Terence Wright will serve in Smithers and his appointment is effective March 1, 2012. Wright was born in Terrace and has practiced law in Terrace for more than 25 years. He is an associate with Warner Bandstra Brown, and his practice focuses on criminal, family and civil litigation. Wright is on the board of directors for the Terrace and District Community Services Society.THE COMPLETE NEWS RELEASE
Government has appointed nine new Provincial Court judges in regions around the province to further address caseload pressures on B.C.'s courts and improve access to the justice system.
Four of these new judges will be appointed to the Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley regions, with another two being placed in Prince George. One new judge has been appointed to each of Nanaimo, Smithers and Penticton. The chief judge has assigned the new judges to these specific communities in response to the court's needs throughout the province, taking into account such matters as caseload demands, recent transfers within the court, retirements or judges choosing to move to the part-time program.
The total cost to government to support one Provincial Court judge is up to $1.4 million annually, including the judge's salary and other costs for court administration staff, sheriffs, prosecution services and judicial support. Counting the latest additions, the B.C. government has now appointed 23 new Provincial Court judges in regions across the province since February 2010.
The Province continues to invest in critical resources in the justice system, including the ongoing hiring of court administration staff and sheriffs, and is committed to looking at ways of developing and implementing measures to increase court efficiencies and help avoid court delays. Attorney General Shirley Bond is quoted as stating the following;
"Our government has been consistent in saying it would always consider appointing judges as one of the solutions to ease pressures on the justice system, but these newest appointees are only part of a solution for a justice system in need of reform.
"In the coming days, we'll be looking very closely at larger reform of the system and specifically how we can find efficiencies and long-term solutions to the pressures our courts are facing, instead of just looking at more funding as the only answer. We will continue to work with the judiciary, the legal profession and others in the system to come up with common-sense ideas to help us do this.
"My congratulations to the new appointees and I wish them all the best as they start the next chapter in their distinguished legal careers." Quick Facts:
* In July 2011, five new judges were appointed for the Lower Mainland, Okanagan and northern B.C. The process to appoint judges involves several steps:
o Interested lawyers 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.
o The council then recommends potential judges to the attorney general.
o The final appointments are made through a cabinet order-in-council. Learn More:
* More information about the appointment process can be found at: www.provincialcourt.bc.caBiographies of the other eight new judge appointees
Patricia Bond will serve in Surrey and her appointment is effective Feb. 27, 2012. Bond is a partner with North Shore Law LLP in North Vancouver. Her practice is focused mostly on family law and she is an experienced litigator and collaborative lawyer.
Gregory John Brown will serve in Abbotsford and his appointment is effective Feb. 16, 2012. Brown was born in Victoria, raised in Burnaby and started his legal career in Prince George. He has been a partner at McEachern, Harris and Brown in Maple Ridge for the past 19 years and is experienced in family law and civil litigation.
Randall William Callan will serve in Prince George and his appointment is effective April 2, 2012. Lt.-Col. Callan is a legal officer with the Canadian Forces in the Office of the Judge Advocate General. He has been deployed to Afghanistan and Sudan and was counsel for the Government of Canada and the Canadian Forces before the Somalia Inquiry in 1996.
Victor Galbraith will serve in Prince George and his appointment is effective Feb. 13, 2012. Galbraith has practiced law for more than 20 years and he is currently administrative Crown counsel in Quesnel. Galbraith was also Crown counsel in Williams Lake for seven years.
Melissa Gillespie, QC, will serve in Surrey and her appointment is effective Feb. 21, 2012. Gillespie is regional Crown counsel for Fraser region and is responsible for the effective conduct and management of all criminal prosecutions in the region. She has been Crown counsel for 20 years and was appointed Queen's counsel in 2009.
Ted Gouge, QC, will serve in Nanaimo and his appointment is effective Feb. 27, 2012. Since 2003, Gouge has been counsel with legal services branch in the Ministry of Attorney General. He has extensive experience in civil litigation. Previously, he was a partner with Lawson, Lundell, Lawson & McIntosh and was appointed Queen's counsel in 1993.
Patricia Janzen will serve in Port Coquitlam and her appointment is effective Feb. 21, 2012. Janzen is in her 35th year of practising law in British Columbia. She has extensive experience with mediation at the Labour Relations Board, Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Janzen is on the board of directors for the Canadian Mental Health Association, B.C. division.
Gregory Koturbash will serve in Penticton and his appointment is effective Feb. 14, 2012. Koturbash began his career in Saskatchewan as a prosecutor, and since 2005 he has been administrative Crown counsel in Salmon Arm. He recently released a legal guide to assist police and prosecutors with impaired driving investigations.