Chief Justice Glenn Joyal, Manitoba Court of King’s Bench

Chief Justice Glenn D. Joyal has been a judge since November 1998.  Prior to his appointment as Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba (now the Court of King’s Bench) in January 2011, Chief Justice Joyal also served as an Associate Chief Justice of that Court and as a judge of the Manitoba Court of Appeal and Manitoba Provincial Court.  He has almost 25 years of judicial experience and almost 15 years in positions of court leadership.

Along with the performance of his responsibilities as a Chief Justice, he continues to preside regularly on significant criminal, civil, administrative and constitutional matters in both English and French.  He has implemented and continues to oversee a number of important initiatives and foundational reforms in the areas of court modernization and access to justice, particularly as it relates to case flow and scheduling in Criminal, Civil, Child Protection and Family proceedings.

His work in public and private practice was in the area of criminal, constitutional and civil litigation.  Chief Justice Joyal pursued his undergraduate and graduate studies at Simon Fraser University, McGill University, University of Paris at the Sorbonne, the University of Manitoba, and Oxford University.  He also had extended study sojourns at the Scuola Dante Alighieri in Florence and the Instituto Michelangelo in Venice, where he studied both Italian and Italian civilization.

Since 2009, Chief Justice Joyal has served on the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) along with Canada’s other federally appointed Chief Justices and Associate Chief Justices.  In 2018, he was appointed by Chief Justice Richard Wagner to serve for a three-year term in the position of Vice Chair of the CJC.  He was reappointed in 2023 to serve an additional three-year term as Vice-Chair.  Following an earlier appointment by former Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, he also serves on the Judicial Conduct Committee as a senior member.  He has also served and/or continues to serve on the CJC’s Executive Committee, the Governance, Public Information and Administration of Justice Committees, the Committee on Efficient Access to Justice in Superior Courts and he chaired for a number of years the CJC’s Superior Courts Trial Forum (a committee of Chief Justices of all of Canada’s trial courts).

In addition to his work on the Canadian Judicial Council, Chief Justice Joyal has served since 2015, as a member of the Steering Committee on Justice Efficiencies and Access to the Justice System.  That committee was created in 2003 by the federal government as an independent body with a mandate to examine issues related to justice efficiencies and access to the justice system that are systemic and national in character and that may affect the justice system in a significant way.  The Steering Committee includes federal and provincial deputy ministers responsible for justice, representatives from court leadership, the Canadian Bar Association, the Barreau du Québec, a representative from the Canadian Council of Defence Lawyers and representatives from the police community.

Chief Justice Joyal has also been a regular speaker, instructor and facilitator at various national academic and judicial fora.  He has also been enthusiastically engaged in institutional outreach with various societal, community groups and First Nations in an effort to increase understanding and provide public information about the role of the judiciary, judicial independence and the rule of law and judicial reconciliation.  In his outreach and in the implementation of court policies and practices, Chief Justice Joyal has been an active proponent of the judiciary’s potential role in enhancing a broader representativeness and inclusion in Canada’s justice system.  Under his leadership, the Court of Queen’s Bench was one of the first courts in Canada to create a court committee specifically designed to address the TRC’s Calls to Action.  Following extensive consultation with the bar and the LGBTQ2 community, the Court of Queen’s Bench was also one of the first courts in Canada to have formally enacted through a Practice Direction, a Gender Inclusive Pronoun policy for all court proceedings and practices.

Chief Justice Joyal is active in community service and has worked with various community organizations and served on Boards whose diversity ranges from the Cercle Molière (Canada’s oldest French-speaking theatre) and the Manitoba Art Council, to St. Mary’s Academy (Chair), St. Paul’s Jesuit High School, Balmoral Hall, the Winnipeg Library Board, the Manitoba Law Foundation and the Winnipeg Foundation Nominating Board.  His interests in theatre have extended to the writing of plays that have been both staged and published in English and French.

Chief Justice Joyal is a past member of l’Association des juristes d’expression française du Manitoba.

