History: Lewis, Day was founded by Honorable P. Derek Lewis, Q.C. He was admitted to the Bar of Newfoundland and Labrador on 14 October 1947 (as a Solicitor) and 15 October 1947 (as a Barrister). Besides privately practicing law, he was substantially active in the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador; first chair of the Law Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, and committed to public service as a member of the Senate of Canada. He ceased law practice on 31 December 2015; having continuously practiced longer than any other lawyer in Newfoundland and Labrador history. He passed on 19 January 2017. David C. Day, Q.C., admitted to the Bar on 26 February 1968, has been the other law partner.
The firm has been counsel in many significant civil, constitutional, criminal and family law cases in the Province's Supreme Court and from that Court and superior courts of other Canadian provinces to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Areas of Emphasis and Growth: Carrying on a general practice in most areas of the law, firm partners have particular competence in the following areas of practice: admiralty, aviation, constitutional, construction, corporate and commercial, criminal, family, insurance, personal injury, real estate, wills and probate, including litigation.
Client Base: The firm has a broad client base among private citizens and small businesses throughout the Province. In addition, the firm represents The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, British, Canadian and United States insurers, Canadian trust companies, Canadian branches of an international church, a Canadian church, several charitable organizations, and residents of other Canadian Provinces, Hong Kong, India, the United States and Britain.
hold membership in the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canadian Bar
Association. (One partner served on the 1995-1996 National Systems of Civil
Justice Task Force of Canadian Bar Association.) One or another partner is a
member of Canadian, United States and international societies for criminal,
family and trial lawyers.
One or another partner has served or serves on boards of directors of Canadian corporations; Canadian Research Institute For Law And The Family (Calgary) and Foundation For Legal Research (Vancouver); national selection boards for awards acknowledging legal scholarship; editorial boards for Canadian Bar Review (Ottawa); for Thomson/Carswell publications (Scarborough, ON) including Reports Of Family Law, Adoption Law and Practice In Canada, Canadian Child Custody Law and Practice, Child Protection Law In Canada, Matrimonial Property Law In Canada and Canadian Family Law and Practice: Consolidated Statutes; and for the Federated Press (Montreal) Litigation Lawyer journals; administrative councils for child protection, family planning, substance addiction treatment, and youth organizations; teaching faculties of National Judicial Institute (Ottawa), Federation of Law Societies of Canada (Ottawa) for national criminal (life faculty member) and family law programmes, Canadian Police College (Ottawa), The Canadian Institute (Toronto), the School of Social Work, the Faculties of Medicine and of Arts and the School of Continuing Education programmes, at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, The Waterford Hospital (the Newfoundland and Labrador psychiatric hospital), The Bar Admission Course and Continuing Legal Education programmes of Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, and The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Senior Criminal Investigators Programme.
David C. Day, Q.C. is author or co-author of books and papers, and a lecturer, on legal and professional responsibility; criminal law; family law; law enforcement legislation; victimization; forensic medicine; social work; litigation; advocacy, and legal history.
Significant Distinctions: The firm's senior partner P. Derek Lewis, Q.C. was a member of the Senate Of Canada from 1978 to 1999. Mr. Day has served as research assistant to a national water rights study (1967-1973) with a former Supreme Court of Canada justice and to a provincial family law study (1967-1973), was counsel to the public inquiry into Mount Cashel Boy's Home and Training School, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador and related matters (1989 to 1991), occupied the Milvain Chair in Advocacy at University of Calgary, Alberta (1997-1998), was a member of the Canadian Bar Association's Supreme Court of Canada Liaison Committee (2002-2004), is a member of the Tribunal on Salaries and Benefits for Provincial Court Judges (2001 to date), and the Canadian Bar Association's Ethics and Professional Issues Committee (2004 to date), and was counsel to the Turner Review and Investigation (2006).
acted and are acting as solicitors and/or counsel in constitutional, criminal,
civil, and family law appeals in the Supreme Court of Canada from superior
courts of appeal in Newfoundland and Labrador and other Canadian provinces and
in superior trial and appeal courts of Newfoundland and Labrador and other
Noteworthy Previous Litigation: Supreme Court of Canada—In constitutional appeals, the firm most recently served as solicitors for appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada: from Alberta Court of Appeal involving rights of mature minors (A.H. and B.H.v. Alberta, 2002-2004; and C.U. v. Alberta, 2002-2004); from the Quebec Court of Appeal involving a municipality's duty to accommodate a minority's freedom to practice its religion (Congregation des temoins de Jehovah de St-Jerome-Lafontaine v. Lafontaine, 2004); from the New Brunswick Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada (New Brunswick v. G.(J.), 1999) on the issue of a parent's entitlement to legal aid in child protection proceedings; and the limits of parental authority (in this instance, of a mother) under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in raising children in religious matters (St. Laurent v. Soucy, 1997-1998).
Previously, a partner was among counsel who argued the question of parental entitlement to make health care choices for children (B.R. v. Children's Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto, 1995-1996) in an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada from the Ontario Court of Appeal.
Whether prosecution of criminal proceedings by police officers vitiates the proceedings was argued before the Supreme Court of Canada by a partner, on behalf of an accused (Edmunds v. The Queen, 1985). Circumstances in which legislation operates retroactively or retrospectively in criminal law was the subject of another appeal argued before the Court (Mohammed Ali v. The Queen, 1979) by a partner.
A partner was counsel for the Appellant in Hynes v. R. before the Supreme Court of Canada (decided 5-4) involving the issue whether the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to preliminary inquiries in criminal proceedings (2001).
In the only civil proceeding that, effectively, was re-tried in the Supreme Court of Canada's history, a partner was appointed by the Court to represent the child involved (Beson v. Director of Child Welfare [Newfoundland and Labrador], 1982).
Newfoundland and Labrador—In the Province's Court of Appeal, partners have been counsel in appeals involving such matters as: circumstances giving rise to class actions, in defence of a proceeding taken on behalf of some 22,000 policyholders of defunct insurers; and the principles governing interpretation of marriage agreements made during cohabitation.
In the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court's Trial Division, the firm has acted in constitutional and other trials and appeals, including litigation ranging from the issue of independence of the judges of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, to the legal title in wedding gifts.
Other Jurisdictions—The firm has acted as solicitors and/or counsel in appeals to Alberta Court of Appeal (A.H. and B.H. v. Alberta (2002-2003) and C.U. v. Alberta (2002-2003)) and to the Manitoba Court of Appeal (Kennett Estate et al. v. Manitoba (June 1998)). In civil rights litigation, firm members have provided assistance to Canadian counsel appearing in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Russia and other member states of the Russian Federation.
Noteworthy Current Litigation: In the Alberta Court of Appeal and in Alberta Provincial Court a partner has been counsel for persons claiming damages for alleged breaches of their rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a result of child protection legislation proceedings (A.H. and B.H. v. Alberta and C.U. v. Alberta).
In the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario and in the Trial Division of Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, a partner is counsel in proceedings (1998 to date) involving numerous former residents of state-approved or licensed foster residences who are claiming damages for alleged mistreatment while residing in those facilities.
A partner was
counsel to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in two judicial inquiries
(1992-1993 and 2001-2003) into police shootings of civilians and is counsel in
related civil litigation (2001 to date).
Firm Projects: They include developing and offering multimedia programmes on: children's evidence and preparation for civil and family litigation.
LEWIS, DAY LAW FIRM