Joe Gordon’s interest in becoming a lawyer began in his youth as the oldest of five rambunctious brothers. He noticed that his otherwise well-informed parents would sometimes have to consult “a lawyer” about such matters as the sale of the family home and mining business in Sudbury, Ontario, their move to BC, and the aftermath of the spirited activities of his siblings.
After high school at Vancouver College, Joe attended Okanagan College, where he was the first student president and organized the first environmental student march to clean up Okanagan Lake. He also played Junior A Hockey for the Kelowna Buckaroos. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at Notre Dame University in Nelson, later receiving his law degree from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.
Joe worked his way through a variety of jobs during the summers and while attending university – including labour at the Tasu Mines on Haida Gwaii, maintenance for Canfor in False Creek, operating 120-ton Lectra Haul Mining Trucks for Falconbridge near Port Hardy on Vancouver Island and working as the first tourist guide at Brenda Mines in Peachland. He also worked, when he was in law school, at Block Brothers in Vancouver as a litigation assistant to the corporate solicitor.
Joe articled in downtown Vancouver for Ray, Wolfe, Connell, Lightbody & Reynolds and was called to the BC Bar in 1978. An opportunity he could not refuse to gain courtroom experience and work with some of Alberta’s best counsel, sent him to Grande Prairie, AB, where he was called to the Alberta Bar in 1979. He practiced concurrently in both BC and in AB for many years.
Following the practice of law in Alberta with Watson, Walliser, Gordon & Shavers, Joe associated with Salloum Doak in Kelowna and then Bassett Gordon in West Kelowna. He established the Kelowna litigation firm of Gordon & Company in 1993.
In addition to his work as a lawyer, Joe Gordon is an avid hockey player, a former rugby player, and volunteered extensively in the community as a volunteer firefighter for six years. He also served as a United Way campaign chairman and co-chairman, a Chamber of Commerce Policy advisor, a director of residents’ societies, and for many years as a minor hockey and youth soccer coach. He has been volunteering for the last seven years with DESIGNATED DRIVER DADS – safely driving people and their vehicles home on Friday and Saturday nights between 1:00 AM and 3:00 AM. Joe and his wife, Julie, of 39 years, have 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren. None of Joe’s brothers went to jail.
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