Dean's Advisory Council

Merlis Belsher (Saskatoon)

Following graduation from the colleges of law and commerce at the U of S, Merlis received his chartered accountant designation and became a member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan. As president and owner, he devoted much of his career to Weldon’s Concrete Products, a precast concrete manufacturing business in Saskatoon and Prince Albert. Merlis gives much credit to the U of S for providing the strong foundation and principles necessary to sustain existence in a competitive industry. Outside of business he continues to enjoy serving on corporate boards and being involved in not-for-profit organizations, sports activities, farming and philanthropy

Brad Berg (Toronto)

Brad Berg is a partner at Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP and leads the litigation group in Toronto. He has a broad practice, including international arbitrations, and is a board member of The Advocates’ Society. Both Brad and his spouse Brian Rolfes are proud graduates of the U of S College of Law. Brad also has a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto and taught trial advocacy for six years at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Gerda Bloemraad (Calgary)

Gerda Bloemraad was born and grew up in the Netherlands. She graduated in 1968 with a Master of Laws from the University of Leiden and worked for a while for the Dutch ministry of justice. After living in Spain, Thailand, England, Greece and Toronto, Gerda and her family moved to Saskatoon in 1981, where she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at the U of S. At the age of 45, she was accepted into the College of Law. After graduating in 1993 and her call to the bar in 1994, Gerda worked in private practice in Saskatoon, but moved in 1996 to Toronto where she was an in-house counsel for a gold mining company. She retired in 2006 and relocated to Calgary where she has been an active volunteer with serveral non-for-profits and was president and chair of the board of the Calgary Immigrant Woman’s Association for five years.

Gary Bugeaud (Calgary)

Gary Bugeaud is the former managing partner of Burnet, Duckworth and Palmer LLP. He received both his Bachelor of Commerce (1990) and his Bachelor of Laws (1991), from the U of S. Along with his past role as managing partner, Gary has served as corporate secretary to a number of oil and gas production or services companies. He is also a member of the board of trustees for the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

Jody Busch (Saskatoon)

Jody Busch received both her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the U of S, graduating from the College of Law in 2007. She was involved in founding Community Legal Assistance Services For Saskatoon Inner City Inc. (CLASSIC) and is thrilled with the ongoing success of that organization. Jody articled with, and is still employed at, the Department of Justice Canada, working mainly on solicitor files involving reserve land or land that will become reserve land.

Tamela Coates (Calgary)

Tamela (Tammy) Coates is a senior litigation and dispute resolution partner in the Calgary office of Dentons Canada LLP. She also sits on the firm’s global risk management committee. For the past two years, she was the managing partner of the Calgary office. Tammy was called to the bar in 1989 and has spent her career with Dentons (Calgary). Over the years, she has represented clients in a wide variety of commercial and risk management disputes. Currently, her practice focuses on clients in the energy, telecommunications and financial sectors regarding complex claims involving commercial, environmental and intellectual property issues and risk and reputational management. She also routinely provides counsel to charities on a volunteer basis.

Brent Cotter, Q.C. (Saskatoon)

W. Brent Cotter, QC, is a former dean of the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan. He obtained his Bachelor of Commerce degree with honours from the U of S and both his bachelor and master degrees in law from Dalhousie University. From 1992 to 1997 Brent served as deputy minister of justice and deputy attorney general for the Province of Saskatchewan. In July 1997, he was appointed deputy minister of intergovernmental and Aboriginal affairs, as well as deputy provincial secretary. Brent is a current member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.

Kurt Dahl (Vancouver)

Kurt Dahl is an entertainment lawyer and professional musician. He wrote his Master of Laws thesis in 2009 on the future of the music industry, and has practiced entertainment law in Vancouver since 2010. He tours the country regularly with his band One Bad Son, working with some of the biggest names in the music business. He recently launched his website, www.LawyerDrummer.com, and practices law at Murphy and Company in Vancouver.

Harry Dahlem, Q.C. (Saskatoon)

Harry Dahlem is a long-time member of the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan (LFS), joining in 1974. He held the position of vice-chair for 12 years and chair for eight years. In appreciation for his work, the LFS established the Harry Dahlem Scholarship and the Harry Dahlem Prize in International Law. Harry also served as the honorary chair of the College of Law’s very successful new building campaign. Besides his involvement with law Harry is an accomplished singer, having performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and as a soloist at various concerts throughout Saskatchewan.

