Passings: Osgoode Professor Emeritus Simon Fodden

Simon Fodden

Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Emeritus Simon Fodden ended his four-year battle with cancer on Feb. 10 at the age of 73.

Simon Fodden Osgoode
Simon Fodden

Fodden was a long-serving faculty member at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law school, where he taught property law and family law for more than 30 years.

He was a graduate of Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University and Osgoode Hall Law School.

According to a commemorative notice issued by Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Lorne Sossin, Fodden helped found the school’s intensive program in poverty law at Parkdale Community Legal Services, where he later served as academic director for two years. He subsequently helped to launch Osgoode’s intensive program in family law, and served as associate dean.

He was a well-regarded scholar, lecturer and teacher, and the author of two novels. In 2014, he was the recipient of the Canadian Bar Association’s President’s Award for his significant contributions to the Canadian legal community.

Sossin said Fodden was an early adopter of technology in legal education and saw its potential to enrich debate and discovery in law. In 2005, he was a founder of Canada’s leading online legal magazine/blog, and remained publisher of this leading blog until 2014.

“Simon was incredibly generous to me when I began my career at Osgoode,” said Sossin. “In so many ways, he made Osgoode a better community. He will be sorely missed and his memory cherished.”

Fodden was born in Leeds, England on March 24, 1944. He was the eldest of six children born to Jean and John Henry Fodden. He is survived by siblings Digby, Joy, Paul, Tony and Liz.

Fodden was a father to two daughters, Rebecca and Jennifer, and a grandfather to Jack, Asha, Mia and Josephine. He is survived by his wife, Christine Hawkes; her children, Alexandra and Martin; and her grandchildren, Kate, Tomas, Kristine and Elsa.

Friends, family, colleagues and followers of Fodden’s work are invited to come together to remember him at 1pm on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at the I-Zone Lofts, 326 Carlaw Ave., Toronto. A celebration of life will follow, from 3 to 5pm at Allen’s Restaurant and Pub, 143 Danforth Ave. All are welcome to join in one or both events.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests support be directed to the Daily Bread Food Bank, where Fodden volunteered over many years, or to Kensington Hospice.