2008-2009 – Mtres Francine Beaumier and André d’Orsonnens

Deux piliers du Salon VISEZ DROIT honorés du Mérite (Two pillars of Salon VISEZ DROIT honoured with the Merit)
Original French version written by Lisa Marie Noël

This year, the Bar of Montreal decided to pay tribute to the commitment of two lawyers who care so much about making the justice system better known to the general public.  Both have been worked unstintingly year after year on the organization of Salon VISEZ DROIT. They are Mtre André d’Orsonnens and Mtre Francine Beaumier.

2009 is a very special year for Mtre Francine Beaumier. In addition to celebrating 30 years of practice and watching her two children join the profession, she has been awarded the Mérite of the Bar of Montréal. “I don’t do things in order to be honoured for them, but I must admit I am very pleased,” she says, touched by the recognition rendered by her peers.

Still enthusiastic and overflowing with energy, Mtre Beaumier has long been involved with her Bar. “This is my 11th year at Salon VISEZ DROIT,” she points out, surprised herself at the number.  She was MC at the official inauguration of the first Salon VISEZ DROIT, in 1998. She has been moderator, member of the organizing committee and was its chair from 2001 to 2003.

“But the most important support from Mtre Beaumier has been her ten years of brilliantly moderating Salon VISEZ DROIT. Doing that so well requires weeks of preparation.  Furthermore, as moderator, Mtre Beaumier must be continuously present at the Salon VISEZ DROIT throughout the whole event.  It is an exceptional contribution,” noted the Médailles et Mérites Committee of the Bar of Montréal.

“I have had the immense privilege of being able to participate, thanks to my husband and partner who makes sure everything else in the office goes on properly,” she made sure to mention.  That has given her the freedom to devote so much time to a cause she really cares about: bringing the justice system closer to the general public.

“Events like the Salon make it clear that justice is not just a soul-less administrative machine that only asks for fees.  It becomes more tangible, and that is really important,” she says.

Mtre Beaumier also teaches at the Bar School.  There, too, she tries to convey her values of commitment to her pupils. She is not ready to stop, recently agreeing to act as a conciliator for settling disputes and fees for lawyers as part of the legal aid system.

Contribute to success

Salon VISEZ DROIT would not be the same without the contribution of Mtre André d’Orsonnens. Along with Mtre Francine Beaumier, for many years he has moderated the quiz games on a wide variety of subjects, such as the intellectual property of pop songs, human rights in health matters, how laws are passed and housing issues.

“These daily quizzes are always well prepared, with excellent doses of humour and information, Mtre d’Orsonnens has carefully developed complicity with the audience, which always turns out in large numbers for this activity,” the Médailles et Mérites Committee pointed out.

The lawyer contributes to the Salon by giving time but also money:  after working in private practice, he has now been Chairman of the Board, CEO and co-founder of Druide Informatique for several years. This Québec company, specialized in publishing and distributing software for the general public, has sponsored the Salon for the last 8 years.  It has also given financial assistance to the “Write for Justice” contest  and the debating competition for the last 12 years.

Mtre d’Orsonnens was a member of the Communications Committee and for the last 15 years, has organized the Bar of Montreal tennis tournament.

The two winners were celebrated by their colleagues on May 6, 2009, at the Annual General Meeting of members of the Bar of Montréal.