Bill Estey (Toronto)

Bill Estey has practised law with Torys LLP since 1974 and has been a partner since 1980. He practised corporate/commercial and securities law from 1974 to 1981, in which year he founded Torys’ research and opinions group. As a member of that group, Bill’s practice involves conducting or supervising legal research, and writing and reviewing legal opinions and memoranda in a wide range of areas, including corporation law, contracts, commercial law, securities law, secured transactions and conflict of laws. In addition, he is regularly involved in advising on the structuring of complex corporate and commercial transactions. Bill has worked extensively with Torys’ litigators on major commercial cases over the years, providing legal research and strategic assistance.

Shelley Gavigan (Toronto)

Shelley Gavigan is a professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. Following graduation from the College of Law, U of S, she articled in a ruralbased community legal clinic, was called to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1976, and continued to practise in Saskatchewan, as a legal clinic lawyer. A faculty member of Osgoode Hall Law School since 1986, she has held appointments as associate dean and as academic director of Osgoode’s Intensive Program in Poverty Law at Parkdale Community Legal Services. Professor Gavigan’s areas of research and teaching include criminal law, family law, children and law, law and poverty, legal history and clinical legal education.

Tim Gitzel (Saskatoon)

Tim Gitzel was appointed chief executive officer of Cameco on July 1, 2011 and has extensive experience in Canadian and international uranium mining activities through more than 20 years of senior management and legal experience. Tim was born and raised in Saskatchewan, graduated from the U of S College of Arts and Science in 1986 and received his Juris Doctor degree from the College of Law at the U of S in 1990. Tim currently serves as chair of the World Nuclear Association, is on the board of Washington-based Nuclear Energy Institute, is a governor with Junior Achievement of Saskatchewan, and is a member of the Edwards School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council.

Michele Hollins, Q.C. (Calgary)

Having grown up in Saskatchewan, Michele graduated with her Bachelor of Science from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas in 1987. She returned to Saskatchewan and obtained her Bachelor of Laws from the U of S in 1992. After clerking to the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, she began her articles and then worked as an associate at McCarthy Tetrault in Calgary, Alberta. In 2001, Michele joined the firm of Dunphy Best Blocksom LLP where she became a partner in 2004 and received her Queen’s Counsel designation in 2008.

Nancy Hopkins, Q.C. (Saskatoon)

Nancy Hopkins practices business law with an emphasis on taxation law and corporate governance. She is a member of the boards of public, Crown and non-profit corporations and has extensive experience in corporate governance issues including as chair of audit, governance and human resources committees. She received a Bachelor of Commerce (1977) and a Bachelor of Laws (1978) from the U of S, was admitted to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1979 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1992. In 1997, she was granted honourary membership in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan.

Holli Kuski Bassett (Regina)

Holli Kuski Bassett’s practice focuses on civil litigation in all areas and aspects including commercial and contractual disputes, insurance defence, estates, and administrative proceedings. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Regina in 2007 and a Bachelor of Laws from the U of S in 2008. She is currently a member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan, the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and the Saskatchewan Trial Lawyers Association. She co-chaired the CBA Young Lawyers Sask. South section in 2011-12 and served as the vice-president of the Regina Bar Association in 2012-13.

Eileen Libby, Q.C. (Regina)

Eileen Libby acts as counsel to employers in the full range of labour relations and employment law matters, including collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, restructurings, labour relations board matters, human rights proceedings, and occupational health and safety matters. Eileen also practices extensively in the areas of professional regulation and health law. Eileen has appeared before all levels of courts in Saskatchewan, the Canada Industrial Relations Board, the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board, boards of arbitration, human rights tribunals and professional regulatory bodies. She has served as a hearing officer under the Saskatchewan Police Act.

Matthew Lindsay (Calgary)

Matt Lindsay is a 1989 College of Law graduate. He is a partner in the Calgary litigation firm Rose LLP and is a former partner and Calgary managing partner of a national law firm. He has had a long association with the college after graduation, including as one of the creators of the college’s annual negotiation competition. He is also the executive director of ICC Fraudnet, a specialized international lawyer network established under the International Chamber of Commerce.

Thomas Molloy, O.C., Q.C. (Saskatoon)

Over the three decades that Tom Molloy has been negotiating, he has been instrumental in numerous Aboriginal settlements across Canada. He was the Chief Negotiator for Canada with the Inuit of Nunavut. The Agreement led to the creation of the Territory of Nunavut. He has negotiated treaties with the Nisga’a Tribal Council, the Sliammon First Nation and the Inuit of Northern Quebec. Tom has also worked with private sector firms ranging from mining companies, investment and pension funds to public utilities on First Nations and Inuit matters.

