James D. Steele

James Steele’s practice focuses on estate litigation, insurance actions, and general civil litigation.

James has extensive experience with estate disputes, such as:

  1. Claims involving the validity of Wills (undue influence, incapacity or delusions);
  2. Removal of executors for misconduct;
  3. Litigating claims by, and against Estates;
  4. Challenging joint survivorship entitlements;
  5. Executor compensation disputes;
  6. Claims involving defects in Wills, or interpretation of Wills;
  7. Representation of the estate during a passing of accounts;
  8. Litigation involving powers of attorneys;
  9. Contested applications for letters of administration;
  10. Applications for guardianship.

James has published dozens of articles on estate litigation topics. His comments on estate litigation, have been published by the Canadian Lawyer Magazine, Regina Leader-Post, Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Western Producer, and other publications. James presents regularly at legal conferences on estate litigation, and at the College of Law.

James has also experience in insurance and civil litigation. He has defended claims for a variety of insurance companies, as well as advancing subrogated actions. He also has experience in professional liability claims.

James also publishes a blog on Saskatchewan estate law, at skestatelaw.ca

Prior to studying law, James earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), graduating with Great Distinction. While earning his Juris Doctorate of Law at the U of S, James was awarded the P.E. Mackenzie Prize for the highest academic standing in the Evidence course and served as student editor of the Saskatchewan Law Review.

Practitioner Articles

Academic Articles

Blog Articles

Media

  • Presentation to Regina Estate Planning Council (December 2, 2021);
  • Presentation to STLA fall conference – “Steps in a Will Challenge” (October 22, 2021);
  • Presentation to Law Society of Saskatchewan seminar on estate litigation (June 2021);
  • Presentation to the Funeral and Cremation Services Council of Saskatchewan (May 2021);
  • Regular presenter at pro bono seminars at the Saskatoon Public Library, on wills and estates (2019 to date);
  • Presentation on estate litigation to the CBA Wills, Estates & Elder Law North section (March 2021);
  • Presentation on estate litigation to the Wills Class – University of Saskatchewan College of Law (February 2021);
  • Co-Presentation with RBC on Wills & Estates (March 2021) ;
  • Co-presentation with M. Kim Anderson, Q.C., for the Saskatchewan Regional Parks Association Seminar, April 5, 2019 (effective enforcement of bylaws and leases by Regional Parks);
  • Co-presentation with M. Kim Anderson, Q.C., for the Saskatchewan Regional Parks Association Fall Seminar, October 21, 2016 (Campsite leases);
  • Co-presentation with M. Kim Anderson, Q.C., for the Saskatchewan Regional Parks Association Fall Seminar, April 7, 2017 (Eviction of tenants and other lease issues);
  • Co-presentation with Sean Sinclair, before the Saskatchewan Trial Lawyers Association, April 20, 2017 (Challenging of Wills);
  • Co-presentation with Sean Sinclair, before the CBA Wills, Estates and Elder law Section, September, 2017 (Estate Litigation);
  • Co-presentation with Curtis Onishenko, to the 2019 CBA Mid-winter meeting (Estate Litigation);
  • Presentation to the Saskatoon Estate Planning Council, March 12, 2019 (Litigation Involving Power of Attorneys)
  • James’s life is balanced with his passion for music. James is extensively involved in fiddle music throughout Saskatchewan, performing regularly. He is a former Canadian Grand Master Fiddle Champion, a six-time Grand North American Champion, and a nine-time Saskatchewan Champion. James was previously a member of the Board of Directors for the John Arcand Fiddle Fest.
  • James is a regular volunteer at pro bono Wills and Estates sessions held at the Saskatoon Public Library.
  • James was the 2019 winner of the Cam Partridge Memorial PLEA Volunteer of the Year Award.
  • James is the Legislation and Law Reform Director for the CBA Saskatchewan Board.

From Our Clients

I cannot say enough good things about the work done for us by James D. Steele at Roberton Stromberg LLP. My family and I knew nothing about estate matters and will interpretations. I met him at a course he was helping facilitate about will making. He listened to my story about the struggles I was having with an executor that wasn’t fulfilling their duties to the beneficiaries and managing the estate poorly. With his help and hard work, we succeeded in having everything transferred from a reluctant and sometimes combatant executor over to myself to manage properly from here on out. He was incredibly patient with me throughout the entire process and always thoroughly explained things I didn’t understand. If you are looking for a determined, hard working and capable lawyer, look no further.

Ash L.

Where do I begin?? To have been in such emotional turmoil for almost two years, I am amazed at my luck with having James Steele on my side. He has been so incredibly patient, kind and informative on the law in such a way I could understand. James and his team have definitely been a lifesaver for us. We couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer and law firm!!!

Deborah H.

Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to work with James Steele on a number of matters. James was always very prompt in our dealings and provided excellent advice and guidance. His assistance provided many benefits for our organization. It was a pleasure working with him.

Randall K.

CONTACT

Direct: (306) 933-1338
Main: (306) 652-7575
Fax: (306) 652-2445
Email: [email protected]

Please do not send us any confidential information in your email. Your email is not protected by lawyer/client confidentiality, nor is a lawyer/client relationship established by our receipt of this communication. Before we can discuss your matter, we must ensure that we do not have a conflict of interest.

Related News and Articles

Estate Litigation Update: Poole v Dailey, 2020 SKQB 226

I practise in the area of estate litigation and am often reminded of the importance of having a clearly drafted Will. A good recent example comes from the decision in Poole v Dailey, 2020 SKQB 226. The deceased had left his estate between his two children, Brian and...

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Saskatchewan Estate Litigation Update: Hayes v Swift, 2021 SKQB 132

The recent decision in Hayes v Swift, 2021 SKQB 132 offers a reminder that beneficiaries should ensure they have real evidence of executor wrongdoing before they bring a court application against an executor. Facts: The testator, Bernard William Hayes, had passed...

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Saskatchewan Estate Litigation Update: Whelan v Chaszewski, 2021 SKQB 286

The recent decision in Whelan v Chaszewski, 2021 SKQB 286 offers guidance for a situation in which two competing parties want to be appointed to administer an estate. The lesson from Whelan is that a court will not generally appoint a party who has a potential...

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Saskatchewan Estate Litigation Update: Vance (Re), 2021 SKQB 320

The recent decision in Vance (Re), 2021 SKQB 320, reminds us of the importance of keeping our wills updated. The application in Vance was brought by De-Anna Lynn Bailey, in relation to the estate of her nephew, James Benjamin Gilbert Vance (“Deceased”). Background To...

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Funeral expenses: Why executors should pay them promptly

This article discusses the payment of funeral expenses out of an estate, and why executors should pay them promptly. The first reason is practical. After death, the funeral home is often the first to provide a service to the estate. It disposes of the body in a safe...

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