By Melanie Hodges Neufeld
The Law Society of Saskatchewan, at its November 2016 Convocation, elected Erin Kleisinger, Q.C., as President, and Craig Zawada, Q.C., as Vice President, for 2017. We congratulate our new President and Vice President and would like to thank our outgoing President, Perry Erhardt, Q.C., for his hard work in 2016. Please see our website for a full list of our Benchers.
Ms. Kleisinger is a partner with McDougall Gauley LLP in Regina. She has a varied commercial and litigation practice, with a focus on University and privacy law.
Erin attended Queen’s University where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Philosophy in 1989 and her LLB in 1992. She returned to Saskatchewan to article with McDougall Ready and was admitted to the Saskatchewan bar in 1993. She became a partner with (now) McDougall Gauley LLP in 1999. She was awarded her Queen’s Counsel designation in 2015.
Erin was appointed a Bencher by the Law Society in February 2014 to fill the vacancy created by the appointment of (His Honour) Patrick Reis to the Provincial Court. She was re-elected in 2015, and elected Vice-President by the Benchers in November, 2015. She has served on the Executive, Conduct Investigation and Governance Committees and chaired the Professional Standards Committee in 2015.
Erin is currently on the Board of Group Medical Services / GMS Insurance Inc. and on the Executive of the Canadian Association of University Solicitors. Her professional activities include being a former board member and President of SKLESI, and the present Chair (and a faculty member) of the Law Society’s Trial Advocacy Skills Workshop. She has also served as a director of the Saskatchewan Branch of the Children’s Wish Foundation and CAA Saskatchewan.
Craig grew up in Shell Lake, SK, and attended the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Commerce (now Edwards School of Business). After obtaining his LL.B. at Osgoode Hall in Toronto and working for a time in Calgary, he returned to Saskatchewan and has practiced in Saskatoon since 1987. Craig has worked in intellectual property law, commercial law and agricultural contracting. He was CEO of WMCZ Lawyers for 9 years, a firm he helped found in 1996. In 2016 he became the firm’s Director of Boundary Pushing, a position that leverages his skills in technology, marketing and strategic planning.
Craig has been active in community and non-legal organizations through his career. Some of his roles have included Chair of the Saskatchewan Research Council, University of Saskatchewan Senate, Trustee and Treasurer for Saskatoon’s Mendel Art Gallery and the CanLII national board of directors. Craig taught Intellectual Property Law for many years at the U of S College of Law.
Craig developed a strong interest in corporate governance issues through the Director’s College program. He obtained his Chartered Director designation and continues as a faculty member for the College. He also conducts training and consultation on governance issues for a variety of businesses and non-profit organizations.
After he was appointed a Bencher by the Law Society in 2014, Craig was re-elected in 2015. He has served on the Access to Justice and Admissions & Education Committees, and chairs the Governance and Trust Safety Committees.
Craig is a recovering marathon runner and one of the world’s slowest motorcycle enthusiasts.