Michael Silverstein – Editor, Mentor and Gentleman

Friends and colleagues of Michael Silverstein recently gathered at MacLean House in Toronto to share reminiscences and a musical tribute in his memory. Michael passed away on May 6, 2015, at age 63.

Michael was best known to the legal research community as the “interpreter” of the Canadian Abridgment. Beginning with the co-authoring in 1989 of the Guide to Research Using the Canadian Abridgment, Michael became known as the expert on the structure and content of one of the most byzantine publications that ever saw the light of day. Over the following decades he guided its restructuring and and simplification, and ultimately its migration to westlaw.ca.

Michael was also a mentor to dozens of law librarians who were members of the Canadian Abridgment Editorial Advisory Board. Michael bridged the worlds of legal publishing and of legal research, using his skills as a teacher and diplomat, to link publishing needs with user expectations. In this role, Michael had no equal.

More important than his publishing career was the man himself. Michael was a true gentleman, ever respectful of others and unfailingly courteous in his manner. He was a learned man, with a knowledge of Greek and Latin, and an interest in baroque music. Modest and unassuming, he was liked and respected by everyone who know him. He will be missed.


  1. Dear Gary
    Thank you for this lovely tribute to Michael. He was a dear friend and colleague who we miss very much.

    Rachel Francis

  2. I was fortunate to be one of the law librarians mentored by Michael during my time on the Canadian Abridgment Editorial Advisory Board.

    New to the profession and the Board, I will remember Michael not only for his professional guidance but his kindness and inclusiveness. He had the wonderful ability to make people and their contributions welcome and valued.