Focus On

Three lawyers appointed to the bench

Monday, October 02, 2017 @ 1:40 PM | By Carolyn Gruske

Three members of the legal community were recently appointed as justices in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

E. David Crossin, a partner at Sugden, McFee & Roos LLP was named as a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. He replaces Justice L.D. Russell, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective August 20, 2017.

Justice Crossin spent the past four decades practising criminal law as well as civil and commercial litigation and administrative law. A former bencher and past president of the Law Society of British Columbia, Crossin also served as chair of the Legal Services Society (which provides legal aid services to low-income British Columbians) and as a member of the executive committee of Access to Justice British Columbia. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers.

Steven N. Mandziuk, a general counsel with the Caterpillar heavy equipment dealer at Finning International Inc. (Canada), has been appointed as a justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Edmonton. He replaces Justice T.D. Clackson, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective December 17, 2016.

Justice Mandziuk has served in both private practice and as an in-house counsel. After passing the bar, he worked in general practice at two Edmonton law firms — Bishop & McKenzie LLP and Barr Picard Law. His emphasis at the time was in family law and litigation. In the corporate world, Justice Mandziuk was a member of the legal department at Telus Communications Inc. before joining Finning. He served as the Alberta branch president of the Canadian Bar Association and he chaired the steering committee of the association's national Re-Think Project. Justice Mandziuk was on the board of directors of Pro Bono Law Alberta and been part of the dean's external advisory board and the strategic planning committee of the University of Alberta’s faculty of law.

Bernadette Dietrich, an estate and trust attorney at McCarthy Tétrault LLP has been named as a judge of the Superior Court of Justice in and for the Province of Ontario in Toronto. She replaces Justice Ian V.B. Nordheimer, who was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario on Sept. 14, 2017.

Justice Dietrich acted for individuals and corporations, including charitable organizations, during her time at McCarthy Tétrault, assisting them in complex estate and trust planning and representing them during litigious matters. She is co-author of Widdifield on Executors and Trustees, which is often cited by Canadian courts, and is a member of the editorial board of STEP Inside, which is published by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (Canada). Justice Dietrich was an instructor in the estate administration course for the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario and an instructor for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s bar admission course in the estate planning and administration section. As well, Justice Dietrich served as past-chair of the Ontario Bar Association's trusts and estates section and is a former editor of the section’s Deadbeat publication.