Alberta Provincial Court announces biggest appointment of new judges in at least two decades

Appointees will show diversity in Alberta and will help boost access to justice: Kaycee Madu

Alberta Provincial Court announces biggest appointment of new judges in at least two decades

Grace Auger, Gordon Hatch, Sandra Mah, Karen Molle, Jason Neustaeter, T. Michael Scrase, Gregory Shannon, and Olugbenga Shoyele have joined the Provincial Court of Alberta, the most appointees at once in at least the last two decades.

“This group of appointees represents the diversity present in Alberta and will help increase access to justice for Albertans,” said Kaycee Madu, the province’s justice minister and solicitor general, in the news release.

The eight new judges include Auger, appointed to the Lethbridge/Southern Region starting on Aug. 3. Auger, a member of the Bigstone Cree First Nation from the Treaty 8 Territory, has worked with numerous firms in the Treaty 7 Territory and with Legal Aid Alberta on the Siksika First Nation. A former Crown prosecutor, she graduated from the University of Calgary with a bachelor of laws in 1995.

Hatch, who joins the Red Deer/Central Region beginning on July 12, has been a sole practitioner since 2014. He was a Crown prosecutor, a lawyer with Hope Heinrich LLP in B.C. and an agent for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and with the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service in Wetaskiwin, Vegreville, Fort Saskatchewan and Peace River. Hatch obtained his bachelor of laws from the University of Alberta in 2003.

Mah, who will work in the Calgary Criminal Division and Calgary Region starting on Aug. 16, has practised at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP and has served as an elected bencher of the Law Society of Alberta. She was a member of the law society’s equality, equity and diversity committee and co-chairperson of the first phase of the Justicia Project. Mah earned her bachelor of laws from Queen’s University in 1993 and her master of laws from the Osgoode Hall Law School in 2005.

Molle, appointed to the Calgary Criminal Division and Calgary Region beginning on Aug. 9, has worked with the federal justice department and federal public prosecution service in Winnipeg and Calgary. Molle was a Calgary-based private practitioner who focused on trial and appellate work and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. She received her bachelor of laws from the University of Victoria in 1988.

Neustaeter, who joins the Wetaskiwin/Central Region starting on July 12, has been deputy chief prosecutor in the Edmonton Rural and Regional Response Office since 2014. He has practised at Legal Aid Manitoba in northern Manitoba, at the Public Prosecution Service of Canada in Edmonton and the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service. Neustaeter obtained his bachelor of laws from the University of Manitoba in 1993.

Scrase, who will work in the Red Deer/Central Region beginning on July 12, has been a sole practitioner and criminal defence lawyer since 1995 and vice-president of the Red Deer Criminal Trial Lawyers Association. Scrase earned his bachelor of laws from the University of Alberta in 1993.

Shannon, appointed to the Calgary Civil Division starting on July 30, was the recipient of the Governor General’s Golden Jubilee Award for public service in 2002 and was named an international fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel in 2018. Shannon, who has been a member of and a practitioner in the California, B.C. and Alberta bars, received his juris doctor degree from the California Western School of Law in 1989 and his master of laws from Boston University in 1990.

Shoyele, who joins the Edmonton Criminal Division beginning on July 12, has worked as legal counsel for the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Edmonton and as a law professor in Nigeria. Shoyele earned his bachelor of laws in 1980 and his master of laws in 1984 from the University of Ife in Nigeria, a doctor of philosophy of laws in Nigeria in 1995 and a master of laws from the University of Alberta in 2003.

Lawyers for Equity, Access, and Diversity (LEAD Alberta) has announced the Iris Barry Yake Robe Bank availability at the Calgary Courts Centre. The self-serve and free-to-use robe bank, which operates under the honour system, offers various robes and waistcoats for bar calls and court appearances.

LEAD Alberta hopes that the robe bank can address a long-standing barrier to students and young lawyers, considering that courtroom attire can be cost-prohibitive and difficult to access and is usually needed only once in many lawyers’ careers.

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