Iain Mentiplay, QC, formerly of the Law Society of Saskatchewan, passed away last week at the age of 79. With this sad news, the Library staff would like to highlight the considerable contribution Iain made to the Law Society, and especially to the Centennial in 2007 with the publishing of A Century of Integrity: The Law Society of Saskatchewan 1907 to 2007, his thorough look at the evolution of the province’s legal profession and governing body.
Executive Director, Thomas Schonhoffer, praised Iain’s contribution, saying that the “boook”, as Iain pronounced it in his thick Scottish accent, was the product of Iain’s “unfailing memory and meticulous research”.
In the Preface to the book, Iain acknowledged his desire to be a part of the project, and through this we see a glimpse of his generous nature:
In 1999, shortly after my retirement for the Law Society of Saskatchewan, I was asked by the president, Maurice Laprairie, to write a history of the Law Society. Although I was aware of the magnitude of the project, I agreed to undertake it. The Law Society has been such a major part of my life that it was important for me to give something back to it. It was also an opportunity to keep in contact with the legal profession of Saskatchewan, with whom I have always enjoyed a good relationship.
It wasn’t only the book that Iain so generously contributed to, but also the Law Society itself, with years of service spanning two decades. He served as the secretary-treasurer from 1979 to 1991, and was the instigator for publication of the Practitioners’ Journal in 1981, which became a primary way for the Law Society to communicate with its members. That publication was the forerunner of the Benchers’ Digest, our quarterly newsletter still published today. But his contributions didn’t end there. “From 1992 to his retirement in 1999 he was senior counsel and complaints officer for the Law Society and from 1988 to 1998 was claims administrator of the Saskatchewan Lawyers’ Insurance Association Inc.,” writes Maurice Laprairie in the Foreword to A Century of Integrity.
Iain’s contributions have been many, and as much as Iain found it important to give back to the Law Society, we would like to express our gratitude to him and acknowledge the many ways Iain helped make the Law Society what it is today. He will be greatly missed.