The Honourable Joseph Kennedy, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, extended a warm welcome today to the province’s newest judge, Justice John A. Keith, who will preside on the Supreme Court in Kentville.
The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, made the announcement in a news release on Tuesday, March 26. Justice Keith replaces Justice Gregory Warner, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Jan. 1, 2019.
Justice Keith’s appointment is effective immediately and he will be officially sworn in at a robing ceremony in the coming weeks.
“The Supreme Court is very pleased to have one of Nova Scotia’s premier practitioners joining our ranks,” Chief Justice Kennedy said. “Justice Keith’s extensive experience in civil litigation, his attention to detail, and his reputation as a well-respected litigator will be an asset to the Bench.”
Justice Keith was born in Montreal, QC, and raised in Berwick, N.S. After graduating from Mount Allison University, he studied law at Queen’s University Faculty of Law, where he received an LL.B. in 1991. He articled with WeirFoulds in Toronto, ON, and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1993.
In 1999, Justice Keith returned to Nova Scotia and joined the Halifax law firm Cox & Palmer, where he practiced civil litigation for 20 years. Justice Keith has extensive experience as a trial and appellate advocate, appearing at all levels of court in Nova Scotia, and in the superior courts of many other provinces. He was designated Queen's Counsel in 2014.
At the time of his appointment to the Bench, Justice Keith was a member of the national Board of Directors for The Advocates’ Society and was recently selected as a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. He has earned the highest AV designation from Martindale Hubbell, a peer-rating organization; is recognized as a preeminent practitioner by Benchmark Litigation; and was named “Lawyer of the Year” in commercial litigation by Best Lawyers. He also received Lexpert’s national excellence in practice award.
Previously, Justice Keith served as a member of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court Liaison Committee, Nova Scotia’s Civil Procedure Rules Subcommittee and the Claims Review Committee for the Lawyer’s Insurance Association of Nova Scotia. He was also a member of the original Steering Committee that drafted Nova Scotia’s current Civil Procedure Rules.
With today’s appointment, there are now 21 full-time and nine supernumerary judges sitting on the Supreme Court, and another 12 full-time and three supernumerary judges presiding on the Supreme Court – Family Division.