Legal Aid Manitoba (LAM)

Advisory Committee Bios

Irene Hamilton, Chair

Irene Hamilton was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1980 and is the former Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the Civil Law Division of Manitoba Justice.

Irene has previously served as the Ombudsman for the Province of Manitoba from 2005 to 2012 and also served as Public Trustee for the Province of Manitoba, Office of the Public Trustee from 1991 to 2000.

Her board experience includes Chair of the Deer Lodge Hospital Ethics Committee and member and Chair of the United Way of Winnipeg board of trustees. She is currently a member of the Public Utilities Board.

Irene has been a member of the Advisory Committee since September 2015, and has been the Chair since September 2017. Irene was re-appointed a member of the Advisory Committee and Chair for a period of two years effective September 17, 2019.

 

 

John Ramsay, Vice-Chair

John Ramsay received his Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) Degree from the University of Manitoba in 1982, his Law Degree from the University of Manitoba in 1985 and was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1986.

His practice is exclusively in the area of family and domestic law. John carries one of the most all-encompassing family law practices in the Province of Manitoba. John has extensive experience in all fields of domestic law including divorce, separation, custody, maintenance, child protection and the like.

John has also lectured at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law Bar admission class and Continuing Education for the Law Society of Manitoba.

John has been a member of the Advisory Committee since September, 2015. John was re-appointed a member of the Advisory Committee and Vice-Chair for a period of two years effective September 17, 2019.

 

 

James Wood


James Wood is an experienced criminal defence lawyer and has appeared at all levels of court in Manitoba (Provincial Court, Court of Queen’s Bench and the Court of Appeal). He has over nine years experience successfully advising, analyzing and conducting research on complex legal matters in a wide variety of judicial and quasi-judicial settings

James’ practice includes defending ALL types of criminal matters such as:

– impaired driving
– drug offences
– assault, sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm, aggravated assault, murder
– firearm and weapon related offences
– fraud and breach of trust offences
– break & enter, and related property crime offences
– highway traffic act offences

James also represents clients at the Licence Suspension Appeal Board, and has assisted clients appearing before professional administrative tribunals and discipline committees.

James brings a wealth of life experience to his practice as a criminal defence lawyer. He has over 10 years of experience working in the Criminal Justice System. He has worked as a youth justice worker, a correctional officer, and as an inmate education co-ordinator for Alberta Justice.

James was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces (Infantry and Armoured), and was also an instructor for the Canadian Firearms Safety Course for restricted and non-restricted firearms.

James is appointed a member of the Advisory Committee for a period of two years effective October 15, 2018.

 

 
Michael Mahon

Michael Mahon graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree.

Michael worked in the steel and metal service centre industry and with Nestle and Carnation Foods in a management capacity before returning to attend law school at the University of Manitoba.

After graduating in 1990, Mike articled and has practiced with Manitoba Prosecution Service throughout his legal career. He has prosecuted all types of criminal cases ranging from theft cases in the early part of his career, to first degree murder cases.

Michael was involved in the formation of the Gang and Stolen Auto Units with Manitoba Prosecution Service, and subsequently moved to a management role with Manitoba Prosecution Service.

In 2017, the Crown Law Division was created and Michael became the Assistant Deputy Attorney General responsible for the five branches (Manitoba Prosecution Service, Legal Services Branch, Victim Services, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and Crown Law Analysis and Development) that are included in the Division.

Michael is appointed a member of the Advisory Committee for a period of two years effective December 7, 2018.

 

 

Maria Campos

Maria Campos was appointed the Assistant Deputy Minister I Executive Financial Officer of Administration and Finance in the Department of Justice (Manitoba) effective September 26, 2017. She began working with the Government of Manitoba in 1999.

In her early career, she worked in a variety of financial and analytical program roles in the Adult Corrections Branch within the Community Safety Division. In 2010, Maria joined the Corporate Community Safety Division team as the Divisional Comptroller. In 2015, she became the Executive Director of Comptrollership and Corporate Services within the Community Safety Division. In early September 2017, she joined the Administration and Finance Division as the acting Assistant Deputy Minister I Executive Financial Officer.

