The Advisory: Volume 8, Issue 1, January 2010
Law Society of Alberta Welcomes New Leaders of the Court of Queen’s Bench
The Law Society of Alberta welcomes The Honourable Neil C. Wittmann who was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench on October 22, 2009. He replaces the Honourable Allan H.J. Wachowich who has elected to become a supernumerary judge. The Law Society of Alberta also welcomes The Honourable John D. Rooke who was appointed Associate Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench on October 22, 2009.
Chief Justice Wittmann
Associate Chief Justice Rooke
The Honourable N.C. Wittmann, Chief Justice:
The Honourable Neil C. Wittmann was born in Grande Prairie, Alberta, and earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba (1964) and his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta (1967). He articled with principal William Robert Brennan, Q.C. at the Calgary firm of Fenerty McGillivray and was called to the Alberta Bar in 1968. In 1976, he was called to the Bar of the Northwest Territories.
Chief Justice Wittmann joined Brownlee Fryett in Edmonton as partner in 1969. In 1972, he returned to Calgary to join Code Hunter Ford Peacock, where he became the managing partner of Code Hunter Wittmann.
In 1985, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel. From 1989 to 1997, he served as Bencher of the Law Society of Alberta, and elected President in 1996.
In June 1999, he was appointed to the Court of Appeal of Alberta, and in 2005 to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta as Associate Chief Justice.
He was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and of the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers, and continues as a Judicial Fellow. He is a Past President and Director of the Canadian Bar Insurance Association, and a member of the Canadian Bar Association. He is a member of the Canadian Superior Courts Judges’ Association. He was also member of the Executive Council of the Canadian Judicial Council from 2006 to 2008, for which he now sits as Vice Chair of the Conduct Committee. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Alberta Law Reform Institute since 1993 and has sat as Chair since 1998.
The Honourable John D. Rooke, Associate Chief Justice:
The Honourable John D. Rooke was born in St. Rose du Lac, Manitoba, and in 1970 earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Saskatchewan. He articled under Alan V.M. Beattie and was called to the Alberta Bar by the Honourable Chief Justice J.V.H. Milvain in 1971. He was admitted to the Bar of the Northwest Territories in 1978.
He articled and became partner at Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer in Calgary from 1970 to 1991. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1987. In April,1991, he was appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. Associate Chief Justice Rooke was appointed a Deputy Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories in February, 2007.
Associate Chief Justice Rooke was an Accredited Arbitrator with the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society, and a Chartered Arbitrator at the Arbitration and Mediation Institute of Canada. He will be awarded a Master of Laws in Dispute Resolution in the June 2010 convocation at the University of Alberta.
Since his appointment to the Court of Queen’s Bench in 1991, he has been actively involved in all aspects of the judiciary, including the Queen’s Bench Continuing Legal Education Committee, Computer Committee, Rules of Court Committee, Civil Practice and Procedure Committee, Long Range Planning Committee and an ad hoc committee which authored the report entitled “Vision 2000 Plus: The Court of Queen’s Bench Commencing the 21st Century.”
The Minister of Justice of Alberta has designated Edmonton as Associate Chief Justice Rooke’s residence.
[Back to Index]