HomeLocalLocal NewsHarvey Pollock was dedicated to the law

Harvey Pollock was dedicated to the law

By BERNIE BELLAN and MYRON LOVE On Sunday, February 5, Harvey Pollock passed away suddenly. Much has already been written and said about his long and illustrious career as a lawyer for over 65 years, also his legendary talent as a whistler. In November 2017 Myron Love wrote an article describing how Harvey Pollock, who had been practicing law for 60 years to that point, had been joined in the practice by two other generations of Pollocks: Harvey’s son Martin, and his grandsons, Ethan Pollock and Noah Globerman.
There have been many great lawyers in our Winnipeg Jewish community over the years, Harvey Pollock among them. But one line in Myron’s story five years ago always stuck with me – the last line of the story: “There were 43 students in my graduating class,” Harvey said. “I am the only one from that class still practicing law.”
In fact, Harvey went on to practice another five years before his untimely death. His story bears repeating.
Here is Harvey Pollock’s story, as Myron wrote it five years ago:
”Harvey Pollock was born the fourth child of Sam and Sliva Pollock, who came from Russia to join family in 1927. Harvey recalls that when he was called to the Bar in 1958, the practice of law was much different than it is today.
“Back then,” he recalls, “judges knew you. Relationships were built on integrity and respect. Your word counted. I enjoyed a healthy relationship with the court.
He remembers his first murder case – which ended in rather dramatic fashion. “The Crown’s chief witness confessed to the murder under cross examination,” he recounts.
For the first couple of years, Pollock received a lot of work from the Children’s Aid Society of Winnipeg. In 1960, he went to work for Hart Green, Q.C.
“After a year, I realized I wasn’t happy doing commercial work,” he says. “And I wanted to be on my own. I went into the Childs Building (which used to be on the corner of Portage and Main) to look for office space to rent. In the elevator, I ran into Montague Israels (Q.C.). He knew me because I was a friend of his daughter, Hester (Kroft). He offered me a desk in his office and told me that I could pay rent once I started making a little money.”
At the time, Pollock was married with two young children at home.
“For two years, Mr. Israel was my mentor,” Pollock says. “I had a wonderful time and learned a lot from him about how to be a lawyer.”
Shortly after moving into his own office, he received a phone call from the secretary of the Law Society of Manitoba who was calling to ask Harvey if he would consider driving out to Portage la Prairie to help out Izzy Greenberg, Q.C., a lawyer in Portage who needed to take a leave for health reason.
“I met with Izzy and agreed to go to Portage a couple of weeks to help,” Pollock says. “After he got better, he asked me to help him out for a couple more months. He handled a great variety of cases. Izzy continued to act as counsel for the Greenberg firm until 1982.”
During this time, Harvey forged a strong relationship with the Aboriginal community of Manitoba. He was appointed honorary chief of all the bands in 1971.
He was appointed a Queens’ Counsel in 1970.
For the first part of his career, Pollock took on a number of murder cases. He stopped doing murder cases in 1992 after his son, Nathan, was killed by a drunk driver.
Pollock notes that he has had several illustrious lawyers among the many who have articled with him. They include Jack London, OC, Q.C., who later became Dean of the Faculty of Law, as well as Marvin Garfinkel, Arnold Conner, Brenda Keyser, and Robert Doyle – all of whom who were later appointed to the Bench.
“There were 43 students in my graduating class,” he says. “I am the only one from that class still practicing law.”

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