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December 3, 2014
For immediate release
2014 Queen’s Counsel Appointments
Environment, Labour and Justice
Four distinguished Island lawyers have earned Queen’s Counsel designation, says Minister of Environment, Labour and Justice and Attorney General Janice Sherry.
“It is an honour for me to announce that Leslie Collins of Stratford, Geoffrey Connolly of Cornwall, Michele Dorsey of Charlottetown, and Cyndria Wedge of Charlottetown have been selected as the 2014 appointments to Queen’s Counsel,” said Minister Sherry. “Receiving Queen’s Counsel designation is a top recognition of one’s reputation and accomplishments in the field of law. This year’s deserving recipients have been selected by a committee of their peers for both their outstanding career achievements and community engagement.”
Recipients will be recognized during a ceremony at Government House in January by the Honourable Lieutenant Governor H. Frank Lewis.
The Queen’s Counsel designation is presented annually to lawyers who have distinguished themselves through their careers and their contribution to the public. The history of the designation goes back to 16th century England, when one or two senior barristers of the High Court were appointed as Queen’s (or King’s) Counsel, whose duty it was to provide the Crown with superior legal services.
Leslie currently works at the Office of the Attorney General as a Solicitor for Legal Aid and has held that position since 2004. She was a Solicitor for Family Support Orders Program with the Department of Health and Social Services for 10 years prior. She worked as an Articling Clerk and Associate Lawyer with Bernard McCabe and Associate between 1991-94, and was a Student at Law with the National Department of Justice during the summer months of 1990-91. Leslie has held executive level positions with the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club, the Greater Summerside and area Chamber of Commerce, the College of Piping, Prince County Family Service Bureau, Social Justice for Legal Aid for Family Law Project, and the Catholic Family Service Bureau.
Geoffrey has been employed with Stewart McKelvey since 1991 and became a partner in the law firm in January 1999. His practice encompasses corporate commercial transactions, construction contracts and litigation, real estate matters, and wills and estates work. He is a member of the Law Society of Prince Edward Island and Chairperson of the Law Society Real Property Committee, a member of the Canadian Bar Association and Chair Construction Law Group PEI Branch, and a P.Eng. with the Prince Edward Island Association of Professional Engineers. Geoffrey volunteers as Vice-President of PEI Parks and People, President of Queens County Residential Services, Chairperson of the Cornwall Cenotaph Committee, and with Engineer’s PEI EIT Engineering Law Instructor and Act Review Committee.
Michele is currently Deputy Minister of Environment, Labour and Justice and Deputy Attorney General with the Government of Prince Edward Island. Michele has held many significant titles in her career including: Senior Counsel with McInnis Cooper, 2013-14; Chair of the Criminal Code Review Board, 2012-14; Owner and President of Michele Dorsey Law Inc., 2011-13; Founding Partner with HR Associates Inc., 1995-2011; Partner with Sanderson Howard, Barristers and Solicitors, 1992-95; Chairperson of the PEI Labour Relations Board, 1992-95; and Associate Lawyer with Farmer MacLeod MacMillian Fortier, 1988-92. She has been involved in many community organizations including the Transition House Association, PEI Citizen’s Advocacy, Child Care Facilities Board, UPEI Alumni Association, Queens County Residential Services, CBA PEI Branch, CBA National, Ars Longa Inc., Family Violence Prevention PEI, CHANCES, Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Association of Newcomers PEI.
Cyndria was called to the bar in 1987. After a brief period in private practice, she was appointed in 1990 to be the special prosecutor responsible for the prosecution of sexual offences and other offences against children. In 1995, she transferred to the civil side of the Office of the Attorney General where she worked as a Departmental Solicitor. In 2002, she was appointed to the position of Director of Legal and Judicial Services. In 2004, she accepted the position of PEI’s Director of Prosecutions becoming the first female head of a prosecution service in Canada; she continues to hold this position today. Since her call to the Bar, Ms. Wedge has been active with the Law Society of Prince Edward Island in the areas of discipline and continuing legal education. She currently sits on a Law Society Discipline Committee and is also the Law Society representative on the Federal Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee.