One Man's Justice
A Life in the LawBook - 2002
A rare and fortunate few among lawyers fundamentally transform the application of justice within the law. In his legal life spanning more than four decades, Tom Berger's cases have broken new ground and created new openings for laws to be applied in a more sane and humane fashion.
In the twelve major cases featured in this compelling book, "justice" was won not just for the benefit of Berger's clients but for everyone. Berger may be best known for his championing of aboriginal rights, but he has made a comparable impact upon a panoply of other causes, often representing those whose rights are ignored or neglected by the status quo.
Berger writes passionately of the points of law and underlying principles upon which his cases turned. Excerpts of dramatic courtroom give-and-take and accounts of behind-the-scenes legal strategizing bring Berger's adventures in the law to vivid life. Rich characters people his recollections, from an aging judge brashly displaying his anti-union sentiments to clients poignantly trying to reclaim some sense of dignity in lives that have been trampled by the machinations of the legal system.
Whether recounting his early days as a lawyer representing drug addicts and prostitutes, his mid-career stint as a judge cut short by his outspoken stand on a point of principle, or his later career as lead counsel to a team of advocates committed to social equity, Berger's book makes clear the impact one man's justice can make upon us all.
Thomas R. Berger, one of Canada's best-known lawyers, began practicing law in Vancouver in 1957. He served for twelve years on the Supreme Court of British Columbia and is currently representing the provincial government in its suit against the tobacco industry. He is the author of several books, including A Long and Terrible Shadow.