President & Executive

The president is the face of the CBA. As its spokesperson and members’ advocate, the president is responsible for key relationships with the branches, CBA Council, the CBA Board of Directors, the CBA Executive Officers, legal groups in Canada and internationally, the public and the media.

We are proud to present the biographies of the 2015-2016 President and the CBA Executive Officers.

Janet M. Fuhrer

Janet M. Fuhrer


Janet Fuhrer is a partner with the firm of Ridout & Maybee LLP in its Ottawa office. Having begun her career as an intellectual property lawyer when called to the Bar of Ontario in 1987, Ms. Fuhrer is a certified specialist by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) in intellectual property law (trade-marks and copyright). She also was a member of and chaired the LSUC’s previous Intellectual Property Law Specialist Certification Committee.

Ms. Fuhrer is a past chair of the CBA Professional Development Committee and a past chair of the National Sections Council (NSC), as well as the National Intellectual Property Law Section. During her two-year term as chair of NSC, Janet Fuhrer served on the CBA Board of Directors, Finance Committee and National Council. Ms. Fuhrer is a past chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA); she has served on the OBA Membership Committee and she has participated in the OBA Mentorship Program as a mentor. In her area of practice, Ms. Fuhrer is a past president (2010-2011) of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada and has held leadership positions with the American Intellectual Property Law Association. Janet is a frequent speaker and moderator at various IP conferences and meetings. In her spare time, she is an avid runner.

René Basque, <abbr lang="en" title="Queen's Counsel">Q.C.</abbr>

René Basque, Q.C.

First Vice-President

Mr. Basque is currently a partner of Actus Law Droit Law Firm in Moncton where he practises corporate restructuring and construction law. He received his Queen’s Counsel in 2013.

René Basque has been a member of the CBA since 1989. He was president of CBA-New Brunswick in 2006-2007 and is currently chair of the CBA’s national Awards Committee.

Kerry L. Simmons, <abbr lang="en" title="Queen's Counsel">Q.C.</abbr

Kerry L. Simmons, Q.C.

Second Vice-President

Kerry L. Simmons, Q.C. is a managing partner of Cook Roberts LLP in Victoria, B.C. where her practice focuses on estate litigation, employment law and family law. In 2012-13 she served as president of the BC Branch of the CBA where she was an outspoken advocate for access to justice and access to legal services in rural and small communities throughout the province. She continues her long-standing commitment to members of the legal profession to ensure the CBA provides professional development and support to its members and works with them to promote effective law reform, equality in the profession, and fair justice systems.

Dean Scaletta

Dean Scaletta


Dean Scaletta obtained his Bachelor of Commerce and his law degree from the University of Manitoba. He was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1982. He was in private practice until mid-1988 before joining the legal department of Manitoba Public Insurance. Dean is currently Director of Information and Legislation at Manitoba Public Insurance, a position he has held since June 2009. An elected member of the Manitoba Bar Association Council since 2001, Dean has also been actively involved in the CCCA serving as the Manitoba Chair (1999-2005), on the Board of Directors (2004-2008), and on the Interim Executive (2011). He was first elected as a Bencher of the Law Society of Manitoba in 2010 and has served on numerous Law Society committees.

Michele H. Hollins, <abbr lang="en" title="Queen's Counsel">Q.C.</abbr>

Michele H. Hollins, Q.C.

Past President

Having grown up in Saskatchewan, Michele Hollins graduated with her B.Sc. from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas in 1987. She returned to Saskatchewan and obtained her LL.B. from the University of Saskatchewan, College of Law in 1992. After clerking to the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, she began her articles and then worked as an associate at McCarthy Tetrault in Calgary, Alberta. In 2001, Michele joined the firm of Dunphy Best Blocksom LLP, where she became a partner in 2004 and received her Queen’s Counsel designation in 2008.

Michele has a varied civil and commercial litigation practice, with a focus on employment law. She works primarily in the areas of wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal, duties of departing employees including restrictive covenants and confidential information. She also works with clients to draft employment contracts and policies and termination packages. The remainder of Michele’s practice includes general contract and tort litigation, shareholder disputes, product liability and debtor-creditor work. Michele has extensive courtroom experience before all levels of Alberta Courts and particularly enjoys trial work. In 2012-2013, she was Lead Counsel to the Alberta Commission of Inquiry regarding Preferential Access to Health Care.

John Hoyles, <abbr lang="en" title="Canadian Society of Association Executives ">CAE</abbr>

John Hoyles, CAE

Chief Executive Officer

Originally from Val d'Or, Quebec, John Hoyles completed an English degree at the University of Ottawa and attended Osgoode Hall Law School. Mr. Hoyles assumed the position of CBA Executive Director in 1996, and is currently the Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Hoyles has held numerous positions prior to joining the CBA, including: founding partner of Byck, Hoyles & Grant, Barristers and Solicitors; Acting Crown Attorney in Ontario; Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the GST Consumer Information Office; and Executive Vice-President and General Manager of the National Capital Commission.