Bruce Gunn came from a long line of lawyers, all of whom graduated from Dalhousie Law School in Nova Scotia. His father, A.O. Gunn graduated in 1949. A.O.’s brother, W.A.D. Gunn graduated in 1925 and went on to become a judge. Finally, A.O.’s father (Bruce’s grandfather), A.D. Gunn graduated in 1897.
Bruce began practicing as a criminal defence lawyer in Edmonton, Alberta in 1972. He quickly developed a reputation for being an aggressive and powerful advocate. In the 1980s, it became apparent that he had a gift for impaired driving cases. Bruce had keen insight into the scientific and mechanical workings of the instruments and devices used in blood-alcohol testing, as well as a limitless imagination which was put to good use in inventing new defences.
Shannon Prithipaul joined the firm in 2001. Shannon is Bruce’s daughter and shares her father’s enthusiasm for the law. As is the tradition in the Gunn family, Shannon articled to her father. Together, along with a rapidly expanding office, they continued the legal legacy until Bruce's death in 2006. Shannon then became managing partner and eventually took sole control of the office in 2016.
Family and Criminal Lawyer
Shannon went to Antigonish, Nova Scotia in 1988 to study in a Bachelor of Science Program at St. Frances Xavier University. After two years in sciences, Shannon changed into the arts program and in 1991 received her Bachelor of Arts Degree.
Shannon then went to the University of Alberta and enrolled in the Bachelor of Education Program at La Faculté Saint Jean. Shannon completed her Bachelor of Education in French with Distinction in 1993. She completed her Bachelor of Law degree in 2001. While in Law School, Shannon received two awards for advocacy: the Al Schumiatcher Prize in second year and the Gordon Wright QC Memorial Award in third year. Shannon received specialized training on the Intoxilyzer 5000C in Calgary in 2004, the Intoxilyzer 8000C in 2008 and the Intox EC IR II in 2012. She received training in drug recognition in the context of drug impaired driving in 2017. Shannon runs trials and can conduct appeals in either official language.
In 2008, Shannon was admitted to the Law Society of the Northwest Territories and in 2012 was admitted to the Yukon Bar. Shannon was President of the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association from 2013 to 2015. She trained as, and received her designation as, a collaborative family lawyer and as a mediator in 2017.
Shannon’s interests include cycling, sewing, snow-boarding, and in-line skating.
Family and Criminal Lawyer
Vernon received his B.A., with distinction, in Anthropology from the University of Lethbridge. He went to the London School of Economics in England for his Masters degree (again with distinction) in Social Anthropolgy. From 1998 to 2005, Vernon taught as a lecturer at the University of Regina, in Saskatchewan. Vernon was the Corona Coordinator for Student Legal Services for the 2007-2008 year. He was selected in 2007 as the recipient of the Alberta Environmental Appeal Board’s prize in environmental law. He trained as, and received his designation as, a collaborative family lawyer in 2017. Vernon continues to excel and represents his clients in an exemplary fashion.
Steve began his articles with Gunn Law Group in the summer of 2011. Our firm and our clients have come to appreciate Steve's diligence and enthusiasm for the law, as well as his quirky sense of humour. Since his arrival at the office, Steve has proven to be a formidable advocate. His work in a number of cases has been ground-breaking. He has represented clients at all levels of court in Alberta. In 2015, Steve was awarded the Criminal Trial Lawyers' Association's "Top Gunn" award for advocacy.
Adam obtained Honours in his Bachelors of Sciences degree in 2006 at Thompson Rivers University before going on to complete his Juris Doctor of Laws at the University of Alberta in 2013. While in university, he was a project coordinator for Student Legal Services. Adam was admitted to the bar in 2014. Since then, Adam has run trials in Provincial Court as well as the Court of Queen's Bench and run appeals of administrative license suspensions before the Transportation Safety Board. Gunn Law Group was pleased to welcome Adam to its firm in 2017.
Carmen comes from a small, francophone community in rural northern Alberta. In 2010, she moved to Edmonton and completed two years towards a degree at the French Campus Saint-Jean of the University of Alberta. In 2012, she transferred to the Faculty of Law and three years later completed her Juris Doctor degree. Carmen was called to the bar on October 7, 2016 and since then has handled cases covering a wide variety of disciplines including: wills, estates, corporate, estate litigation, civil litigation, real estate, dependent adults and trusteeships, and family law. Joining our firm in 2018, Carmen has decided to focus her practice primarily on family law, as well as wills and estates.
Carmen is fully bilingual and can handle cases in either official language.
Criminal Lawyer Student
Gunn Law Group is pleased to welcome Sean Hume to the firm. Sean started with the firm in the late spring and comes to Gunn Law with court experience already. While completing his studies at the University of Alberta, Sean worked extensively with Student Legal Services. Sean also worked as a judicial clerk in the past. We are confident that Sean will be an excellent addition to the firm. Gunn Law Group is not accepting any other student applications for 2017-2018.
Pam was originally from southwestern Ontario and joined our firm in 1994. While unofficially occupying the role for many years, she officially became the Office Administrator of Gunn Law Group in 2008. Pam is the person with whom you will probably speak when you call the office the first time. You can ask Pam or your case manager about disclosure requests.
Kelsey was born and raised in Alberta. She joined our firm in 2008 as a legal assistant, but has been working as the firm’s bookkeeper since 2010. Outside of work, Kelsey recently completed a management degree, majoring in accounting. If you have questions about your account you can ask Kelsey for clarification.
Florence grew up in a family of 13 on a farm in a French community in Saskatchewan. She later moved to Manitoba where Florence met her husband. They moved around quite a bit because of Florence’s husband’s work. They decided to settle down in Alberta in October, 2002 and in February, 2003, Florence joined our firm. Florence works primarily with Vern and Sean's clients. She is completely bilingual in French and English.
Si vous voulez communiquer avec notre bureau en français, nous vous prions de vous adresser à Florence ou Stefanie. Elles peuvent vous donner de l’information préliminaire à propos de notre bureau et vous diriger vers un avocat qui vous assistera en français.
Stefanie grew up just north of Montréal, Quebec, and moved to Alberta in May, 2015. She joined the firm in February, 2017. Stefanie is completely bilingual in French and English, and mainly works with Shannon and Carmen’s clients.
Jessica was born and raised in a small town in Manitoba called Roblin. She moved in her teenage years to Edmonton and later attended college. In the paralegal program, she learned many different areas of law, her favorites being Criminal and Family. She joined us in September of 2017, and is the Case Manager for Steve Smith and Adam Klassen.
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