Supreme Court Judge Celebrates Five Decades Working in the Law

White man with glasses wearing red, white and black judicial robes.

Earlier this year, The Hon. Justice Gregory (Greg) Warner celebrated his 75th birthday, and his last day as a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

A jurist for almost 20 years, the milestone was bittersweet, especially for someone with five decades working in Nova Scotia’s legal system.

“Justice Warner was always a fair and formidable presence in the courtroom,” said The Hon. Deborah K. Smith, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. “His decisions were invaluable. He took the time when writing to educate the reader on the history of the law in the particular area that he was dealing with. Outside of court, he was quick to speak his mind and never afraid to explore new ideas, especially in the area of technology and the Courts. His contributions in this area, and in helping to build the groundwork for pro bono services for vulnerable Nova Scotians, will not be forgotten. We wish him many years of health and happiness in his retirement.”

Justice Warner was born in Yarmouth, N.S., and went on to become the first resident of that community to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

He studied at Acadia University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 1969. He completed his law degree at Dalhousie University in 1972 and was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar that same year. During his time in university, Justice Warner and three of his fellow students co-founded Dalhousie Legal Aid in Halifax, converting an old tattoo parlour on Gottingen Street into a storefront pro bono clinic. That led to the creation of a Dalhousie Legal Aid law school course in September 1970. It also inspired the Nova Scotia Legislature to adopt a similar model for the Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission in 1971.

Before his appointment to the Bench, Justice Warner worked for more than 30 years as a general practitioner in Western Nova Scotia. He also served on the Provincial Planning Appeal Board from 1972 to 1978.

Justice Warner was appointed to the Supreme Court on Nov. 2, 2003, and presided most of his career in Kentville. He elected supernumerary status in January 2019.

During his time on the Bench, Justice Warner sat on various judicial committees, including serving several years as Chair of the All Courts Technology Committee.

Justice Warner enjoys fishing, canoeing, windsurfing and reading, and is a fan of baseball, minor hockey and Canadian art — all things he will hopefully have more time to enjoy in his retirement.