John Alexander Weir Q.C. 1933-2009
After graduating from the U of A with Bachelor of Arts and Law degrees Mr. Weir began his legal career with Wood, Moir, Hyde and Ross where he articled to the late Justice Arnold F. (Spud) Moir. In 1990 Mr. Weir, Maurice Bowen and others formed the Weir Bowen firm where Mr. Weir continued to practice until his death in 2009.
During his more than 50 years of practice Mr. Weir appeared at all levels of the courts including the Supreme Court of Canada.
Mr. Weir represented plaintiffs in personal injury, defamation and commercial litigation cases, defended cases for insurance companies and represented accused in criminal proceedings.
He also frequently represented professionals at professional disciplinary hearings. He successfully represented plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases beginning in the 1970’s when medical malpractice actions were rare and extremely difficult to prosecute. In the late 1980’s he was appointed by Canada’s Solicitor General to conduct the Gingras Inquiry. In 1999 Mr. Weir was recognized by the Edmonton Bar Association with a Distinguished Service Award for his contribution to the legal profession.
Mr. Weir was widely recognized for his excellent advocacy skills. His cross examination techniques were feared by many. Mr. Weir related to clients from all walks of life. Mr. Weir was highly intelligent. He was known for his great wit and compassion especially for the disadvantaged. He had an uncanny intuition and an incredible memory. Mr. Weir mentored many young lawyers both within and outside the firm during his years in practice.
In the spring of 2008 Mr. Weir and the firm celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his admission to the Alberta Bar. Mr. Weir was posthumously awarded the 2009 Law Society of Alberta and Canadian Bar Associations’ Distinguished Service Award in the pro bono category. Mr. Weir’s high standards of professionalism and ethics continue to influence the work of lawyers at Weir Bowen LLP.