Born and raised in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, John attended St. Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan, where he completed the Honours Program in Political Science and thereafter studied Law, convocating in 1983.
He articled as a law clerk to the Honourable E.D. Bayda, then Chief Justice of Saskatchewan. Admitted to the Bar in 1984, John joined the predecessor to the firm, Rath Johnson Hart, becoming a partner in 1990.
John practices criminal and civil litigation, with a focus on employment law. He has a large and varied criminal defence practice, having successfully defended his clients in every level of court in Saskatchewan.
John was one of two counsel appointed in 1993 as agents of the Attorney-General of Saskatchewan to conduct the first prosecution under the Trade Union Act. He also has extensive experience in civil and criminal appeals in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal and has participated in several applications to the Supreme Court of Canada.
His Saskatchewan court trials include civil and criminal jury trials in the Court of Queen's Bench. He was counsel for the successful plaintiff in Morse v. Cott Beverages involving the first award of punitive damages under our consumer products legislation for knowingly producing an unsafe product.
John’s involvement in the Canadian Bar Association includes two terms as Chair of the CBA South Criminal Justice Section and five years as a member of its Provincial Council. He was the Saskatchewan member of the National CBA Task Force on Reform of the Criminal Code and served on the National Legal Aid Liaison Committee for five years, the last two as Chair.
John helped organize the South Saskatchewan Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers and has served as its President twice. He is a member of the board of the Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers and serves as its Secretary.
John is listed in Best Lawyers Canada for criminal defence. He has a peer-reviewed "Very High" ethical standards rating and a "Distinguished" legal ability rating with Martindale-Hubbell.
An author of a variety of articles, John has been published in the respected Canadian Bar Review and the Saskatchewan Law Review. He has presented papers at both provincial and national legal education seminars.
Outside of law, John has many interests, which include singing and performing with several choral and music groups in the city as well as parliamentary politics.
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