Maria has held a number of volunteer positions within the community, which have included coaching and mentoring roles for youth.

Maria is appointed a member of the Advisory Committee for a period of two years effective February 7, 2018.

 

 

Serena Puranen

Serena Puranen was called to the Manitoba Bar in 2005.

Serena’s practise is exclusively in the area of criminal defence. She has practised as an associate in a private firm in Winnipeg, and since 2010 has practiced in Thompson, both as sole practitioner, and as staff lawyer with Legal Aid Manitoba. Serena has extensive experience in all areas of criminal defence including adult and youth defence.

Serena is actively involved in her community: treasurer of the Thompson Playhouse Theatre, Board Chair of Juniper Centre Inc, President Thompson Bar Association, and on City committees for the new Pool facility in Thompson. She also regularly gives presentations at RD Parker High School and the Boys and Girls Club. She Was previously elected as a Bencher to represent the Northern region, but did not seek re-election.

Serena was appointed a member of the Advisory Committee for a period of two years effective December 13, 2018.

 

 

Stacy Nagle

Stacy Nagle is the Executive Director of the Manitoba Bar Association, the professional association of lawyers, judges, law students and law professors.

In 2010, she received a Certified Association Executive Professional Designation from the Canadian Society of Association Executives. She has been a member of the Legal Aid Advisory Committee since 2015.

Stacy is appointed a member of the Advisory Committee for a period of two years effective September 17, 2019

 

 

Therese Koturbash

Therese was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1988, and began her practise with Legal Aid Manitoba in Dauphin Manitoba shortly after her call.

Therese is currently the Supervising Attorney of Legal Aid Manitoba’s Amisk Community Law Centre in Dauphin Manitoba, and has previously been an Area Director with Legal Aid Manitoba for the Dauphin Judicial District.

Therese is also currently a member of the Catholic Network of Women’s Equality working on an international level challenging misogyny in her community of faith.

Therese’s practice is exclusively in the area of family and domestic law. Therese has extensive experience in all fields of domestic law including divorce, separation, custody, maintenance and child protection.

Therese is appointed a member of the Advisory Committee for a period of two years effective December 7, 2018.

 

 

Gerri Wiebe

Gerri Wiebe was called to the Manitoba Bar in 2004, however she began her legal career in 2001 as a summer student with Killeen Chapman, where she later articled, worked as an associate, and ultimately joined as a partner in 2009. In 2012, Gerri left Killeen Rolston Wiebe in order to join the partnership that is now Bueti Wasyliw Wiebe.

Gerri’s preferred area of practice is criminal defence, and she has represented clients charged with offences ranging from Impaired Driving to First Degree Murder. She appears regularly in the Manitoba Provincial Court, as well as the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench and the Manitoba Court of Appeal.

Gerri also practices in the areas of civil litigation and administrative law. In this capacity she has appeared before various Administrative Tribunals including the License Suspension Appeal Board, The Residential Tenancies Commission, the City of Winnipeg Municipal Council, and the Driver Improvement and Control Section.

Gerri is appointed a member of the Advisory Committee for a period of two years effective November 22, 2018.

 

 

Gary Robinson

Gary Robinson graduated from the University of Winnipeg in 1991 with a BA, majoring in psychology. He graduated from Robson Hall law school at the University of Manitoba in 1996. He articled with Legal Aid Manitoba in Winnipeg and was called to the bar in 1997. Gary has practised mainly criminal law since then.

From 2001 to 2007, Gary was a staff attorney at the Thompson Community Law Centre, then transferred to the Winnipeg office. In 2011, he became the Supervising Attorney of the Criminal Duty Counsel office.

Gary volunteers with the Air Cadet League as the Squadron Committee Chairperson, he is also the Secretary of Judo Manitoba and a volunteer referee.

Gary is the President of the Legal Aid Lawyers Association.

Gary is appointed a member of the Advisory Committee for a period of two years effective September 17, 2019.