Denise Mentis-Smith QC is the Society’s Second Vice-President for the 2020-2021 Council year
Denise Mentis-Smith QC graduated from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University in 1995. She was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1996 and currently practises with the law firm Harris North Law in Bedford, Nova Scotia. Denise serves as a member of the Society’s Complaints Investigative Committee and has previously served on the Society’s Racial Equity Committee.
“Denise’s combination of practice experience, volunteer work with the Society and other community organizations make her an ideal choice. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated leadership in promoting access to justice as well as equity, diversity and inclusion. I know she will work hard and help the Society move forward on our strategic priorities,” said President Carrie Ricker.
Denise’s practice over the past 23 years has focused on plaintiff personal injury law and over the past 5 years, she has developed a practice in the area of wills & estates. Denise has also developed an extensive practice in mediation and dispute resolution and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.
In April of 2018, Denise was appointed the Queen’s Counsel designation and in January 2019, she was appointed a member of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.
Denise was a member of the CBA NS Equity Committee, the Nova Scotia Police Commission and served as a Mentor with the Dalhousie Women and the Law Mentorship Program and the IB&M Mentorship Program.
Denise was a speaker in the Dr. Carrie Best, Champion for Human Rights documentary film produced by Maroon films, a speaker during African Nova Scotia History Month in Truro, Nova Scotia and a speaker at the East Preston Empowerment Academy Society Legal Clinic.
Denise is also a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, the Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association and the Advocates Society.
Denise has been involved in fundraising for various charity organizations including Mulgrave Park Association, World Vision, the United Way, the Heart and Cancer Fund. She also spearheaded a fundraising campaign to raise money for disadvantaged youth to enable them to participate in Basketball Nova Scotia’s provincial program.
Denise was acclaimed as Second Vice-President after the nomination process closed February 15th. She will assume the post and its responsibilities after the Society’s Annual Meeting on June 13, 2020. Jim Rossiter QC will serve as President and Tuma Young will serve as First Vice-President.
The Second Vice-President holds a key position in governance and continues on to become First Vice-President and then President of the Society. Denise will continue on to be the Society’s first African Nova Scotian President.