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New provincial court judge appointed in La Ronge

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New provincial court judge appointed in La Ronge
Judge Dorinda Stahl was appointed to the provincial court in La Ronge on Friday. (File photo)

Saskatchewan’s ministry of justice appointed former crown prosecutor Dorinda Stahl as a judge at the provincial court in La Ronge on Friday. 

“When I was called I immediately felt honoured. It’s a tremendous opportunity and responsibility. When I think about the kind of judge I want to be — I want to be listening to the community and learning from the community,” Stahl said.

“I want to learn from all members of the community, people that are in court and outside of court. I think (that) is an important piece of all of it.”

Stahl received her law degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 2005 and articled with Scharfstein Gibbings Walen Fisher in Saskatoon.  She was called to the bar in 2006.

“I remained with that firm for two years and did criminal litigation, criminal defence, family law and civil litigation,” Stahl said. 

“I certainly hope those experiences will inform my new role.”

In 2008 Stahl began her tenure as a Crown prosecutor with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Public Prosecutions Branch.

“Judge Stahl is an outstanding lawyer with an extraordinary wealth of legal expertise,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said. 

“She not only brings years of experience as a prosecutor, but also as a scholar and teacher. She will fulfil her duties as a Provincial Court judge with fairness and dedication.” 

Stahl prosecuted a variety of matters including cases related to drinking and driving, youth offences and domestic violence.

She also prosecuted drug offences as Crown counsel during a secondment with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada between 2013 and 2015 before resuming her position as a senior Crown prosecutor with Public Prosecutions.

“I hope that I will be able to continue to see things in a fair way. Listen to the evidence, listen to what people have to say and listen to all the parties that have a stake in a matter — including victims, accused, witnesses and complainants,” Stahl said.

“I hope to apply the fair-minded and respectful approach that prosecutions has and to continue that in my new role.”

Stahl was also part of a team that revamped Saskatchewan’s legal education program for articling students — for which she wrote modules on legal ethics and professionalism, oral advocacy and criminal law.

In addition to her legal studies, Stahl completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts at the University of Saskatchewan. Her studies focused on history, Indigenous studies, and women’s and gender studies.

Stahl also instructed at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law for eight years on topics including sentencing, criminal procedure, and drinking and driving. 

Prior to that she instructed for eight years at the First Nations University of Canada and the Department of Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon and Prince Albert.

“Teaching history is really learning about appreciating relationships in the past, and honouring those relationships going forward,” Stahl said. 

“The approach that I certainly want to bring to my new role is to focus on relationships. I’m the mother of an indigenous son and I am learning about relationships in that regard. 

“It’s very important to me as part of truth and reconciliation to move forward with relationships with all people.”

As Stahl has moved into the role of judge her ongoing files with prosecutions are being reassigned.