 1992 to 2000
CBA National President, 1999-2000

Representative Work

Recent (S.C.C.) work includes:

  • Ellen Smith v Inco Limited (34561) (Leave to appeal [filed Dec. 5, 2011] with Kirk Baert & Celeste Poltak of Koskie Minsky LLP, Toronto)
  • Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission et al v. William Whatcott (33676) (Appeal [heard on Oct. 12, 2011], with Grant Scharfstein, Q.C. & Deidre Aldcorn of Scharfstein Gibbings Walen Fisher LLP, Saskatoon)

Appeals recently argued include:

  • Ledcor Construction Ltd. v. Northbridge Indemnity Insurance Co., [2016] 2016 S.C.C. 37
  • Zurich Insurance Company v. Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, [2015] 2 S.C.R. 134
  • Chief Sheldon Taypotat, et al. v. Louis Taypotat, [2015] 2 S.C.R. 548
  • Bernard v. Canada (Attorney General), [2014] 2014 S.C.C. 13
  • Canada (Attorney General) v. Lameman, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 372
  • Evans v. Teamsters Local Union No. 31, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 661

Teaching Engagements

  • Have done 200 plus CLE sessions for members of the legal  profession
  • Adjunct Professor University of St. Paul's, Faculty of Canon Law, teaching Introduction to Common Law
  • University of Ottawa: 1986-1990 teaching property law, business associations, business forms of organization to non-law students, trusts and creditors’ remedies
  • Director of Graduate Studies, University of Ottawa: 1988-1990
  • Ontario Bar Admission Course 1988-1990 (in French)
  • Professor of Law at University of Alberta: 1978-1986, teaching property law, corporate law, trusts, creditors’ remedies

Publications & Presentations

Books

  • The Law of Criminal Attempt in Canada (Carswell, 3rd ed. 2015) Lead co-author
  • Canada’s Constitutional Law in a Nutshell (Carswell, 4th ed., 2013) Co-author
  • Supreme Court of Canada Manual (Canada Law Book, 2011) Lead co- author
  • Creditors’ Remedies in Ontario (Lexis Nexis, 2nd ed., 2009) Lead co-author
  • Canadian Constitutional Documents Consolidated (Carswell, 2nd ed., 2007) Co-author
  • Constitutional Law in a Nutshell (Thomson Carswell, 3rd ed. 2003) Co-author
  • The Law of Criminal Attempt in Canada (Carswell, 2nd ed. 2000) Lead co-author
  • Canada’s Constitutional Law in a Nutshell (Carswell, 2nd ed., 1998) Co-author
  • Injunctions Practice Guide (Carswell, 1996) Lead co-author
  • Creditors’ Remedies in Alberta (Carswell, 2nd ed. 1996), Co-author
  • Charter of Rights Annotated (Carswell 1995 & 1996) Lead co-author
  • Canada’s Constitutional Law in a Nutshell (Carswell, 1994) Co-author
  • Canadian Constitutional Documents Consolidated (Carswell, 1994) Co-author
  • Creditors’ Remedies in Ontario (Butterworths, 1994) Lead co-author
  • Creditors’ Remedies in Alberta (Carswell, 1987) Lead co-author
  • The Law of Criminal Attempt - A Treatise (Carswell, 1984) Author

DVDs

  • Meehan & Sharpe on Appellate Advocacy (Canada Law Book, 2010) with Justice Robert J. Sharpe, Ontario Court of Appeal

Presentations

  • Supreme Court of Canada Review, American Association of Justice Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, July 24, 2016 – Click Here for the speaking notes
  • Strategic Legal Writing: Preparing Persuasive Documents, Canadian International Trade Tribunal, Ottawa, April 13, 2016
  • Strategic Legal Writing: Preparing Persuasive Documents, Social Security Tribunal of Canada – General Division, Ottawa, March 24, 2016
  • Strategic Legal Writing: Preparing Persuasive Documents, CLF National Law Student Conference, Queen’s Law, Kingston, March 11, 2016
  • Strategic Legal Writing: 10 Top Tips from a lawyer (who writes for a living) & 10 Top Tips from a Legal Affairs Journalist (who writes for a living), University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Ottawa, March 10, 2016
  • Strategic Legal Writing: Preparing Persuasive Documents, Social Security Tribunal of Canada – Appeal Division, Ottawa, January 29, 2016
  • Strategic Legal Writing: Preparing Persuasive Documents, Financial and Consumer Services Commission of New Brunswick, St. John, New Brunswick, January 11, 2016
  • Seeking & Obtaining Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, The Tenth Annual Straight from the Bench Conference, May 27, 2015
  • Strategic Legal Writing: Preparing Persuasive Documents, The Canadian Bar Association, Toronto, March 31, 2015
  • Strategic Legal Writing: Preparing Persuasive Documents, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, March 20, 2015
  • Strategic Legal Writing: Preparing Persuasive Documents, Lakehead University, Faculty of Law, March 10, 2015
  • Strategic Legal Writing: Preparing Persuasive Documents, McGill University, Faculty of Law, Montreal Quebec, Monday, January 12, 2015
  • Strategic Legal Writing: Advocacy 101, University of Manitoba, Faculty of Law, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Friday, January 9, 2015
  • Winning Your Case Through Written Advocacy, Grapple Law, Winter 2015
  • Winning Your Case Through Oral Advocacy, Grapple Law, Winter 2015
  • 15th Annual National Administrative Law & Labour & Employment Law Conference, Westin Hotel, Ottawa – (panel discussion with Court of Appeal judges; Eugene Meehan, Q.C. moderating) Nov. 29, 2014
  • Written Advocacy – Preparing Persuasive documents, Legal Education Society of Alberta, Edmonton, September 17, 2014
  • SCC Top Ten Cases, Civility, Grapple Law, Fall 2014
  • Putting the "F" in Civility, Grapple Law, Fall 2014
  • 5 Ways to avoid your contract being later litigated by one of your partners. What the courts are telling us, CBA 4th Annual Business Law Summit, May 12-14, 2014
  • Civility as a Tactical Tool, Ontario Bar Association Council Meeting, Toronto, March 21, 2014
  • ABC’s of the SCC, Commons Institute’s conference "Supreme Court and Constitutional Litigation" February 28, 2014, Campbell House, Toronto
  • Civility as a Strategy in Litigation: How to Respond to Incivility in a Practical Way, Civil Law Practitioners, Legal Services Division, Alberta Justice & Solicitor General, Edmonton, Alberta, January 27, 2014
  • Strategic Legal Writing: Preparing Persuasive Documents, Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Legal Services Unit, Ottawa, January 22, 2014

Special Recognition

  • Selected by peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2014 for Public Law, Administrative Law, and Aboriginal Law
  • Has achieved an AV® Preeminent, TM Peer Review Rating as Top Rated Lawyer in Canada by Corporate Counsel magazine and Martindale-Hubbell, 2013
  • Recipient of OBA’s Award for Distinguished Service, 2011