Alumni News: Grapevine & In Memoriam

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Jack Innes has joined the Bedford, NS firm of Pressé Mason as Counsel.

Clarence Beckett has been recognized in the 2015 Best Lawyers in Canada list as outstanding in the fields of Insurance Law, Legal Malpractice and Personal Injury Litigation. He a Partner with Patterson Law in Halifax, NS.

Douglas Moores is the first member of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador to be inducted into the province’s Volunteer Hall of Fame. The gala and induction ceremony was held in St. John’s in October 2014.

William (Mick) Ryan was awarded the 2015 Louis St. Laurent Award of Excellence by the Canadian Bar Association in February 2015. The award recognizes distinguished or exceptional service to the objectives and goals of the CBA. Mick is a partner with Stewart McKelvey in Halifax, NS where he has practised since 1972.

Larry Freeman has joined Stewart McKelvey’s Halifax, NS office as Partner.

J. Ronald Creighton has been recognized in the 2015 Best Lawyers in Canada list as outstanding in the fields of Real Estate Law and Trust and Estates. He a Partner with Patterson Law in Halifax, NS.

Anne McLellan is the next Chancellor of Dalhousie University. She will be formally installed as Chancellor on May 25, 2015 during convocation ceremonies at the university. She has been a Senior Advisor with the law firm Bennett Jones in Edmonton, Alta. since 2006 and prior to this held a distinguished career in politics.

Robert Purdy has been recognized in the 2015 Best Lawyers in Canada list as outstanding in the fields of Insurance Law and Personal Injury Litigation. He is a Partner with Patterson Law in Halifax, NS.

R. James Williams will receive an honorary degree from Dalhousie University on May 28, 2015 for his influence as a justice, a legal educator and a child’s rights advocate.

Anne Emery released her newest mystery, Ruined Abbey, on May 3, 2015 in Halifax, NS.

Carol Patterson is now Counsel with Cox & Palmer in the Halifax, NS office. She previously spent over 20 years in the Moscow office of a major global firm where she held the position of managing partner.

Eugene Rossiter has been appointed Chief Justice of the Tax Court of Canada. He was sworn in by the Governor General of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston at Rideau Hall in January 2015. He was first appointed to the Tax Court as Judge in 2006 and then Associate Chief Justice in 2008.

Norm Letalik has retired from Borden Ladner Gervais after 27  years and has accepted a position as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary with Volkswagen Group Canada Inc. in Ajax, ON


Scott Mackenzie, QC was appointed as Chair and CEO of the Prince Edward Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC), the administrative tribunal that regulates electricity, petroleum, auto insurance, non-resident land ownership, and is the administrative appellate body for appeals for land use planning matters in the province. Prior to his appointment Scott was a senior partner with Stewart McKelvey in Charlottetown.

Shauna Sullivan Curley, QC has been appointed Ethics and Integrity Commissioner with the Government of Prince Edward Island. Prior to this she was deputy minister with the Prince Edward Island public service. Over the years she served as deputy minister of justice, environment and education and early childhood developmen

Scott Mackenzie, QC was appointed as Chair and CEO of the Prince Edward Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC), the administrative tribunal that regulates electricity, petroleum, auto insurance, non-resident land ownership, and is the administrative appellate body for appeals for land use planning matters in the province. Prior to his appointment Scott was a senior partner with Stewart Mckelvey in Charlottetown.

Kathryn Pentz has been appointed chief Crown attorney of the Cape Breton region of Nova Scotia. She joined the Sydney office of the Public Prosecution Service in 1993 as a Crown attorney and in 1999 was appointed senior Crown attorney, achieving the designation of senior Crown counsel in 2005.

Neil Jacobs was appointed Stewart McKelvey’s Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Manager in January 2015. He is based in the St. John’s office.

Bernard Hibbitts has been awarded the Canadian American Bar Association’s John D. Lawson Award. The award recognizes Canadians who have excelled in the pratice of law and/or made an outstanding contribution to the law or legal scholarship in the United States. Bernard is publisher and editor of JURIST, the award-winning law student-powered legal news service that he created at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he has served as a professor of law since 1996.

