Queen’s Counsel Appointments Announced
The Honourable Felix Collins, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, today announced appointments to Queen’s counsel by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
“The Queen’s counsel appointment recognizes lawyers who have made a significant contribution to the legal profession in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Minister Collins. “It is a prestigious honour and I congratulate the 11 individuals on their appointments. They represent the professionalism and dedication that are the qualities of Queen’s counsel.”
Queen’s counsel comprises senior barristers who have served a minimum of 10 years in the legal profession, have gained the respect of the legal community and who are in good standing with the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. Appointments are made on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General after consultation with the Legal Appointments Board as outlined in the Queen’s Counsel Act.
Those appointed to Queen’s counsel are Katrina A. Brannan, Sandra M. Burke, Shawn C. A. Colbourne, Anne M. Fagan, Rachel A. Huntsman, Gary P. Kearney, Peter J. Kearsey, Laura A. Mennie, Glen W. Picco, Rolf Pritchard, and Peter E. Ralph.
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Director of Communications
Department of Justice
Katrina A. Brannan moved to Newfoundland and Labrador with her family in 1973 and attended Holy Cross Central High School in Eastport. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1983 and then attended Osgoode Hall Law School, graduating in 1986. She articled with White, Ottenheimer and Green, and practised with them in St. John’s from 1987 to 1990. Since 1990, Ms. Brannan has practised with the law firm of Hughes & Brannan in Clarenville. Her general practice includes a special focus on family law. She has appeared before all levels of court in the province and is an agent for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. She was the recipient of the Hunt Award in 1987. From 2005 to 2008, she was a legal member of the Canada Pension Plan Review Tribunal, chairing many hearings across the country.
Sandra M. Burke received a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1985, and a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University in 1988. She was admitted to the bar in 1989, and is a member of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Canadian Bar Association. She is a partner with the law firm of Dawe & Burke, and her law practice is focused primarily on family law and related litigation. She has been the chair and an instructor of the Family Law Section of the Bar Admission Course since 2000. Ms. Burke has been particularly interested and involved with mental health issues in the province. She is a past President of the Canadian Mental Health Association, NL Division, and has been a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Mental Health Review Board since 2008.
Shawn C. A. Colbourne graduated from Memorial University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education. He then graduated from Dalhousie University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Law and was called to the bar in 1988. He commenced private practice at Marystown with MacBeath Colbourne Law Office in 1988 and in April of 1995 opened the first law practice at Springdale. For the past 16 years, he has practised as a sole practitioner as Shawn C.A. Colbourne Law Office offering a full range of legal services to the residents of the Green Bay and Baie Verte Peninsula. He is a member of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canadian Bar Association and the Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association and will serve a second consecutive term as a Bencher from Western Region with the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador in June 2011. He was appointed an adjudicator for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Complaints Commission in 2008.
Anne M. Fagan is a partner with Mercer, MacNab, Vavasour and Fagan in St. John’s. She has extensive litigation experience in the areas of corporate, commercial, employment, fisheries, environmental, marine, personal injury, product and manufacture liability, wills and estates, real estate, and family law. Ms. Fagan is Inquiry Counsel to the Offshore Helicopter Safety Inquiry which was established after the March 2009 crash of a Cougar Helicopters flight en route to the oil facilities offshore Newfoundland. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1982, Ms. Fagan pursued a law degree at the University of New Brunswick, graduating in 1985 and called to the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar in 1986. She furthered her education in 1996 by receiving certificates in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation from the University of Windsor.
Rachel A. Huntsman attended Memorial University receiving a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 1985 and Dalhousie Law School where she received a Bachelor of Laws in 1988. She articled with the Department of Justice and was called to the bar in 1991. After being called to the bar, and up until 2007, Ms. Huntsman worked as a Crown Attorney with the St. John's Crown Attorneys' Office. She now works with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary as Legal Counsel to the Chief of Police, providing legal advice on criminal investigations and training to officers and police recruits.
Gary P. Kearney was born in St. John’s and attended Gonzaga High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Memorial University in 1982 and a Masters degree in philosophy from MUN in 1986. He attended Dalhousie Law School and graduated in 1988 and then articled with the law firm of Aylward, Morris and Pittman and was called to the bar in 1989. He worked at the Newfoundland Law Reform Commission from 1989 to 1992. He has been with the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission since 1992 and is the Area Director for the Corner Brook Legal Aid office.
Peter J. Kearsey graduated from Memorial University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and from the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1983. He was admitted to the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar in 1983. After several years in private practice Mr. Kearsey joined the staff of the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission in 1990 with his practice focused primarily in the field of criminal law. For the past two years he has been assigned to Legal Aid’s Mental Health Office.
Laura A. Mennie graduated from Memorial University in 1989 with a first class Bachelor of Arts (History and French). In 1989, she received the Lord Beaverbrook Scholarship in Law from the University of New Brunswick. Ms. Mennie graduated from that university with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1992. Upon completing her articles with the law firms of Stewart, McKelvey and Poole, Althouse, Ms. Mennie was called to the Bar of Newfoundland and Labrador on April 12, 1992. After one year as an associate lawyer with Poole, Althouse, Ms. Mennie joined the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission in June of 1994. From 1994 to 2007, her practice with the commission focused primarily on the areas of family and criminal law litigation. In September of 2007, Ms. Mennie accepted a position with the Civil Division of the Department of Justice where she is a solicitor in the Family Litigation Unit. She is currently assigned as Legal Counsel for the Director of Child, Youth and Family Services and Adoptions (Western Region). She has appeared before all levels of court in the province. Ms. Mennie is currently enrolled in the Master of Laws (LLM degree) at Osgoode Hall Law School specializing in family law. She is expected to complete her degree in June of next year. Ms. Mennie is a member of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Glen W. Picco is a native of Portugal Cove. He graduated from Memorial University in 1980 with Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Physical Education and Bachelor of Education degrees and from the University of New Brunswick in 1983 with a Bachelor of Laws degree. He is the senior partner in the Marystown law firm Picco & White and has practised law in Marystown since his call to the bar in 1984. He is actively involved as a volunteer in community affairs in Marystown. He is a former member of numerous government boards and is a former Chairperson of the Canada Pension Plan Review Tribunal. His law practice is a general one but his preferred areas are criminal and civil litigation. He has appeared in all levels of court in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal.
Rolf Pritchard graduated form the University of Alberta Law School in 1995. He practised with Brian Casey and then at Williams Roebothan McKay and Marshall before joining the litigation unit in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice in 2001. From 2007 to 2008 he represented the province at the Cameron Inquiry and was legal counsel to the Task Force on Adverse Health Events. After returning to the litigation unit in 2009 he was appointed Manager of Civil Litigation. During the nine years preceding law school he worked in the not-for-profit sector promoting debating and public speaking.
Peter E. Ralph has been a partner in the firm of Simmonds + Partners Defence since 2008. He articled with the firm of Williams, Harris, Roebothan and McKay and the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission. Called to the bar in 1992, Peter Ralph practised with the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission from 1992 until 2008. From 2004 to 2008, he was counsel in the mental health office of Legal Aid. He is currently President of the consumer mental health organization CHANNEL, and is a member of the Provincial Advisory Counsel in Mental Health and Addictions.
2011 06 02 9:55 a.m.