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Biographies Arranged By Year Called to the Bar, Part 2: 1941 to the Present

Biographies of Early and Exceptional Ontario Lawyers of Diverse Communities Arranged By Year Called to the Bar, Part 2: 1941 to the Present


Click here to access Biographies of Early and Exceptional Ontario Lawyers of Diverse Communities Arranged By Year Called to the Bar, Part 1: 1797 to 1941

For each lawyer, this document offers some or all of the following information: 
  • name gender
  • year and place of birth, and year of death where applicable
  • year called to the bar in Ontario (and/or, until 1889, the year admitted to the courts as a solicitor; from 1889, all lawyers admitted to practice were admitted as both barristers and solicitors, and all were called to the bar)
  • whether appointed K.C. or Q.C.
  • name of diverse community or heritage biographical notes
  • name of nominating person or organization if relevant
  • sources used in preparing the biography (note: living lawyers provided or edited and approved their own biographies including the names of their community or heritage)
  • suggestions for further reading
 
The biographies are ordered chronologically, by year called to the bar, then alphabetically by last name. To reach a particular period, click on the following links: 1941-1950, 1951-1960, 1961-1970, 1971-1980, 1981-1990, 1991-2000, 2001-.

For more information on the project, including the set of biographies arranged by diverse community rather than by year of call, please click here for the Diversifying the Bar: Lawyers Make History home page.
 
 
 

1941 - 1950

 

Name: GOLDSTICK, Iva Sarah Kaplan
Female
Born 1904 in Yaraslov, Russia
Died 1986

Called to the Bar: 1943
Name of Heritage or CommunityJewish; Russian
Biographical Information: 
Sarah Goldstick was one of the first Jewish women lawyers, and widow of David Goldstick, a labour lawyer.

 
Nominated by Morley L. Torgov
   
 
Name: VANNINI, Ilvio Anthony
Male
Born 1915 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Died 1998
Called to the Bar: 1943
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityItalian 
Biographical Information:
I. Anthony Vannini was the first lawyer of Italian heritage to be appointed a judge in Ontario, to the District Court of Algoma, from 1966 to 1990, and as a justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, from 1990 to 1991. Before he was elevated to the bench, he spent more than two decades as a litigator and community contributor in Sault Ste Marie and was the president of the Algoma District Law Association. In 1998, the local Italian community established an award of merit in his honour.
 
Source: Roger Yachetti, "Three Italian Canadian Pioneers in the Law," Italian Canadiana 15 (2001), 44-6. utoronto.ca/iacobucci. The Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies, Department of Italian Studies, University of Toronto. Web. Feb. 2010.
 
 
Name: CHUMAK, Olga
Female
Born 1917 in Toronto, Ontario
Died 2003
Called to the Bar: 1944
Name of Heritage or CommunityUkrainian 
Biographical Information:
Olga Chumak was the first woman lawyer of Ukrainian heritage in Ontario. In 1947, Ms. Chumak married Dr. Martin Chepesiuk and continued to practice law. She was an advocate for Ukrainian culture and traditions throughout her life.
 
Source: Olga Chepesiuk obituary, Toronto Globe and Mail, 6 June 2003, S7. Web.
 
 
Name: DUBIN, Charles Leonard
Male
Born 1921 in Hamilton, Ontario
Died 2008 
Called to the Bar: 1944
K.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityJewish 
Biographical Information:
Charles Dubin was a brilliant litigator and one of the first Jewish judges in Ontario, appointed in 1973 to the Ontario Court of Appeal. From 1990 to 1996, Dubin served as the first Jewish Chief Justice of Ontario. He also headed important inquiries and royal commissions including the Dubin Inquiry into the use of drugs in amateur sports in 1990. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Charles Dubin and his accomplished wife, Anne, also a lawyer, were devoted partners in support of many non-profit causes.
 
Sources: Tracey Tyler, "Charles Dubin, 87: Legal Giant Became National Icon," Toronto Star, 21 Oct. 2008. Web. 10 August 2009; Sandra Martin, "Charles Dubin: Judge who Probed Use of Drugs in Sports was 'a Complete Man of the Law,'" Toronto Globe and Mail, 21 Oct. 2008. Web. 10 August 2009; "Osgoode Entrance Award Honours Memory of Charles and Anne Dubin," Yfile. York University. 23 July 2009. Web. 21 Sep. 2009. 
 
 
Name: YAREMKO, John
Male
Born 1918 in Welland, Ontario
Died 2010
Called to the Bar: 1944
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityUkrainian
Biographical Information:
John Yaremko was the first person of Ukrainian heritage to graduate from an Ontario faculty of law. In a long career in politics, he was a path breaker not only for Ukrainian-Canadians but for all Ontarians of diverse communities. From 1951 until 1975, he was a Progressive Conservative member of the Provincial Parliament of Ontario, and the first Ukrainian-Canadian MPP or MLA. He applied his legal training and immigrant sensibilities to representing his downtown Toronto riding and in many posts as a provincial cabinet minister; he served as the first Minister of Citizenship (1971-2) and the first Solicitor General (1972-4). For his public service and wide- ranging philanthropy that has benefitted, among other institutions, the University of Toronto, and helped to preserve Ukrainian culture and history in Canada, he received many awards. In 2009, he was the first recipient of the federal Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism, for his lifelong advocacy in education, human rights and multiculturalism.
 
Nominated by Hélène Yaremko-Jarvis. See obituary, Toronto Star, 9 Aug. 2010. Web. Forthcoming: transcript of interview by A. Kirk-Montgomery, 2009.
 
 
Name: YIP, Kew Dock
Male
Born 1906 in Vancouver, British Columbia
Died 2001 
Called to the Bar: 1945
Name of Heritage or CommunityChinese
Biographical Information:
Kew Dock Yip was the first lawyer of Asian heritage in Canada. He was one of twenty-three children of a wealthy Vancouver merchant born in China. Yip was very well-educated, studying at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and the University of British Columbia before settling on law as a career. Because “Orientals” were excluded from membership in the Law Society of British Columbia, Yip moved to Ontario, graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1945. He took an office in Chinatown near Spadina Avenue in Toronto and became the first lawyer to offer Chinese-language services (Yip spoke several dialects). He was a leader in the successful campaign to end the exclusion of Chinese immigrants to Canada under the Chinese Exclusion Act, accomplished in 1947. His forty-seven years of practice and contributions to the legal and Chinese communities were recognized in 1998 when Kew Dock Yip received the Law Society Medal.
 
Nominated by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers and the Association of Chinese Canadian Lawyers of Ontario. Sources: "First Chinese Called to the Bar," Toronto Star, 20 Sep. 1945, 12; Christopher Moore, "Law Times 'That's History' Excerpted Columns. The Ontario Legal Alphabet: Y is for Yip." christophermoore.ca. Christopher Moore. 2004. Web. Oct. 2009. Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
 
 
Name: GRANT, Gretta J.
Female
Born 1921 in London, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1946
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityChinese
Biographical Information:
Gretta Grant, nee Wong, was the first woman lawyer of Chinese ancestry in Canada. Born in London, Ontario, to parents who owned a restaurant, she followed several of her seven siblings into the professions. She articled at McCarthy and McCarthy, a large law firm in Toronto, but eventually returned to London. After a few years as the assistant city solicitor in her home town, she practised law with her husband, J. Alan R. Grant, until his death in 1967. In that year, she took the position of Area Director of Legal Aid, at a time when legal aid was moving from a voluntary basis to a more extensive program partially paid by the province. Until her retirement in 1988, she worked to make legal services more accessible to members of disadvantaged communities. Ms. Grant was also the first female president of the Middlesex Law Association. In 2000, Ms. Grant was awarded the Law Society Medal for her contributions to the profession.
 
Nominated by the Middlesex Law Association, the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, and the Association of Chinese Canadian Lawyers of Ontario. Source: Constance Backhouse, "Gretta Wong Grant: Canada's First Chinese-Canadian Female Lawyer," Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 15 (1996) 3-46. constancebackhouse.ca. Constance Backhouse. Web. Oct. 2009. Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme. 
 

