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

Friday, December 11, 2020 @ 3:44 PM | By John Chunn

The federal Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Dec. 11 two judicial appointments for the province of Saskatchewan.

Colin D. Clackson, lawyer at WMCZ Lawyers in Saskatoon, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan. Justice Clackson replaces Justice Ron C. Mills (Saskatoon), who resigned effective Dec. 1, 2020.

Leah Schatz, partner at MLT Aikins LLP in Saskatoon, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan. Justice Schatz replaces Justice Donna L. Wilson (Saskatoon), who resigned effective April 30, 2020. 

According to the DOJ press release, Justice Clackson was born and raised in Saskatoon. He attended the University of Saskatchewan, where he earned a BA in economics in 1980 and his law degree in 1983.

Justice Clackson moved to Grande Prairie, Alta., to article and practise with his brother at Kay, Dobko and Company (now Dobko & Wheaton). He returned to Saskatoon in 1987 to work with MacDermid Lamarsh. In 1996, he and three colleagues started a new law firm in Saskatoon, then known as Wallace Meschishnick Clackson Zawada, which continues to thrive. From the start of his career, Justice Clackson focused exclusively on litigation. Over the years, he has practised in the areas of personal injury, criminal defence and family law, but mostly in commercial litigation and insurance defence. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2015.

Justice Clackson has volunteered his time to many professional and community organizations over the course of his career. He served on the board of directors of the Canadian Defence Lawyers Association (CDL) for 15 years, during which he occupied all executive positions. Prior to his involvement in the CDL, he was a member of the Saskatchewan Trial Lawyers Association of Saskatchewan, where he served on the board of directors and again occupied all executive positions. He was also a member of the Kinsmen Club of Saskatoon and spent many years on the board of the Kinsmen Foundation planning its annual Telemiracle show.

Justice Schatz, received her LL.B. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1993 and was admitted to the Saskatchewan bar in 1994.

Justice Schatz was a partner with the firm MLT Aikins LLP between 2007 and the date of her appointment, practising labour and employment law. She joined the firm as an associate in 2004. Between 2000 and 2004, she was in-house counsel for the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations. She articled with the firm Gauley & Co. (now McDougall Gauley), and remained there as an associate until 2000, practising in the family, labour and employment and civil litigation areas. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2016.

Justice Schatz has actively volunteered and held leadership positions in various professional and community organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Mental Health Association, St. Anne’s Senior Citizens’ Village Corporation and St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation. She has been a frequent speaker at legal education programs.