ADVISORY HEATHER SANDERSON TO RECEIVE THE 2012 LEE SAMIS AWARD OF EXCELLENCE Toronto: May 15th 2012 - Canadian Defence Lawyers (CDL) is pleased to announce that Heather Sanderson of Calgary, Alberta will be the eleventh recipient of the prestigious Lee Samis Award of Excellence. The official announcement will be made in Toronto at the CDL Annual Meeting – “The Conjuror Unmasked – The Magic of a Spellbinding Defence” on June 7th at the Radisson Admiral Hotel on the waterfront. A dinner will be held in her honour in Calgary later this year. Ms. Sanderson has practiced insurance defence litigation for 29 years and is recognized as a national authority on insurance coverage and practice. She has authored and edited two books on liability insurance; each of which are used as texts by the University level programmes that teach liability insurance. Few lawyers match her ability to understand and interpret insurance policies. She has appeared before all levels of court, argued before the Supreme Court of Canada and was counsel in 12 reported decisions. European re-insurers as well as Canadian and American insurers retain Heather on legal issues affecting all manner of commercial and personal lines insurance policies. She has also been retained as an expert witness to provide opinion evidence on the history of certain policy provisions to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the Ontario Superior Court and the Cour Supérieure du Québec. One of her finest legal performances was during a one year civil trial in Yellowknife, the longest, largest and most complicated trial in the NorthWest Territories’ history. Ms. Sanderson exhibited the highest qualities of counsel working with others, with difficult witnesses and with the toughest of problems to contend with both factual and technological. In her law firm Ms. Sanderson is a popular mentor to junior lawyers. She demonstrates a commendable willingness to assist junior lawyers with file management and problem solving despite her heavy personal workload, which speaks to her commitment to excellence in the profession both now and through the development of junior counsel in the futures. She is also committed to serving her community as is evidenced by her long term involvement with Scouts Canada. One of the camps that she organized for her troop and the local Search and Rescue Organization was written up in the Calgary Herald and is now emulated by other troops in Western Canada. Encouraging and mentoring youth is honorable and demanding work and Heather is high-fived in local shopping malls whenever she encounters scouts. Heather was called to the Alberta bar in 1982 and currently practices at MacPherson Leslie and Tyerman in Calgary. The Lee Samis Award of Excellence was named for the founding President of CDL to recognize exceptional contributions and/or achievements by members of CDL: - to the legal profession in general; or
- to jurisprudence in Canada on the law of insurance; or - to law or development of the law of insurance in Canada; or - a significant law-related benefit to CDL and/or the insurance industry. CDL was founded in 1996 by a small group of lawyers to address the growing needs of the defence bar. CDLâ€™s activities now include: CLE delivered coast to coast in classroom, teleconference, webcast and DVD formats; a vigorous online presence including members only blog, downloadable CLE, registration, materials library, employment postings; active Young Lawyers Committee; roundtable discussions with insurers; legislative consultation; and networking.