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Three judges appointed to B.C. courts

Wednesday, September 09, 2020 @ 10:51 AM | By John Chunn

The federal Department of Justice (DOJ) on Sept. 9 announced three judicial appointments for the province of British Columbia.

According to the DOJ press release, Peter G. Voith, a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, is appointed a justice of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. Justice Voith replaces Justice Barbara L. Fisher (Vancouver), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Jan. 2, 2020.

Ian Caldwell, master of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Justice Caldwell replaces Justice Gregory T.W. Bowden (Vancouver), who resigned effective Oct. 1, 2019. The chief justice has requested that the vacancy for Justice Bowden be transferred to New Westminster.

Jasmin Ahmad, counsel at Koffman Kalef LLP in Vancouver, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Justice Ahmad replaces Justice J. Cristopher Grauer (Vancouver), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal effective Dec. 18, 2019.

Justice Voith received a bachelor of science from McGill University in 1977 and a bachelor of laws in 1980 from the University of British Columbia. He then received a master of laws from Columbia University in 1983 and a master of laws from the University of Cambridge in 1984. He was called to the bar of British Columbia in 1981 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2004.

In 2009, Justice Voith was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. At the time of his appointment, he was one of the founders of Hunter Litigation Chambers. Previously, he had practised with Hunter Voith from 2002 to 2005, with Davis & Company from 1984 to 2002, and with Ladner Downs from 1980 to 1982. His main practice areas were civil and administrative law.

Justice Caldwell was born in New Westminster and was raised in Burnaby. He has one brother and graduated from the same high school as both of his parents had done 35 years earlier. He received his BA in geography and criminology in 1980 and his LL.B. from UBC in 1984 and was called to the B.C. bar in 1985.

Justice Caldwell began his legal career with the firm of Kowarsky & Company (now Kowarsky Ritson) in Vancouver and relocated to Chilliwack in 1990 to carry on a general litigation practice with the firm of Rempel Kaye, later Kaye, Toews and Caldwell. In 2005, he was appointed as a master of the Supreme Court of B.C. sitting in New Westminster and has remained in that position to date, receiving the Trial Lawyers of B.C. Bench Award in 2015.

During his years of practice, Justice Caldwell was active in the local Chilliwack and Fraser Valley Bar Associations, various Canadian Bar Association (CBA) subsections and was a governor of the Law Foundation of B.C. for seven years.

Justice Ahmad was born in Winnipeg and raised in Flin Flon, a small mining town in northern Manitoba. She earned a B.Comm from McGill University in 1991 and her LL.B from the University of Victoria in 1994. Following articles with Webster, Hudson & Akerly (now Webster, Hudson & Coombe) in Vancouver, she was called to the bar of British Columbia in 1995.

Justice Ahmad joined Koffman Kalef LLP in 1997 where she practised as litigation counsel in a wide variety of commercial disputes. In 2011, she was appointed to the Law Society of British Columbia’s hearing panel and adjudicated lawyers’ discipline and credentials matters from 2011 to 2017. She achieved fellowship status with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 2019 and was appointed to the arbitration panel of the British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre.

Justice Ahmad was elected as a bencher of the Law Society in 2016 and served as chair of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee from 2018 through 2019 and chair of the Discipline Committee in 2020. She is a regular presenter on professionalism and ethics in the profession. Justice Ahmad is involved with the CBA’s B.C. Branch Women’s Law Forum Mentoring program as an organizer and mentor and is an active member of the summary advice program with Access Pro Bono. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2019.