Jim Musgrave is the 2014 recipient of the national Lionel J. McGowan Award of Excellence in Dispute Resolution, awarded by the ADR Institute of Canada (ADRIC). Jim is a Partner and Chartered Mediator in the Halifax, NS office of Cox & Palmer.

Sonya Brander has joined the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, where she is Chief of Legal Services. Legal Services takes on interns for 3-6 month periods. If you are interested in an intership please get in touch: She lives in Vienna, Austria with her family and returns to Nova Scotia each summer.

Brian McConnell was presented the UE Certficate by the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada in July 2014. The certificate recognizes his roots to United Empire Loyalists—specifically his maternal ancestry which has been traced to James Humphrey who fought with the Loyal Rangers, a provincial corps of the British Army during the United States War of Independence. He is a volunteer Director and Secretary of the Nova Scotia Branch of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada which has a website:

Kay Rhodenizer has joined McGinty Doucet Walker as Counsel, coinciding with this family law firm’s move to expanded Halifax offices.

Michelle Christopher is Executive Director of Student Legal Assistance (SLA) and teaches clinical programs at the Faculty of Law, University of Calgary. SLA has just celebrated 35 years of law students providing legal services to low income Calgary and area residents.

Paul Ives was re-elected mayor, Town of Comox, BC in November 2014 for a third term, after serving six years as mayor and six years as councillor. He practises law at the firm of Ives Burger in Courtenay and has resided in Comox since 1992. He can be reached at or

Jack Graham, a partner in the Halifax office of McInnes Cooper, was nominated as President of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (CACE). He is also the Nova Scotia Director for CACE.

Judith Ferguson stepped down as Nova Scotia’s Deputy Minister of Justice in April 2015. She is the new VP of Corporate Affairs with Nova Scotia Power Inc.

Tilly Pillay is the new President of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. She is the Executive Director of the Legal Services Division for the provincial Department of Justice.

Peter MacKay, current federal Justice Minister and Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Nova in NS announced that he will not be seeking re-election and as a result will be leaving his eighteen-year career in politics.

C. Louann Chaisson has been appointed to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court family division. Prior to her appointment she was a partner with Weldon McInnis in Dartmouth, NS.

Tim Daley has been appointed Nova Scotia Family and Provincial Court Judge. Most recently he was a sole practitioner of the Goodman MacDonald Law Group in New Glasgow, NS, focused primarily on family law.

Jane Fitzpatrick has been appointed Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court Justice. She has spent the majority of her career as a legal aid lawyer with the province.

Jeffrey Hunt has been appointed to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court general division. Prior to his appointment he was a partner with Patterson Law in Truro, NS.

Donna Turko has now added part-time stage mother to her full-time criminal defense lawyering. Donna’s 13-year-old son is a leading actor in the television series Gracepoint.

Elizabeth Buckle has been appointed a judge of the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia. Judge Buckle was called the Ontario Bar in 1994 and then, to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1998. She has practised exclusively in the areas of criminal law, quasi-criminal defence, and administrative law in Toronto and in Halifax. Between 2004 and 2008, Buckle worked as a Federal Crown Prosecutor with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. In 2008, she returned to private practice as a partner with the Halifax law firm of Beveridge, MacPherseon & Buckle which later became MacKinnon Buckle Stevenson. She was with the firm until her appointment to the Bench. She is also a part-time faculty member at the Schulich School of Law.

Grace Choi has been appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Until her appointment she was a senior family law counsel with Jenkins Marzban LLP in Vancouver – a position she had held since 2014. She was an associate lawyer with Davis LLP from 1993 to 2005, when she became a partner with that firm.

Peter Driscoll is the winner of the Benchmark Canada 2015 Atlantic Litigator of the Year award for the second year running. Lawyers from across the country were recognized for important litigation matters, in particular their work involving cases which set important precedents or whose verdicts involve notably high dollar amounts. Peter is a McInnes Cooper Partner based in Calgary, Alta.

