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Ottawa appoints two judges to Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 @ 3:17 PM | By John Chunn


The federal Department of Justice announced the following judicial appointments for the province of Alberta on March 8:

David Vaughan Hartigan, a Crown prosecutor for the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. He replaces Justice Steve D. Hillier (Edmonton), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective April 19, 2018. Due to an internal transfer, this vacancy is located in Lethbridge.

Anna Loparco, a partner at Dentons LLP, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. She replaces Justice Kevin P. Feehan, who was elevated to the Court of Appeal on January 29, 2019.

According to the government’s press release, Justice Hartigan was born and raised in Lethbridge. He obtained his bachelor of arts in philosophy from the University of Lethbridge in 1990, and his bachelor of laws from the University of Alberta in 1993. He was called to the Alberta bar in 1994.

Justice Hartigan joined the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service as a prosecutor with the Lethbridge Crown office in 1995, and became the chief Crown prosecutor for regulatory prosecutions in the province in 2005. In 2009, he returned home to the Lethbridge Crown office, becoming assistant chief Crown in 2013 and chief Crown prosecutor in 2017. In 2013, he received the Native Counselling Services of Alberta Award in Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to the Aboriginal Community.

In addition to practising law, he designed and taught courses for Athabasca University and Lethbridge College, in the areas of Charter and civil rights law and corrections law.

He is married with two daughters.

Justice Loparco obtained her bachelor of commerce from the University of Alberta in 1995 and graduated from McGill Law School with degrees in common law and civil law (with great distinction) in 2002. She obtained her MBA from McGill University in 2003. She articled at FMC LLP in Montreal and Edmonton and became a member of the Alberta, Quebec and New York bars. She continued to practise with the successor firm Dentons LLP, where she worked for 15 years and was a partner.

As a civil litigator, she practised in a broad range of areas of law including intellectual property, constitutional, education, administrative, professional liability, corporate commercial, insurance and privacy. She has appeared before every level of court and authored various publications, including on the topics of the role of expert witnesses and the role of child’s counsel. Justice Loparco has represented numerous children as well as individuals with mental illnesses in protection proceedings, child and sexual abuse claims.

Justice Loparco has been involved in the community as past chair of the Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre and the CBA Intellectual Property North section, as well as with numerous other organizations including Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Alberta, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, University of Alberta Hospital Foundation, University of Alberta Centre for Constitutional Studies, Alberta Trial Lawyers’ Legal Women’s forum, and the CBA Anti-counterfeiting and Trade Offences Committee.  She regularly volunteers as Pro Bono Alberta duty counsel and amicus counsel.

She is the daughter of Italian immigrants and is fluent in French and Italian. Justice Loparco spends her free time with her family and close friends and has two teenaged daughters with her husband, Gary.