Organizing Committee

The Law Society of Manitoba, University of Manitoba, Faculty of Law and the Manitoba Bar Association are indebted to this fantastic and hardworking Organizing Committee.

Our thanks to you for all of the time and energy you have so generously given to the 2020 Pitblado Lectures!


Honourable Mr. Justice James Edmond, Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench

Justice Edmond was appointed to the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench on October 1, 2013. Prior to his appointment, he practiced with the firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP in the areas of civil litigation and construction law, specializing in insurance and construction litigation. He acted as counsel on a variety of commercial litigation matters and appeared in Courts in Manitoba and across Canada. Justice Edmond was the Co-chair of the TDS Litigation Practice Group and Chair Emeritus and Member of the Lex Mundi Insurance/Reinsurance Practice Group. He was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Canada in the specialty of Construction Law over a number of years before he was appointed to the Bench and recognized as the “2014 Lawyer of the Year in Winnipeg for Construction Law”.

Since being appointed, Justice Edmond has been acting as the Manitoba director of the Canadian Superior Court Judges Association, has been appointed as a member of the Civil Practice Committee and as the Chair of the Statutory Rules Committee, responsible for all amendments to the Court of Queen’s Bench Rules. He has been a frequent presenter and lecturer for The Law Society of Manitoba and Manitoba Bar Association on various issues ranging from workplace safety and health issues, fiduciary duties, builders’ liens and construction litigation, best advocacy practices, oppression remedies, The Limitations of Actions Act extension applications and motions to dismiss for delay.

Helga Van Iderstine, MLT Aikins

Helga Van Iderstine completed her LL.B. in 1990 at the University of Manitoba, after previously obtaining a bachelor degree in recreation studies (B.R.S.) in 1984. Upon her call to the Bar in 1991, she joined Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson LLP, now MLT Aikins, as an associate, becoming a partner in 1998. She practises in the areas of civil litigation and administrative law, with particular focus on regulatory issues, professional liability, health law, and personal injury. She is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a fellow of Litigation Counsel of America and has been recognized in Best Lawyers.

She has been a group leader, facilitator and lecturer on civil litigation and discovery for the Law Society of Manitoba’s Bar Admission Course and CPLED program. She has also done presentations on professional liability, medical and legal issues including ethics, civil litigation and damages to students at law, medical students, and lawyers and physicians including past presentations at CBA conferences, the MBA Midwinter and the Isaac Pitblado Lectures.

Helga has had numerous volunteer interests and is currently a Trustee of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, a board member of Legal Aid Manitoba and a member of the Law Society’s Admissions and Education Committee and the Professional Liability Claims Fund Committee.

Organizing Committee Members

Dr. Gerard Kennedy, University of Manitoba, Faculty of Law

Gerard is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba. His research and teaching interests include civil procedure, administrative law, the legal profession, constitutional law, and international law. A former civil litigator, his recent work includes publications in the Queen’s Law Journal on appellate jurisdiction, the Supreme Court Law Review on summary procedures in public law litigation, and becoming the author of The Charter of Rights in Litigation. Prior to joining Robson Hall, he held visiting positions at NYU School of Law and the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law.

Jessica Schofield, Taylor McCaffrey LLP

Jessica is the representative of the Manitoba Bar Association on the Organizing Committee and a partner at Taylor McCaffrey LLP. She handles various litigation matters including civil litigation, family law, regulatory and administrative matters and is also trained in Collaborative Family Law.

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