In one week, three accomplished alumnae of the University of Alberta Faculty of Law have been appointed to the judiciary.
Dawn Pentelechuk, QC, ‘86 LLB, was elevated to the Court of Appeal of Alberta, while Cheryl Arcand-Kootenay, ‘92 LLB, and Melanie Hayes-Richards, ‘98 LLB, were each appointed to the Provincial Court of Alberta.
“These appointments underscore the excellence and dedication of our alumni and the high esteem they are held in by the legal profession in Alberta and Canada,” said Paul Paton, dean of the Faculty of Law.
“We are extremely proud of these gifted and hard-working members of the legal profession as they join the ranks of dozens of other UAlberta Law alumni who have been appointed to the judiciary in recent years.”
A native of Edmonton, Pentelechuk has been a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench since 2013. Just 21 when she received her law degree, she went on to be a civil litigator in Edmonton, practising at Duncan Craig LLP, Schlosser Nikel Pentelechuk Wood, and Cleall Pahl (now McAllister LLP). Her practice included commercial, insurance, personal injury and employment law. She has been a Queen’s Counsel since 2007.
As a member of the Court of Queen’s Bench, Pentelechuk heard civil, commercial, criminal and family matters and helped numerous parties, particularly in family matters, resolve their disputes through the Court’s various resolution initiatives.
She was also a sessional instructor at UAlberta Law, the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education, the Canadian Bar Association, and the Legal Education Society of Alberta.
Arcand-Kootenay is a member of the Alexander First Nation and was appointed to Provincial Court in St. Paul, Alberta. Much of her legal career has been dedicated to the areas of family and aboriginal law. She was a roster lawyer for the Legal Representation for Children and Youth branch of the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, and legal counsel for AKO Child and Family Services, a delegated First Nation agency in Maskwacis. She has also supported the Indigenous Law Students Association in the Faculty of Law.
Hayes-Richards was appointed to Provincial Court, Edmonton Criminal. She has practised predominantly in the area of criminal law, including as a Crown prosecutor and as legal counsel for the Alberta Court of Appeal. Additionally, she has taught criminal law courses for police, prosecutors, law student and others in the legal community and has been a faculty member for the Legal Education Society of Alberta.