James Doane Hallett
James Doane Hallett
Doctor of Laws
A native Haligonian, the Honourable Mr. Justice Doane Hallett attended Halifax public schools prior to entering St. Mary's University, from whence he graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. At convocation in 1952, he was the class valedictorian. Three years later, he was awarded a Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University.
In 1956, he was called to the Bat of Nova Scotia and commenced the practice of law with the firm of Wickwire, MacInnes & Wilson, later to become MacInnes, Wilson & Hallett. During his twenty-one years as a practicing lawyer, mainly in the area of Corporate and Commercial Law, he served as a member of the Council of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, chairing several senior Committees, including Legal Aid, and participated as a panellist at numerous seminars relating to his area of law practice. He also served as a Director of the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia. In 1971, he was appointed a Queen's Counsel.
His association with St. Mary's University continued during his years as a practicing lawyer. In the early 1960's, he lectured at the University in Commercial Law. Later, he served a term as a member of the University's Board of Governors.
In the further service of his community, he was a member of the first Parish Council of the Canadian Martyrs Parish. He was a Director and Legal Counsel for the Nova Scotia Division of the Canadian Cancer Society and twice served as Chair of its annual fundraising campaign. He is a former President of the Halifax Club. He is both an avid and proficient golfer and fisherman. In addition to playing golf, his talents were called upon to assist the game, generally, and served as a Director and President of Ashburn Golf Club, as well as the Nova Scotia Golf Association. For seven years, he was a Governor of the Royal Canadian Golf Association.
In 1977, he was appointed a judge of the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. In the thirteen years in which he served in that capacity, Mr. Justice Hallett was one of Nova Scotia's most highly respected trial judges. In 1990, he was elevated to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, where he now serves. During his judicial career, he was an active member of various committees dealing with the administration of justice in Nova Scotia, most often chairing those committees. He represented Nova Scotia as a Director of the Canadian Judges Conference and in that capacity, served on various national committees, including a term as Chair of the Independence of the Judiciary Committee. He is a strong supporter of judicial education. He has lectured and participated at conferences and seminars of the National Judicial Institute and was active in the development and organization of an annual seminar specifically related to Appeal Court judges. He is, at the present time, Chair of the Advisory Committee, set up to make recommendations for the appointment of Queen's Counsel.
At a dinner in his honour in 1998, the former Chief Justice of Nova Scotia, the Honourable Lorne Clarke, said the following:
Both as a trial judge and as a judge of the Court of Appeal, Mr. Justice Hallett has been the author of many of our leading judgements. He is quoted with ever- increasing frequency. His work is respected by other judges. He is highly respected by the Bar. Lawyers in Nova Scotia regard Mr. Justice Hallett as intelligent, fair minded, dedicated to the law and, in general parlace, a class act.
He and his wife Marjorie have four children: Cynthia Jane, Joseph Edward Forbes, Helen Scriven, and Mary Elizabeth, all four of whom attended Saint Mary's University. Cynthia Jane and Helen Scriven both graduated with Bachelor of Commerce degrees in 1980 and 1993 respectively. His youngest brother, Georges "Burpee" Hallett was a faculty member in the Department of English at Saint Mary's University from 1960 to 1997.