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Two judges appointed in Saskatchewan

Monday, September 24, 2018 @ 9:48 AM | By John Chunn

The federal Department of Justice announced the appointment of two judges in Saskatchewan.

Robert Leurer, a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan, is appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan. He replaces Justice Maurice J. Herauf, who elected to resign effective Aug. 31, 2018.

Graeme Mitchell, vice-chair of the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan in Regina. He replaces Justice Leurer.

Prior to his appointment to the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan in November 2017, Justice Leurer was a litigator whose practice focused on product liability and class actions. His work extended widely to commercial, insurance, personal injury, privacy, constitutional and administrative law. While in practice, he argued cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court, and courts throughout Western Canada.

Justice Leurer obtained his law degree in 1984 from the University of Saskatchewan, where he was the Law Society of Saskatchewan gold medallist. Upon graduating, he clerked for Justice Willard Z. Estey of the Supreme Court of Canada and was called to the Saskatchewan bar in 1986. That same year, he joined MLT Aikins (as the firm is now known), where he was a partner until his judicial appointment.

Justice Leurer has served as president of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), Saskatchewan branch, and as regional chair for the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute. He was a member of the CBA’s National Class Actions Task Force and the board of directors of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies. He has been a frequent lecturer at national and regional legal conferences. In recognition of his many contributions to the legal community, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel for Saskatchewan in 2003 and was named a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, among other awards.

Aside from his professional commitments, Justice Leurer has also been actively involved in his community, serving on the Luther College (Regina) Board of Regents and as a director of the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club.

Justice Mitchell was called to the Saskatchewan bar in 1985. He served as Crown counsel and then as director of the Constitutional Law Branch of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice until his appointment as vice-chair of the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board in March 2016. In addition to an LL.B. from York University and an LL.M. from the University of Chicago, he holds bachelors degrees in both arts and music from the University of Regina.

Justice Mitchell has practised and published extensively in the areas of administrative, constitutional, criminal, labour and human rights law. He has represented the Attorney General for Saskatchewan before all levels of Saskatchewan courts, the Alberta Court of Appeal, the Federal Court of Canada and in over 40 appeals at the Supreme Court, including many ground-breaking constitutional cases.

He has also taught constitutional law at various law schools. In 2009, he served as a Visiting International Advocate in Residence at Valparaiso University Law School in Indiana. In addition, he has taught classes on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to judges through the National Judicial Institute.

Justice Mitchell has been very active in professional development, and has served in various positions with the Law Society of Saskatchewan and the CBA. For close to 30 years, he has provided an annual update on Charter and criminal cases to the Criminal Law Section of the CBA (Saskatchewan). In 2014, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the CBA (Saskatchewan). He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1998.