Five new judges join Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Lisa Brownstone, Joan M. Barrett, Michael Bordin, Faisal Mirza, Julie Richard named as new judges

Five new judges join Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti recently announced the appointments of Lisa Brownstone, Joan M. Barrett, Michael Bordin, Faisal Mirza, and Julie Richard as new judges of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

“I wish Justices Brownstone, Barrett, Bordin, Mirza, and Richard every success as they take on their new roles,” Lametti said. “I am confident they will serve the people of Ontario well as members of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.”

The federal government assigned Brownstone and Barrett to Toronto. Meanwhile, Bordin, Mirza, and Richard will sit in St. Catharines, Brampton, and North Bay, respectively.

Justice Brownstone recently served as chief legal officer with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO). She replaces Justice Lise Favreau, elevated to the Ontario Court of Appeal in December 2021.

Brownstone spent much of her career working with the CPSO. As chief legal officer, she led a team of legal professionals, prosecuted discipline cases, and appeared on many applications and appeals, including constitutional cases, before all levels of court.

Before joining CPSO, she was an associate at Teplitsky Colson LLP in Toronto. Her practice focused on commercial litigation. She spent her articling year clerking for retired Supreme Court of Canada judges Gerald Le Dain and Peter Cory. She also held a counsel position at the Ontario Law Reform Commission.

She served as an associate chair of the University of Toronto’s University Tribunal, where she presided over disciplinary appeals. Moreover, she taught trial advocacy at the Osgoode Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop for 20 years and spoke regularly on issues of professionalism, advocacy, and administrative law.

She obtained her law degree from the University of Toronto. She was called to Ontario bar in 1990 and completed her Master of Laws degree at Yale University.

Justice Barrett is a former deputy director with the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario. She replaces Justice Michael Penny, elected to become a supernumerary judge, effective December 2021.

Barrett was admitted to the Ontario bar in 1997. She then joined the Ministry of the Attorney General, where she practised as Crown counsel for 25 years. Barrett has argued murder appeals and cases involving complex constitutional issues before the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeal. She has also prosecuted dozens of trials, including police corruption cases.

Since 2014, she has been the deputy director of the Special Prosecutions Unit at the Crown Law Office – Criminal. In this role, she oversaw cases involving market fraud, white-collar crime, and national security.

An advocate of continuing legal education, she taught mental health and criminal justice at Osgoode Hall Law School and co-authored a leading Canadian text on mental disorders. She is also actively involved in the legal community, including as board director of the Advocates’ Society and advocacy advisor to the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute.

Justice Bordin is a former partner at Gowling WLG in Hamilton. He replaces Justice Robert Reid, elected to become a supernumerary judge, effective December 2021.

Bordin is a certified civil litigation specialist with extensive trial and appellate experience. He began his legal career as a criminal law practitioner at Ross & McBride LLP. In 2005, he co-founded Evans Sweeny Bordin LLP, where he grew his commercial and civil litigation practice and developed a focus on professional liability and negligence. He became a partner at Gowling WLG in 2019.

Outside his legal duties, he was a regular chair, speaker, and author for continuing education programs. He served as trustee and president of the Hamilton Law Association and has been a long-time co-chair of its annual “Commercial Litigation Seminar.” He has volunteered his time on not-for-profit boards and local committees.

He earned his law degree from Western Law School in 1996 and was called to the Ontario bar in 1998.

When he received his appointment, Justice Mirza operated his own law firm in Mississauga. He replaces Justice Deena Baltman, elected to become a supernumerary judge, effective February 8.

Mirza was a trial and appellate defence lawyer for 20 years. He frequently argued criminal and constitutional law cases at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. In 2020, he was appointed as a member of the National Security Intelligence Review Agency to assist in reviewing the lawfulness of Canada’s national security and intelligence activities.

He was an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where he co-taught advanced criminal law courses. He is the author of a book entitled “Criminal Jury Charge Practice.” The book aims to assist criminal law practitioners and judges in validating objections and requests to remedy errors, omissions, or generic instructions in the jury charge.

He has volunteered with leading organizations throughout his career, promoting equality in the law and legal profession. He is a past president of the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association and co-founder of the Muslim Legal Support Centre. He has often participated in education and mentorship programs with the Criminal Lawyers’ Association and the South Asian Bar Association.

He received his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. He was called to the Ontario bar in 2002.

Justice Richard previously served as a partner at Richard & Chamaillard Law in Kirkland Lake. She replaces Justice David Nadeau, elected to become a supernumerary judge, effective January 11.

Richard began her legal career at Stewart McKelvey. She then joined the Office of the Attorney General of New Brunswick’s Constitutional Law Unit, where she focused mainly on Aboriginal law and the Canadian Charter. In 2010, she opened a law practice in Kirkland Lake and offered services in civil litigation, municipal law, estates law, family law, employment law, and real estate.

She has represented children as a panel member of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer. Richard is a former member of Mediators Beyond Borders International, the ADR Institute of Ontario, and the ADR Institute of Canada.

She obtained her law degree at the Université de Moncton in 2006. She was called to the New Brunswick bar in 2007 and the Ontario bar in 2010. In 2020, she completed her Master of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School.

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