David Scott, OC, QC, LL.B. 1960, D.U. 2001, had a relationship with the University of Ottawa that spanned more than six decades. He was fiercely proud of his alma mater and continued to take an interest in the faculty and its students until his final days.
Mr. Scott was a member of the Common Law Section’s first graduating class in 1960. Following his graduation, Mr. Scott became a prominent civil litigator and always maintained a strong relationship with the Common Law Section. After being admitted to the bar in 1962, Mr. Scott became one of Canada’s most distinguished trial and appellate lawyers, handling cases in criminal law, intellectual property, administrative law, and. complex commercial matters. He represented Prime Ministers and heads of multinational companies, and was an advocate for access to justice and co-founder of Pro Bono Law Ontario. In 1976, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel.
From 1975 – 89, Mr. Scott shared his knowledge with our students, teaching Trial Advocacy here at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. He was often a guest lecturer and attended many Faculty events throughout the academic year.
Mr. Scott’s desire to provide students with the best education possible drove him to lead a successful fundraising campaign, which allowed the University to open the Ian Scott Courtroom in 2013, dedicated in honour of his late brother, the Hon. Ian G. Scott, a renowned lawyer and former Attorney General of Ontario. The unique courtroom located on campus and attached to Fauteux Hall has an adjoining classroom with one-way glass, allowing students to watch, hear, and comment on live court proceedings.
“David Scott exemplified the best of the Canadian legal profession”, stated Dean Adam Dodek. “He reached the pinnacle of the profession but always focused on the public interest: on advancing access to justice, on expanding pro bono and on training and mentoring students and new lawyers. He was so proud of his uOttawa law degree and so generous and genuine in his support for his alma mater.”
Mr. Scott and his contributions were recognized by the University of Ottawa and the Faculty of Law with several awards, including Honorary Doctorate, Common Law Honour Society, and Alumnus of the Year. He was recognized nationally and internationally, becoming the first Canadian to be elected as the President of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was also the recipient of the University of Calgary Law School’s Milvain Chair in Advocacy, the University of Saskatchewan College of Law’s inaugural Silas Hylak Chair in Advocacy, the Lexpert Lifetime Achievement Award in Pro Bono in 2010, and the Ontario Bar Association’s annual award for outstanding contributions to the cause of pro bono legal services is named in his honour. Mr. Scott was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2011.
Mr. Scott will be dearly missed in the Ottawa legal community and especially here at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section.