Name: BASSEL, John Peter
Male
Born 1921
Died 2000
Called to the Bar: 1947
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information:
John Bassel was the first lawyer of Greek descent called to the Ontario bar. He practised municipal law in Toronto. He was named Q.C. in 1962.
 
Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association.
 
 
Name: GOODMAN, Edwin Allan
Male
Born 1918 in Toronto, Ontario
Died 2006
Called to the Bar: 1947
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityJewish
Biographical Information:
A corporate lawyer, Progressive Conservative strategist for both the provincial and the federal parties, patron of the arts, and a war hero. In the words of Christopher Moore, Eddie Goodman "helped usher in the era when you could be a Jewish lawyer without that being the defining characteristic of your career." He was made Q.C. in 1954, was a bencher of the Law Society from 1966 until his death, and was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 1992.
 
Source: Christopher Moore, "How Eddie Goodman Changed Legal Practice," Law Times (Sep. 2006). Web. See also Eddie Goodman, Life of the Party: The Memoirs of Eddie Goodman (Toronto: Key Porter, 1988).

 
Name: ROBINS, Sydney Lewis
Male
Born 1923 in Toronto, Ontario
Died 2014 in Toronto, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1947
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityJewish
Biographical Information:
For the first three decades of his career, Sydney Robins practised corporate, commercial and labour law in Toronto, mostly as a litigator. Robins served his profession as an author and teacher, and through leadership roles in the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Foundation of Ontario (he was its founding chair in 1974), and the Law Society of Upper Canada (he was the first Jewish Treasurer, 1971 to 1974). In 1976, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario, then to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 1981. Before he retired from the bench in 1998, he served on several Ontario provincial commissions. Beyond his legal career, he has committed time and energy to health and other not-for-profit organizations. In 2000, Mr. Robins was awarded the Law Society Medal for “outstanding service in accordance with the highest ideals of the legal profession.” 
 
See also Law Society of Upper Canada Archives, Sydney Robins fonds, PF188; Jack Batten, Learned Friends: A Tribute to 50 Remarkable Ontario Advocates, 1900-1950 (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2005), 60-1. Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.

 
Name: VAN CAMP, Mabel
Female
Born 1920 in Blackstock, Ontario 
Died 2012
Called to the Bar: 1947
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityWomen
Biographical Information:
Mabel Van Camp was the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario, in 1971, by Pierre Trudeau. She was a pathbreaker all her life: the first from her community to attend university, she was later the first female member of the Royal Canadian Military Institute. By the time she retired in 1995, she had inspired the next generation of women lawyers and judges, including Madam Justice Rosalie Abella and Madame Justice Janet Boland. In 2003, she was appointed to the Order of Ontario.
 
See William I. Atkinson, "‘I Am the Damn Judge’: Ontario’s First Madam Justice Sometimes Went Unrecognized When People Were Expecting A Man,” Globe and Mail, 9 Aug. 2012.

Name: LAIRD, Marjorie Alice Ransier
Female
Born 1923

Died 1997
Called to the Bar: 1948
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityWomen
Biographical Information: 
Marjorie Laird, later Palmer, was the first woman senior solicitor in a Canadian province, appointed to the Ontario Attorney General's Office in 1957.
 
 
Name: LEGGE, Laura
Female
Born 1923 in Courtland, Ontario
Died 2010
Called to the Bar: 1948
Q.C. 1966
Name of Heritage or CommunityWomen
Biographical Information:
For more than five decades, Laura Legge practised as a solicitor in Toronto while she was leading legal and community service organizations. A passionate defender of the traditional rights and duties of the profession, she was elected the first woman bencher of the Law Society in 1975. In 1983, she was elected its first woman Treasurer, the Ontario bar's highest office. Legge never described herself as a feminist. However, she valued the personal and professional support she gained early in her career from the Women’s Law Association, and was its president from 1964 to 1966. Beyond her official roles, she served as a beloved mentor to many young women lawyers. Her models were Margaret Hyndman (see bio) and other path-breakers who befriended and advised her. Their message was, “You’re a lawyer, get on with in and do it. We did it.”  And so did Laura Legge. In recognition of her contributions and achievements, the Law Society not only awarded her an honorary Doctor of Laws in 1988, but also established the Laura Legge Award in 2007 to honour other women who exemplify leadership within the profession.
 
Quote from Law Society of Upper Canada, Past Treasurers' Project, Transcript of Interviews with Laura Legge by A. Forrest (2004), 123. See also, Sandra Martin, “First Woman to Head Ontario’s Law Society was a Tough But Quiet Barrier Breaker,” The Globe and Mail, 30 Oct. 2010. Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.


 
Name: OKULOSKI, John Edward
Male
Born 1922 in Hamilton, Ontario
Died 1965
Called to the Bar: 1948
Name of Heritage or CommunityPolish 
Biographical Information:
Of Polish heritage, Edward Okuloski articled and then practised with his older sister, Helen, in Hamilton, Ontario.
 
 
Name: VASS, Ferenc
Male
Born 1914
Died c. 1990
Called to the Bar: 1948
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityHungarian
Biographical Information:
Ferenc Vass was one of the first lawyers and first Q.C. from the Ontario Hungarian community. He practised at College and Spadina in Toronto. He was active in the development of the Canadian-Hungarian Cultural Centre, and in other ways assisted newcomers.
 
Nominated by Frank Felkai of the Hungarian Helicon Society.
 
 
Name: AGRO, John Louis
Male
Born 1919
Died 1998
Called to the Bar: 1949
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityItalian
Biographical Information:
The son of Sicilian immigrants, John Agro was a prominent criminal and litigation lawyer in Hamilton. In 1959 he became the first Hamilton lawyer of Italian heritage to be named Queen’s Counsel. He was also one of the first Italian-Canadian benchers of the Law Society of Upper Canada, from 1983 to 1987. For many years from 1976, he chaired the Hamilton Harbour Commission, overseeing the revitalization of Hamilton’s bayshore. He was one of the founders of the Canadian Football League Players Association. In 1984, he was named Hamilton’s Italian- Canadian Citizen of the Year. John Agro was awarded the Law Society Medal in 1992.
 
Sources: Roger Yachetti, "Three Italian Canadian Pioneers in the Law," Italian Canadiana 15 (2001), 41-4. utoronto.ca/iacobucci. The Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies, Department of Italian Studies, University of Toronto. Web. Feb. 2010; "Agro, John," Law Society of Upper Canada Past Member Database, Law Society of Upper Canada Archives, 2009. Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
 
 

Name: CAMPBELL, Christopher George
Male
Born 1915

Died 2003
Called to the Bar: 1949
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information: 
George Campbell, born Karambalas, served in the Second World War and was called to the bar in 1949 at the relatively late age of 34. After a short time in practice, he became the sheriff of Middlesex County. He was a captain in the First Hussars Association of London, Ontario.

 
Nominated by William Vorvis.
  
 
Name: CARTER, George E.
Male
Born 1921 in Toronto, Ontario
Died 2018
Called to the Bar: 1949
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityBlack
Biographical Information:
George Carter, the oldest of fourteen children born to parents who emigrated from Barbados in 1920, is the second Black lawyer to be appointed a judge in Ontario, and the first Canadian-born Black judge. In 1941, after graduating from Harbord Collegiate in Toronto, Mr. Carter started at the University of Toronto. To fund his studies, he worked three summers travelling across Canada as a night porter on the trains. In 1943, he volunteered for service in the Second World War. After completing advanced training at Ipperwash and being chosen for the School of Instruction, he decided to rejoin civilian life in 1945.  He attended Osgoode Hall Law School with the assistance of the Department of Veterans Affairs. After he was called to the bar, he practised in his beloved Toronto for thirty years. In 1979, Mr. Carter was appointed as a judge of the Provincial Court (Criminal Division). He retired from the bench in 1996.
 
Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme. See also Linda V. Carter, “The Making of a Judge: Judge George E. Carter," for Omni Television, in production.
  
