Feds appoint six lawyers to the bench

The federal government has appointed six lawyers as judges at courts across the country.

Late Friday, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced the appointment of Gordon Weatherill of Vancouver’s Lawson Lundell LLP to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. He replaces Justice G.D. Burnyet, who became a supernumerary judge last year. Weatherill had been with Lawson Lundell since 1980 and mainly practised in the area of commercial litigation.

Moving east, Robert Goldstein, a lawyer with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, becomes a Superior Court judge in Toronto. He replaces Justice Duncan Grace, who in turn moves to London, Ont., to take the place of Justice Wolfram Tausendfreund. The domino effect continues with Tausendfreund moving to Kingston, Ont., to replace Justice Douglas Belch, who became a supernumerary judge in March. Goldstein had been with the federal government since 1990.

Also in Ontario, Ian Leach, a partner with Lerners LLP in London, joins the Superior Court bench in Woodstock, Ont. He replaces Justice Thomas Heeney, who becomes regional senior justice for the southwest region following the departure of Justice Edward Ducharme to the Ontario Court of Appeal on April 5. Leach had been with Lerners since 1991.

In Quebec, Lavery de Billy loses partners Michel Yergeau to the Superior Court in Montreal. He replaces Justice J.R. Fournier, who joined the Quebec Court of Appeal last fall. Yergeau, who devoted his whole practice to environmental law, had been with the firm since 1987.

The same firm, in fact, saw another parnter also appointed to the bench, this time at the Federal Court. Jocelyne Gagné replaces Justice Johanne Gauthier following her move to the Federal Court of Appeal last fall. Gagné’s main areas of practice were civil and commercial litigation.

In Newfoundland, Rosalie McGrath of the firm Ottenheimer Baker in St. John’s joins the trial division of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. She replaces Justice J.D. Cook, who became a supernumerary judge on May 21. McGrath had been a lawyer since 1994 and practised mainly in the areas of corporate and commercial, real estate, energy, and estates law. She was also a member of the firm’s management committee.

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