Colleen Hanycz has been named the first female president of La Salle University in its 152-year history. She will be the first lay person to lead the Philadelphia, PA university, whose previous presidents have been Christian Brothers. She will leave her role as president of Brescia University College in London, Ont. to take on this new challenge.

Henry Visser has been appointed a judge of the Tax Court of Canada, effective June 19, 2015. He has been a lawyer with the firm of McInnes Cooper since 1997 and became a partner in 2003.

Gregory MacLean has joined the Moncton, NB office of McInnes Cooper as Counsel.

Christa Brothers, a partner with Stewart McKelvey’s Halifax, NS office, is the recipient of a 2014 Progress Women of Excellence Award in the category of Management and the Professions which was presented at the 25th Annual Progress Women of Excellence Awards held in Halifax in November 2014.

Sarah Campbell has joined McInnes Cooper’s Halifax, NS office as Partner. She was previously a partner in Patterson Law’s Truro, NS office.

Trevor Ingram has been appointed Partner in Shearman & Sterlings’ Singapore office. Trevor practises in the Capital Markets group at the firm.

Tonya (Flood) Fleming has joined the executive team at Painted Pony Petroleum Limited in Calgary, Alta. as Vice-President and General Counsel.

Christian Provenzano was elected the mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. in October 2014.

Rebecca Toth is the Acting Director, Executive Education at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law. She was previously a partner with ZSA Legal Recruitment in Toronto, Ont. where she worked for nine years.

Erin O’Toole, the Member of Parliament for Durham, Ont., was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada. He was sworn in at Rideau Hall in January 2015.

Elana Liberman is the recipient of a 2014 Progress Women of Excellence Award in the category of Entrepreneur/Innovator which was presented at the 25th Annual Progress Women of Excellence Awards held in Halifax, NS in November 2014. She is the owner/creator of Cyclone Group Fitness.

James MacDuff has been appointed Partner in McInnes Cooper’s Halifax, NS office.

Sarah Dykema has joined McInnes Cooper’s Halifax, NS office as a senior associate in the Private Client service group, with a practice that focuses on Estate Planning and Trusts.

Beth McGrath has been appointed Partner in McInnes Cooper’s St. John’s, Nfld. office.

Robert Miedema of BoyneClarke in Dartmouth, NS was recognized as one of Lexpert’s Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 for 2014.

Daniel Wallace is the winner of the 2015 Zöe Odei Young Lawyer’s Award. The award was established by the CBA in 2003 to honour and recognize a young lawyer’s distinguished or exceptional service to the Canadian Bar Association and the community or charitable causes. Daniel is Counsel with McInness Cooper’s Halifax, NS office.

Kate Glover has been appointed as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario in London, Ont.

Jessica Lockett has joined Epiq Systems as Director of Document Review Services in Toronto, Ont. and will oversee Epiq’s document review services in Canada. Epiq Systems is a provider of integrated technology solutions for the legal profession.

Adam Picotte has been appointed as a part-time member of the Social Security Tribunal for the Income Security Section, to hold office for a term of two years.

Michael Scott has made Partner at Patterson Law in Halifax, NS after only four and a half years with the firm—the shortest period of time in the firm’s 85-year history.

Jennifer Snow has joined BoyneClarke of Dartmouth, NS as an associate to the firm’s Personal Injury team.

Rob DuMerton and his wife Sherri were thrilled to welcome their second son, Riley Alexander on July 27, 2014. Rob is now practising with McLean & Armstrong in West Vancouver where he practises commercial and construction law.

Sean Kelly has been elected for a two-year term as the president of the board of directors for Sail Nova Scotia. Sail Nova Scotia strives to make high performance sailing and recreational boating a part of life for Nova Scotians by providing them leadership, guidance and standards for the sport and the organizations’s members. He is an Associate with Stewart McKelvey’s Halifax, NS office.

Rick Eng, a Canadian Armed Forces Legal Officer, returned in January 2015 from a six-month deployment aboard HMCS Toronto as part of Operation Reassurance. HMCS Toronto was participating in NATO Operation Active Endevour and tasked with locating, tracking, reporting and boarding vessels that were suspected of involvement in or support of terrorist activities in the Mediterranean Sea. Major Eng provided legal advice to the ship in the areas of Operational Law, Military Administrative Law and Military Justice.

