Surrey courthouse. (Undated Google street view image.)

Surrey courthouse. (Undated Google street view image.)

The B.C. government appoints four new judges to Surrey courthouse

Judges to help with ‘increased workload’ from courthouse expansion

The provincial government is appointing four new judges to the Surrey courthouse.

The four new provincial court judges, according to a news release from the government, is to provide support “for an increased workload arising from the $33.5-million Surrey courthouse expansion.”

RELATED: Surrey’s courthouse to undergo $24.3-million expansion by 2017

RELATED: Surrey courthouse construction, renovations aim to shorten wait times

The new judges are: Jennifer Lopes, effective Oct. 22; David Albert, effective Oct. 25; Georgia Docolas, effective Oct. 25; and Craig Sicotte, effective Oct. 29.

Lopes, according to the news release, received a juris doctor from UBC and was called to the bar in 1999.

“She has spent a majority of her career as an advocate in the courtroom working with clients from ethnically diverse backgrounds and people with mental health and addiction issues. She has worked as Crown counsel in a variety of roles including trial prosecutor and as an early resolution/arraignment prosecutor. She regularly appears in the provincial and supreme courts of British Columbia and has made submissions before the Senate of Canada.”

Albert received a bachelor of laws from the University of Victoria (UVic) and was called to the bar in 1994, reads the release.

“He started his career specializing in Aboriginal law, working extensively with the Squamish Nation where he focused on criminal law, family law and civil litigation. From there he worked in Surrey as a federal prosecutor. He established his own law firm doing legal aid, duty counsel, drug-related and impaired driving defence work. Albert appears regularly in provincial court and Supreme Court and has appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada three times.”

Docolas, according to the release, received a bachelor of laws from UVic and was called to the bar in 1992.

“She started her career with Altman Kahn Zack, focusing on federal work. She later became a Crown prosecutor in both the provincial and Supreme courts. She went on to open her own defence practice and has since been working regularly on major crime files.”

Sicotte received a bachelor of laws from UVic and was called to the bar in 1991, according to the release.

“He began his law career as a junior on serious crime files at Bull, Housser & Tupper before starting his own practice in Surrey. For the past 18 years, he has focused on criminal law with clients from diverse ethnic backgrounds. In addition to his practice, Sicotte established and managed legal aid offices in Surrey, Langley and New Westminster.”

The release states that in order to appoint new judges, interested lawyers need to apply and then the Judicial Council of B.C. reviews the candidates.

The council then recommends potential judges to the attorney general, with the final appointment made through a cabinet order-in-council.

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