New judicial appointments announced for Ontario courts

This series of appointments affects the Court of Appeal and the Superior Court of Justice

New judicial appointments announced for Ontario courts

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Arif Virani, has announced several key judicial appointments across Ontario.

This series of appointments affects both the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.

Darla A. Wilson, formerly a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto, has been appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Toronto. Since February 2020, she has been the civil team lead for trials in Toronto. Wilson was previously a partner with Lawson McGrenere LLP in Toronto, where she practiced exclusively in the area of civil litigation. She has experience defending hospitals and other healthcare facilities on negligence claims, general insurance defence work including occupier’s liability, motor vehicle and municipal negligence claims, and representing plaintiffs in personal injury claims.

Wilson was an instructor in trial advocacy at the University of Toronto Law School, a director of the Advocates’ Society, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Medico-Legal Society. She was a member of the Moot Court Council at Queen’s Law School and sat on the board of directors of the Ontario Superior Court Judges Association.

Joining Wilson in the move to the Court of Appeal is Lene Madsen, who previously served on the Family Court branch of the Superior Court of Justice in Hamilton. Madsen served as a principal mediator with Bluewater Mediation in London and as an associate with Epstein Cole LLP. Her legal practice focused mainly on counsel-assisted mediation, most of which resulted in comprehensive settlements. She was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in 2016.

The Superior Court of Justice of Ontario will welcome several new faces, including Apple C. Newton-Smith, elevated from the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto. Before her appointment to the bench, she was a partner at Berkes Newton-Smith. She practised as a criminal defence lawyer at both the trial and appellate levels and appeared regularly at all levels of court for 20 years.

Newton-Smith was a vice-president of the Criminal Lawyer’s Association. She sat on the board of the Pro Bono Inmate Appeals Program at the Ontario Court of Appeal, McGill Women in Leadership and Philanthropy, and the Cottingham Public School Parent Council. She was also  an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, an editor of the Law Society of Ontario’s lawyer licensing materials, and chair of the Ontario Judicial Education Network (OJEN) Toronto committee.

Another notable appointment is Carissima Mathen, a law professor at the University of Ottawa. She has been named a judge of the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. Mathen's academic and litigation background, particularly in Charter rights, is expected to bring a fresh perspective to the bench. She joined the University of Ottawa in 2011 where she was promoted to full professor and served a term as vice dean academic of the English common law program. She also taught law at the University of New Brunswick. After her call to the bar, she spent seven years working for the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) where she pursued path-breaking Charter of Rights litigation.

Additionally, Elizabeth McCarty, previously counsel at the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, is appointed to the Superior Court of Justice, Family Court in Belleville. McCarty was a member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Child and Youth Section Executive. She has co-chaired the OBA’s advanced issues in child protection law for the past three years and is a frequent presenter at continuing education programs. She worked with the Ontario Association for Family Mediation to help develop a program to certify openness mediators, and she has written extensively on child protection-related issues. 

Yvonne D. Fiamengo, formerly legal counsel for the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, will likewise join the Family Court at the Superior Court of Justice in Newmarket. Over the last 22 years, Fiamengo has represented the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto before all levels of court in Ontario and at the Child and Family Services Review Board. She also worked in association with a small firm in North York, where she had her first practical exposure to Family Law, acting on behalf of parents both in the domestic and child welfare court.

Fiamengo has been a member of the 311 Open Bar Education Committee and a regular presenter at Continuing Professional Development Programs. She was also on the board of directors of the Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation (CANAAF).

Minister Arif Virani expressed confidence in the appointed justices, stating, “I wish Justices Wilson, Madsen, Newton-Smith, Mathen, McCarty, and Fiamengo every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve Ontarians well as members of the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.”

Related stories

Free newsletter

Our newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

Colleen Flood reflects on career as healthcare policy prof and new role as Queen's Law School Dean

Ontario Superior Court welcomes new judges Ira Parghi and Benita Wassenaar

Worker unable to mitigate termination damages due to physical incapacity: Ontario Court of Appeal

Ontario Superior Court refuses to dismiss estate litigation despite delays

Ontario Court of Appeal upholds TTC's liability in personal injury case of woman struck by bus

Ontario Superior Court dismisses former wife's claims against late husband's estate

Most Read Articles

Ontario Superior Court dismisses former wife's claims against late husband's estate

Ontario Court of Appeal upholds TTC's liability in personal injury case of woman struck by bus

Ontario Superior Court welcomes new judges Ira Parghi and Benita Wassenaar

Ontario Superior Court refuses to dismiss estate litigation despite delays