 
Name: BOLAND, Janet Lang
Female
Born 1923 in Kitchener, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1950
Q.C. 1965
Name of Heritage or CommunityWomen
Biographical Information:
Janet Boland’s legal career, like all her life, has been, “a challenging adventure,” in her words. In first year at Osgoode Hall Law School, she was one of only 6 women in a class of 500. Half of the class failed. While raising three sons, she developed a commercial practice and reported for Ontario Weekly Notes before joining White Bristol and then Lang Michener. In 1972, she became Ontario’s second federally-appointed woman judge following Mabel Van Camp in 1971. Her first criminal case “involved 20 pounds of heroin and a life sentence.” In 1976, she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario and subsequently presided over 78 murder trials. In the wake of revisions to family law, Justice Boland introduced the principles of joint custody to Ontario courtrooms in Baker v Baker (1978). In 2000, she married Dr. Taylor Statten. She continues her adventures, especially on the golf course and in Algonquin Park.
 
See transcript of interview of the Honourable Janet Boland by A. Kirk-Montgomery, 2011, forthcoming.
 
 

Name: LAMARSH, Judy (Julia Verlyn)
Female
Born 1924 in Chatham, Ontario
Died 1980

Called to the Bar: 1950
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityWomen
Biographical Information:
Like her father, Judy LaMarsh was a Liberal and a lawyer, but she left her Niagara Falls practice to become an MP in 1960. In 1963, she became the first Ontario woman lawyer (and the second woman ever) to serve in the federal Cabinet. As Minister of Health and Welfare she fought to bring in the Canada Pension Plan and medicare. She also served as Secretary of State during Canada's centennial in 1967. Despite her achievements, she felt isolated and attacked as the only woman in Parliament at the time. She was critical of her opponents and colleagues, including Prime Minister Pearson. She left politics in 1968 to return briefly to her law practice, but was more successful as a CBC journalist and author of a candid political memoir. In her last decade, she served as a royal commissioner and advocated for women's rights, outspoken and outstanding to the end.

 
Source: Arthur Johnson, "Ex Health Minister Brought in Pension Plan, Medicare," Toronto Globe and Mail, 28 Oct. 1980, 4. See also Judy LaMarsh, Memoirs of a Bird in a Gilded Cage (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1969).
 

Name: PERRY, Lloyd William
Male
Born 1919
Died 1997
Called to the Bar: 1950
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityBlack
Biographical Information:
Lloyd Perry was one of the first Black lawyers to become Q.C., in 1962. He also served as the Official Guardian for Ontario, now the Public Guardian and Trustee. In 1995, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario.
 
Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
  
 
 

1951 – 1960

 
Name: DUBIN, Anne Ruth
Female
Born 1926
Died 2007
Called to the Bar: 1951
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityJewish
Biographical Information:
In 1945, Anne Levine married Charles Dubin, the future Chief Justice of Ontario, launching a team soon to be famous in legal and philanthropic circles.  At Osgoode Hall Law School in 1951, she earned the bronze medal for scholarship. A pioneering woman in corporate law, she became managing partner at Kimber and Dubin. Later she became a partner in Tory, Tory, DesLauriers & Binnington. She gave her time and expertise to a variety of legal causes, including law reform, legal aid, and juvenile justice. She also served on the boards of numerous health, cultural, and educational organizations, including the Canadian Red Cross, the Elizabeth Fry Society, and the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry. In 1972, she became the first woman elected to the Toronto General Hospital Board Foundation.
 
Source: "Anne Dubin, York University Honorary Governor." Yfile. York University. 7 Aug. 2007. Web. 20 Sep. 2009.

 
Name: FLORAS, Frederick
Male
Born 1924 in Antartikon, Florina, Greece 
Called to the Bar: 1951
Name of Heritage or Community: Greek
Biographical Information:
Fred Floras may be the first lawyer born in Greece to be called to the bar in Ontario. With his mother and sister, he emigrated from Macedonia at age four to join his father who worked in the Canada Packers slaughterhouse in Toronto. After graduating from Runnymede Collegiate in 1942, Fred enlisted in the RCAF and became a wireless operator and air gunner and was a commissioned officer.  In 1945, Fred attended the University of Toronto and then Osgoode Hall, with assistance provided under the Veterans Rehabilitation Act, though his father had to postpone his retirement for three years to pay for his schooling. In his law practice from 1951 to 1996, Fred provided real estate, corporate and commercial law services, often to the immigrants from Greece who came to Canada in the 1950s and 1960s. Fred has been married to Victoria for 58 years. They have three children, John, a cardiologist, Judith, and Stanley, the latter two practising lawyers in Toronto.

Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers' Association. See also Law Society of Upper Canada Archives, Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association Files, "Notes of Interview with Fred Floras," 14 Aug. 2003.
 
 
Name: VORVIS, William
Male
Born 1927 in Guelph, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1951
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information:
William Vorvis' parents emigrated to Canada from Sparta. He became one of the first Ontario lawyers of Greek descent. Though he was proud of his Greek heritage, he experienced discrimination as a young lawyer and required the help of the head of the Law Society to get his first job with a law firm. Vorvis has practised in Guelph for more than five decades, mostly as a sole practitioner, and was named Q.C. in 1978. He has prosecuted cases of income tax fraud and related statutes. Over the years, at least seven students-at-law of diverse ethnic backgrounds have worked with him. He served as president of the Wellington Law Association. He has also contributed, often in leadership roles, to a wide range of community, political, religious and fraternal organizations. He has been legal counsel to various Hellenic-Canadian organizations, including a number of Greek Orthodox churches in Hamilton, Kitchener and Guelph.
 
Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers' Association.
  
 
Name: ALEXANDER, Lincoln
Male
Born 1922 in Toronto, Ontario
Died 2012
Called to the Bar: 1953
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or Community: Black
Biographical Information:
Lincoln Alexander credited his West Indian mother’s teachings for his belief in the transformative power of education and his determination to break barriers. After serving in the Air Force in the Second World War, he attended McMaster University and Osgoode Hall. He practised in Hamilton until 1979, one of the first Black lawyers and Black QCs (1965) in Ontario. He also became the first Black federal member of Parliament in Canada (1968 to 1985), the first Black federal cabinet minister, and the first Black Lieutenant Governor in Canada, for Ontario, from 1985 to 1991. He then served as Chancellor of the University of Guelph for fifteen years. Among the many awards he received, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. In 2002, the Law Society of Upper Canada struck the Lincoln Alexander Award. The Society bestows it annually to an exceptional lawyer who, like the man it honours, has made outstanding contributions to the profession.
 
Nominated by Patrick Case. See also, Lincoln M. Alexander, Go to School, You're a Little Black Boy: The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, A Memoir (Hamilton: Dundurn Press, 1996).
  
 
Name: PANARITES, Stella Avura
Female
Born 1924 in Cobalt, Ontario
Died 1986 
Called to the Bar: 1953
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information:
Stella Panarites attended Queen's University (BA, 1949). She was the first woman lawyer of Greek heritage to be called to the bar in Ontario. She practised in Orillia, Midland, Gravenhurst, and North Bay.
 
Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association.
 
 
Name: PETRONE, Alfred
Male
Born 1925 in Port Arthur, Ontario
Died 2009
Called to the Bar: 1953
Q.C.

Heritage or Community: Italian
Biographical Information:
Alfred Petrone was an entrepreneur, a proud Italian-Canadian, an athlete, but above all an advocate. In his Port Arthur practice, he was counsel for the defence in thousands of criminal trials; he became known for his brilliant courtroom tactics, his oratory, and his empathy for clients. With a few other lawyers, he fought successfully to end capital punishment in Canada, one of his proudest accomplishment. His clients included many poor people who paid him in fish or moose or not at all (Shufelt), and he was a strong supporter of a provincial legal aid system. By all accounts, Petrone was “larger than life,” and a remarkable lawyer.

 
Nominated by Christopher Watkins. Source: “Alfred Petrone Obituary,” sargentandson.com Web. Dec. 2009. See also, “Alfred Anthony Petrone,” in Jack Batten, Learned Friends: A Tribute to Fifty Remarkable Ontario Advocates, 1950-2000 (Irwin Law, 2005); Tim Shufelt,“Titan for the Bar Dies,” lawtimesnews.com 19 Dec. 2009. 
 
