Royal nod for local lawyer

Donald Kawano of Cranbrook in good company as Queen’s Counsel.

A local lawyer was among 30 in the province who received the title of Queen’s Counsel this week after an announcement by Attorney General and Minister of Justice Shirley Bond.

Donald Kawano is the latest member of the Cranbrook legal community to receive the honour after being nominated by his firm, Rella & Paolini.

“I’m very proud, I’m humbled by it,” Kawano said.

The title is strictly honorary, but is based on a royal tradition. Kawano, who practises civil law, explained that members of the Queen’s Counsel were historically lawyers that were trusted to carry out the king or queen’s business. Now the title has taken on a different meaning, with lawyers being named to the list each year.

“That’s been relaxed to now it’s an honorary title,” Kawano said.

But that doesn’t mean the title isn’t important. Kawano said members are generally held in high regard by the legal community.

Appointed members of the legal community, the president of the

Law Society of B.C.

and the Canadian Bar Association select from the nominees each year to grant them the title

of Queen’s Counsel. Kawano said his name was put forward by Donald Paolini and Allan Rella of Rella & Paolini. While he was aware his hat had been thrown into the ring, Kawano said it was still a shock.

“It was a pleasant surprise,” he said.

Only seven per cent of the lawyers in the province can hold the title at any given time, which makes them among an exclusive group.

Kawano will join a growing list of lawyers from Cranbrook and area who have earned the title. Among them are Neil Robertson, Sandra Smaill, John Zimmer, Gerry Kambeitz and Ken Steidl, to name a few.

Kawano’s experience in the legal community extends beyond his time at Rella & Paolini. He said his extracurricular activities may have tipped the scales in his favour as the panel reviewing Queen’s Counsel appointments takes into consideration volunteer and community activities.

Kawano is active with the Rotary Club and Cranbrook and District Restorative Justice Society, which helps mediate legal concerns outside of court and find solutions that provide a positive solution for the victim of a crime and the offender.

“They like to recognize any people that are looking for other ways to solve legal disputes,” Kawano said.

And through the restorative justice society, Kawano does just that. He works with offenders who acknowledge that they have done wrong and would like to make the situation right. The voluntary programs helps offenders charged with crimes such as shoplifting write apology letters and find positive community service opportunities to give back to their community.

“Out of that process comes a resolution agreement,” Kawano said. “It’s outside the court process.”

While lawyers often had a stigma about them, Kawano said he enjoys his job because he helps people every day.

“Practising law in my view is one of the helping professions,” he said. “It’s very much like the restorative process. I enjoy dealing with legal issues and presenting arguments on behalf of people.”

The Queen’s Counsel designation will be made official at a ceremony some time in the spring in Vancouver. Kawano plans to attend, and said it never would have happened without Rella and Paolini.

“I appreciate the support of my firm who nominated me for this designation.”

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Crews planning controlled burns for Meachen Creek fire

B.C. Wildfire Service hoping to conduct planned ignitions on Sunday to help containment lines

Court sides with developer in Jumbo ‘substantially started’ dispute

Resort developer successfully argues 2014 decision that halted the project was unfair

Meachen Creek fire changed little overnight

Mayor reaches out to thank community; evacuation alert notices are being delivered door to door so no one is missed

Kimberley resource, tourism industry braces as wildfires rip through forests

Tourists are still filling golf courses and shops in Kimberley, B.C., but… Continue reading

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

McDermid Creek fire registered at 70ha

A wildfire burning approximately 6 kilometres west of the Morrissey area is… Continue reading

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Smoke scraps Nelson’s MS Bike Challenge

The annual fundraising event cancelled its cycling Saturday because of poor air quality

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

Most Read