Obituary: Crown prosecutor James ‘Jimmy’ Stewart was icon in Ontario justice


The information of Stewart’s loss of life ricocheted by means of Canada’s authorized circles on the weekend. Stewart, a devoted marathoner, might typically be seen operating downtown in plus- and minus-30 climate. He lived clear and sometimes inspired his colleagues to do the identical. However he didn’t preach and, by all accounts, was sincere and pleasant because the day is lengthy.

He handled the janitor as he would the decide, and if he met your loved ones as soon as, he remembered their names and appeared genuinely fascinated about their lives. Regardless of his busy schedule, Stewart made time to mentor colleagues, younger and previous.

His loss of life was sudden. Most of his colleagues didn’t know he was within the hospital, the place he spent his final hours of life working by way of cellphone and e-mail.

“James Stewart was a significant a part of the Ministry of the Legal professional Common for 47 years, throughout which era he turned an icon,” stated Susan Kyle, assistant deputy legal professional common (Legal Regulation Division), in an announcement.

“James comported himself professionally and with the utmost grace and decorum, exemplifying the perfect custom of Crown counsel. Regardless of his heavy case load he was at all times obtainable to mentor and advise, and he was a job mannequin for all Crown Attorneys. We are going to miss his friendship, management, dedication, innovation, versatility, and generosity.”

Senior Ottawa prosecutor James Cavanagh recalled Stewart as a fantastic pal and mentor.

“He was a legend and a frontrunner,” Cavanagh stated.

Stewart was generally known as a “fireman” within the ministry for parachuting into trials that had gone off the rails solely to get them again on monitor, Cavanagh stated.

“He was at all times decided to do the precise factor, at his job and in life normally. He was an incredible mentor and at all times prepared with useful recommendation and steering for probably the most junior or veteran colleague. He was a fantastic pal and many people owe him great money owed for his steering and friendship all through our careers,” stated Cavanagh, who famous that Stewart was pleasant and will put anybody relaxed, and he at all times made positive you took time to understand the unusual and your lot in life.

“He was the incarnation of a superb lawyer, a superb Crown and a superb man,” Cavanagh stated.

Stewart by no means complained and had a fantastic sense of humour.

High prosecutor Robin Flumerfelt labored intently with Stewart and was heartbroken by the information.

“For nearly 5 a long time he handled the worst crimes, earned the largest titles, and suggested probably the most senior officers in authorities. And but he remained so regular and first rate that individuals who met him by no means imagined he was that man. He handled the one that offered him his morning espresso the identical as he would deal with the Chief Justice of Canada.  That’s simply who Jimmy was.  James M. Stewart, Q.C. was simply ‘Jimmy’ to every person,” Flumerfelt stated.

Stewart, irrespective of that he was an icon, at all times introduced himself as only a child from Garson, Ontario.

And whereas he was at all times fast with a joke, it was by no means at somebody’s expense, Flumerfelt stated.

Seasoned Ottawa defence lawyer Lawrence Greenspon fondly recalled Stewart as a troublesome and sincere adversary.

“Jimmy used to say that they stored him within the basement hungry, after which each every so often they’d throw him a bit of meat — a troublesome case —after which he would go to work. He ran at his personal tempo proper till the top. He’s already missed,” Greenspon stated.

Paul McDermott, a now-retired Crown legal professional, recalled his pal as a gentleman.

McDermott stated Stewart was a legendary prosecutor who had no equal.

“Stewart was a faithful son to his beloved mother and father and regardless of all his accomplishments and notoriety he by no means for a second forgot who he was – a man from Garson, Ont., who labored arduous, was sincere and type

Jim Stewart made an actual distinction  and he won’t changed.”

Stewart, the son of a miner, is survived by an older brother.