 
Name: ZALEV, Carl
Male
Born 1928 in Thamesville, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1953
Name of Heritage or CommunityJewish
Biographical Information:
Carl Zalev was Windsor’s first Jewish judge, appointed in 1972 to the County Court of the County of Essex. He was the first Canadian judge to preside at the Annual Advocacy Institute of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, hosted by the University of Michigan and the American Bar Association at Ann Arbor, Michigan, in May 1975. In 1990, he was appointed Judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Mr. Zalev is married (Victoria) with two sons, Matthew and Joshua. He has also served as President of the Congregation Shaar Hashomayim of Windsor from 1967 to 1970.

 
Name: OIYE, Kazuo George
Male
Born 1926 in Vancouver, British Columbia
Called to the Bar: 1954
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityJapanese
Biographical Information:
Kazuo Oiye is one of the first Ontario lawyers of Japanese heritage. He was named Q.C. in 1968 and is a Life Member of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
 
Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
 
 

Name: BEAULNE, Jean-Pierre, c.r.
Homme
Né en 1925 à Ottawa en Ontario
Décédé en 2009

Admission au Barreau: 1955
Q.C.
Nom du patrimoine ou de la collectivité: Francophone
Biographical Information:
Le juge Beaulne a fait de nombreuses contributions à sa profession, à sa collectivité d'Ottawa et à la collectivité Francophone de l'Ontario. Il prend part à la Deuxième Guerre mondiale et à la guerre de Corée. En tant que juge, il est à la Cour de justice de l'Ontario pendant plus de 25 ans. Il préside aussi la Commission des plaintes du public contre la GRC (de 1992 à 1997). Par ailleurs, il enseigne la common law à l'Université d'Ottawa et aide à créer le programme de common law en langue française. Il est un des membres fondateurs de l'Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario (AJEFO). Il travaille aussi sans relâche pour que les Francophones de la région d'Ottawa aient le droit d'avoir les services de santé en français. De plus, il s’intéresse beaucoup à des organismes artistiques, y compris Théâtre Canada. Il a reçu plusieurs prix dont l'Ordre du mérite de l'Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario.

 
Source : Maria Cook, « Obituary: Judge was a Strong Defender of Linguistic Rights », Ottawa Citizen, 14 Jan 2009, F6. Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
 
 
Name: BEAULNE, Jean-Pierre
Male
Born 1925 in Ottawa, Ontario
Died 2009
Called to the Bar: 1955
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityFrancophone
Biographical Information:
Justice Beaulne’s contributions to his profession, to his home community of Ottawa, and to the Francophone community of Ontario were extensive and varied. He served in both the Second World War and the Korean War. As a judge, he sat on the bench of the Ontario Court of Justice for more than 25 years. He also chaired the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP (1992-1997). In professional education, he was a teacher of common law at the University of Ottawa, and helped to create its Common Law French program. He was a founding member of the Association of French-Speaking Jurists of Ontario (AJEFO). He also campaigned to extend the rights of Ottawa-area Francophones to receive health services in the French language. In addition, he participated enthusiastically in many arts organizations, including Theatre Canada. Among other awards, he received the Order of Merit from the Association of French Speaking Jurists of Ontario.
 
Source: Maria Cook, "Obituary: Judge was a Strong Defender of Linguistic Rights," Ottawa Citizen, 14 Jan 2009, F6. Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
 

Name: FOURIEZOS, Charles T.
Male
Born 1930 in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1955
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information:
Charles Fouriezos is one of the first lawyers and the first judge of Greek heritage in Ontario. He is a third generation Greek Canadian, his father and grandfather immigrating in 1897 and his mother in 1920. He began his practice in Sudbury in 1960 and worked for many years with the firm Miller-Maki. In 1969, he was appointed a provincial judge. He returned to private practice, mainly in commercial and corporate law, in the firm of Weaver, Simmons. In 1975, he was appointed Q.C. He is the past president of the Sudbury and District Law Association. Fouriezos was a member of the Sudbury Urban Renewal executive and its vice-chairman for many years until completion of the renewal of the downtown of the city of Sudbury, in the 1970s. He is a long-time member and has been an officer of local Greek community organizations.
 
Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association.
 
 
Name: GELLER, John Arthur
Male
Born 1930 in Toronto, Ontario
Died 2015
Called to the Bar: 1955
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityJewish 
Biographical Information:
Jack Geller blazed a trail for Jewish lawyers who followed him into Toronto's legal establishment. In 1959, at Arnoldi, Parry & Campbell, he became the first Jewish lawyer to be invited to partnership in a prominent Bay Street firm. Mr. Geller was lead counsel for Upper Lakes Shipping during the Royal Commission on the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1961. From 1992 to 2001, he served as vice-chair then acting chair of the Ontario Securities Commission. He contributed greatly to the Canadian Jewish community, as president of the National Jewish Immigrant Aid Society (1969-1971) and the Canadian Council for Reform Judaism (1984). He helped to change the exclusive National Club in Toronto by becoming its first Jewish member and by making the motion to admit women members for the first time. Among other honours, he was named honorary life president of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto. Jack Geller suffered a stroke in 2002 that afflicted his ability to read and speak. In 2008, he and his wife, Sybil, were awarded the Ambassador Award by the Aphasia Institute, for their work in raising awareness of the communication disorder.
 
Forthcoming: transcript of interview with Jack and Sybil Geller, by A. Kirk-Montgomery, 2010.
 
 
Name: KOVACS, Francis
Male Born 1930
Died 1999
Called to the Bar: 1955
Name of Heritage or CommunityHungarian
Biographical Information:
Francis Kovacs was appointed as judge in Welland County, Ontario Court (General Division), now the Superior Court of Justice, in 1971. In 1993, he presided at the controversial trial and conviction following a guilty plea of Karla Homolka on two counts of manslaughter, 1993.
 
Nominated by Frank Felkai of the Hungarian Helicon Society. 
 
 
Name: COROS, George William
Male
Born 1930 in Toronto, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1956
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information:
One of the first lawyers of Greek heritage, Mr. Coros practised in Peterborough. Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association.
 
 
Name: EBERS, Cornell George
Male
Born 1917 in Budapest, Hungary
Died 1994 
Called to the Bar: 1956
Q.C. 1970
Name of Heritage or CommunityHungarian
Biographical Information:
Cornell Ebers earned a doctor of laws degree at the University of Budapest in 1943 but like many immigrants, had to start his studies over again in Canada. In harrowing journeys, separately, Ebers and his wife and child fled Russian-dominated Hungary in 1949. After a year in Italy, the family emigrated to Canada.  Ebers worked as a cutlery salesman and as a hospital orderly at night to support his growing family, while attending classes in the daytime at Osgoode Hall. He articled with J. E. Hare in Delhi, Ontario, where many Hungarian immigrants settled.
 
Nominated by and with information from Gabor Takach. See also, “Drugs Her Baby, Flees as Russian Soldier,” unattributed newspaper clipping, [20 Sep 1956?], in "Ebers, Cornell George," Law Society of Upper Canada Past Member Database, Law Society of Upper Canada Archives, 2009.
  
 
Name: MANJURIS, George
Male
Born 1928
Died 2000
Called to the Bar: 1956
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information:
George Manjuris was one of the first lawyers of Greek heritage in Ontario. Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association.

  
Name: TOTH, Bernard
Male
Born 1930 in Port Colborne, Ontario
Died 2010
Called to the Bar: 1956
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityHungarian
Biographical Information:
Bernard Toth was a second-generation Canadian but one of the first lawyers in Ontario from the Hungarian community. He served as a Deputy Judge of the Small Claims Court at the City of Woodstock, Oxford County, for over 20 years. He was also active in assisting Hungarian Canadians in the tobacco-growing region (Tillsonburg, Delhi, Simcoe, Aylmer). In 2006, Mr. Toth was granted a life membership in the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Nominated by Frank Felkai of the Hungarian Helicon Society.
 
