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Feds announce judicial appointments for Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench

Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 12:51 PM | By John Chunn

The federal government on Nov. 19 announced that Melanie A. Baldwin and Cara Haaf have been appointed judges of the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan. 

According to a press release from the Department of Justice Canada (DOJ), Baldwin, registrar and executive legal officer for the Court of Appeal of Saskatchewan in Regina, replaces Justice Jerome A. Tholl (Regina), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal effective Jan. 29, 2019.

Haaf, partner at Scharfstein Gibbings Walen Fisher LLP in Saskatoon, replaces Justice Geoffrey D. Dufour (Saskatoon), who resigned effective Feb. 1, 2020.

Justice Baldwin graduated from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 1992 and was called to the bar in 1993.

Justice Baldwin articled and worked as an associate lawyer at Olive Waller Zinkhan & Waller in Regina, in a general practice with an emphasis on labour and employment law, family law and civil litigation. In 1997, she joined the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board as the board’s registrar and legal counsel. In 2008, she was appointed registrar and executive legal officer of the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan and, in 2011, she was named to the same position with the Court of Appeal. She received a Queen’s Counsel designation in 2015.

Justice Baldwin has been a member of the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan since 2015 and is the foundation’s chair. She is a former president of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers. She is a certified mediator and has lectured on such topics as administrative law, labour law, and chambers advocacy. She has also led and participated in seminars relating to practice in the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan. She has volunteered in her community, including time spent on the boards of Regina Education and Action on Child Hunger and Regina Pioneer Village.

Justice Haaf was raised in Tisdale, Sask. She received a bachelor of laws from the University of Saskatchewan in 2002, articled in Melfort, Sask., and she was called to the bar in 2003.

After completing articles, Justice Haaf returned to Saskatoon; she joined Scharfstein Gibbings Walen Fisher LLP as an associate in 2007, and became a partner in 2013. She appeared at all levels of court in Saskatchewan, practising mainly in the area of family law.

Justice Haaf volunteered extensively in the service of her profession. With the Canadian Bar Association, she was most recently the chair of the Alternative Dispute National Section. She served on the Children’s Law Committee, working to promote the legal interests of children. For the past several years, she assisted with the CPLED/PREP program to educate articling students in various areas; she has also been a guest lecturer at the College of Law. She was elected a bencher of the Law Society of Saskatchewan in 2018 and served on the Ethics and Competency committees.

She also volunteered her time with CLASSIC, the poverty law clinic in Saskatoon, to mentor law students and assist their clients. Her volunteer work in the community includes her roles as chair of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Network of Saskatchewan board, vice-chair of the John Bosco Wilderness Camp board, and, most recently, board member for the Friendship Inn, a community centre providing free meals and programming to members of the community.