President's Message


David Festeryga

Sullivan Festeryga LLP, Hamilton, ON

I am honoured and privileged to have been involved with the Canadian Defence Lawyers for the last 21 years.  I am humbled to now be the President for 2016-17 and to follow in the footsteps of many of Canada's leading Counsel.  I am excited about the year to come.

The Canadian Defence Lawyers is at an exciting point in its history.  We have grown from a small, fairly local organization, to a National group with many international ties.  Our Canadian members are at the forefront of their respective legal communities helping CDL to provide continuing education as well as mentoring opportunities and guidance to our Courts and Legislatures.  I am continually reminded of the professionalism and expertise of our membership each time I have a chance to engage with CDL people across Canada.  We are actively involved in the United States with our sister organization, the Defence Research Institute (DRI), and internationally with many other similar organizations. 

I am excited about the coming year.  CDL has been very active spearheading numerous initiatives.  Our Intervener Committee has been very involved in many of the important questions of our time across the Country.  We have provided insights to various governmental bodies and Courts as only a National organization such as CDL can do.  Also, this past May we launched our CDL Women's Caucus which will provide much needed input into important issues in the profession as well as mentoring opportunities for many members of the Bar across Canada.  Of course, CDL will continue to provide its great CLE programs from coast to coast providing what I think is some of the best legal education seminars out there.

I look forward to being a part of the Canadian Defence Lawyers as we continue to play an important role in supporting the civil defence bar across the country.





Past Presidents of Canadian Defence Lawyers

1999-2000   Lee Samis

2000-2001   Paul Tushinski

2001-2002   Harrison Arrell

2002-2003   Kevin Carroll

2003-2004   Richard B. Lindsay QC

2004-2005   Leilah Edroos

2005-2006   Jamie Chipman QC

2006-2007   Carmen Place

2007-2008   Brian Elkin

2008-2009   Sandra Corbett QC

2009-2010   Susan Gunter

2010-2011   Dan Reisler

2011-2012   Colin Clackson

2012-2013   Janet Clark

2013-2014   Jon Hodes

2014-2015   Patricia Armstrong, QC

2015-2016  David Bertschi