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John Rosen: Eddie Greenspan’s death is end of an era

Canadian Press THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO – Edward Greenspan, one of Canada's most famous criminal lawyers, has died.

His law firm, Greenspan Partners LLP, confirmed his death Wednesday morning.

Greenspan represented a number of high-profile clients, including one-time media baron Conrad Black and former theatre mogul Garth Drabinsky.

A number of individuals in the legal community are mourning Greenspan's death, calling him a ``giant'' and one of the legal profession's best.

Greenspan's memorial will be held by Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel in Toronto.

Toronto criminal lawyer John Rosen says his death is a massive loss to the legal community and the country.

"It's the end of an era," he says.

Rosen, partner at Rosen Naster LLP, remembers first meeting Greenspan when he was 16 years old. Greenspan drove all the way from Niagara Falls to go out on a date with a girl who lived next door to Rosen in Toronto.

"Because of that relationship, which was short-lived as we were just teenagers, he was introduced to our little group of friends," he recalls.

Later, the two young men reconnected when they were completing their undergraduate degrees at the University of Toronto. After that, they attended law school together at Osgoode Hall when it was still located downtown. They remained friends throughout their careers.

"Eddie Greenspan always wanted to be a criminal lawyer from the time anybody knew him," says Rosen. "He used to say he was influenced by the Perry Mason character."

Rosen says Greenspan always strived to be a "lawyer's lawyer."

"He wanted to be somebody other lawyers would come to for advice and direction," he says. "And in order to do that, he dedicated himself to becoming a master of the criminal law and a great advocate. He certainly dominated the court room as a counsel. He was always well-prepared and knew his client and his case.

"He was more successful than not in getting a good result for his clients."

Rosen notes that Greenspan was extremely close with his brother Brian Greenspan, also a lawyer.

"They purposely didn't practise together so that each could develop his own reputation and practice," he says. "But they had enormous respect, love and affection for each other. It's a big loss to Brian, a big loss."

© 2014 The Canadian Press

- With a file from AdvocateDaily.com 

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