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Victor P. Dietz Q.C. Pro Bono Service Award Winner – Jonathon Adams
This award is presented annually to a recipient who engages in delivering, establishing, coordinating, or advocating, in relation to pro bono legal services in Saskatchewan. The award is presented by CLASSIC Law and Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan in alternating years. A call for nominations occurs annually, and the recipient is selected by a Selection Committee.
Mr. Adams worked as a teacher before returning to school at the University of Saskatchewan to pursue his Juris. He graduated in 2016 with Distinction. Mr. Adams articled and continues to work at Behiel Will & Biemans Law Offices. Mr. Adams has been involved with CLASSIC Law since his time as a law student. Since being called to the Bar in 2017, he has consistently volunteered at CLASSIC Law’s Legal Advice Clinic and has volunteered a tremendous 500 hours. CLASSIC Law staff say Mr. Adams shows kindness and humility when working with clients. He also recognizes the demands of CLASSIC and responds to help when and how he can.
Volunteer of the Year Award Recipients – the Prince Albert Free Legal Clinic Volunteers
This award acknowledges volunteer lawyers, across Saskatchewan who display an exemplary dedication to the provision of pro bono services as a Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan volunteer.
The award recipients are the six volunteers at PBLS’s Prince Albert Free Legal Clinic. They are Daniel Arnot (Arnot Heffernan Slobodian), Randi Arnot (Arnot Heffernan Slobodian), Victoria Elliott-Erickson (Veritas Law LLP), Estelle Hjertaas (Legal Aid Saskatchewan), Ron Parchomchuk (Parchomchuk Sherdahl Hunter) and Henry Siwak (Siwak Law Office). They are passionate and invested in the success of the Prince Albert Clinic. At their own initiative, they requested more frequent clinic appointments to respond to the growing needs they saw in their community. Without these volunteers, we would not be able to serve this part of Saskatchewan.
Dedicated Firm Award Winner – Kanuka Thuringer LLP, Swift Current Location
This award acknowledges a law firm in Saskatchewan that has displayed an exemplary dedication to the provision of pro bono services through Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan.
This small but mighty firm is integral to PBLS’s Free Legal Clinic’s success in Swift Current. This firm of five lawyers has over half their staff volunteer with us, specifically Lindsay Gates, Marisha Paquin, and Ryan Nagel. Lindsay began volunteering in 2010 and was integral to establishing the Swift Current Free Legal Clinic. Marisha began volunteering in 2013 and Ryan in 2016. Having been nominated in 2020, they are the award recipients for 2021.
Victor P. Dietz Pro Bono Service Award Nominees
Gene Josephson, Retired
Mr. Josephson has been a dedicated volunteer of the Regina Free Legal Clinic for six years. Clients comment that he provides thorough advise in a compassionate way. He is quick to provide his follow-up written advice to clients after the appointments.
Megan Milani, Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice
Over the past seven years, Ms. Milani has been a dedicated volunteer of the Regina Free Legal Clinic. She works hard to make herself available to clients and is responsive and flexible when scheduling her into the Clinic.
Volunteer of the Year Award Nominees
Amy Banford, McKercher LLP
Ms. Banford has volunteered with PBLS since 2016, on the General, Solicitor, and Seniors Panels. In 2021, Ms. Bandford took on two-time consuming estate litigation matters, a growing area of demand for PBLS clients. Ms. Banford is responsive to Panel requests and meticulously serves the clients she takes on.
John Benesh, Benesh Bitz & Company
Mr. Benesh has volunteered with PBLS on the General, Senior, and Solicitor Panels since 2012. In 2021, he took on three Panels in the area of guardianship, wills and estates. Mr. Benesh responds to Panel requests in a timely manner. He is a huge asset to PBLS and our clients.
Sandra Bobyk, Public Guardian and Trustee, Government of Saskatchewan
Since 2012, Ms. Bobyk has volunteered on the Immigration and Refugee Panel. Ms. Bobyk taught herself the ins and outs of immigration law so she could volunteer with PBLS without conflicts arising due to her employer. Ms. Bobyk has been representing a client through the Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s pilot Sponsorship of Undeclared Family Members program to reunite children with their mother who is in Canada.
Sean Watson, Willows Wellsch Orr & Brundige LLP
Since 2019, Mr. Watson has volunteered at the PBLS Small Claims Free Legal Clinic. Mr. Watson is thorough in the advice and assistance he provides clients, often going above and beyond what is expected as a volunteer. Mr. Watson has repeat clients who specifically request meeting with him.
Christa Weber, College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan
Ms. Weber began volunteering with PBLS in 2015. She was a dedicated volunteer at the Regina Free Legal Clinic. Ms. Weber changed employers in 2021 and has had to stop volunteering with us. We thank her for her years of dedication and assistance to our clients.
Dedicated Firm Nominees
Nychuk & Company, Regina
Nychuk & Company encourages their lawyers to give back to the community through volunteering at Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan’s Regina Free Legal Clinic and the Regina Family Law Free Legal Clinic. In 2021, five lawyers from Nychuk & Company volunteered at these Clinics, many in the area of family law, which is an area with very high demand. Specific thanks to Christa Weber, Nicolas Brown, David Flett, Shealagh Mooney, and Romain Baudemont.
Rusnak Balacko Kachur & Rusnak, Yorkton
Rusnak Balacko Kachur & Rusnak is vital to the success of our Yorkton Free Legal Clinic. They are supportive of their associate lawyers volunteering with PBLS. A specific thank you to Rhiannon Montgomery and Shane Wagner.
Rasmussen & Company, Regina
Half of the lawyers at Rasmussen & Company volunteer on our General Panel. They are eager to assist clients and work together to ensure panels get taken on by their firm. Specific recognition to Ciara McIlwaine, Merrilee Rasmussen, Q.C., and Chris Clark.
Residential Tenancy Panel and Articling Students
Thank you to these four articling students who represented clients through PBLS’s Residential Tenancy Panel.