 

Name: LOUKIDELIS, Spyros Demosthenes
Male
B
orn 1930 in North Bay, Ontario
Died 2001

Called to the Bar: 1957
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information: 
Spyros Loukidelis was a first-generation Greek Canadian. His mother was highly educated and his father ran a restaurant in North Bay; both encouraged their sons' education. Loukidelis attended University of Toronto Law School (LLB. 1955) and returned to North Bay to practise, as did his brother Ernest. In 1973, Loukidelis was appointed to the District Court of Ontario in Sudbury and by 1990 he was the Regional Senior Justice, Northeast Region, Ontario Court (General Division). Loukidelis was president of the Ontario County and District Court Judges Association in 1983. Throughout his life he served the Greek Orthodox Church, which in 1984 named him an Archon, a high lay honour. He was also a lifelong scholar of theology and classical studies. In 1992, he was appointed Chancellor of Sudbury's Thorneloe University, part of Laurentian University. Spyros retired from the bench in 1995.

 
Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association. See also Jim Vavitsas, "The Loukidelis Brothers: Northern Greek Lights," The Legalese. Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association. March 2004. Web. October 2009.
  
 
Name: ALLAN, Arthur Steven
Male
Born 1925 in Greece
Died 2009
Called to the Bar: 1958
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information:
Steve Allan arrived in Canada with his family from Greece in 1940 and settled in Toronto. He attended Trinity College at the University of Toronto and then Osgoode Hall. After his call to the bar in 1958, he practised civil law for the Crown for about fourteen years. In 1975, he switched to criminal work, often being assigned to prosecute policemen. He told an interviewer that, "he faced the best criminal lawyers in town...and got hammered on a regular basis." Mr. Allan remained with the Crown Attorney’s office until he retired in the late 1990s.
 
Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association. See also Law Society of Upper Canada Archives, Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association Files, "Notes of Interview with Steve Allan," 14 Nov. 2003.
  
 
Name: BRAITHWAITE, Leonard A.
Male
Born 1923 in Toronto, Ontario
Died 2012 
Called to the Bar: 1958
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityBlack
Biographical Information:
Born in Toronto of West Indian immigrant parents, Leonard Braithwaite was raised in the Kensington Market area during the Great Depression. He served in the RCAF in 1943 overseas. He graduated from the University of Toronto (1950), Harvard University (MBA, 1952), and Osgoode Hall Law School (LLB 1958). In 1963, he became the first Black person elected to a legislature in Canada, and in 1999, the first Black lawyer elected to the governing council of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Braithwaite’s life-long actions in many fields have helped effect change and opened doors for aspiring minority Canadians. In 1964, his work led to the abolition of the 114-year-old law permitting segregation in Ontario schools. In 1971, partly because of his efforts on behalf of gender equality, girls were first chosen as pages in Queen’s Park. Braithwaite was awarded the Order of Canada in 1997 and the Order of Ontario in 2005.
 
See Ron Csillag, “Leonard Braithwaite, Canada’s first black parliamentarian, dead at 88,” theglobeandmail.com 20 April 2012. Web; “Stanley C. Lartey, "My Visit with Leonard A. Braithwaite, C.M., O.Ont., Q.C.," Ontario Black History Society. Web. Dec. 2009; Dawn Williams, Who's Who in Black Canada 2: Black Success and Black Excellence in Canada, A Contemporary Directory (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006), 75; Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
  
 

Name: MEYER, Willem John Bernard
Male
B
orn 1931 in Holland
Died 2010

Called to the Bar: 1958 
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityDutch
Biographical Information: 
According to Willem Meyer, his law career was more a tale of survival than importance. In 1950, he arrived in Canada from Holland with only a guitar and fifty dollars. He managed to enter Osgoode Law School aided by Dean Smalley Baker. His first articles were with Kimber and Dubin, who taught him the language and the craft of lawyering. In his practice, he served Dutch clients but soon learned Italian to serve the immigrants arriving in Toronto. He was able to attract good partners which broadened the practice considerably. The firm, long after his retirement, still uses his name, which pleased him. A few months before his death, he wrote, “I loved the law but was often struck by the profession’s clannishness. My real aim in life was to be independent and never to have a person with authority above me. This plan I was lucky to achieve.”

 
Nominated by Marten A. Mol, Canadian Netherlands Business and Professional Association. See transcript of interview of Lucy Meyer by A. Kirk-Montgomery, 2010, forthcoming.
 
 
Name: POOLMAN, Willem George
Male
Born 1923 in Malang, Indonesia
Died 2009 
Called to the Bar: 1958
Name of Heritage or CommunityDutch
Biographical Information:
Willem Poolman was one of the first Ontario lawyers of Dutch heritage. He studied law in the Netherlands at Leiden University, emigrating to Canada in the 1950s. He graduated from Trinity College at the University of Toronto and studied law at Osgoode Hall. In Toronto, he practised commercial, property and tax law. In addition to his legal career, Poolman devoted his energies to the Canadian film industry. He founded the first independent Canadian film distribution company in 1964, and introduced European and Quebecois directors to Ontario audiences. Mr. Poolman was made a life member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, and practised until his death in 2009.
 
Nominated by Andrew Frei. Source: Obituary. Toronto Globe & Mail , 11 June 2009. Web. July 2009.
  
 
Name: SPEAL, George Nicholas
Male
Born 1932 in Kingston, Ontario 
Died 2008
Called to the Bar: 1958
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information:
George Speal's parents were born in Greece and emigrated to Canada before the First World War. Speal became a lawyer and was named Q.C. in 1974.  Entering politics, he immersed himself in the concerns of his native city, joining many organizations and supporting local causes. He served as the mayor of Kingston when the Queen visited the city (1973) and when it hosted the Olympic sailing events (1976).  In 1997 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Bar Association. He wrote his memoir for the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2002.
 
Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Law Association. Source: Law Society of Upper Canada Archives, Hellenic Canadian Law Association Files, "George Nicholas Speal, Q.C." See also Law Society of Upper Canada Archives, Heritage Committee Sole and Small Practitioners Memoir Project Files, George Speal Memoir (2002).
 
 
Name: WANG, Kechin
Male
Born 1919
Died 2000
Called to the Bar: 1958
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityChinese
Biographical Information:
Kechin Wang was one of the first Chinese Canadian lawyers, and an early Q.C. (1967) from that community. In 1971, he was appointed a provincial court judge in the family division, at Toronto.
 
Nominated by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers.
 
 
Name: KOKONIS, James D.
Male
Born 1932 in Toronto, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1959
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information:
James Kokonis is one of the first lawyers of Greek heritage to specialize in intellectual property litigation. He practises in Toronto with Smart & Biggar and takes cases at all levels of courts. He has written and lectured on the subject of intellectual property, and is recognized internationally as a top patent lawyer. He was appointed Q.C. in 1974. Mr. Kokonis is a member of the Advocates' Society.
 
Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association.
 

Name: LOUKIDELIS, Ernest
Male
Born 1934 in North Bay, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1959
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information:
Ernest Loukidelis attended the University of Toronto (BA, 1954). After his call to the bar, he practised law in his home town of North Bay. Ernest served as president of the local Children's Aid Society, was on the Board of Governors of Nipissing University, and was elected as a city councillor. In 1980 he was appointed to the Ontario District Court, now known as the Ontario Court of Justice, in Parry Sound. After nearly thirty years on the bench, he retired in 2009 and moved back to North Bay. Ernest Loukidelis is one of the first lawyers of Greek heritage in Ontario, following his brother Spyros, who had also been appointed a judge.
 
Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association. See also Jim Vavitsas, "The Loukidelis Brothers: Northern Greek Lights," The Legalese. Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association. March 2004. Web. October 2009.
 

Name: MCCORMACK, Charles Stewart
Male
Born 1929
Died 1992
Called to the Bar: 1959
Q.C. 1982
Name of Heritage or Community: Persons with Disabilities
Biographical Information:
Charlie McCormack lost his sight after he was hit by a baseball at nine years old. He attended the Ontario School for the Blind in Brantford, then graduated from McMaster University. One of the few blind lawyers in Ontario, he was called to the bar in 1957. "Loss of sight is an inconvenience, but it is not a handicap," he told an interviewer in that year.
 
Source: Charlie McCormack as told to John Schneller, "It Helps to Have Humour," Obiter Dicta, Spring 1957, 13-15.
 