Chief Justice Joyal is fluent in English, French and Italian.

Judge Margaret Wiebe, Provincial Court of Manitoba

Judge Wiebe received her Bachelor of Arts in 1987 and her Bachelor of Laws in 1990, both from the University of Manitoba. She was called to the bar of Manitoba in 1991.  In 2010 Judge Wiebe received her Master in Business Administration from Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia.

Judge Wiebe articled at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman (TDS) in 1990 and continued to practice at TDS until 2002, with the exception of a period in 1987-1989 when she practiced in Brandon, Manitoba at Burgess Law Firm.

In April 2002, Judge Wiebe became Senior Legal Counsel with the Canadian Wheat Board CWB and in 2010 became the Director of Strategic Planning & Corporate Policy.

On December 12, 2012, Judge Wiebe was appointed to the Provincial Court of Manitoba and on July 10, 2016, she became the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Manitoba. Her term ended July 10, 2023 and Judge Wiebe returned to sitting as a regular Judge of the Court.

Judge Wiebe has Chaired and/or participated in many committees including Management Committee, Indigenous Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Justice Efficiencies, National Criminal justice Symposium,  Canadian Council of Chief Judges, Court Modernization, and Access to Justice  to name a select few.

Judge Wiebe is currently a Board member of the Canadian Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges. Judge Wiebe is also pursuing certification in the management of cases and adjudication of evidence involving Artificial Intelligence and data science. The certification is through the American Judges Association and the National States and Science Institute.

Judge Darcie Yale, Provincial Court of Manitoba

Judge Darcie Yale was appointed to the Provincial Court on September 1, 2023.  Prior to her appointment, Judge Yale was a partner with the firm, D’Arcy & Deacon LLP, where she practiced primarily in the areas of labour and employment, administrative law and civil litigation. This included labour relations, insurance defence work, municipal law, pension matters and general litigation. She served as co-chair of the Labour & Employment Subsection of the Manitoba Bar Association and was a lecturer and participant in seminars on labour & employment litigation matters. Judge Yale has also been a volunteer member of various community and charitable organizations.

Professor Abdi Aidid, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law

Abdi Aidid is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, researching and teaching in civil procedure, torts and law and technology. He received his B.A. from the University of Toronto, his J.D. from Yale Law School and his LL.M from the Faculty of Law. Professor Aidid previously practiced litigation and arbitration at Covington & Burling LLP in New York City and most recently served as the VP, Legal Research at Blue J, where he oversaw the development of machine learning-enabled research and analytics tools. Alongside Benjamin alarie, Professor Aidid is the author of The Legal Singularity: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Law Better (University of Toronto Press, 2023).

Professor Aidid is a Faculty Affiliate at the Centre for Ethics and a member of the Ethics of AI Lab.

Andrew Buck, Pitblado Law

Andrew practices business law at Pitblado LLP, with a focus on electronic commerce issues.  He provides guidance about online delivery of goods and services, privacy and access to information, anti-spam law compliance and intellectual property control and capitalization.

His practice also includes a significant research and analysis component.  Andrew advises clients on a variety of issues, creates policies and advocates on behalf of his clients, to help them respond to their legal challenges and opportunities.

Andrew received his law degree from the University of Manitoba in 2009, and was awarded the University Gold Medal for the highest standing in the Bachelor of Laws program.  He was called to the Bar in 2010.

Gregory G. Evans, K.C., Evans Family Law

Greg is a collaborative lawyer, mediator and arbitrator and the principal of Evans Family Law, a boutique family law firm dedicated to assisting families to find respectful and dignified resolutions to separation and divorce. Greg is a frequent speaker and lecturer on powerful non-defensive communication, family law, law and technology, and dispute resolution.

Greg is a husband, father of two children, musician and an ally to the Deaf community. Greg is also a recovering alcoholic and addict.

