In Memoriam: Retired Justices F.B. William Kelly and David W. Gruchy

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The Honourable (retired) Justice F.B. William Kelly passed away on May 13, 2016, surrounded by his family. He was 79 years of age. Justice Kelly retired from the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in September of 2009 after 24 years on the Bench.

Hon. Justice F.B. Williams

He was a Judge of the Nova Scotia Family Court in 1984 for Sydney. In 1985 he was appointed a Judge of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Trial Division and when that court merged with the County Court in 1993, as a member of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Justice Kelly was born and raised in Charlottetown, P.E.I. He attended St. Dunstan’s University (UPEI) where he obtained a B.A., and in 1967 graduated with an LL.B. from Dalhousie Law School in Halifax. He was admitted to the Bar of Nova Scotia in 1968, served on the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society Council for several terms and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1983. At the beginning of his career, Justice Kelly practised civil litigation and criminal law in Port Hawkesbury. He also served as a labour arbitrator and Small Claims Court adjudicator.

During his time on the Bench, Justice Kelly authored and presented papers principally on judicial independence, the relationship between the Press and the Judiciary, and the role of victims in the Courts.

Described by his colleagues as a true “gentleman of the law,” Justice Kelly served as a member on a number of Supreme Court and Bar/Bench committees. Among his many roles, he was Co-Chair of the Judicial Development Committee established by the Chief Justices and Chief Judges of the province, a committee that developed a pilot program to improve judicial performance and education. The program was the first of its kind in Canada involving judicial assessment.

See Justice Kelly’s obituary on the Courts of Nova Scotia website. 

Retired Justice David W. Gruchy
The Honourable (retired) Justice David W. Gruchy passed away on May 22, 2016 at age 84. 

Hon Justice David W Gruchy

A funeral service will be held in St. James Anglican Church at the Armdale Rotary on Saturday, May 28 at 10:30 am, with a reception to follow in the church hall.

Hailing from Bishop's Falls, Newfoundland, he received his law degree from Dalhousie Law School in 1957 and went on to become a partner at the former Truro firm Burchell, MacDougall and Gruchy. He received his Queen’s Counsel designation in 1974.Until his appointment to the bench in 1990, he practised labour, municipal and administrative law, and civil litigation, and also served as Solicitor for the Town of Truro from 1975 to 1990.

Community service was important throughout his legal career. Along with serving on the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society Council, he was active on various committees of the Canadian Bar Association and served as a founding member of the Truro Industrial Commission, as President of the Canadian Transportation Lawyers Association (1989), and as Vice-Chair of the Law Foundation of Nova Scotia. He was an active member of the Kinsmen Club and served as Chairman of the United Way. 

Following his retirement from the bench in 2007, Justice Gruchy served on the Nova Scotia Criminal Review Board, the Nova Scotia Securities Commission and as Chair of the Nova Scotia MLA Pension Review (2011).