A Different Day in Court
June 13, 2016
On a warm, sunny Monday afternoon in June, dozens of people were allowed in to Courtroom 101 at Robson Square. A few minutes after 4:30, a sheriff in full regimental uniform came into the room, and told the crowd that the judge was just wrapping up the last of his cases, so that there was no need to obtain a warrant to "get" him.
Moments before 5, several judges, led by the Chief Justice of the Provincial Court, entered the chamber. It was the "Welcoming of The Honourable Wilson Lee as Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia". The Chief Justice began the proceedings by delivering a warm welcoming speech, and then wisely remarked that it was indeed Judge Lee's workload that made him late, and not his attempt to claim overtime. Besides the Chief Justice, there were several other speakers, who all praised and joked about the new judge's credentials and work. One recounted how Judge Lee, while keeping a busy lawyer's schedule, would find time to take part as a bird-counter and to volunteer at charities. Another joked about his prowess as a two-finger typist with the speed that no one at the law firm could match, resulting in his technique being dubbed "Wilson's two-finger typing".
Four directors from the Lee's Benevolent Association of Canada were invited to the ceremony. One was overheard saying to another: "In 2008, we came here with heavy hearts at the last of four lawsuits brought against the Association by the out-of-town directors. Today, we arrived with nothing but joyful thought!"
In the reception that followed, a commemorative plaque from the four directors, and bearing eight Chinese characters expressing, "swiftly and vigorously upholding justice for both country and citizens", was presented to the new judge with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Mon Tim Lee, longtime members of the Association, looking on approvingly.
I swear that all of the above is true. Trust me. I was one of the four directors. (GL)
Editor's note: On December 18, 2015, the Chief Justice of the Provincial Court of British Columbia announced that "Judge Wilson Lee - will be sworn in on January 14, 2016 and assigned to the Vancouver Region with resident chamber to be determined."
Judge Lee's legal career encompasses 24 years of experience with criminal, family and civil litigation, as well as real estate, personal injury and builder's lien litigation. After receiving his law degree from UBC, he worked with a number of small- to medium-sized law firms and, since 2001, has been a lawyer with the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program in both the provincial court and B.C. Supreme Court.
“It is an honour to be chosen to serve the people of British Columbia in a new capacity,” said Richard Lee. “My constituents will still remain my first priority, but during sittings of the Legislature I will have the added challenge of facilitating debate and furthering our democratic process.”
Lee’s Benevolent Association of Canada, Lee’s Vancouver and Lee’s Athletic Society posted this congratulatory note on the Sing Tao Newspaper Canada on October 1, 2015, in celebration of his appointment.