Ontario Superior Court of Justice welcomes new judges John Callaghan and Jennifer Penman

One of them has over 30 years of experience in commercial, civil and administrative law

Ontario Superior Court of Justice welcomes new judges John Callaghan and Jennifer Penman

Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti has announced the appointment of John E. Callaghan and Jennifer K. Penman as judges of the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto.

Callaghan was a partner at Gowling WLG in Toronto and had over 30 years of experience practising commercial, civil and administrative law. He appeared before all levels of court and participated in many high-profile public inquiries, including as commission counsel for Ontario’s COVID Long Term Care Commission.

Callaghan was a bencher of the Law Society of Ontario from 2011 to 2019. He served as chair of government relations, where he worked and advocated for access to justice in Ontario. Callghan also chaired the legal aid working group. He served as a member of the civil rules committee for 25 years and as a director of Legal Aid Ontario, The Advocates’ Society, and the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Studies. Callghan graduated from the University of Windsor Law School in 1987 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1989.

Jennifer Penman founded Derstine Penman Criminal Lawyers with her partner Dirk Derstine in 1999. She has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. She specializes in representing persons charged with serious indictable offences, including murder. She has also conducted trials in Nova Scotia and Manitoba.

Penman served as the Toronto director of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association. She was also a founding member of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association Mentorship Committee and served as its chair for several years. Penman was a Women in Canadian Criminal Defence member and a regular volunteer for the Gale Cup Moot.

Penman has also taught in various continuing legal education and trial advocacy programs, including the Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop, the Ontario Justice Education Network, and the Ontario Bar Association. She earned her Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University in 1996 and her Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School. She was called to the bar in Ontario in 1998.

“I wish Justices Callaghan and Penman every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve Ontarians well as members of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario,” Lametti commented.

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