Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Distinguished Alumni: Linda Rothstein, Tariq Remtulla with Dean Mayo Moran and Justice James Farley.


By Lucianna Ciccocioppo

Under the soaring Tudor ceiling of the Hart House music room, amid the long harvest tables filled with family and friends, three notable alumni were celebrated at the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award dinner event April 2:  Justice James Farley, LLB 1966, Linda Rothstein, LLB 1980, and Tariq Remtulla, JD 2005. 

“When I welcome new admits [to the law school], I tell them they are joining such an incredibly special place,” said Dean Mayo Moran. “And what's such an amazing thing about a room and event like tonight is I think we already know and feel what it's like to be part of that community. It’s such a privilege.”

Justice Gloria Epstein, LLB 1977, said the purpose of the Ann Wilson Robert Prichard Award was to recognize young alumni “who have demonstrated their contribution to the profession right out of the gate.” Award recipient Tariq Remtulla, an associate in the intellectual property group at Blakes Law, sits on the board of the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, advocates tirelessly against oppression, homophobia and discrimination, does probono work and sits on his firm’s equity committee.

Remtulla acknowledged Distinguished Alumnus Award recipients Farley and Rothstein, and called them “true inspirations.” He spoke about the transformative impact of the law school’s Law in Action Within Schools program (LAWS) at Central Tech High School where he and his firm are involved. And, in a poignant story, he recalled the impact of mentoring a young elementary student named Marcus in Philadelphia, while Remtulla did his undergraduate degree at University of Pennsylvania. “Marcus was the reason I went to law school.”

Music room with harvest tables, guests seated for award event

MC Will McDowell, LLB 1986, was his usual affable self, and happily introduced the video tributes for the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award winners, in lieu of “too many people we would have had to ask to say a speech.”

Managing partner of Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein, litigator and mentor, Linda Rothstein spoke passionately in her acceptance speech about the strength of her 'diads', the close and supportive relationships with family members and friends that have guided her along her incredible career path. “It all feels very much like a dream,” said Rothstein.

Jim Farley, a Rhodes scholar, past supervising judge of the Commercial List, and senior counsel at McCarthy Tétrault, said there was a common thread in his academic successes, since he lived much of his life “a block and a half away from an educational institution. My first year at U of T, I was at Devonshire House, then when I came back to U of T, I was a don at Trinity College.” As a law graduate in 1966, Farley said he was advised not to go to Blakes “because it was a ‘factory’ of 34 lawyers,” he deadpanned “...the biggest firm in the Commonwealth.”

Dean Moran concluded the evening by saying: “Our amazing recipients demonstrate what is absolutely the best about the law school: care and commitment to the profession, and to our institution. You make us proud.”


Photos: Michelle Yee