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.
Called to the following Canadian provincial and territorial bars:
Licenced to practise law in the state of Arizona, U.S.A.
University of Edinburgh, LL.B., 1975
McGill University, LL.M., 1976
University of Ottawa, LL.B., 1978
McGill University, D.C.L. (Doctor of Civil Law), 1984
Practising member of six Bars
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
Board of Governors, University of St. Paul, Ottawa, 1994-2007
Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario
Ontario Bar Association
Canadian Bar Association
Law Volunteer Positions
CBA National President, 1999-2000
Council Member, CBA Ontario, 1992 to 2000
Law Day Ottawa, Co-chair, 1992 to date
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:
Bernard v. Canada (Attorney General),  2014 SCC 13
Canada (Attorney General) v. Lameman,  1 S.C.R. 372
Evans v. Teamsters Local Union No. 31,  1 S.C.R. 661
Professor of Law at University of Alberta: 1978-1986, teaching property law, corporate law, trusts, creditors’ remedies
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
Adjunct Professor University of St. Paul's, Faculty of Canon Law, teaching Introduction to Common Law
Have done 200 plus CLE sessions for members of the legal profession
Ontario Bar Admission Course 1988-1990 (in French)