 
Name: WILSON, Bertha
Female
Born 1923 in Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Died 2007
Called to the Bar: 1959
Name of Heritage or CommunityWomen
Biographical Information:
Bertha Wilson, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, trained as a teacher before she emigrated to Canada in 1949. She earned her LLB. at Dalhousie University and was called to the bar of Nova Scotia in 1957. From 1959 to 1975, she practised law and became a partner with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt in Toronto. In 1975, she was the first woman appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario. She became the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, taking her seat in 1982, just before the Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into force. According to her biographer, Ellen Anderson, through her pioneering jurisprudence, her post-retirement study of gender equality in the legal profession (1993), and her leading role in the Royal Commission for Aboriginal Peoples (1991-1996), Bertha Wilson “helped to create a shifting Canadian consensus about justice, about fairness, and about reciprocal rights and responsibilities.” (xvii)
 
Source: Ellen Anderson, Judging Bertha Wilson: Law as Large as Life (The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History by University of Toronto Press, 2001).
 
 

Name: WYCHOWANEC, Stephanie Jessie
Female
Born 1933 in Montreal, Quebec
Called to the Bar: 1959
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityUkrainian 
Biographical Information: 
Stephanie Wychowanec is one of the first women lawyers of Ukrainian heritage in Ontario. She is also one of the first women to reach the highest levels of the Ontario civil service. After a short period in private practice, she joined the Treasurer of Ontario in 1961 and then moved to the Ontario Energy Board. In 1971, she was appointed Queen's Counsel. She served as deputy minister of the Ontario Justice Secretariat from 1984 through 1987, only the third woman in the province’s history to attain this rank. Ms. Wychowanec was the chair of the Ontario Energy Board from 1988 to 1991. She told reporter Christine Ward, “I helped prove that women can succeed in law as well as men.”
 

See also Christine Ward, "The Changing Tide," Continuum 33 (2009), 16. Osgoode Alumni. Web. October 2009.
  
 
Name: ISAAC, Julius A.
Male
Born 1928 in St. David’s, Grenada, West Indies
Died 2011 in Regina, SK
Called to the Bar: 1960
Name of Heritage or CommunityBlack
Biographical Information:
An immigrant in 1955, Julius Isaac became the first Black Chief Justice of any court in Canada and a leader of the West Indian communities of Ontario. He studied law at the University of Toronto. Despite his brilliance, his early career was difficult “because of the colour situation” according to his wife, Ann (Toronto Star). However, following a decade of private practice in criminal and civil litigation, and eighteen years with the federal Department of Justice, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario in 1989. In 1991 he received his groundbreaking appointment as Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada, serving until 1999. Isaac kept strong ties to the Caribbean, serving as a senior magistrate in Grenada (1976) and chair of an inquiry into politically linked violence in Jamaica (2002). Mr. Isaac was honoured widely for his achievements, for his mentorship of young lawyers, and for his contributions to his community. He received the Canadian Black Achievement Award in Law in 1994 and was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006.
 
See Dawn Williams, Who's Who in Black Canada 2: Black Success and Black Excellence in Canada, A Contemporary Directory (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006), 182-3. Brian Seaman, "The Honourable Justice Julius Isaac: A Model of Productive Retirement," LawNow, March-April,
2007; Galit Rodan, “Canada’s First Black Chief Justice Dies,” Toronto Star, 20 July 2011.
  
 
Name: FRIEDLAND, Martin L.
Male
Born 1932 in Toronto, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1960
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityJewish
Biographical Information:
Martin Friedland's "outstanding contributions to the Canadian legal system and to the administration of justice" were recognized by the Governor General when he was invested as Companion of the Order of Canada in 2003. He has served on the Law Reform Commission of Canada (1971-2). A distinguished educator, he has taught at Osgoode Hall Law School and later at the University of Toronto, where he was dean of the law school (1972-9). His scholarly writings on judicial accountability and his eighteen books, numerous articles and reports on a wide range of topics have been influential in Canada and abroad. He has also invigorated the study of the history of crime and criminal justice through prize-winning books for academic and general audiences. In The Trials of Israel Lipski (1984) and The Case of Valentine Shortis (1986) Friedland shows that politics, culture and personality, not just the law, shaped the outcomes in two fascinating nineteenth century murder trials.
 
See also Martin L. Friedland, My Life in Crime and Other Academic Adventures (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007); Order of Canada Citation, "Martin L. Friedland, C.C., Q.C., Ph.D., LL.D., F.R.S.C.," Governor General of Canada, Governor General of Canada. Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
  
 
Name: PAUL, Nicholas P.
Male
Born 1935 in Toronto, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1960
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information:
Nick Paul attended University College and Osgoode Hall before being called to the bar. He began in litigation with a client base of Greek immigrants but gradually shifted to a wider commercial practice. In his later career, he acted as counsel in numerous mediations and arbitrations under the alternative dispute resolution programme, with experience in ecclesiastical cases. For many years until 2004, he served on the Osgoode Hall Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is proud of his sponsorship of the 1991 retroactive awarding of the LLB (law degree) to all lawyers who graduated from Osgoode Hall before it became a university.
 
Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association. Forthcoming, transcript of interview with Nicholas Paul, by A. Kirk-Montgomery, 2010.
 
 
Name: SHAMESS, Alfred Ely
male
Born 1932 in Blind River, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1960
Name of Heritage or CommunityLebanese; Antiochian Orthodox Christian
Biographical Information:
After graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1960 and a brief period in practice in Sudbury with the law firm of Hawkins & Gratton, Alfred Shamess joined the legal department at Chrysler Canada Ltd. in Windsor, Ontario. He was Chrysler Canada’s legal representative on various external organizations, including the Canada Manufacturers’ Association, the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (Canada) and the Windsor/Essex County Development Commission, on which he served as chairman for two years in the mid-1980s. In 1989, he transferred to the parent corporation, Chrysler Corporation in Highland Park, Michigan, as an international counsel on the staff of the General Counsel. In 1995, he was appointed acting director of insurance and risk management. When he retired in 1999, Mr. Shamess had served thirty-seven years with Chrysler in Canada and the United States.
 
Nominated by Bruce A. Thomas.
  
 
Name: SOPINKA, John
Male
Born 1933 in Broderick, Saskatchewan
Died 1997
Called to the Bar: 1960
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityUkrainian
Biographical Information:
John Sopinka’s mother, who emigrated with his father in the 1920s, never learned to read or write but Sopinka was the first person of Ukrainian heritage to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, in 1988. Before his appointment, Sopinka was a renowned trial lawyer and wrote an authoritative text on the law of evidence. He served many high-profile clients including the Aga Khan, and he was an elected bencher of the Law Society from 1983 to 1988. His interest in Ukrainian issues also shaped his career. He was the advocate for the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association as it participated in the Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals in 1985. In 1988, he was lead counsel at an International Commission on the Ukrainian Famine. Sopinka was also the first Supreme Court justice in decades to be appointed without having been a judge in a lower court.
 
Source: Christopher Guly, "Supreme Court Justice John Sopinka dies at 64," Ukrainian Weekly, v. 65, 48 (November 30, 1997). Web. Nov. 2009; "Sopinka, John," Law Society of Upper Canada Past Member Database, Law Society of Upper Canada Archives, 2009. Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
  
 
Name: STORTINI, Ray
Male
Born 1929 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1960
Name of Heritage or CommunityItalian
Biographical Information:
Ray Stortini’s parents emigrated from Italy to Sault Ste. Marie. After working as a Great Lakes seaman, a steel plant labourer, and an insurance adjuster, Ray decided on a career in law. Following a decade in general practice, he became one of the first judges of Italian origin in Ontario when he was appointed as a judge of York County at Toronto in 1971. In Toronto, he established Canada’s first community service order program. He returned north as a judge of the Algoma District Court in 1976, then in 1990 the Superior Court of Justice. He studied French in order to preside over trials in both official languages. Since his retirement from the bench in 2004, he has continued to be a leader in a wide variety of community organizations, most recently through his successful campaign to build a lighthouse on St. Joseph Island in the St. Mary's River near Sault Ste. Marie. In 2011, Ray Stortini was appointed to the Order of Ontario for initiating the community service program for non-violent offenders.
 
See Dan Bellerose, “Two from Sault receive Order of Ontario,” saultstar.com, 2 Feb. 2012, Web; Ray Stortini, Only in Canada: Memories of an Italian Canadian (2006). See transcript of interview with the Honourable Ray Stortini by A. Kirk-Montgomery, 2011, forthcoming.
 
