By Laurel Sefton Macdowell
J.L. Cohen, one of many first experts in labour legislation and an architect of the Canadian business family method, was once a powerful recommend within the Thirties and Forties on behalf of operating humans. A 'radical attorney' within the culture of the nice American tips Clarence Darrow or modern recommend Thomas Berger who signify the fewer robust and search to reform society and to guard civil liberties, Cohen used to be additionally a 'labour highbrow' in Canada, just like these helping Roosevelt's New Deal within the usa. He wrote Collective Bargaining in Canada, served at the nationwide battle Labour Board throughout the conflict, and instructed the Ontario executive approximately coverage concerns equivalent to moms' allowances, unemployment coverage laws, and labour legislations.
As a Marxist and a Jewish immigrant, his dedication to the labour stream led to half from his historical past and used to be deepened via his event of the Thirties melancholy. His used to be an strange viewpoint for a center type specialist, and his ethnic origins and his political beliefs subjected him to discrimination. even though revered professionally, he made enemies. on the finish of the struggle, Cohen used to be convicted of a legal cost, used to be disbarred and later reinstated, and died abruptly in 1950 on the age of fifty-three. notwithstanding he rose to the pinnacle of his occupation, he had a tricky, complicated inner most existence that contributed to his own shame downfall. His obituary within the Globe and Mail defined him as a dynamic, sharp-witted guy who rose from humble beginnings to develop into the main influential labour legal professional in Canada, and it concluded with what could be a becoming epitaph, 'He championed all of the incorrect humans in all of the correct things.'