Four new judges named in March

The federal government appointed four new judges to the bench last week — three in Ontario and one in Newfoundland.

Paul HowardOttawa lawyer Mark P. Shelston was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Family Court Branch, to replace Justice Kenneth Pedlar of Brockville, who went supernumerary last November. Pedlar’s vacancy was transferred to Ottawa.

Shelston was called to the bar of Ontario in 1984 and Quebec in 1987. He has been a lawyer with MacKinnon & Phillips since 2002. Prior to that, he worked solo and in a variety of firms mainly practising family law. He was appointed to the Family Law Bench and Bar Committee in 2008.

Windsor’s J. Paul R. Howard also joins the Superior Court of Justice, replacing Justice Terrence L.J. Patterson, who elected to become a supernumerary judge in May 2014.

Howard was called to the bar in 1988, when he joined Shibley Righton LLP as an associate in 1988 and the became a partner in 2004. He practised civil litigation, administrative law, constitutional law, employment law, and labour law. He has also taught law at the University of Windsor since 2000.

Former Ontario Bar Association president Paul R. Sweeny will be sitting in Welland, replacing Justice Anne Tucker, who resigned effective Jan. 16.

Sweeny practised with Evans Sweeny Bordin LLP in Hamilton, with a focus on corporate law, commercial law, civil litigation, and personal injury law. He was called to the bar in 1991. He has been a member of the Ontario Judicial Council since 2013 and is also a past director of The Advocates’ Society and many other law associations.

In Newfoundland, Jane M. Fitzpatrick, a lawyer with the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission in St. John’s, is the newest judge of the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, Trial Division. She takes the spot left by Justice Raymond P. Whalen when he was appointed chief justice of the court in December.

Fitzpatrick was called to the bar of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1992. She had been a lawyer with legal aid since 2008 and previously from 1996 to 2007. In between, she was with the Newfoundland and with Labrador Human rights Commission from 2007 to 2008. Her main areas of practice were criminal law, family law, administrative law, human rights law, and civil litigation.

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