Minister Announces Queen’s Counsel Appointments
The Honourable Darin King, Minister of Justice, today announced the most recent appointments to Queen’s Counsel by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
“Receiving a Queen’s Counsel appointment is a considerable achievement for those working in the legal profession in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Minister King. “While this year’s appointees have varied backgrounds and are committed to strengthening the legal system in the province, they also make significant contributions to their communities in other capacities as well. I congratulate all 11 appointees.”
Queen’s Counsel comprises senior barristers who have served a minimum 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 after consultation with the Legal Appointments Board as outlined in the Queen’s Counsel Act.
Those appointed to Queen’s Counsel are Peter Alteen, Donna Ballard, David Bussey, Marcus Evans, Frances Knickle, Mary Mandville, Irene S. Muzychka, Gregory K. Pittman, Cillian D. Sheahan, Daniel Simmons, and Derrick Watton.
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Director of Communications
Department of Justice
Peter Alteen was born and raised in Corner Brook. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Memorial University before graduating from the University of New Brunswick Law School. He was called to the Bar of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1983 and began practice with Wells and Company in St. John’s. Mr. Alteen is currently General Counsel and Vice President of Newfoundland Power. His practice has focused on business law and regulation, including acquisition of public utilities in other parts of North America. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association. Mr. Alteen’s volunteer efforts have included service as a director of the St. John’s Board of Trade and the Canadian Crime Stoppers Association.
Donna Ballard was born and raised in St. John’s. She graduated from Memorial University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and from Dalhousie University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Laws degree. Ms. Ballard articled to J. Vernon French, Q.C., and continued in private practice until 1998 when she joined the Provincial Government. Beginning as a solicitor with the Department of Justice, Ms. Ballard has served as Manager of the Litigation Unit, Director of the Civil Division, Cabinet Officer with Executive Council, Cabinet Secretariat and most recently as Assistant Deputy Minister (Courts and Legal Services) with the Department of Justice. Ms. Ballard has appeared before all levels of court in the province and before the Supreme Court of Canada. She sat as Counsel for the Attorney General at the Lamer Commission of Inquiry and has served on numerous stakeholder committees committed to improving the administration of justice in Newfoundland and Labrador. Appointed on August 19, 2013, Ms. Ballard currently serves as Chief Executive Officer with the Labour Relations Agency. She has also assumed the position of 3rd Vice-President, Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation.
David Bussey was raised in Stephenville. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry from Dalhousie University in 1993. He attended Dalhousie Law School and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 1996. He was admitted to the Bar of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1997 and practiced in St. John’s for several years before founding his own law firm, now known as Rogers Bussey Lawyers. He practices extensively in the area of personal injury law and has represented his clients at all levels of court including the Supreme Court of Canada. He is also actively involved in the community, fundraising for various charities and partnering with and representing local groups to organize charitable events. He sponsors and supports many local sports teams and individuals, including the Rogers Bussey rowing crew, a three time Regatta triple-crown champion.
Marcus Evans is a native of Grand Bank. He received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Mount Allison University in 1992 and a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie in 1995. Mr. Evans began his career with the firm of Picco & White and in 2000 became a staff solicitor at the Marystown office of the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission, where he has been Area Director since 2002. He has served on the boards of the Burin Peninsula School Board, the Grand Bank Development Corporation and Grace Sparkes House. He is currently serving his second term as a Bencher of the Law Society.
Frances Knickle is Senior Crown with the Special Prosecutions Unit of the Department of Justice. Born in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, she attended the University of King’s College in Halifax and completed her undergraduate studies at Acadia University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 1984. Ms. Knickle received her Bachelor of Laws from the Schulich School of Law (formerly Dalhousie Law School) in 1991. She articled with the Department of Justice and has worked with the Public Prosecutions Division since her call to the Bar of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1992. In 2010 Ms. Knickle was appointed Senior Crown Eastern Region Office. She returned to Special Prosecutions as Senior Crown in September 2012. Ms. Knickle has appeared at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
Mary J. McCarthy Mandville graduated from Memorial University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts - Education and spent two years as a teacher before entering Dalhousie University to study law. Ms. Mandville graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1984 and articled at the firm of Martin, Whelan, Hennebury and Stamp. She was called to the Bar of Newfoundland and Labrador in April 1985 and joined the Civil Division of the Department of Justice in November 1985 where she worked until 2008. In 2008 she moved to the Legislative Counsel Division of the Department of Justice drafting Legislation for four years. She now works in the Office of the General Counsel at Memorial University. Ms. Mandville has been active in the community as a basketball coach and serving on various boards.