 
Name: THOMAS, Bruce A.
Male
Born 1933 in Toronto, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1960
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityLebanese
Biographical Information:
Bruce Thomas is one of the first Ontario lawyers of Lebanese heritage to be named Q.C. (1978). Thomas' grandparents were born in Syria during the Ottoman empire, emigrated to Northern Ontario in the 1890s, and prospered in the retail trades. He was raised in Midland and is a graduate of Upper Canada College, the University of Western Ontario, and Osgoode Hall Law School. Thomas is a leading lawyer in Canadian insurance law and litigation. Having retired as partner from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, he is a founding partner of Thomas Gold Pettingill LLP. He is married to Gayle Eva Lepine, with whom he has four children: Andrea Thomas-Hill, James Thomas, Liane Thomas-Hicks, and Bruce Edward Alexander Thomas.
 
Nominated by the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association.
 
 
 

1961 – 1970

 
Name: ALI, Syed Mumtaz
Male
Born 1926 in India
Died 2009 
Called to the Bar: 1962
Name of Heritage or CommunityMuslim; South Asian
Biographical Information:
Syed Ali was the first male South Asian lawyer called to the bar in Ontario, in 1962, and a leading proponent of Shariah law, based on the Qur’an. He studied theology, arts and Muslim law at several universities in India, Pakistan, and England. He also practised law for five years in Pakistan before emigrating to Canada in 1960. After graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School, he took his legal oath over the Qur'an, the first time the Qur'an was used during the ceremony. He worked for the government of Ontario as legal counsel in corporate law. In 2003, after his retirement, he founded the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice as an arbitration body to settle civil disputes under Shariah law, as permitted under the 1991 Ontario Arbitration Act. Since 2006 such faith-based arbitrations are no longer permitted within the Act.
 
Nominated by the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association, and the South Asian Lawyers Association. Source: "Syed Mumtaz Ali, 1st Muslim lawyer in Canada, dies at 82," CBC.ca. 17 July 2009. Web. 19 July 2009.
  
 
Name: SCOTT, Ian
Male
Born 1934 in Ottawa, Ontario
Died 2006
Called to the Bar: 1959
Q.C. 1973
Name of Heritage or CommunityLesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered or Two-Spirited
Biographical Information:
Ian Scott set out “to make a difference,” in the words of the title of his memoir, and as the leading cabinet member in David Peterson’s Liberal government and especially as the Attorney General of Ontario from 1985 to 1990, he did. An innovative courtroom lawyer who took some of the first Charter cases to the Supreme Court, he brought his advocate's skills and sensibilities to politics. He introduced many reforms including pay equity, no-fault insurance, freedom-of- information legislation. His reforms of the justice system included restructuring of the courts, abolishing Queen’s Counsel appointments and introducing an independent advisory committee to make judicial appointments more merit-based; the latter measure resulted in a bench that became more representative of Ontario’s diversity. He was also one of the first politicians to identify himself as gay, though he waited until his political career ended. He left politics in 1992 and returned to practice until a stroke two years later stopped a brilliant political and legal career.
 
Sources: Christopher Moore, "Ian Scott was Advocate and Politician," Law Times, 16 Oct. 2006; Denise Balkisoon, "Out Law: Gay Lawyers Don't Hide in Closets Anymore," Canadian Lawyer, Spring 2008. See also Ian Scott with Neil McCormick, To Make a Difference: A Memoir (Toronto: Stoddart, 2001). 
 
 
Name: TOKIWA, Paul Yoshiharu
Male
Born 1927 in Ocean Falls, British Columbia
Died 1994 
Called to the Bar: 1962
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityJapanese
Biographical Information:
After enduring the injustices meted out to Japanese-Canadians in British Columbia during the Second World War, Paul Tokiwa and his family moved to Toronto. He became one of the first lawyers of Japanese heritage in Ontario, a partner until 1983 with Millar, Alexander, Tokiwa, and Isaacs. Its principals, uniquely for the period, belonged to several diverse communities, respectively Irish, Black, Irish, Japanese, and Aboriginal; the firm was known as Hamilton's "United Nations" law firm. Philip Sworden considers that this relatively small law office "was a leader in addressing the issue of race and the practice of law...[and] an inspiration to other visible minority lawyers."
 
Source: P. Sworden, "'A Small United Nations': The Hamilton Firm of Millar, Alexander, Tokiwa, and Isaacs, 1962-1993," in C. Wilton, ed. Inside the Law: Canadian Law Firms in Historical Perspective (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996), 469-97.
  
 
Name: IANNI, Ronald William
Male
Born 1935 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Died 1997 
Called to the Bar: 1963
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityItalian
Biographical Information:
A distinguished Italian-Canadian academic, Ronald Ianni studied at the University of Windsor, and became dean of the Faculty of Law and later president of his alma mater. He contributed to many Windsor and international organizations, serving as president of the local United Way, legal representative on the Canadian delegation to the United Nations, and vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
 
Source: Patrick Lesage, "The Legacy of Ron Ianni," Italian Canadiana 15 (2001), 30-37. utoronto.ca/iacobucci. The Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies, Department of Italian Studies, University of Toronto. Web. Feb. 2010.
 
 
Name: ROACH, Charles
Male
Born 1933 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Died 2012 
Called to the Bar: 1963
Name of Heritage or CommunityBlack African
Biographical Information:
Charles Roach emigrated to Canada in 1955 intending to become a priest but instead became one of the first African-Canadian lawyers in Ontario. A prominent civil rights lawyer with a primarily Black clientele, he has represented political asylum seekers (members of the Black Panthers in the 1960s) and domestic workers under threat of deportation (Jamaican nannies in the 1970s). One of his long-term causes is to increase the Black participation in the political process, particularly in voting. Another is to make Canada a republic. He is a also a vigorous proponent of African- Canadian heritage and culture and is a founder of Caribana, the annual celebration of Caribbean culture held in Toronto.
 
See also Christian Cotroneo, "In Pursuit of 'Greatness'; Four Local Black Mentors Recognized for their Years of Grassroots Effort in the Community," Toronto Star, 19 Dec. 2005, B02.
Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
 
 
Name: STAYSHYN, Walter
Male
Born 1934 in Hamilton, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1963
Name of Heritage or CommunityUkrainian; Roman Catholic
Biographical Information:
Walter Stayshyn earned his BA (1958) and a “letter” for football and basketball at McMaster University. After graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School (LLB., 1961), he returned to Hamilton to article with John Agro, an early outstanding trial lawyer of Italian heritage. Stayshyn became a founding partner of Borkovich and Stayshyn. In 1975, he was one of the first Ukrainian-Canadian lawyers to be appointed to the bench, following Walter Tuchtie, a parental friend for whom he was named. As a Superior Court justice in a challenging period, Stayshyn served almost 35 years, including a decade as a supernumerary judge. For decades he also contributed his energies to volunteer work with local health and service agencies, including as chairman of the Hamilton-Wentworth Legal Aid Area Committee, the District Health Council, the Hamilton Hospitals’ Joint Action Committee, St. Joseph’s Foundation, and as honorary chairman of the Hamilton Multiple Sclerosis Carnation Campaign.
 
See also Barbara Brown, "Stayshyn Has Seen Good, Bad, and Ugly," Hamilton Spectator, 13 Nov. 1999; Barbara Brown, "Bittersweet Departure for Judge," Hamilton Spectator, 14 Nov. 2009.
  
 
Name: SALHANY, Roger
Male
Born 1937 in Cornwall, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1964
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityArab
Biographical Information:
In 1975, Roger Salhany was the first lawyer of Arab Canadian heritage to be elected as a bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He was a lecturer at the University of Windsor Law School from 1977-79, the Bar Admission Course from 1968-78, the Federation of Law Societies from 1972-79 and the Canadian Judicial Council Seminars from 1979-1993. He was appointed at Queen's Counsel in 1976. In 1978, he was appointed a judge of the Ontario County Court, later Ontario Court (General Division) and served as a justice of the Ontario Superior Court from 1991 to 1999. He is the author of eight works on criminal procedure, criminal evidence and civil practice. In 2008, he was appointed commissioner by the province of Manitoba of the Taman Inquiry into the investigation and prosecution following the death of a Manitoba woman. The fourteen recommendations in his report, which included the creation of an independent special investigative unit, were accepted by the Manitoba government and have been praised by other provinces.
 
