Monday, August 10, 2009

The federal Department of Justice Department has filled gaps on the Superior Court bench following recent supernumerary elections and a retirement.

Scott Campbell, a partner with Gibson Linton Toth Campbell & Bennett, in Tillsonburg, has been named to replace Justice Ronald.J. Haines, in Windsor. Haines had elected to become a supernumerary judge effective last January.

Campbell received his LLB from the University of Western Ontario in 1976, and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1978. He became a partner with Gibson Linton in 1980, moved to the Crown side in 1987 as an assistant deputy Crown attorney, and was named a deputy judge of Small Claims Court in 1988.

Campbell also worked as a standing agent for the federal Justice minister since 1994. He practised primarily in the areas of civil litigation, criminal law, real estate, corporate commercial law, estate planning, and administration.

Martin James, a lawyer with Desmarais Keenan LLP, in Sudbury, replaces Justice W.J.L. Brennan, in Pembroke, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective last March.

James received his law degree from the University of Ottawa in 1979, and was called to the bar in 1981. He was a lawyer with Desmarais Keenan LLP from 1981 to 2009.
James’ practice focused on civil and commercial litigation, business law, construction law, municipal law, and insolvency.

Wendy MacPherson, a partner with Martin Sheppard Fraser LLP, in Niagara Falls, has been appointed to replace Justice Robert.D. Reilly, in Kitchener, who elected to become a supernumerary judge as of last month.

MacPherson was named a partner with Martin Sheppard in 1989. She began her career with the firm as an articling student in 1983.
She was a panel member with the Office of the Children’'s Lawyer since 1995, and practised family law.

Meanwhile, Justice Helen Pierce has been appointed Regional Senior Judge, Northwest Region (Thunder Bay) for the Superior Court. She replaces Justice John.F. McCartney, who retired from that position effective July 31, 2009.

Pierce was appointed to the court in 2001. She received her LLB from Queen's University in 1980, and was called to the bar in 1982.

Before being appointed to the bench, she worked with Wishart Noble Barristers & Solicitors, in Sault Ste. Marie from 1980 to 1985, with Douglas Gaetz, Barrister and Solicitor from 1985 to 1990, and as a sole practitioner in Sault Ste. Marie from 1985 to 2000.

The Ontario Bar Association will soon close the door on applicants to its pilot mentorship program.
The OBA is looking to fill its roster of participants on both sides of the equation - as mentors and mentees. The deadline for registration is Aug. 21.

“The underlying goal of the program is for participants to develop meaningful relationships and to encourage candid conversation about life and law,” said the program’s co-chairwoman, Alayna Miller.

While mentees must be located in the Central East Region, the OBA is seeking mentors from across the province.
The program will be rolled out across the province next year.

“This program will fill a void for the region’s young lawyers and provide invaluable mentoring that will benefit the entire legal community,” said Mark Berlin, also a co-chairman of the program.
Applications are available online at

Legal Aid Ontario has announced the lineup for its 2009-2010 Continuing Legal Education luncheon series for lawyers working in the system.

The Brown Bag Series targets lawyers working for government, those with legal aid clinics, sole and small firm practitioners, and counsel working on legal aid certificates, according to an LAO announcement.
The Advocates’ Society, LAO, Department of Justice Canada, and Ministry of the Attorney General put on the series.

“We provide the speaker and lunch; you supply the enthusiasm,” read the announcement. “Each presentation will feature demonstrations and discussions by experienced litigators on practical topics that will enhance your skills as an advocate.”

Each program costs $45. More information and registration instructions are available online at

Melanie Aitken is Canada’s new commissioner of competition, taking the position on full time after a stint in an interim role.

“I am very pleased to welcome Ms. Aitken to the Competition Bureau Canada as the commissioner of competition,” said Industry Minister Tony Clement in announcing the appointment.

“Her knowledge, judgment, and rigour will enhance the bureau’s work and guide its success in the years ahead.”

Aitken, a Law Society of Upper Canada Bencher since 2007, had been serving as interim commissioner since Jan. 12, and joined the bureau in 2005 as assistant deputy commissioner of competition, mergers. She became senior deputy commissioner, mergers, in May 2007.

Before arriving at the Competition Bureau, she was a partner at Bennett Jones LLP from 2003 to 2005. From 2001 to 2003, she was seconded to the Department of Justice as a senior counsel. Just prior to that she was a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP.

Aitken was an adjunct law professor of administrative law with Osgoode Hall Law School from 2003 to 2005, and of competition law with Queen’s University Law School from 2007 to 2009.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has snagged the services of Donald Pierce, who spent over 30 years at Goodmans LLP earlier in his career.
The firm said Pierce will act as counsel with its construction, engineering, surety, and fidelity group.

“Don’s unrivalled expertise and experience adds invaluable client and industry insight, further strengthening BLG’s position as the national leader in the area of construction, engineering, public-private partnerships and infrastructure,” said Sean Weir, BLG’s national managing partner.

“Don’s strength resides in his sound knowledge of all facets of the industry, which gives him an unparalleled understanding of the issues, challenges and opportunities our clients face.”

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