New Saskatchewan Chief Judge brings a wealth of experience to the bench

The Saskatchewan Provincial Courts will have Judge Shannon Metivier as their New Chief Judge on March 1, and she will be replacing Judge James Plemel. Photo by Allan Ly on December 8.

Shannon Metivier will begin a seven-year term when she replaces James Plemel as Chief Judge for the Saskatchewan Provincial Courts on March 1.

Metivier’s career started in 1992 when she graduated from the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan and passed the bar. Before being a judge, she was a lawyer for McKercher LLP law firm in Saskatoon.

   Plemel, who was appointed as the Chief Judge in 2015, had to retire because appointed judges can only serve until age 70. 

The transition is expected to be smooth from one Chief Judge to another. 

Nicolas Brown, a lawyer with Nychuck & Company in Regina, said, “it will be like business as usual for us.”

Brown was used to dealing with the retiring judge.

“My experience with Chief Judge Plemel who, oversaw the Provincial Court,  was perfectly fine,” said Brown. “I had numerous appearances over that time at Provincial Court. He obviously faced some unique challenges with respect to COVID and how the court was going to handle that. He was then bound by some of the Government guidelines when some of the courts actually closed down.

“I feel like the Provincial Court reaction to COVID was fitting and they put in place and implemented some measures. That have reduced contact and made life easier quite frankly for both lawyers and accused individuals for appearing in court by other means like video or telephone. {They} Expanded the way how they appeared in court and invested time and money and it can contribute to a greater access to justice.”

Judge Metivier’s experience was a critical factor in her decision to get picked as a Chief Judge. 

“Her time as a trial lawyer, her extensive practice in civil litigation and her experience as a sitting judge make her an excellent choice to lead the Provincial Courts,” said Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant.

“I want to thank Chief Judge Plemel for his service to the Province of Saskatchewan. Chief Judge Plemel has been a fixture in Saskatchewan’s legal community for many years now, and we wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

There are 49 judges plus the Chief Judge in the Provincial Courts, and they are 33 men and 17 women.

Some of the cases that Chief Judge Metivier presided over are Project Forseti and an animal cruelty case.

Project Forseti was a case where the Saskatoon Police raided the Saskatoon’s Fallen Angels and Hells Angels for drugs and weapons according to CBC’s Charles Hamilton, on July 27, 2017.  

The animal cruelty case was based in Elrose, where 100 cats, two dogs and one turtle were seized, as reported by Ryan Kesler of Global news. This court case is still going on. 

Judge Metivier’s responsibilities are when she assumes duty as the Chief Judge, making court schedules and assigning other judges’ responsibilities.


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