Irene S. Muzychka
Irene S. Muzychka is a partner with Curtis, Dawe Lawyers. She received a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Memorial University in 1984 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of New Brunswick in 1987. She was admitted to the Bar of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1988 and currently practices in the field of civil litigation. For 25 years, Ms. Muzychka has been representing the interests of corporations, professional associations, insurance companies, municipalities and individuals in the conduct of claims. She appears regularly in the Supreme Court Trial Division and the Court of Appeal. Ms. Muzychka served eight years as a Bencher of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and was elected President for the period 2009-2010. She is now an Honorary Bencher and Chair of the Discipline Committee. She also continues her perennial contribution to the Law Society Bar Admission Course as a lecturer with the Civil Litigation Section. In her community efforts, she is a long standing director and past Chair of the Rising Tide Theatre Association, a popular and well-known Newfoundland theatrical group.
Gregory K. Pittman
Gregory K. Pittman received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Memorial University in 1989 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie Law School in 1991. He was admitted to the Bar of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1992, and is a member of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canadian Bar Association and Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Pittman is a partner with Mills, Pittman and Twyne in Clarenville where he has worked since law school. He has appeared in all levels of court in the province, plus the Federal Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, and Tax Court of Canada. He has acted for the Director of Support Enforcement, Director of Child Welfare and Director of Neglected Adults for the Province and as an agent for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. He has also appeared before various provincial boards and administrative tribunals. Mr. Pittman served as the Central Regional Chairperson of the Newfoundland Branch of the Canadian Bar Association. He received a certificate in mediation from the University of Windsor Faculty of Law in 1996, and is an active volunteer in many community organizations.
Cillian D. Sheahan
Cillian D. Sheahan graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts (History) from St. Mary’s University in 1994. He received his Bachelor of Laws from the University of New Brunswick in 1999. Upon being admitted to the Bar of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2000, Mr. Sheahan practiced as an associate for the firm Poole Althouse in Corner Brook, primarily as an agent for the Federal Crown in prosecutions throughout the western region of the province. He became a partner with Poole Althouse in 2006 and now practices in many areas including corporate and commercial, municipal, labour and employment and estate planning with particular emphasis on tax planned corporate reorganizations. Mr. Sheahan has served as an adjudicator for the Human Rights Commission, as a legal officer in the Canadian Armed Forces and as a director for various community based organizations, including the Dunfield Park Community Centre, VON Newfoundland Branch Inc. (Western Region), Corner Brook Economic Development Corporation and Corner Brook Triathlon Committee Inc.
Daniel Simmons is originally from Whitbourne. He attended Memorial University and Dalhousie University, graduating with an LLB in 1982. Since then, Mr. Simmons has practiced with the firm of Ottenheimer Baker and is currently managing partner. His practice over the years has been varied, and has evolved to a concentration on civil litigation and administrative law. In recent years Mr. Simmons was involved in the Cameron Inquiry into Hormone Receptor Testing, represented claimants following the loss of Cougar Flight 491, and defended class action claims in the Supreme Court Trial Division and the Court of Appeal. Mr. Simmons is a member of the Discipline Committee of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Health Research Ethics Board Clinical Trials Committee, and the Official Board of Gower Street United Church.
Derrick Watton is a native of Corner Brook. He received his Bachelor of Commerce Cooperative (Honours) degree from Memorial University in 1987 and went on to graduate from the University of New Brunswick Law School in 1990. Mr. Watton articled with Graham Watton & Company in 1990 and was called to the Bar of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1991. Since 2001 he has been a partner in the Corner Brook law firm now known as Murphy Watton, practicing in the areas of corporate, commercial, banking, real property, wills and estate areas of practice. He is a past adjudicator for the Human Rights Commission, Labor Standards Division and the Workplace Health and Safety Commission. He is also a past officer and President of the Corner Brook Rotary Club.
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