Government of Canada announces Federal Court prothonotary appointment

News Release

December 19, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced that Kathleen Marie Ring, General Counsel with the Department of Justice Canada, is appointed a prothonotary of the Federal Court. She replaces Mr. Justice R.R. Lafrenière, who was appointed a judge of the Federal Court on June 8, 2017.


Prior to her appointment, Madam Prothonotary Kathleen Marie Ring was General Counsel with the Department of Justice Canada in Vancouver, where she practised primarily in the areas of Aboriginal law and class actions. 

Prothonotary Ring received her law degree with distinction in 1984 from the University of Saskatchewan. She was admitted to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1985 and the British Columbia Bar in 1992.

Prothonotary Ring began her legal career in 1984 with Gauley & Company (now McDougall Gauley) in Saskatoon, where she engaged in a broad civil litigation practice. In 1993, she served as legal counsel to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. She joined the Department of Justice in 1994, appearing as counsel for the Attorney General of Canada in various complex cases involving Aboriginal, administrative, and constitutional law. She has appeared before both trial and appellate courts as well as several boards and tribunals. 

Prothonotary Ring served as the Department of Justice representative on the Federal Court’s Indigenous Bar Liaison Committee from its inception in 2005 until 2013, and was involved in the development of the Federal Court’s Aboriginal Litigation Practice Guidelines. She was also the co-chair of the Department of Justice’s Federal Courts Practice Group in Vancouver. She was a frequent presenter at legal conferences and in-service training events, and is the author of the chapter “The Crown as a Fiduciary” in Government Liability: Law and Practice.

Quick Facts

  • Today’s announcements bring the total number of judicial appointments this year to 100, the most a Minister of Justice has made in one year in over a decade. 

  • Of these appointees, half are women, four are Indigenous, and 16 have self-identified as a member of a visible minority population, LGBTQ2, or a person with a disability.

  • Prothonotaries are judicial officers of the Federal Court. They have jurisdiction over a number of procedural and substantive matters, as provided in the Federal Courts Rules.

  • Their duties generally include case management, interlocutory motion hearings, and mediations. They can also conduct trials for claims of $50,000 or less.

  • Currently, prothonotaries reside in major centres across the country – in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal – where they preside over each of the Court’s weekly motions courts. They also travel across the country as required.

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For more information, media may contact:

Kathleen Davis

Communications and Parliamentary Affairs Advisor

Office of the Minister of Justice


Media Relations

Department of Justice Canada


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