Michelle Chai is now a board member of the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia. She has also been appointed as a member of the Canadian Bar Association Equality Committee. She is an associate with Stewart McKelvey’s Halifax, NS office.

Ben Frenken has joined Code Hunter LLP in Calgary, AB as an Associate.

Matthew Kennedy has been appointed Crown attorney in the Bridgewater, NS office of the provincial Public Prosecution Service. Matthew articled with the Corner Brook office of the Newfoundland and Labrador prosecution service and prior to his appointment had been doing per diem work as a prosecutor in Nova Scotia.


In Memoriam

R. Lorne MacDougall passed away on December 4, 2014. He began practising law with Wilfred Burchell in Truro, NS in 1944 and had a distinguished legal career, in particular in labour dispute resolution and was the 1988 recipient of the Weldon Award for Unselfish Public Service.

Reuben Cohen who served as Chancellor of Dalhousie University from 1990 until 1994, passed away October 24, 2014 at the age of 94. Cohen was a well-known lawyer and philanthropist based in Moncton. He was named to the Order of Canada in 1979 and received honorary degrees from five different Maritime universities, including Dalhousie.

Philip Walker passed away on August 29, 2014 at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, ON. He was a veteran of World War II and after graduating from law school he practiced in Halifax, NS then moved to Toronto where he was Partner with McCarthy & McCarthy and then Counsel for one year with McCarthy Tetrault. After his retirment in 1991 he was a volunteer reader for many years with VoicePrint and with the CNIB talking books recording studio.

Martin Bushell passed away on May 1, 2015 in Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia. Following his time in the army, he attended law school then practised law and retired after several years with the Nova Scotia Public Trustee.

George Rogers passed away on January 17, 2015 in Augusta, GA. After receiving his law degree at Dalhousie University he went on to earn his LL.M. from Southern Methodist University and spent most of his career working with Imperial Oil in Toronto, ON where he was General Counsel. He retired at age 57 and spent his retirement travelling.

Michael Boland passed away on November 15, 2014. He graduated from the University of Toronto Schools, Queens University, Carleton University and Dalhousie University. After graduating from law school he practised law in North Bay, ON later moving to Whitby and then Newcastle.

W. Dan Chilcott
passed away on April 28, 2015. He attended Glebe Collegiate,before going on to study law at Dalhousie University. Dan was called to the Bar of Nova Scotia in 1954 and the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1956. After serving as a Crown Attorney in Ottawa, and Crown Prosecutor in the Northwest Territories, Dan founded the firm of Binks & Chilcott with his partner and friend, Ken Binks. The partnership continued for over thirty years until Dan’s appointment to the Ontario Superior Court.

Allan Green passed away in Halifax, NS on October 28, 2014. Allan carried on the practice of law for 25 years, specializing in family law and road transportation law. In 1979, he was appointed a Commissioner with the Nova Scotia Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities. He enjoyed volunteering his time to many organizations over the years and his most recent volunteering venture was as a proud five-year member of the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Health in Motion, Team Valentine Section, that walks the halls of the Halifax Infirmary each week, offering support to cardiac patients, pre and post surgery.

John O’Neill passed away on February 2, 2015. He graduated from Dalhousie University then was admitted to the Newfoundland Bar the same year. He had a distinguised career as a lawyer before being appointed to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Appeal Division in 1986. He retired in 2002.

Dorothy (MacDonald) Rodocanachi passed away on May 3, 2015 in Victoria, BC after a lengthy illness. After earning her law degree and raising her family she returned to law and retired from her career as a legislative drafter in 1995.

