At Convocation on December 1, 2017, the Benchers, elected Craig Zawada, Q.C., as President and Leslie Belloc-Pinder as Vice President for 2018. We congratulate our new President and Vice President and would like to thank our outgoing President, Erin Kleisinger, Q.C., for her tireless work in 2017. Please see our website for a full list of our Benchers.
Craig grew up in Shell Lake, SK, and attended the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Commerce (now Edwards School of Business). After obtaining his LL.B. at Osgoode Hall in Toronto and working for a time in Calgary, he returned to Saskatchewan and has practiced in Saskatoon since 1987. Craig’s practice has focused on intellectual property law, plus work in corporate acquisitions and agricultural contracting.
In 1996 he helped found WMCZ Lawyers and was CEO for 9 years. He became the firm’s Director of Boundary Pushing in 2016, a position that leverages his skills in technology, marketing and strategic planning.
Craig has been active in community and non-legal organizations through his career. Some of his roles have included Chair of the Saskatchewan Research Council, University of Saskatchewan Senate, Trustee and Treasurer for Saskatoon’s Mendel Art Gallery and the CanLII national board of directors. Craig taught Intellectual Property Law for many years at the U of S College of Law.
Craig developed a strong interest in corporate governance issues through the Director’s College program. He obtained his Chartered Director designation and continues as a faculty member for the College. He also conducts training and consultation on governance issues for a variety of businesses and non-profit organizations.
After he was appointed a Bencher by the Law Society in 2014, Craig was re-elected in 2015.
Craig has discovered that running 9 marathons is about enough to cure him of that habit, although he can’t bring himself to stop running completely. He and his wife Dianne Martin enjoy exploring Canada and the US on their motorcycle.
Leslie was born and raised in Saskatoon, and convocated from the College of Law in 1984 at the ripe old age of 22. She articled and worked as a junior lawyer with McDougall Ready Wakeling, where she developed an appetite for litigation that was next satisfied at Saskatoon Rural Legal Aid. In 1989, she joined Hnatyshyn and Company, and has now spent 28 happy and productive years with her partners, who are also cherished friends and travelling companions. Leslie’s practice focussed primarily on civil litigation, with an emphasis on child protection, until her appointment as an Adjudicator with the Indian Residential School’s Independent Assessment Process (2009-2016). In that capacity. Leslie travelled across Canada conducting IAP compensation hearings and preparing original and review (appeal) decisions. With this work now nearly complete, Leslie sits more often at her desk than airport gates, working as an arbitrator, investigator, litigator, and mentor.
Leslie has other administrative tribunal experience including the Saskatchewan Farm Land Security Board for 12 years, with 10 as Chair, and 6 years on Saskatoon’s Municipal Planning Commission. In 2016, she was appointed by the federal Minister of Labour to decide complaints under the Canada Labour Code. In 2017, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change named Leslie a Review Officer responsible to conduct hearings pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
Happy to share her enthusiasm for the practice of law, Leslie was a sessional lecturer for both the Colleges of Commerce (Business Law) and Law (Civil Procedure) at the U of S for a decade. She has devoted much time and energy advocating for women and social justice initiatives, with such organizations as LEAF and the Saskatoon Women’s Network. Beginning when her daughter first kicked a ball, Leslie spent years patrolling soccer field side-lines, proudly managing teams of irrepressible girls who grew into dedicated elite athletes. She is now suffering from soccer-mom withdrawal.
Leslie was elected as a Bencher from Saskatoon in 2015, and has served on the Ethics, Professional Standards, Conduct Investigation, Legal Resources, and Justicia committees.
When not mothering, working, or planning an adventure abroad, Leslie loves to be physically active and spend as much time as possible with friends and family. Like Craig, she has experienced the triumphs and despair of marathon running and hopes to keep pace with him during the coming year. Leslie has two children who are now adults, graduates of the U of S, and wonderful people.