Focus On

Eight new judges appointed to Alberta provincial court

Friday, July 09, 2021 @ 1:58 PM | By John Chunn


The Alberta government announced that eight new judges have been appointed to the provincial court of Alberta, the largest number of judges to be appointed at once in at least the last two decades.

“I congratulate all these worthy appointees and wish them success in their new roles as judges of the provincial court of Alberta. This group of appointees represents the diversity present in Alberta and will help increase access to justice for Albertans,” Kaycee Madu, minister of justice and solicitor general, said in a news release.

Grace Auger has been appointed to Lethbridge/Southern Region, starting Aug. 3. She earned her bachelor of laws from the University of Calgary in 1995 and worked as a Crown prosecutor following law school. Auger is a member of the Bigstone Cree First Nation from the Treaty 8 Territory. She has worked with a number of law firms in the Treaty 7 Territory and most recently worked with Legal Aid Alberta on the Siksika First Nation.

Gordon Hatch has been appointed to Red Deer/Central Region, starting July 12. Hatch worked as a Crown prosecutor after he earned his bachelor of laws in 2003 from the University of Alberta and worked with Hope Heinrich LLP in Prince George, B.C. He worked as an agent for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and with the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service in Wetaskiwin, Vegreville, Fort Saskatchewan and Peace River. Since 2014, Hatch has been a sole practitioner.

Sandra Mah has been appointed to Calgary Criminal Division and Calgary Region, starting Aug. 16. She earned her bachelor of laws in 1993 from Queen’s University and her master of laws in 2005 from the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University. Mah was elected as a bencher of the Law Society of Alberta in 2020. She has served as lawyer adjudicator, member of the Access to Justice Committee, co-chair of Phase I of the Justicia Project, member of the Equality, Equity and Diversity Committee for the law society, and member of the board of directors for Wood’s Homes. Mah currently practises with DLA Piper (Canada) LLP.

Karen Molle has been appointed to Calgary Criminal Division and Calgary Region, starting Aug. 9. After earning her bachelor of laws from the University of Victoria in 1988, Molle worked with the federal Department of Justice and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada in Winnipeg and Calgary. In 2006, she entered private practice in Calgary, which involved trial and appellate work and focused on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Molle has been an active contributor to the bar as both an educator and mentor.

Jason Neustaeter has been appointed to Wetaskiwin/Central Region, starting July 12. He earned his bachelor of laws from the University of Manitoba in 1993. Neustaeter worked with Legal Aid Manitoba in northern Manitoba, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada in Edmonton and the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service, appearing in rural courts across Alberta from High Level to Medicine Hat. Since 2014, he has been the deputy chief prosecutor in the Edmonton Rural and Regional Response Office.

T. Michael Scrase has been appointed to Red Deer/Central Region, starting July 12. He earned his bachelor of laws in 1993 from the University of Alberta and has worked as a sole practitioner and criminal defence lawyer since 1995. Scrase is currently vice-president of the Red Deer Criminal Trial Lawyers Association.

Gregory Shannon has been appointed to Calgary Civil Division, effective July 30. He earned his juris doctor from California Western School of Law in 1989 and his master of laws from Boston University in 1990. Shannon is a member of the California, British Columbia and Alberta bars and has practised in all three jurisdictions. He received the Governor General’s Golden Jubilee Award for public service in 2002 and in 2018 was named an international fellow of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel. 

Olugbenga Shoyele has been appointed to Edmonton Criminal Division, starting July 12. He obtained his bachelor of laws in 1980 and his master of laws in 1984, both from the University of Ife, Nigeria. He earned a doctor of philosophy of laws in 1995 in Nigeria and a master of laws from the University of Alberta in 2003. Shoyele worked as a law professor in Nigeria and practised in Edmonton, most recently as legal counsel for the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench.