PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES & AWARDS
Involved as Counsel in thousands of cases including cases argued at the trial level in Quebec, Newfoundland Labrador, Manitoba, North Dakota, Montana, Oregon, and the Northwest Territories; trial and appeal cases in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Arizona, and before various administrative tribunals; and cases in the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada, with 1,300 reported cases in leading law journals.
. Received awards on two occasions from the Saskatchewan Action Committee for the Status of Women for exceptional contribution to the development of Court and political equity for women. Received community service awards on three occasions from the Knights of Columbus.
. Awarded the Queen’s Decoration 1976, the Canadian Long Service Medal 1984, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Decoration 2002, the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal 2005, the Decoration of Honour in Silver by the Nation of Austria, 2006, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2012.
. Awarded on two occasions Eagle Feathers by First Nations in recognition of work on behalf of Indigenous peoples and in 2008 was made an Honorary Chief in a War Bonnet Adoption as a member the Black Foot Confederacy, name Aah-pha su-oy, Flanking Warrior.
. Led in the 1 – historic 2006 Indian Residential School Settlement, 2 – Indian Status discrimination against women certification achieved 2016; ongoing 3 – 60’s Scoop “Adopt Indian” litigation; 4 – Montreal Lake, Ile-a-la-Crosse, and other Metis Residential Schools; 5 – Alberta Indian Card action; 6 – historic work regarding indigenous Welfare Seizures, and 7 – work regarding murdered and missing Aboriginal Women particularly Nadine Machinski.
. Honorary Consul in Saskatchewan for Austria and selected Dean of the Saskatchewan Consular Corps.
. Western Canadian Corporate Counsel for a number of national firms, Corporate Counsel to a range of corporations, assisted thousands of new Canadians on immigration issues, acts in the development of First Nations Law, and acts extensively in family law and class proceedings.
. Broad community involvement over the years in various sports associations, church organizations, the Austrian Edelweiss Club, the Assiniboia Club, the Cub Movement, the Saskatchewan Civil Liberties Association, the MS Society, and the Voice of the Handicapped.
. Lieutenant (retired) in the Navy Reserve and a member of various Naval and Officers’ Clubs and previously in the Army Reserves. Active over time in the YMCA Health Club, Queen City Track Club, and Mid-West Karate.
. Lectured extensively within the legal profession with Published Papers, including:
. Toronto Class Actions in Canada, Toronto, 2006
. Barreau du Québec Class Proceedings Conference, Montreal, 2008
. 10th National Forum on Class Actions, Toronto, 2009
. University of Ottawa “Environmental Class Actions”, Ottawa, 2009
. Western Canadian Class Actions Conference, (BCLE) Vancouver, 2009
. The Canadian Institute, Class Actions Litigation, Toronto, 2010
. Predominance: Classless, even with Canadian Makeover, Développements Récents En Recours Collectifs Montreal, 2010
. University of Toronto, Class Action Seminar, Ragoonan decision, Toronto, 2011
. 8th National Symposium on Class Actions, Osgoode Hall, Toronto, 2011
. Class Actions in the Construction Industry, Saskatoon, 2012
. Rims Canada Conference for Canada, Tomorrow’s Risks Solutions, Saskatoon, 2012
. Progress Aboriginals – Trust the Courts, Speaker University of Regina, 2013
. LEXPERT, The Life Cycle of Pharmaceuticals, 2014.
. Protecting your Lifestyle – Tax and Assets, January 16, 2016
. Class Actions in the Construction Industry in Canada, Construction Law Reports, Fourth Series, Vol. 16 Part 2, February 2013.
. Lawyers’ Fees and Trend, Osgoode Professional Development 2011
. Predominance: Classless, even with Canadian Makeover, Développements Récents En Recours Collectifs, 2010, V 327, Barreau de Québec, P47.
. Développements Récents En Recours Collectifs, 2008, V 295, Qu’Appelle – The National Class, page 93.
. Child Custody Practice and Procedures (Carswell), publication in July 2006.
. Canadian Institute – Predicting where Causation is Headed, February 2006.
