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Justice minister announces three appointments to B.C. Supreme Court

Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 5:25 PM | By Paula Kulig

Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced three appointments to the Supreme Court of British Columbia on June 23 under the new judicial application process announced last October.

Justice Leonard Marchand, Jr., who sits on B.C.’s provincial court in Kamloops, is a member of the Okanagan Indian Band and grew up in Kamloops. He attended law school at the University of Victoria, graduating in 1994. He practised law at Fulton & Company LLP in Kamloops from 1995 to 2013, when he was appointed a provincial court judge. During his days in practice, he focused on the liability of public authorities. He has appeared before all levels of court and many administrative tribunals. He replaces Justice Alison Beames, who elected to become a supernumerary judge.

Justice Marchand has dedicated a substantial portion of his career to achieving reconciliation for many Indigenous people through, among other things, pursuing civil claims of historic child abuse in institutional settings, and representing a large number of residential school survivors. In 2005, he helped negotiate and was a signatory to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class action settlement in Canadian history. He was also on the selection committee for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and has presided in First Nations Court in Kamloops, where, with input from elders, healing plans are developed for offenders.

Palbinder K. Shergill, a sole practitioner with Shergill & Company in Surrey, will sit in New Westminster. She has extensive trial and appellate experience, and has appeared before courts and tribunals across Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada. She was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2012 and is a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for Community Service. She has been instrumental in helping shape human rights and religious accommodation law in Canada through her pro bono work as general legal counsel for the World Sikh Organization of Canada. She replaces Justice E.A. Arnold-Bailey, who retired effective May 31.

Justice Shergill was born in Punjab, India, and immigrated to Canada with her family as a child. She grew up in Williams Lake, B.C., and received her law degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Called to the B.C. bar in 1991, she has been involved with the Cabinet of Canadians, the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. and the Canadian Bar Association. From 2002 to 2008, she served on the board of directors of the Fraser Health Authority, the largest health region in the province.

Michael J. Brundrett is a senior Crown counsel with B.C.’s Ministry of Justice, criminal justice branch. Born in Montreal and raised in North Vancouver, he received a law degree from the University of Toronto in 1991 and was called to the B.C. bar a year later. He conducted federal prosecutions for two years before joining the B.C. Prosecution Service in 1994. As a trial prosecutor for over 13 years, he handled cases in all areas of criminal law. For the last 12 years, he has conducted appeals in the B.C. Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. He replaces Justice W.J. Harris, who resigned effective April 30.

Justice Brundrett is chair of the professional development committee of the Canadian Bar Association’s B.C. branch, a co-editor of the Working Manual of Criminal Law, and co-ordinator of the Jury Trial Resource Counsel group at the criminal justice branch. He has chaired and organized continuing legal education conferences and given presentations on criminal and constitutional law topics, evidence, advocacy and legal writing. For many years, he authored training materials and acted as a guest instructor at the Law Society of B.C.’s practical legal training course, as well as volunteering his time as a moot court judge at the Allard School of Law.