John J. Robinette


John J. Robinette, Canada’s greatest trial lawyer, was admired and respected by the bench and his fellow lawyers alike. A quiet, unassuming man outside the courtroom, he was a consummate performer when appearing before a judge and jury.

Robinette became a household name as the defender of Evelyn Dick, who was charged with killing her husband and infant son in Hamilton in 1946, and of Steven Suchan, a member of the infamous Boyd Gang. He was Canada’s pre-eminent lawyer from the 1930s to the 1980s, showing unparalleled versatility and virtuosity whether acting as counsel in criminal, civil, or constitutional cases, at both the trial and appeal levels. This is the story of a great man, of the maturing of the legal profession in Canada, and of Canada in the twentieth century.


"Part memoir, part biographya shining success."

(January, 2004)

"The Finlayson reminiscences make fascinating reading for anyone interested in the law and one of Canada's greatest advocates. I highly recommend it."

(November, 2003)

"No one but George Finlayson could have written this book, for it captures not only the career but also the chacter of Canada's greatest advocate."

(September, 2003)

About the Author

George D. Finlayson

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

George D. Finlayson

The Honourable George D. Finalyson Esq., Q.C., LL.B., LL.D. was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and grew up in Winnipeg and Ottawa, Ontario. He received his call to the Bar in June 1953 and immediately joined the firm McCarthy and McCarthy (now McCarthy Tetrault) in Toronto, where he worked with Robinette. He remained there until his elevation to the bench of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Ontario in 1984.