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It’s raining judges in Ontario

|Written By Gail J. Cohen

Late Tuesday, Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced 22 appointments to the bench in Ontario. Of those, 17 are new appointments and many of them are Crowns, former Crowns, or government lawyers.

Ontario had the largest number of unfilled positions in the country at 31. There had not been a federal judicial appointment in the province since April.

While these appointments are a bit of an early Christmas present to the Ontario bar and go some way to filling the gap in the courts, the province still isn’t at full throttle.

Justice David Brown

The government made a slew of announcements about judicial appointments last Friday for other jurisdictions and even though word of some Ontario appointments came out, the DoJ remained cagey on what was going on in Ontario. But here they are now:

Ontario Superior Court Justice David M. Brown, has been elevated to the Court of Appeal for Ontario to replace Justice Stephen Goudge, who went supernumerary on Jan. 31, 2014.

Brown, who is the president of the Ontario Superior Court Judges’ Association, was appointed to the Superior Court in 2006. At the time, he was a partner with Stikeman Elliott LLP in Toronto, where he practised civil and commercial litigation. He was called to the bar in 1983.

Grant Huscroft, is one of two Western University law professors appointed to the bench. He goes directly to the Court of Appeal, replacing Justice Marc Rosenberg, who became a supernumerary judge on March 5, 2014.

Huscroft has been a member of the Ontario bar since 1987 and is a past member of the High Court of New Zealand. He has been a professor at Western since 2002 and was the associate dean, academic, from 2006 to 2008. He taught at the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, from 1992 to 2001and was a visiting professor at McGill University’s law school as well as a counsel for the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

In Thunder Bay, Superior Court Justice Douglas C. Shaw becomes the new Regional Senior Judge for the Northwest Region. He replaces Justice Helen M. Pierce, who resigned as RSJ July 31.

Shaw was appointed to the Superior Court in 2005. He was called to the bar in 1975 and practised with Atwood Shaw Labine until he became a judge.

In the usual musical chairs of the RSJ role, Pierce goes back to the regular judicial complement in Thunder Bay filling in Shaw’s spot. She has been a Superior Court judge since 2001 and RSJ since 2009. She was called to the bar in 1982 and previously was a a sole practitioner in Sault Ste. Marie.

Superior Court Justice C. Frederick Graham has been appointed to the Family Court Branch in Barrie, where he replaces Justice Lydia Olah, who went supernumerary on Oct. 21.

Graham was first appointed to the bench in 2004. Prior to that he was a senior assistant Crown Attorney for Simcoe County.

Justice Wendy L. MacPherson is also appointed to the Family Court Branch. She has been transferred to replace Justice J. Wilma Scott in St. Catharines, who became a supernumerary judge Nov. 10.

MacPherson was appointed in Kitchener in 2009 and before that was a partner with Martin Sheppard Fraser LLP in Niagara Falls and practised family law. She was called to the bar in 1985.

Ivan S. Bloom, a lawyer with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada in Toronto, has been appointed to the Superior Court to replace Madam Justice Silja S. Seppi in Brampton. Seppi went supernumerary Jan. 8, 2014.

Bloom was called to the bar in 1976 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1991. He was Crown counsel since 1980, practising criminal and constitutional law. Prior to that he was in private practice in Hamilton.

Well-known Windsor labour lawyer George W. King, has been appointed to the Superior Court to replace Justice Steven Rogin, who went supernumerary April 11.

King joined the McTague Law Firm after being called to the bar in 1982 and has been there doing management-side work ever since.

Danial Newton

Grant R. Dow, of Flaherty Dow Elliott & McCarthy LLP in Toronto, joins the Superior Court to replace Justice Ruth E. Mesbur, who elected to become a supernumerary judge as of June 30.

Dow is a certified specialist in civil litigation and has been a member of the Ontario bar since 1981.

W. Danial Newton, a lawyer with Thunder Bay’s CARREL+Partners LLP, replaces Oshawa’s Justice Bruce A. Glass, who went supernumerary at the end of July and his position was transferred to Thunder Bay.

After being admitted to the Ontario bar in 1984, Newton joined CARREL+Partners, where he practised civil litigation. He was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2012.

London-based McKenzie Lake LLP lawyer Russell M. Raikes joins the Superior Court bench replacing Justice Joseph Donohue of Sarnia, who became a supernumerary judge in May.

Raikes has been a lawyer with McKenzie Lake since 2012 and had previously been with Cohen Highley LLP. He practised civil and commercial litigation, real estate, Aboriginal, and employment law. He was called to the bar in 1984.

Ministry of the Attorney General lawyer Suhail A.Q. Akhtar is appointed a judge of the Superior Court to replace Justice George Czutrin, who became the Senior Family Judge on Dec. 31, 2013.

