Alumin Photo

Morris Fish (BBHS ’55)

Born: 1938, Montreal Quebec

Morris Fish was born to Aaron S. Fish and Zlata Grober in Montreal in 1938.

Upon graduating from BBHS, he enrolled at McGill University where he earned a B.A. with distinction in 1959 and a B.C.L. with first class honours from the faculty of Law in 1963. Justice Fish earned several awards when graduating from law school including the Greenshields Prize, the Crankshaw Prize and the MacDonald Travelling Scholarship.

Justice Fish pursued postgraduate studies at the Université de Paris, studying constitutional law and public liberties. He was called to the Bars of Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Alberta.He was an associate (1964 – 67) and partner (1967 – 89) in the Montreal law firm of Cohen, Leithman, Kaufman, Yarosky and Fish (and successors firms), and in 1984 was named Queen’s Counsel.

Teaching was always a high priority in Justice Fish’s career. As an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Law at McGill University, he taught criminal evidence and procedure (1973 to 1980) and advanced criminal law. He also taught at the University of Ottawa and the Université de Montréal. Over the years, he has contributed to a number of legal periodicals and been a guest speaker at many legal and judicial conferences, both in Canada and abroad.

Justice Fish held a number of consulting positions for the Federal Department of Justice and Revenue Quebec. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Bureau of Montreal (1968-73); a member and chair of various committees of the Bar of Montreal and the Bar of Quebec (1969-76); chair of the Quebec Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee (2000-2003, 2006); and member (from 1994) and chair (1996-2003) of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Law at McGill University.

Justice Fish has been awarded many prizes and honours during his career. He received an Honorary LL.D. from McGill University in 2001, and an Honorary LL.D. from Yeshiva University in 2009. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2006, and was awarded the F.R. Scott Medal by the Faculty of Law at McGill in 2006, the Medal of Recognition of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law in 2008, and the G. Arthur Martin Medal in 2011 for his contribution to criminal justice in Canada.

Justice Fish was appointed to the Quebec Court of Appeal in 1989 and later the Supreme Court of Canada in 2003. He retired on August 31, 2013.

In a video interview Justice Fish talks about his experiences at BBHS and growing up in the neighbourhood.

SOURCES AND LINKS:

Hon. Morris J. Fish, Q.C., Davies
Supreme Court justice’s departure puts pressure on PM, Kirk Makin, The Globe and Mail, Apr. 22, 2013