The Honourable Chief Justice Ritu Khullar is pleased to welcome three new justices to the Alberta Court of Appeal:
- The Honourable Justice William de Wit in Calgary,
- The Honourable Justice April Grosse in Calgary, and
- The Honourable Justice Jane Fagnan in Edmonton.
Read the full announcement by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti here.
The newly-appointed justices are:
Justice William de Wit —Background
Justice William T. de Wit was appointed to the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta in 2017. He earned his LL.B. from the University of Alberta in 1994 and was called to the Bar of Alberta in 1995.
At the time of his appointment to the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta, Justice de Wit had been practising with Wolch de Wit Watts & Wilson since 1996, where he became a partner in 2000. For more than 20 years, his practice focused on criminal law and quasi-criminal offences.
Before embarking on a career in law, Justice de Wit was an Olympic and professional boxer. His boxing titles include a Commonwealth Games Gold Medal (1982), the World Amateur Heavyweight Boxing Championship (1983-1984), and an Olympic Games Silver Medal (1984).
Justice Jane A. Fagnan—Background
Justice Jane A. Fagnan, who is fluent in French and English, was appointed to the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta in 2018. She received a B.Mus. from the University of Alberta in 1986, completed one year of the Français langue seconde program at Université Laval in 1987, and earned an LL.B. from Université Laval in 1990. She was admitted to the Alberta bar in 1992. In 2011, she received an LL.M. from Osgoode Hall Law School, with a double concentration in criminal law and health law.
At the time of her appointment to the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta, Justice Fagnan was a legal counsel with the Court of King’s Bench in Edmonton, where she had worked continuously for almost 20 years. She worked on substantive matters involving issues in criminal, administrative, family, commercial, estate and other areas of law. She was also involved in the work of various Court committees and she created educational resources, provided language assistance on French files, and played a primary role in the administration of the Court’s articling program.
During her legal career, Justice Fagnan was active in the Research Section of the Canadian Bar Association and in the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Alberta.
Justice April D. Grosse—Background
Justice April D. Grosse, who is fluent in French and English, was appointed to the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta in 2018. She has a B.A. and an LL.B. from the University of Saskatchewan, where she was awarded the Law Society of Saskatchewan Gold Medal. She was admitted to the Alberta bar in 1999.
At the time of her appointment to the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta, Justice Grosse was with Bennett Jones, where she had been a partner since 2006 and a member of the Board of Directors since 2015. She maintained a diverse litigation practice, with experience in commercial, estates, policing and administrative law matters. She has been recognized by publications such as Chambers Global, Lexpert, and Benchmark’s Top 25 Women in Litigation in Canada.
Justice Grosse is committed to maintaining proficiency in both official languages and has enjoyed volunteer work with organizations that promote bilingualism. She has volunteered in the legal and wider community with the Calgary Bar Association, the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute, the Centre for Professional Legal Education, and the Scarboro Community Association.
About Alberta Court of Appeal
Alberta Court of Appeal is the province's highest court. The Court hears criminal and civil appeals from trial courts, boards and tribunals across Alberta.