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TORONTO, April 3, 1997: Three individuals who have made an indelible mark on the legal community in Canada will be honoured at the upcoming Award of Excellence Dinner hosted by the Osgoode Hall Law School Alumni Association of York University.

Lincoln Alexander, Laura Legge, and Samuel Grange will be presented with the Robinette Medal on Thursday, April 10 at the dinner to be held at the Toronto Hilton Hotel, 145 Richmond St. W. (at University Ave.) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The award was established in 1983 to pay tribute to the outstanding careers of distinguished alumni of Osgoode Hall Law School.

  • Lincoln Alexander served as the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1985 to 1991 and was the first Black person to hold that office. He graduated from Osgoode in 1953 after serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1942 to 1945 and completing his BA at McMaster University in 1949. A former partner in the Hamilton law firm of Millar, Alexander, Tokiwa & Isaacs, Alexander was elected to the House of Commons in 1968, representing the riding of Hamilton West, and he was re-elected in 1972, 1979, and 1980. He served as the federal Minister of Labour from 1979 to 1980. Alexander served as Chair of the Ontario Workers' Compensation Board from 1980 to 1985 and was appointed Ontario's 24th Lieutenant Governor in 1985. He has received numerous awards throughout his career from organizations such as: the Ethnic Press Council of Canada; the Caribana Cultural Committee, the Beth Sholom Brotherhood; and the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews. He has received several honorary degrees, including one from York University. In 1992, Alexander was elected an Honorary Bencher by the Law Society of Upper Canada and appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada.

  • Laura Legge, the first woman to serve as Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada, graduated from Osgoode in 1948 after earning a BA from the University of Western Ontario and a nursing degree from the Toronto General Hospital School of Nursing. Legge began her law career as a solicitor for the Ontario Department of Health, where she worked until becoming a partner at Legge & Legge in 1955. Legge has also served as: President of the Women's Law Association (1964 to 1966); Director of the Home Care Program of Metropolitan Toronto (1975 to 1983); Chair of the Board of the Ontario Safety League (1986 to 1988); Board of Governors member at Women's College Hospital (1983 to 1993); and Director of the Board of Trade for Metropolitan Toronto (1983 to 1987). Legge has been a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 1975, and was elected Treasurer in 1983. In 1988, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) by the Law Society of Upper Canada.

  • Samuel Grange, a distinguished judge and commissioner, graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1948 after attending the University of Toronto from 1937 to 1939 and serving in the Fourth Canadian Field Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery Force during the Second World War. Grange received the Croix de Geurre avec Etoile de Vermeille, France, in 1944. He practised law with the firm of Heighington, Symons & Grange until 1961, and then joined the law firm of McMillan Binch, remaining there until 1974. He served on several commissions and inquiries throughout his distinguished career, including: the Ministry Committee on Franchising; the Ministry Committee on Hospital Privileges; the Inquiry into Legal Aid Clinic Funding; the Mississauga Railway Accident Inquiry; and the Royal Commission examining infant deaths at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. Grange was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario in 1974, and to the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1982. He retired in 1995. Grange held the post of honorary Chair of the Osgoode Hall Alumni Association from 1988 to 1995, and as Chair of the Centennial Committee in 1989.

    The Robinette Medal was established in 1983 in honour of the late John J. Robinette, Q.C., one of Canada's finest courtroom lawyers. Over a 62-year career, he worked on many-well known cases before retiring from his position as Counsel at the firm of McCarthy, Tetrault in 1991. Robinette's clients ranged from accused murderers to large corporations to the federal government, which he represented before the Supreme Court of Canada on the patriation of the Constitution. He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School as gold medallist in 1929, and was for several years a member of the faculty.

    This is the fifth Award of Excellence dinner. Other recipients of the Robinette Medal include: John Arnup, Q.C., Brendan O'Brien, Q.C., and the late William Howland, Q.C., former Chief Justice of Ontario.

    Tickets for the dinner are $75 per person or $700 per table. Black tie is optional. For tickets or information, call (416) 736-5638.

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    For more information, call:

    Sheila Cann
    Osgoode Hall Law School Alumni Office
    York University
    (416) 736-5638

    Mary Ann Horgan
    Media Relations
    York University
    (416) 736-2100, ext. 22086

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