HUMBOLDT — A local lawyer has received an honour that few others in the province receive.
Amber Biemans has received a Queen's Counsel designation from the province. The honour, which is presented to around 15 lawyers a year for their contributions to the legal profession and public service, allows them to place the letters “QC” after their names and allows them to wear silk robes in court.
Biemans, who works at Behiel, Will & Biemans, recalled the day she found out she received the designation. Her assistant called her and said that Don Morgan was on the line. Biemans said she couldn't think which of her clients that was.
“I said the only Don Morgan I've ever heard of is the Justice Minister and Attorney General,” she said.
“When I answered the phone, I found out it was him. I was completely shocked, first of all, that he was calling me and then second of all, that I had been nominated for it.”
Biemans was called to the bar in 2006. Out of the 14 lawyers receiving a QC designation this year, she was the latest to begin practicing.
“Usually this is an award that's given to much older, more experienced, distinguished lawyers,” she said.
Her business partner, John Will, became a QC in 2017. He was called to the bar in 1986.
Biemans has been going out to rural communities like Wadena andFoam Lake. She’ll give presentations on items like wills, estate planning, mortgages and similar legal matters when local banks and funeral homes notice people have lots of legal questions.
“Our firm is really strongly dedicated to access to justice,” she said. “We still see these pockets of Saskatchewan within an hour's drive of us that have no legal services.”
Biemans will also travel to these communities, working out of rural offices at least one day a week. She’ll go into hospitals and care homes if the client needs it.
“It's important to me that seniors who don't have licenses, can't leave a hospital, can't leave their care home, that if they want to get something changed in their will or if they want to make a power of attorney change, it's really important that they be able to do that.”
The lawyer said she’s seen enough files that have become quite complex because the client has a condition like dementia, which means it's no longer a simple signature to give somebody the power of attorney. Biemans said she’s dealt with many seniors that are thankful that she’s able to deal with such legal issues.
Biemans said there are fewer lawyers working in rural Saskatchewan as older ones become judges or decide to retire and the younger ones decide to go to the cities.
“There's not many in rural Saskatchewan and people don't want to come out. It's actually it's a huge issue.”
The lawyer said she’s also looking forward to wearing a silk robe.
“The first thing I thought of is this is awesome, that I will never have to wear that big heavy fortrel polyester robe again.”
She said that the polyester robe is like wearing a heavy snow suit or a heavy blanket in the courthouse.