. Suggestions for Practitioners – Child Support Guidelines Reference Manual, Dept. of Justice, Sept. 1997.
. Uncertainty: Custody Support Mobility – The Plight of Family Law, Canadian Family Law Quarterly, Sept. 1997.
. Introduction to Battle, Child Custody Law & Practice, VI, 1994, Ch 24, Child Custody & Practice, Carswell, 1995.
. Risible Compensation for the Dead Child, Journal of Motor Vehicle Law, Oct. 1995, p. 37.
. The Bankruptcy Dodge, Family Law Quarterly, V9 1993, Sept. P162.
. The Support Rights of Children Born Outside of Marriage, Family Law Quarterly, V7, #3, May 19, 1991, P359.
. Proposals Relating to Matrimonial Property Legislation, Family Law Quarterly, V5, #2, May 1991, P65.
. Numerous Case Notes and Commentaries in various publications. – 2 –
. Honored by the Saskatchewan Government in 2008 in a Sask Arts Board ceremony, for a lifetime of philanthropy and work with the arts and similarly honored in 2015 by St. Francis Xavier University.
. Admitted to the Bar of Saskatchewan, 1968
. Member of the Canadian Bar Association, 1974
. Admitted to the Bar of Alberta, 1976
. Admitted to the Bar of British Columbia, 1977
. Admitted to the Bar of Arizona, 1987
. Member of the American Bar Association, 1987
. Member of the Trial Lawyers Association of America, 1988
. Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1994
. Member of the Trial Lawyers Association of Saskatchewan, 1995
. Appointed Queen’s Counsel, 1995
. Associate Editor of the Reports of Family Law (Carswell)
. Former Member of the Advisory Board of the Canadian Journal of Family Law
. Former Member of the Advisory Board of the Family Law Journal
. Former Member of the Criminology and Corrections Association
. Former Member of the Canadian Association for the Prevention of Crime
. Lecturer at Bar Admission, CBA, and other professional fora.
. Former Agent for the Solicitor General of Canada
. Former Agent for the Lawyer General of Saskatchewan
. The former member of the Boards of Directors of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., Team Canada Inc., and BF Realty, formerly Bell Canada Enterprise Development,
. Former Member, Prime Minister’s Council on the Asia Pacific
. Partner and in a number of non-public real estate, oil and gas, and resource-based industries and related service businesses in Western Canada, Arizona, and Europe.
. Name with Lloyd’s of London, co-founder Merchant World Service, and investor CGI Merchant
. Legal counsel and business advisor to a number of significant corporations, General Counsel for years for Sask. Mining Development Corp, participating in worldwide negotiations and contract formulation.
. Former Member of the Saskatchewan Legislature.
. An alumnus of the International Visitors Leadership Program (US State Department).
. Past President and Director of a number of Liberal Provincial and Federal Executives.
. An active member of the province-wide campaign committees in every Federal and Provincial Election since the 1970s, involved in strategy, advertising, and policy formation roles.
. Member of the Saskatchewan Provincial Executive of the Liberal Party from 1979 to 1987, and 1991; principally engaged in media, policy, and fundraising.
MEDIA & PUBLIC AFFAIRS
. Former Open-line radio host doing two-hour daily public affairs program.
. Former freelance television interviewer with CBC Regina and Saskatoon.
. Co-ordinator of all radio and television communications for the Liberal Party in the Federal and Provincial Elections of 1972, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, and 1991, doing actual creation and artistic work and a member of the strategy and speech writing Committee in 1982, 1986, and 1997 elections.
Parents: Sally Merchant, B.A., B.Ed., Former Member of the Saskatchewan Legislature and Canadian Representative to the United Nations; Capt. Evatt F. A. Merchant, B.A., LL.B., KIA WW II.
Married: Hon. Pana Merchant, B.A., B.Ed., Member of the Senate of Canada.
Children: Evatt, LL.B., LL.M., Joshua, LL.B., and Matthew, LL.B. all practising with Merchant Law Group
1965 – B.A. (Econ.); 1967 – LL.B.; 1984 – D. Admin., 2010 – Juris Doctor.