02 February 2012

Rumpole and the Better Half #nlpoli

You likely won’t hear much mention of this provincial first but in the midst of the hoopla over Muskrat Falls on Wednesday, the justice minister announced a first for Provincial Court:  a husband and wife will sit as judges at the same time.

Former director of public prosecutions Pamela Goulding, Q.C. will sit in St. John’s. 

Her husband is Chief Judge Mark Pike.

The scuttlebutt in the clerk’s room at Number 3 Iniquity Court has it that Pike and Goulding also have the distinction of being the first married lawyers to take silk at the same time. 

Well, sort of. 

In 2008,  the list of new Queen’s Counsel appointments included Pike and Goulding.  A few days later came the announcement of Pike’s appointment to the bench.  As it turned out, Pike got to the bench before the ceremony to hand out the silk robes.  As a result, he never really got the chance to wear them.

Sometimes judges have to do a spell in the hinterland before getting the plum spots in Sin Jawns.  One of Goulding’s predecessors sat in Harbour Grace for the longest while waiting patiently until a spot opened up in town.

Included the announcement with Goulding was Laura Mennie, Q.C. who will sit in Stephenville.  Mennie took silk in June 2011.  At the time of her Q.C. appointment, Mennie was working for the child, youth and family services department in western Newfoundland and also completing the requirements for a master’s degree in family law at Osgoode Hall Law School.

- srbp -