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Unfilled vacancies threatening court progress

Kabeer Sethi - Monday, September 15, 2014

Despite progress on reducing wait times for civil motions, a lag in filling judicial vacancies at the Ontario Superior Court is a growing concern for the justice system, Chief Justice Heather Smith said last week.
Smith began her address at the opening of the courts ceremony in Toronto on Tuesday by sounding the alarm over the slow pace of judicial appointments to fill the growing number of vacancies. According to Smith, there will be 30 judicial vacancies by the end of the year, with family law judges accounting for nine of them, if current trends continue. The vacancies, combined with a “critical lack of criminal jury courtrooms,” were hampering the judicial process, she said.

“I would urge the minister of justic...

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Inside Story

Monday, September 15, 2014


Michal Fairburn of Stockwoods LLP has received The Advocates’ Society’s Catzman award for professionalism and civility.

Fairburn, a criminal lawyer, received the award from Ontario Chief Justice George Strathy at the annual opening of the courts ceremony in Toronto last week.

Fairburn is “universally recognized for her persuasive advocacy and for her fairness and civility,” The Advocates’ Society said in announcing the award. Fairburn joined Stockwoods last year after more than two decades with the Ministry of the Attorney General’s criminal Crown law office where she was general counsel.

The Catzman award honours the late Ontario Court of Appeal justice Marvin Catzman. According to The Advocates’ Society, the award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the qualities exemplified by Catzman throughout his career: knowledge of the law, integrity, fairness, civility, generosity of time and expertise, and dedication to the highest ideals of the legal profession through writing and lecturing.


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