Five new judges have been appointed to the British Columbia Provincial Court, Attorney General Michael de Jong, QC, announced today.
The office of the chief judge has confirmed these appointees have been assigned to the following districts: Sheri Ann Mark has been appointed to the Kamloops district, Roy Couper Dickey will serve in South Fraser, Steven Myles Merrick in Coast district, James Parker MacCarthy, QC, on North Vancouver Island and Supreme Court master Marguerite Elizabeth Shaw in the Okanagan.
"The appointment and assignments of these judges will ensure the timely management of court cases," said de Jong. "All of the judges appointed today have extensive legal experience and I'm confident their leadership will serve the public well."
The process to appoint judges involves several steps. Interested lawyers (typically with at least 10 years experience) apply and the B.C. Judicial Council, a committee made up of the chief judge, other judges, lawyers and lay people, then reviews the candidates.
The council recommends potential judges to the attorney general, with the final appointment made through a cabinet order-in council. More information about the appointment process can be found at: www.provincialcourt.bc.ca
Supreme Court master Marguerite Elizabeth Shaw received a law degree from the University of British Columbia in 1988. She has practiced law in Kelowna for 21 years. Shaw worked extensively as a child protection mediator and in family law and has provided legal counsel to B.C.'s Coroners Service. She was appointed Queen's counsel in January 2006 and a master of the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Dec. 11, 2009. She will take her seat Oct. 4.
Roy Couper Dickey was born in Chilliwack and grew up in the Fraser Valley. He was called to the British Columbia bar in 1988, joining Harrop, Phillips, Powell & Gibbons in Vancouver. Dickey has been Crown counsel in Kamloops since early 2009. He has served as president of the Phoenix Drug & Alcohol Recovery and Education Society in Surrey. The appointment is effective Oct. 4.
Sheri Ann Mark is currently the deputy regional Crown counsel for Kamloops. She has practiced law since 1993, working most of those years in Kamloops as a trial lawyer. She joined the provincial Crown counsel office in 1998 and served as administrative Crown counsel in New Westminster from 2001 to 2002. She earned a law degree in 1992 from the University of Saskatchewan. She takes her seat Oct. 4.
Steven Myles Merrick has practiced law for over 20 years, after being called to the Manitoba bar in 1989 and the British Columbia bar in 1995. Merrick is experienced in litigation and has been a member and chair of the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal since 2004. He is a partner at Silversides, Merrick & McLean. The appointment is effective Oct. 12.
James Parker MacCarthy has been practicing law for 34 years and is currently associate counsel with Ramsay Lampman Rhodes in Nanaimo. In 2003, he received the Queen's Jubilee Medal in recognition of distinguished service to the legal community in Canada. MacCarthy was appointed Queen's counsel in 1997 and is the former national president of the Canadian Bar Association. The appointment is effective Oct. 18.