Precedent mourns the loss of a media lawyer who always had our back

For most of the magazine’s history, we relied on the expertise of Stuart Robertson
Melissa Kluger

One of the advantages of making a quarterly magazine is that we can work well in advance to put it together. We assign stories months ahead so they can be carefully edited, fact-checked, proofread and, on occasion, lawyered. 

And for most of the magazine’s history, we turned to Stuart Robertson, a veteran in media law. In March, Stuart passed away. Although we are still in excellent hands with his colleagues at O’Donnell, Robertson & Partners, we are missing Stuart. 

On most occasions, we would ask for Stuart’s advice on stories that mentioned active legal proceedings or drop him a note with a quick question. Matters such as these were usually dealt with in a kind and expedient email. From time to time, however, an issue would arise in which we would need a call with Stuart to work through a difficult problem. Those occasions were never fun since something stressful and complex was afoot, but I cherish those opportunities we had to puzzle through a problem with such amazing counsel. 

Over decades in the media industry, Stuart’s experience was obvious. “He had a knack for immediately grasping the legal issue at hand,” says Daniel Fish, Precedent’s senior editor. “If we were stumped on a thorny issue, he could always determine the next step with total confidence. At stressful moments, he somehow made it easy to see the path forward.” 

Above all, Stuart cared about Precedent. He never said that exactly, but I could just tell in the thoughtful advice he gave. He brought perspective and wisdom that went beyond the legal facts, recognizing relationships in play that fell outside any legal factors. He listened carefully and gave amazing advice that would then guide us through our most difficult times. Stuart had our backs. We are thinking of him and offer our condolences to his family and colleagues. 

I hope you enjoy the issue. 

Melissa Kluger signature

Melissa Kluger
Publisher & Editor

A winning formula

I’m pleased to let readers know that Precedent is a finalist at this year’s National Magazine Awards: Business to Business. Our cover story on American law firms stealing Canadian legal talent (“The brain drain,” Fall 2021) earned two nominations: one for Best Illustration and another for Best Art Direction. I’d like to thank our art directors, Brian Morgan and Rachel Wine, and our illustrator, Andrew B. Myers, who collaborated to find a clever way to visualize the story. 

With a handful of straws and a collection of measuring cups, Myers was able to illustrate how the United States is siphoning off our lawyers.

This story is from our Summer 2022 Issue.

Photo by Ian Patterson.