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Four judges appointed in Saskatchewan courts

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 @ 10:35 AM | By John Chunn

The federal Department of Justice announced the following four judicial appointments for the province of Saskatchewan:

Jeffery Kalmakoff, a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan, is appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan, and a judge ex officio of the province’s Court of Queen's Bench. Justice Kalmakoff would replace Justice Peter A. Whitmore, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective April 8, 2019.

Natasha Crooks, a judge of the provincial court of Saskatchewan, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench. Justice Crooks would replace Justice C.L. Dawson, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Nov. 1, 2018. Justice Crooks is located in Saskatoon as the chief justice has transferred Justice Michael D. Tochor (Saskatoon) into Justice Dawson’s vacancy.

Neil Robertson, a sole practitioner in Regina, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench. Justice Robertson would replace Justice Brian A. Barrington-Foote (Regina), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal on Nov. 1, 2018.

Beverly L. Klatt, senior Crown prosecutor at the Saskatchewan Department of Justice, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench. Justice Klatt would replace Justice Kalmakoff (Regina), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal effective May 17, 2019.

According to the Justice Canada May 21 press release, Justice Kalmakoff was born in Saskatoon and grew up on a farm near Blaine Lake, Sask. He obtained an LL.B. from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 1993.

Justice Kalmakoff articled with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice, then worked for a brief period in private practice with Hnatyshyn Singer in Saskatoon. In September of 1994, he was hired as a Crown prosecutor by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice and held that position until October of 2009, when he was appointed as a judge of the provincial court of Saskatchewan.

During his time as a Crown prosecutor, Justice Kalmakoff did primarily trial work. He also served as president of the Saskatchewan Crown Attorneys’ Association from 2003 to 2005, and was a regular lecturer at RCMP Depot, speaking to recruits about the Young Offenders Act and Youth Criminal Justice Act. From 1995 until 2009, he gave regular presentations on sexual assault law to volunteers at the Regina Women’s Centre Sexual Assault Line.

As a provincial court judge, Justice Kalmakoff served in Estevan from 2009 to 2011, and in Regina from 2011 until May of 2015, when he was appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench. He has served as a General Division judge, based in Regina, since that time.

Justice Kalmakoff has been active in continuing judicial education, serving as chair of the education committees for both the Saskatchewan Provincial Court and the Court of Queen’s Bench during his tenure.

Justice Crooks was appointed to the provincial court of Saskatchewan in March 2018. She received a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Regina in 1999 and a juris doctor (with distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan in 2004. She articled at the Department of Justice Canada and began her law career there with a general civil litigation practice.

Justice Crooks was appointed to the Parole Board of Canada in 2013 and served as a board member until her appointment as a provincial court judge. During that time, she was a member of the Parole Board of Canada’s Executive Committee and chairperson of the Indigenous Circle, a national committee of the Parole Board of Canada that provides advice on issues that impact Indigenous offenders, victims and communities.

Justice Crooks is Métis and was born and raised in southern Saskatchewan.

A graduate of the University of Regina and Osgoode Hall Law School, Justice Robertson articled with Leslie Shaw and was admitted to the Law Society of Saskatchewan in 1984.

At the time of his appointment, Justice Robertson had a private practice in municipal law and as an arbitrator.  He also served as an inquest coroner and chair of the Saskatchewan Police Commission. He previously practised with Robb & Dowling (now Dowling Talbot) and as counsel to the Regina Police Service and City of Regina, appearing before all levels of courts. He received the Queen’s Counsel designation in 2003 and the fellows designation from the International Municipal Law Association in 2005.

Justice Robertson has been active throughout his career with professional associations, including as a past president of the Saskatchewan Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, and with community groups. His community service was recognized by the award of the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal in 2016.

Justice Klatt was born and raised in Saskatchewan. She obtained a B.A. degree, majoring in sociology and political science, and, in 1986, obtained a bachelor of laws degree from the University of Saskatchewan.

Justice Klatt articled and spent the first few years in private practice. In 1991, she was offered a position with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General as a frontline trial prosecutor in both rural areas and in Regina. In 2003, she accepted a position with Public Prosecutions (Head Office) as an appellate counsel and, in 2010, became senior appellate counsel, arguing cases in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice Klatt was Saskatchewan’s representative from Prosecutions in the Federal/Provincial/Territorial forum of criminal law policy, working on criminal law reforms that included self-defence, disclosure, bail and criminal procedure.

Justice Klatt was an executive member with the Canadian Bar Association (Saskatchewan Branch) for many years, lectured and presented at various continuing legal education seminars and conferences and was actively involved in junior mentorship conferences within Public Prosecutions. For the past three years, she was a presenter at the CPLED seminar on criminal law.