George Hanrahan passed away on October 27, 2014 in Vancouver, BC after a lengthy illness. George was born in Brooklyn, New York and was a proud Canadian who
served both his countries with honour and distinction. He served Canada 1943-1945 in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in WWII and for the United States 1948-1952 in the Korea War with the USA Army Air Force (USAAF). He held many esteemed posts and earned many awards including a Purple Heart, and was honoured in 1998 by the State of New York with the Conspicuous Service Cross. He graduated from Maritime Business College and earned a law degree from Dalhousie University and also attended the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago. Over the years he was a teacher and practiced law across Canada and in Johannesburg, South Africa.

N. Robert Anderson passed away on November 9, 2014.

C. Hanson Dowell passed away on December 18, 2014.

Graham Walker passed away on October 14, 2014.

J. Yvon Arseneau passed away on October 27, 2014. He practiced law for nearly 50 years. During his career, he pleaded in all courts of the Province of New Brunswick and the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick.

Jack Adelaar passed away October 22, 2014 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He did his undergraduate degree at the University of King’s College and his law degree at Dalhousie University. He went on to practise law in Vancouver for over forty years. He was also fascinated by politics, which culminated in his retirement dream job, Mayor of Bowen Island Municipality.

Alberta Vickery passed away on August 27, 2014 in Winnipeg, MB. She articled for and then practiced with Macleod Dixon becoming the first female Partner and helped with the development of the Kazakhstan office for four years. Once she returned to Canada she left the firm to become a Judge in the Family and Youth Court in Calgary, AB and was appointed Assistant Chief Judge on July 1, 2004. Two years later she was the first woman appointed Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta. After a seven year term as Chief Judge she continued as a Judge Puisne until her passing.

Rick MacLeod passed away on February 17, 2015. He spent most of his career on Prince Edward Island working as a lawyer with the Bureau of Pensions Advocates Veterans Affairs Canada.

Stephen Mont passed away March 14, 2015. He formed his own law firm in Dartmouth with classmates Thomas McInnis and Cyril Randall and later became a Partner in the firm Weldon Beeler Mont and Dexter now known as Weldon McInnis. In 2003 he retired from private practice to focus on his appointment as a Presiding Justice of the Peace which he loved. Although he practiced law for almost 30 years, his most cherished professional pursuits were in public service. In 1979 he was appointed Chairman of the Nova Scotia Psychiatric Facilities Review Board, a post he held for 11 years and he made many important recommendations to the Department of Health regarding the treatment of the mentally ill. In 1982 he was elected as a Municipal Councillor in Cole Harbour for Halifax County and reelected until he retired in 1988.

Graydon Lally of Carroll’s Corner, NS, passed away on September 26, 2014. In his early years he worked as a meteorologist and then pursued law, practicing for over 35 years.

Andrew Pavey passed away in Vancouver, BC on October 24, 2014.

Georgia Gass passed away on May 11, 2015 in her home, overlooking the LaHave Islands on the South shore of Nova Scotia after a battle with ovarian cancer. She graduated from Mount Allison University, then law school and after practising law for a while, became a diplomat for over 30 years with the Foreign Service. Her work took her to Southeast Asia, India, West Africa, Jerusalem, Germany, London and New York.

Daniel Weir passed away on March 9, 2015 in Halifax, NS. He attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY and then studied law at Dalhousie University. He went on to practise law in Halifax for over 30 years. He was a Junior Provincial Tennis Champion and was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame in the athlete category.

Hilary Whitmey passed away February 2, 2015. After law school she was assistant Crown Attorney in Toronto and in 1999 she moved to the Belleville officve and in 2002 became Crown Attorney in Picton. She left the Crown’s office in 2009 on disability leave.

Charles Meagher passed away suddenly on February 9, 2015 in Calgary, AB. He earned his undergraduate degree at Queen’s University and then his law degree at Dalhousie. Chuck was inducted as a member of the Bertha Wilson Honour Society in 2012.

Cynthia Walker passed away on December 22, 2014 in Toronto, ON where she has resided since 1997.

Kevin Preston passed away on March 4, 2015 as a result of a vehicle collision. He earned a BA from Memorial University and his law degree at Dalhousie University. He worked at White, Ottenheimer and Green until he moved to Gander, NL in 1989 to join the firm which became Easton Hillier Lawrence Preston in 2008.

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