Legal community lauds new Judge Kari Ann Pike
Stephenville’s loss of former Crown Prosecutor Kari Ann Pike is Happy Valley-Goose Bay’s gain as the newest judge in the community.
That certainly seemed to be the theme as Judge Pike was lauded by Justice and Public Safety Minister Andrew Parsons and her peers in the legal community as the Oath of Office was administered on her by Pamela J. Goulding, Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, in Stephenville Provincial Court on Sept. 4.
Paul Burgess, president of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador said integrity, sound judgment, dedication, perseverance, professional competence, fairness, and a commitment to the rule of law are all qualities that one would expect to find in a Provincial Court judge.
“I think it is clear that Judge Pike has all of these qualities,” he said after reading out testimonials on Pike from peers in the law community and her sister Georgette Pike.
Burgess told her that as she begins this new chapter in her life, to know that colleagues understand and acknowledge the hard work and dedication it has taken to get herself to this point and that they share their pride in this moment.
Pike was called to the bar on June 13, 1994 and served as Crown prosecutor in Corner Brook and Stephenville during the past 23 years and was appointed to Queen’s Counsel earlier this year.
Parsons said as a lawyer he had experience in Burgeo in the courtroom with Pike. He said it could have gone bad but she showed him that their profession is collegial and worked with him as an inexperienced colleague.
“It’s qualities like that will serve you well,” he said. “It’s your humanness that will make you a great judge – those qualities of empathy and understanding.”
He also pointed to her indigenous background and her involvement in the Qalipu First Nation, which he said will be a great asset to her.
Pike was a founding member of the Law Society’s newly created Indigenous Education and Action Committee.
Chief Brendan Mitchell said Qalipu First Nation is very proud of what Pike has accomplished and that her swearing in was an incredible moment.
“She’s a very active member of our organization and we’re proud of such a distinction,” he said.
In addition to that distinction, her swearing-in also resulted in a 50 per cent female representation on the bench in this province with 11 female judges of the 22 now sitting.
“It’s humbling,” Pike said of her new position. “My main goal is to live up to everybody’s expectations.”
She recognized it’s a big undertaking and felt a little nervous about it about initially after getting the word of the appointment.
However, with support of colleagues she was confident she can do the job.
Kari Ann Pike, a former crown prosecutor in Stephenville, poses for a photo with her daughter, 11-year-old Carling Pike and son 20-year-old Cameron Pike after taking the Oath of Office at Stephenville Provincial Court as a provincial court judge on Thursday. She was appointed to the Provincial Court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay effective Aug. 8.