First Member of Atlantic Canada’s Mi’kmaq Community to be Appointed Judge

by NationTalk on September 20, 20102996 Views

New Judge to be Sworn In Early in October

The Honourable Chief Judge Patrick Curran is pleased to welcome Judge D. Timothy Gabriel to the Provincial and Family Courts of Nova Scotia. Judge Gabriel’s appointment was announced on September 9, by Nova Scotia’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, The Honourable Ross Landry. The appointment took effect immediately. Judge Gabriel will be sworn in at a ceremony in October.Judge Gabriel is the first member of Atlantic Canada’s Mi’kmaq community to be appointed to the Bench in Nova Scotia. His father and paternal family are members of the St. Georges Bay Indian Band in Newfoundland which is soon to become part of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band. Judge Gabriel was born in Halifax and grew up in the Westwood Park and Fairview areas of the city.

He joins the Judiciary after 27 years in private practice. After graduating from Dalhousie University with a bachelor of law degree, he was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in August of 1983 . He joined the law firm of Landry McGillivray in Dartmouth, where he had articled, and became a partner at the firm in 1988.

Early in his career as a lawyer, Judge Gabriel’s practice included civil litigation, family law, criminal law, real estate law and probate law. More recently, he had been focusing primarily on family law and civil litigation.

Judge Gabriel has been a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Atlantic Trial Lawyers Association and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. At the Society, he was twice elected to the Bar Council and served as Chair of the Professional Standards (Family Law) Committee, Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee, and on the Executive Committee.

He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in January of 2010. The Q.C. designation is awarded as recognition of a lawyer’s professional integrity, good character, and outstanding contributions to the practice of law.

Judge Gabriel is a member of the St. George’s Indian Band Council, a Mi’kmaq Community on the west coast of Newfoundland. It is about to become part of the newly-created Qalipu Mi’qmaq First Nation Band the result of a Treaty recently negotiated and signed by the Federation of Newfoundland Indians and the Federal government. The Band will provide a non-land-based grant of Indian status recognition to non-reserve First Nations members of the various Band Councils in Newfoundland.

Judge Gabriel has always been actively involved in his community, serving as a Cub Leader, a baseball and softball coach and a volunteer and fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. He was also a long-time member of the City of Dartmouth Advisory Committee on Human Rights including a three year term as its Chair.

Judge Gabriel will be based in Halifax where he will preside over both criminal and Youth Court matters. He will also be presiding in the Family Court in Truro and Shubenacadie as the caseload requires.

His appointment fills a vacancy on the Bench which was created by the retirement of Associate Chief Judge Brian Gibson and Judge William MacDonald as well as by the subsequent moves of several other Judges. For more details on the retirements and re-assignments, CLICK HERE.

The appointment of Judge Gabriel leaves two vacancies on the Provincial and Family Court Benches; one in Bridgewater created when Judge Richard MacKinnon moved to Truro and one in Digby/Yarmouth when Judge Pierre Muise was appointed to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Planning for Judge Gabriel’s swearing-in ceremony is underway. Details will be posted here when they become available.

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