Akhtar practised law in England before being admitted to the Ontario bar in 1998. He has been with the Crown Law Office (Criminal) since 2013. Prior to that, he was with the Scarborough Crown Attorney’s Office as well as working with MAG’s guns and gangs initiative.

Sean F. Dunphy, a lawyer with Russell Hill Advisory Services Inc. in Toronto, replaces Brown who has moved up to the appeal court bench.

Dunphy was called to the Ontario bar in 1985 and in British Columbia in 1992. He has been the principal at Russell Hill Advisory Services Inc. since 2012, where he was co-head of the firm’s national insolvency and restructuring practice. Before that he was with Stikeman Elliott LLP.

Toronto’s Mario D. Faieta, a lawyer with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, joins the Superior Court bench. He replaces Justice Gertrude F. Speigel who went supernumerary July 22.

Faieta practised environmental law since his call in 1986, first with the firm Piscelli & Faieta then became a government lawyer with a variety of ministries and boards.

Master Benjamin T. Glustein now becomes a judge of the Superior Court, replacing Justice Nola Garton in Toronto. She went supernumerary in April.

Michal Fairburn

Glustein was called to the Quebec bar in 1990 and in Ontario in 1993. In 1990, he clerked with Supreme Court justice Claire l’Heureux-Dubé. He has been a master since 2006, and had been previously with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Toronto and an associate with Ogilvy Renault (now Norton Rose LLP) in Montréal.

J. Michal Fairburn, a lawyer with Stockwoods LLP in Toronto, is appointed to the Superior Court in Brampton to fill the spot left in October 2013 by Justice Katherine van Rensburg, who was appointed to the Court of Appeal.

Fairburn joined MAG’s Crown Law Office when she was called in 1992 and was a Crown from 1992 to 2007 then general counsel until 2013, when she left to become a partner with Stockwoods.

The second Western law prof appointed in this round is Bradley W. Miller. He replaces Superior Court Justice Andrew Goodman in London. Goodman was transferred to Kitchener to replace Justice Patrick J. Flynn, who becomes supernumerary on Jan. 16. Miller’s appointment is effective that same day.

Miller is a member of the B.C. and Ontario bars. His academic focus was in the areas of constitutional theory, constitutional law, and philosophy of law. Prior to 2005, he was in private practice focusing on the ares of commercial litigation, class actions, administrative, constitutional, and human rights law.

Another Crown, Alexander D. Kurke of Sudbury, has been appointed to the Superior Court in Sault Ste. Marie. He replaces Justice Edward Koke, who was transferred to Parry Sound to replace Justice J. Stephen O’Neill, who elected to go supernumerary judge April 14, 2014.

Kurke was called to Ontario bar in 1994 and has been an assistant Crown in Sudbury since 1994 and held various team leader positions. His main area of practice was criminal and quasi-criminal law.

Crown attorney Robin Y. Tremblay of Kapuskasing has been appointed to the Superior Court bench to replace Justice Cindy MacDonald in Cochrane. She was transferred to Timmins to replace Justice Robert Riopelle, who went supernumerary Jan. 8, 2014.

Tremblay is bilingual and was called in Ontario in 1996. He has been a Crown for the District of Cochrane North since 2001 and had been an assistant Crown attorney from 1999 to 2001. Prior to that, he was a partner with Perras Gauthier Mongenais Tremblay in Kapuskasing.

Toronto Crown Laura A. Bird replaces Justice Edwin Minden on the Superior Court bench in Newmarket, as he elected to become a supernumerary in June 24.

Called to the bar in 1996, Bird had been general counsel at the Metro West Crown Attorney’s Office in Toronto since 2012 and held various positions with the Crown’s office since 1996.

Federal Crown Catrina D. Braid of Kitchener is appointed to the Superior Court bench to replace Justice Wendy MacPherson in Hamilton.

Braid had been senior counsel and team leader for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada in Kitchener since 2005, and was previously legal counsel on the Major Case Team, Superior Court Team, and appellate counsel at the Ontario Court of Appeal with the Department of Justice, Federal Prosecution Service, in Toronto.

Hicks Morley LLP lawyer William M. Le May of Toronto replaces Justice Lorna-Lee Snowie in Brampton, as she elected to become a supernumerary judge in May.

Le May joined Hicks Morley after his 1998 call and became a partner there in 2004. He practised labour, employment, and insurance law.

  • citizen

    john stobbe
    How many judges and crown attornys are there in Ontario in 2015 compared to 1990?
  • More white affirmative action....

    Justice Canada
    Somehow I doubt any of these people were appointed based on merit. Let's see: Crown, former Crowns and 2 conservative law professors! Very diverse. This is systemic racism at play! Only 1 non-white lawyer was qualified in the whole province of Ontario!
  • Ontario Judicial Appointments

    Ontario Lawyers
    If you want balance and someone with unanimous support, send Justice Conlan to Osgoode Hall.




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