Suzanne Leslie Hillier (Retired)
Suzanne Hillier at retirement dinner.
Suzanne Hillier was born in 1932 in St. John`s, Newfoundland. She was the granddaughter of Dr. Levi Curtis, MBE, a prominent educator, a co-founder of Memorial University and after whom Curtis Academy was named, and daughter of Leslie R. Curtis, Senior Partner of the law firm Curtis and Dawe, and Attorney General of the Province for 22 years—who never lost an election! Together with Joseph R. Smallwood, Les Curtis was one of the Fathers of Confederation with Canada.
Suzanne Hillier attended public schools, one year of Memorial University in St. John`s, and then attended McGill university in Montreal, where she graduated with a B.A in 1953. Following this she took post graduate studies at Columbia University in New York.
She married in 1954 and had four children, one of whom died at age five.
In 1964, she earned a high school teaching certificate, following which she taught for two years. She then attended the University of Toronto and in 1968 graduated with an M.A. in English. In June, 1972, she graduated with a LLB from the University of Toronto and in 1974 was called to the Bar of the Province of Ontario.
Suzanne Hillier started her professional career in Toronto in 1974 carrying out a general practice, but concentrating on criminal and divorce work. Her first office was located at Church and Wellesley, then a well known red light district, where she rented from Harold Ballard, owner of Maple Leaf Gardens. She renovated a run down three story wooden house. Upon learning of the improvements Ballard tripled the rent. A decision was made to move and the house was subsequently demolished. The site is now an Orthopedic Hospital.
In 1976, as a result of the loss of the office, and to take advantage of the rapidly expanding real estate market and population in Peel County, the law office was transferred to Brampton. In 1980 the firm was expanded by the addition of Ava Hillier. Throughout the subsequent years the practice became compartmentalized with Suzanne Hillier concentrating on a rapidly expanding divorce practice and her partner, Ava, doing personal injury work.
Suzanne`s practice was highly litigious, with constant court appearances and trials, which resulted in many reported decisions.
Suzanne Hillier retired in 2006, and since her retirement has published an anecdotal and cautionary work on the hazards of divorcing titled Divorce: A Guided Tour which is currently available through Amazon, Kindle and Smashwords. She also writes fiction and in the past has published in various periodicals. She looks forward to the publication of her first novel this year.
Her interests are politics (both US and Canadian) and the constant reading of both fiction and nonfiction. When in Ontario she reads three newspapers a day. Her major interest lies in six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She currently divides her time between Caledon, Ontario and the Southern California Desert.