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After 20 unconventional years defending clients who been down a path he knows all too well himself, Gerry White is hanging up his gown.

The black sheep lawyer earned a reputation as being a tough, plain spoken defence council who also worked pro bono for many down and out clients, but only if they played by his rules and fit his criteria.

For seven years he ran Billy Buffet House of Welcome, a recovery home in Vanier where he eventually learned of the various legal troubles faced by struggling addicts.

And, as someone who also admits to having a minor rap sheet back in the day, he was one to know.

“A lot of it is chickens he said, describing charges faced by clients he represented.

White said he buckled up and went to law school after reading a particular case where the defence lawyer asked for credit off a client sentence because he spent time at a Salvation Army treatment centre.

timberland boots size 6 Black sheep lawyer retires
that the decision I want,” he recalled saying to himself at the time.

In 1995, he joined the bar at age 50.

Over the years, he said he caused havoc and earned a few sneers from defence lawyers because of his billing practices.

“I depriving them of their fees,” he said. “It not about the money, never was.”

White said he sometimes let clients pay him $200 or $50 when they owed him way more.

He retires knowing he made an impression on Ottawa justice system.

“He also taught all of us on the bench about addiction and gave true meaning to the word rehabilitation. Personally, he brought meaning to the belief that our community is always best served by treating those whose crimes are committed as a result of addiction or mental health,” wrote Justice Heather Perkins McVey.
timberland boots size 6 Black sheep lawyer retires