The Government of British Columbia is appointing two new Supreme Court of B.C. masters to support the judiciary with the resources needed to continue providing access to justice.
The appointment of Bruce Elwood, who takes his seat in Vancouver, was effective Feb. 19, 2019. Elwood received a bachelor of laws from the University of British Columbia in 1992. In 2015, Elwood joined the Ministry of Attorney General’s civil litigation group, where he has worked on numerous complex trials and appeals. Prior to joining government, his work in private practice included experience in commercial litigation, Indigenous law, constitutional litigation, medical malpractice and more. He also teaches courses on the rules of evidence as an adjunct professor at the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia.
The appointment of Steven Schwartz, who takes his seat in Kelowna, is also effective Feb. 19, 2019. Schwartz obtained his bachelor of laws from the University of Ottawa in 1997. In 2009, he founded Schwartz & Company, where he practiced until his appointment. Through his private practice and previous work at Kelowna firms Pushor Mitchell and Benson & Company, he has gained experience in divorce and family law, corporate/commercial litigation, employment law and more. At the time of his appointment, Schwartz was the treasurer of the Kelowna Bar Association and was involved in facilitating access to justice through volunteer work with Access Pro Bono at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society law clinic.
- Fifteen Supreme Court masters sit at Supreme Court locations throughout the province and are resident in Vancouver, Victoria, New Westminster, Kamloops, Kelowna and Nanaimo.
- Presiding in civil chambers and registrar hearings, a master makes decisions about pre-trial motions and procedural orders.
- How a master is appointed:
- Lawyers submit applications, which are reviewed by an ad hoc committee made up of B.C.’s deputy attorney general, a justice of the Supreme Court of B.C., a representative of the Law Society of British Columbia and a representative of the Canadian Bar Association’s B.C. branch.
- Following consultation with the chief justice, the attorney general makes a recommendation to cabinet, which makes appointments through an order-in-council.
Read about the B.C. Supreme Court: www.courts.gov.bc.ca/supreme_court/