Greg has been recognized by Best Lawyers since 2015 in the area of Family Law and more recently in the areas of Family Law Mediation and Family Law Arbitration. Greg has been named the Lawyer of the Year four times in 2023, 2020, 2018, and 2016.  Greg has also been recognized by Lexpert in the area of family law since 2019.

Greg received the Manitoba Bar Association’s Grant Davis Collegiality and Well-Being Award in 2022 and currently co-chairs Law(yer) Strong. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel (now King’s Counsel) in 2022 and a Jurist of Robson Hall, also in 2022.

Karen Poetker, Pitblado Law

Chair of the Executive Board of Pitblado Law, Karen is a litigation lawyer whose practice is focused on civil, construction, insurance and commercial litigation and arbitration. Karen assists clients with a variety of matters, including shareholder disputes, negligence claims and contractual disputes, and insurance litigation.

Karen has a particular focus on construction-related litigation, acting for owners, contractors, sub-contractors, architects and engineers, in complex construction disputes.

She has appeared at all levels of court in Manitoba, and acts as counsel before arbitrators and administrative tribunals. She has also appeared before the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal, and regularly negotiates resolutions through private mediation and formal judicially-assisted dispute resolution (JADR).

Karen has also been a presiding member of the Housing Cooperative Appeal Tribunal since 2014.

Darcia Senft, The Law Society of Manitoba

Darcia Senft is employed with The Law Society of Manitoba as General Counsel and Director of Policy and Ethics. In that capacity, she provides opinions on matters affecting the Law Society and governance of its members and provides advice and direction to lawyers relating to professional responsibility and ethics.  For approximately 13 years, she also prosecuted members who were charged with professional misconduct or incompetence.  Prior to that, she was Director of Discipline at the Law Society and oversaw the work of the complaints investigation unit.

Darcia was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1988 and to the Ontario Bar in 1993. She has been an active member of her profession having served as a Bencher of the Law Society and a non-Bencher member of various committees.  She is also a Life Council Member of the Manitoba Bar Association.

From 2016 – 2019, she was a member of the CBA Ethics and Professional Responsibility Sub-Committee and served as its Chair for two of those years.  She was reappointed to the CBA Ethics subcommittee in 2021 and reappointed as Chair in 2023.  For the past several years, Darcia has also acted as the Co-Chair of the Federation of Law Societies “Access to Legal Services Exchange Group.”

Darcia has been an occasional instructor for the Law Society’s Bar Admission program and a presenter at Law Society CPD programs.  For three years, she was a sessional lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba where she co-taught the Legal Profession and Professional Responsibility or “ethics” course.

She has presented at conferences and forums hosted by The Law Society of Ontario, the Manitoba Bar Association, the Federation of Law Societies, the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Association of Legal Ethics.

Dr. Katie Szilagyi, University of Manitoba, Faculty of Law

Dr. Katie Szilagyi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Law.

Dr. Szilagyi studies the intersection of technology law and legal theory with artificial intelligence, tracing the impacts of predictive analytics and algorithmic decision-making on the organizing force of the Rule of Law. Her innovative research applies foundational legal concepts like property, autonomy, consent, and privacy to emerging technological settings. She has published and presented on the transformative impacts of blockchain technology on the legal landscape, as well as the international humanitarian law implications of autonomous weapons systems on the battlefield. Newer research projects include smart agriculture; social robotics; science fiction and the law; ethical frameworks for advanced driver assistance systems; and conceptualizing the impacts of natural language processing systems like ChatGPT on the law.

Dr. Szilagyi completed her Bachelor of Science in Biosystems Engineering in 2008. She received her JD from the University of Ottawa in 2012, with joint specializations in Law and Technology and International Law. She then clerked at the Federal Court of Appeal in Ottawa and practiced commercial litigation at a large national firm in Toronto. She earned her LLM, specializing in Law and Technology, at Tel Aviv University in 2017. She returned to the University of Ottawa for her PhD studies in law, supported by a SSHRC doctoral fellowship. She completed her PhD in 2022, for which she was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal in the Humanities.

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