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Lloydminster’s Polischuk takes silk

With Alberta recognizing 144 lawyers with the designation of Queen’s Counsel, Lloydminster lawyer Scott Arthur Polischuk will get to add on the letters ‘Q.C.’

There are two other legal luminaries in Lloydminster with the Q.C. designation. They are Justice Peter Johnson and retired lawyer Loren Politeski. His name is on the law firm of Politeski Strilchuk Milen or PSM LLP, Lloydminster. Polischuk credits him as a mentor for over 25 years.

Polischuk graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1988 and was called to the bar in Alberta in 1989 and Saskatchewan in 1990. He is active in the law associations of both provinces.

He expressed humility in accepting the accolade.

“It’s very humbling. It’s a designation of merit that’s directed by a number of bodies; the Law Society, the Solicitor General’s office and the provincial governments. It’s all done in consultation to recognize overall contribution to the profession.”

The application process was supported by letters of recommendation sent to Alberta Justice from notable community members. Their sentiments highlight  Polischuk’s volunteerism in groups like the Rotary Club as well as numerous community boards and committees. Also, his integrity, professionalism and ability to elucidate complex issues. As well, having grown up in Lloydminster, he possesses a sensitivity for the community that embodies caring and compassion, notes the endorsement.

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Over the years, Polischuk developed expertise in agriculture law and he has been asked to share that information through the Legal Education Society of Alberta.

“We have a very vibrant agriculture community here in Lloydminster. So I became an unannounced expert in the area of agriculture law, wills and estate matters related to farms, and farm corporate management.”

He describes those experiences as humbling as he would be asked to speak in a room full of lawyers.

“I would be sitting at the head table with other panellists that I regarded as the ultimate experts that I looked up to. And yet I looked out at the audience and there is nothing more intimidating than seeing 400 lawyers sitting there waiting to hear what you Scott had to say from Lloydminster.”

He says one of his most recent presentations was on “Perspectives on law firm management.” PSM LLP has 10 lawyers and 20 support staff making it the largest in the city. He says those presentations become legal resources going forward.

Polischuk who is a managing partner will get to don the traditional silk robes. Another benefit is getting to sit within the inner bar of the court and his cases will be called first on the docket.

The Q.C. recognition dates back to Elizabethan era in England, with Upper Canada admitting its first appointees in 1841. Appointees must have been called to the bar for at least 10 years and demonstrate exceptional competence, professionalism and integrity while contributing to the administration of justice, according to the Alberta government announcement.

Another quality that Polischuk espouses is that legal representation be accessible.

“I found that a lot of organizations; whether they are non-profits, they are charities, various service groups or just people that needed help; I would make sure that our firm and myself in particular, assisted those people on a low cost or no cost basis. And I continually encourage that. Some people can’t get access to justice. You may be able to get legal aid for a criminal matter, but our firm also helps people with civil law or family law or other matters.”

In conferring the honour, those “receiving the Queen’s Counsel designation this year help set the standard for service to Albertans through our justice system,” says Tyler Shandro, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.

Silk recipients for 2022 include both public and private sector lawyers who have practised in communities across the province.

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