Attorney General Dave Chomiak has announced the appointments of Michel Chartier, Lee Ann Martin, Carena Roller and Patti Umpherville to the provincial court of Manitoba. The new judges will fill openings in Winnipeg and their appointments are effective immediately.
“These individuals have demonstrated professional excellence in their careers as lawyers,” said Chomiak. “I know they bring a wealth of expertise, dedication and skill to their new positions, refreshing and adding strength and diversity to Manitoba’s judiciary.”
Michel Chartier graduated from law school at the Université de Moncton in 1990 following studies at Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg. He was called to the bar in Manitoba in 1991. He practised with the firm of Monk Goodwin, conducting civil and criminal litigation in both French and English. His areas of practice include matters involving banking law, labour law and insurance litigation, and he is an experienced mediator.
Lee Ann Martin first studied law at Université de Paris in Assas, France, in 1991, obtaining a civil degree and practising in France before returning to Winnipeg. She graduated in law from the University of Manitoba in 2000 and practised in the private sector with the firm of Aikins MacAulay and Thorvaldson. Most recently, she was the presiding officer of the appeal commission of workers compensation and was a sessional instructor on comparative law at Robson Hall.
Carena Roller was called to the bar in 1992 and most recently practised in the Aboriginal Law Section of Justice Canada. She has a detailed knowledge of the child-welfare system in Manitoba. She has also practised with legal aid’s Child Protection Law Office and the Main Street Community Law Centre, and has represented the interests of children in more than 200 files. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan’s law program in 1990.
Patti Umpherville has practised solely in the area of criminal law since graduating from the University of Saskatchewan in 1997. She is Cree, born on the Onion Lake Reserve in Saskatchewan. She articled at Legal Aid Manitoba, then practised as a defence attorney with the firm of Phillips Aiello. As a defence lawyer, she regularly attended northern circuit points including Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi and Gypsumville. In 2003, she joined the Manitoba Justice Prosecutions Branch and has been working as a Crown attorney in the domestic violence unit.
The new judges were selected from lists of candidates recommended by independent judicial nominating committees. The committees were chaired by the chief judge of the provincial court of Manitoba Raymond E. Wyant and included three community representatives, representatives of the Law Society of Manitoba and the Manitoba branch of the Canadian Bar Association, and a provincial court judge. One of the community representatives was a retired police officer.
A swearing-in ceremony will be scheduled as soon as possible.