Laurie Pawlitza (Toronto)

Laurie Pawlitza is a partner at Torkin Manes LLP in Toronto. Her litigation practice focuses on family law matters. Between 2010 and 2012, Laurie was elected as the 63rd treasurer (president) of The Law Society of Upper Canada. Laurie writes and speaks regularly for legal audiences on issues relating to family law, professionalism, legal education and women’s issues in the profession in Ontario, nationally and internationally. Laurie has been honoured with awards from Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, the Women’s Law Association and with the Zenith Award.

Martel Popescul, Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon)

Chief Justice Martel Popescul obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Regina in 1976 and an Bachelor of Laws from the U of S in 1979. He was called to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1980. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel (Canada) in 1992 and Queen’s Counsel (Saskatchewan) in 2000. He served as a bencher with the Law Society of Saskatchewan from 1998 to 2003 and was president in 2001. Chief Justice Popescul was appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan in 2006 and was appointed Chief Justice in 2012. He resides in Saskatoon. Chief Justice Popescul has previously  presented at numerous legal education seminars. He has also been on the faculty of the Trial Advocacy Workshop for more than 12 years. Chief Justice Popescul has presented on numerous occasions at both the bar admission course and the Canadian Centre for Legal Education (CPLED) program. Chief Justice Popescul was the recipient of the Saskatchewan Legal Education Society Inc. (SKLESI) Outstanding Volunteer Award (North) in 2005 and SKLESI’s Award of Excellence for Legal Education Development in 2008.

Robert Richards, Chief Justice of Saskatchewan (Regina)

Chief Justice Richards received a Bachelor of Commerce (1975) and Bachelor of Laws (1979) from the U of S and a Master of Laws from Harvard University (1982). He worked as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada (1979-80), a parliamentary intern in the House of Commons (1980-81), an associate lawyer with Gowling and Henderson (1982-84), chief of staff to the Right Honourable Raymon Hnatyshyn (1984-85), director of constitutional law in the Saskatchewan Department of Justice (1985-90) and a partner at MacPherson Leslie and Tyerman LLP (1990-2004) before his appointment to the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan. He was appointed Chief Justice of Saskatchewan in 2013.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (Victoria)

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is a judge on leave from the Saskatchewan Provincial Court, currently serving as British Columbia’s representative for children and youth. She worked as a criminal law judge in youth and adult courts, with an emphasis on developing partnerships to better serve the needs of young people in the justice system, particularly sexually exploited children and youth, and children and youth with disabilities. She holds a Doctorate of Law from Harvard Law School and a master’s degree in international law from Cambridge University. Ms. Turpel-Lafond is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and active in her First Nations community.

Jeffrey Vicq (Vancouver)

Jeffrey obtained a Bachelor of Laws from the U of S in 1998, and a Master of Laws from the University of Ottawa in 2007. A partner in the Vancouver-based business law firm Clark Wilson LLP, Jeffrey’s practice focuses on intellectual property and technology law matters, and he frequently speaks and lectures on these topics. In a peer selection process, Jeffrey was recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in Canada in Technology Law and Information Technology Law. Jeffrey was a member of the Board of Directors of the U of S Alumni Association for many years, serving as president in 2006.

Donald Worme, Q.C. (Saskatoon)

Donald Worme is a member of the Kawacatoose First Nation, Treaty #4, and credits his grandfather with teaching him Cree philosophies, traditions and spirituality as he was growing up. He received his Bachelor of Laws degree at the U of S in 1985. Since then, his legal practice has focused on how Canadian laws and legal institutions impact Aboriginal people. Mr. Worme is a founding member of the Indigenous Bar Association in Canada.

Stephanie Yang (Regina)

Stephanie Yang obtained a Bachelor of Commerce in marketing from the U of S in 2004 and a Bachelor of Laws from the U of S in 2007. She was called to the Saskatchewan bar in 2008 while articling at MacPherson Leslie and Tyerman LLP and recently joined the Brandt Group of Companies as in-house legal counsel, primarily dealing with immigration, civil litigation, and labour and employment law. In 2013, Stephanie was honoured to receive the Saskatchewan Young Lawyer Pro Bono Award and the National Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Young Lawyer Pro Bono Award.