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Ottawa appoints three judges to Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench

Monday, October 15, 2018 @ 12:26 PM | By John Chunn


The government of Canada on Oct. 9 announced the appointment of three judges for the province of Manitoba.

Jeffrey F. Harris, a partner at Myers Weinberg LLP, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Winnipeg. He replaces Justice K.I. Simonsen, who was appointed to the Manitoba Court of Appeal on Aug. 29, 2018.  

Connie F. Petersen, principal at Petersen King, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench (Family Division) in Winnipeg. She replaces Justice D.M. Little, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective March 2, 2017.

Annette J.R. Horst, a supervising attorney at Legal Aid Manitoba, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench (Family Division) in Winnipeg. She replaces Justice M.E. Goldberg, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective July 16, 2017.

Justice Harris obtained his B.A. in 1974, his B.Ed. in 1976, and his LL.B. in 1982, all from the University of Manitoba. He articled at Pollock and Company in Winnipeg and was called to the Manitoba bar in 1983. In 1987, he was one of the founding partners of Keyser, Baragar, Harris and Sadana (later Keyser, Harris) where he practised until 1996. At that time, he joined the firm now known as Myers Weinberg, where he was practising at the time of his appointment.

Early in his career, Justice Harris maintained a practice focused on criminal, civil and family litigation. His work later evolved to focus on Indigenous legal issues, including claims negotiations, settlement trusts and child protection. He has acted as outside general counsel for two First Nations child and family service agencies and has represented agencies in several inquests. He has appeared at most levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Throughout his career, Justice Harris has been active in the Canadian and Manitoba Bar Associations, serving as president of the Manitoba Bar Association (MBA), and as chair of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and MBA Aboriginal Law Sections, in addition to serving in many programs and on committees of both associations.

Justice Harris has presented several papers for the CBA, the MBA and other professional organizations on Indigenous legal issues. As a member of the Speakers’ Bureau of the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba since its inception, he has presented to numerous community, school and government groups about the historical and constitutional importance of treaties and how they shape our relationship with Indigenous people in Canada.

Justice Petersen received her LL.B. from the University of Manitoba in 1996 and was admitted to the Manitoba bar in 1997.

She articled with the Winnipeg law firm of Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP, where she subsequently practised family law as an associate. In 2005, she founded Petersen King, a boutique family law firm, where she continued to practise until her appointment to the bench.

Justice Petersen is committed to the legal profession and was an executive member of the Family Law Section of the MBA. She has assisted in the education of law students over the years, both as a sessional instructor of the clinical family law course at the University of Manitoba and as a facilitator in the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education program through the Law Society of Manitoba. Prior to that, she was a lecturer on family law in the bar admission course.

She has also been actively involved in Collaborative Practice Manitoba, having served on its board and on several committees. In addition, Justice Petersen has been a regular presenter and panellist on various family law matters throughout her career.

Justice Horst received her LL.B. from the University of Manitoba in 1998 and was admitted to the Manitoba bar in 1999.

Justice Horst began her legal career articling with Legal Aid Manitoba in The Pas, Man. After her call to the bar, she moved to Brandon, maintaining a general practice with Roy, Johnston & Co. In 2002, she returned to Legal Aid Manitoba in The Pas, where she practised family and child protection law. In 2015, she relocated to Winnipeg and continued her practice with Legal Aid Manitoba in the areas of family and child protection law.

In addition to her practice, Justice Horst has maintained her volunteer commitments with numerous professional and local community organizations. She has held numerous leadership positions within the legal community, including serving as president of the MBA, national treasurer of the CBA and a bencher of the Law Society of Manitoba. She has served on many different committees through her professional organizations, including the law society’s Discipline Committee and Access to Justice Stakeholders Committee.

Justice Horst has also volunteered her time outside of the law, most recently on the boards of Marigold Preschool in The Pas and the Westoba Credit Union board of directors in Brandon.