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24 March 2009

Barry Gibson, Q.C. Passes Away

It is with great sadness that we report Farris partner Barry Gibson, Q.C. has passed away. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends, clients, and everyone who knew him. He will be greatly missed. While the firm gathers its thoughts, tributes have already begun to surface as highlighted below: Saturday, March 28, 2009 Barry Gibson: A Quiet Gunslinger Obituary: Media lawyer said he was in the business of fixing things, but he never backed down from a fight By David Baines, Vancouver Sun Friday, March 27, 2009 Goodbye, Barry, and Thank You Coquitlam NOW “We lost a dear colleague, friend and champion of journalism this week. You wouldn’t have known that same gentle, patient man was a giant in the courtroom.” said the Coquitlam NOW today. Journalism Loses a Friend Chilliwack Times and Richmond News, by Marlyn Graziano “I lost a valued mentor and adviser this week, and journalists everywhere lost a good friend. Barry Gibson was one of Canada’s top media lawyers and we were fortunate indeed to have him on our team.” said Marlyn Graziano in today’s Chilliwack Times and Richmond News newspapers. Freedom Loses Major Advocate Langley Advance by Bob Groeneveld, “His deep feeling for the law was matched by a strong passion for journalism. He was a mentor and an advisor and a teacher who enjoyed instructing journalists on the law.” said Bob Groeneveld of the Langley Advance who also added, “His impact on newsrooms across the country, and particularly on this newsroom in Langley, cannot be overstated.” In Memoriam The Vancouver Courier “He was known and genuinely liked for his razor-sharp wit and his affection for journalists and their craft.” reported The Vancouver Courier today. Thursday, March 26, 2009 Media Lawyer Dies of Heart Attack The Province newspaper, by Jack Keating In today’s Province newspaper, Farris Chair Keith Mitchell, Q.C. spoke about Barry Gibson, Q.C. “He was such a unique individual, possessed of such good judgment that all of us who worked closely with him are really at a loss. He had the ability to cut through all the formal structure of the law and get right to the issue with profound common sense.” Mitchell went on to say, “The legal community and colleagues at Farris where he worked for more than 30 years are in shock. It was so sudden and we worked so closely with him that it’s just hard to believe he’s not there today.” Media Lawyer Made Sun A Better Newspaper - The Vancouver Sun newspaper, by Shelley Fralic In today’s Vancouver Sun newspaper, columnist Shelley Fralic said, “They say that behind every great reporter - the kind of reporter who asks the hard questions, who digs deep, who breaks news outside the pack, who never loses that fire in the belly - there is a good editor. There is also a good lawyer. For those of us at The Vancouver Sun, that lawyer was Barry Gibson.” Sadness at the Passing of Barry Gibson - The Vancouver Courier Today the Vancouver Courier newspaper said, “Gibson, widely regarded as one of the best media lawyers in the country, provided intelligent and low-key legal advice to reporters and editors at the Courier for more than two decades. But the Courier was not his only client. He provided the same level of expert service to more than 100 other newspaper, magazines and book publishers.” Wednesday, March 25, 2009 Vancouver Sun’s Long-Time Lawyer Barry Gibson Dies The Vancouver Sun newspaper, by Neal Hall (also published in USA Today) Sun Editor-in-Chief Patricia Graham said, “Barry has been an integral part of The Vancouver Sun newsroom for many years. Not only was he always available with sound, thoughtful counsel, he was a very generous man who went out of his way to help individuals in the newsroom in a variety of ways.” Vancouver Media Lawyer Barry Gibson Dies The Georgia Straight, by Charlie Smith Smith who worked with Barry Gibson, Q.C. said today in his blog, “One of my family members was once dismissed from a job unfairly. I called Gibson because I knew he was the best.” Barry Gibson One of the Good Guys The Burnaby Now, by Pat Tracy
Tracy, editor at Burnaby Now today said, “Barry… had been our advisor, mentor, guardian and my personal barometer of media legal common-sense for close to two decades.” She went on to say, “His wry sense of humour, no-B.S. style of advice, and courage in the face of adversity has endeared him to journalists throughout the Lower Mainland. To watch him in action was like witnessing a great chess player his intellectual brilliance and knowledge of the law was mighty impressive.” Other tributes include: Nelson Daily News, Metrovalley Newspaper Group, Surrey Now, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times, The Record (New Westminster), and Abbortsford News. Download the PDF file here.

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