Nominated by the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association. See also George Wright, "Introduction of The Honourable Roger Salhany, Q.C., CACOLE Conference Keynote Luncheon Speaker, Ottawa, On. June 9, 2009," cacole.ca. Canadian Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement Web. Oct. 2009.
  
 
Name: VERBEEK, Leonard
Male
Born 1915
Died 2000
Called to the Bar: 1964
Name of Heritage or CommunityDutch
Biographical Information:
Leonard Verbeek was one of the first Ontario lawyers of Dutch background.
 
Nominated by Marten A. Mol, Canadian Netherlands Business and Professional Association.
 
 
Name: DE SOMMER, Joseph A.
Male
Born 1928
Called to the Bar: 1965
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityHungarian
Biographical Information:
Longtime counsel to the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, the agency responsible for protecting the rights and interests of mentally incapable Ontarians and for monitoring charities, among other roles, Joseph DeSommer is a past president of the Hungarian Helicon Society.
 
Nominated by Frank Felkai of the Hungarian Helicon Society.
 
 
Name: PITT, Romain W.M.
Male
Born 1935 in Grenada
Died 2020
Called to the Bar: 1965
Name of Heritage or CommunityBlack
Biographical Information:
The nephew of B.J. Pitt, one of the first Black lawyers in Ontario, Romain Pitt was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in 1994.
 
 
Name: COUTO, Ayres Victor
Male
Born 1930 in India
Called to the Bar: 1966
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian
Biographical Information:
Justice Couto was the first lawyer of South Asian heritage to be appointed as a provincial judge in Ontario, in 1984, and also was the first lawyer of South Asian heritage to be appointed as Queen's Counsel, in 1978.
 
Source: Sutapa Bridgman,"Firsts and Notable Accomplishments by South Asian Men and Women of the Bar," South Asian Lawyers Association, 2002. 
 
 
Name: ISAACS, Peter
Male
Born 1938 in Oshweken, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1966
Name of Heritage or CommunityAboriginal
Biographical Information:
Peter Isaacs is a Mohawk and one of the first Aboriginal lawyers in Ontario. In the 1960s, he was a partner in the leading Hamilton firm of Millar, Alexander, Tokiwa and Isaacs, a multi-ethnic firm whose successful real estate practice depended in part on its ability to attract clients of diverse communities. In 1995, he became one of the first judges of Aboriginal heritage, appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in Stratford.
 
Source: Philip Sworden, "'A Small United Nations': The Hamilton Firm of Millar, Alexander, Tokiwa, and Isaacs, 1962-1993," in C. Wilton, ed. Inside the Law: Canadian Law Firms in Historical Perspective (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996), 469-97.
 
 
Name: STAATS, Howard Edwin
Male
Born 1940 in Six Nations Territory
Called to the Bar: 1966
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityAboriginal
Biographical Information:
One of the first Aboriginal lawyers in Ontario, Howard Staats practises in Brantford. Born and raised on the Six Nations Reserve, his determination to achieve without boundaries has enabled him to set an example to all, especially to Native youth, that all dreams are attainable. Many years of professionalism, compassion, confidence and proven results have made him a pillar of the Brant County legal community. Mr. Staats was named Q.C. in 1979. His achievements have inspired his own family as well; his son Mark Staats is currently practising with the firm, and a granddaughter is presently on her path to becoming a lawyer.
  
 
Name: YACHETTI, Roger Dennis
Male
Born 1940 in Hamilton, Ontario
Died 2018
Called to the Bar: 1966
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityItalian
Biographical Information:
Roger Yachetti's parents were determined that their son would be a lawyer after they sued a meat packer and a butcher, who sold them tainted meat, and could not afford to appeal their loss at trial (Yachetti v. John Duff & Sons and Paolini [1942], O.R. 682). He did indeed become a distinguished Hamilton litigation lawyer and leader of the local bar and community. He was the first president of the Law Clerks’ Association, having served as law clerk to the Chief Justice of the High Court of Ontario. In practice in Hamilton, he was the founding president of the Hamilton Criminal Lawyers’ Association. He also served sixteen years as a bencher of the Law Society and is now an ex-officio bencher for life. In addition to many awards for his contributions to his city, in 2004 he received the Emilius Irving Award from the Hamilton Law Association for service to his legal community.
 
 
Name: VASILAROS, Leslie
Male
Born 1932 in Samos, Greece
Called to the Bar: 1967
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information:
Les Vasilaros was born in Samos, Greece on June 3, 1932. He lived in many places in Greece during World War II and the Greek civil war before coming to Canada, through Pier 21 in Halifax in November, 1951. Les settled in Kingston, Ontario where he began learning the English language. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1960 from McMaster University and thereafter graduated from the University of Toronto law school. He was called to the bar in 1967 and was therefore one of the first Greek-born persons to join Ontario’s legal profession. Les’ law practice serviced the needs of Greek-Canadians in real estate, commercial and estate planning law. He thoroughly enjoyed his role in advising and helping members of the Greek community to establish and build their lives in Canada. He acted as counsel for the Greek Orthodox Church of Toronto (Canada) and was a founding member of the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association.
 
Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers' Association.
 
 
Nom : BEAULIEU, Lucien
Homme
Né en 1933 à Mutrie en Saskatchewan
Admission au Barreau: 1968
Nom du patrimoine ou de la collectivité: Francophone
Biographie :
Lucien Beaulieu est d'abord travailleur social avant de devenir un des premiers juges Francophones en Ontario. Au début de sa carrière, il est aussi procureur adjoint de la Couronne à Toronto. En 1971, il devient directeur provincial des appels pour le Régime d'aide juridique de l'Ontario. Il est nommé à la Cour provinciale de l'Ontario (division de la famille) en 1973, et en 1993 devient membre de ce qui est maintenant la Cour supérieure de justice. Le juge Beaulieu est aussi juge adjoint de la Cour territoriale du Yukon à partir de 1989 et de la Cour suprême du Territoire du Yukon à partir de 1994. Parmi les nombreux organismes juridiques auxquels il a participé, soulignons l'Association internationale des magistrats de la jeunesse et de la famille de 2000 à 2004. Depuis sa retraite en 2008, il est conférencier de l'Institut national de la magistrature sur les questions de retraite et de déontologie judiciaire.
 
Nomination faite par l'Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario.
 
 
Name: BEAULIEU, Lucien
Male
Born 1933 in Mutrie, Saskatchewan
Called to the Bar: 1968
Name of Heritage or CommunityFrancophone
Biographical Information:
Lucien Beaulieu began as a social worker but became one of the first Francophone judges in Ontario. In his early legal career, he was an assistant Crown Attorney in Toronto. In 1971, he became the Provincial Director of Appeals for the Ontario Legal Aid Plan. He was appointed to the Ontario Provincial Court (Family Division) in 1973, and in 1993 to what is now the Superior Court of Justice. Justice Beaulieu also served as deputy judge of the Territorial Court of the Yukon from 1989 and of the Supreme Court of the Yukon Territory from 1994, and the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories. He presided over special bilingual and French trials in all jurisdictions. Among many legal organizations to which he has contributed is the International Association of Youth and Family Court Judges and Magistrates (president, 2000 to 2004). Retired in 2008, he is now a guest lecturer with the National Judicial Institute on the subject of retirement and judicial ethics.
 
Nominated by the Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario.
 
 
Name: KHOORSHED, Minoo F.
Male
Born 1938 in India
Called to the Bar: 1968
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian
Biographical Information:
Minoo Khoorshed was a lawyer in Bombay before he emigrated to Canada in 1963. In Ontario, he practised in Timmins and London. In 1971, he joined the public sector, prosecuting cases of environmental pollution for the Ministry of the Environment. In 1992, he was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice and became one of the first judges of South Asian heritage. Justice Khoorshed, who sits in Brampton, speaks several South Asian languages.
 
Source: Sutapa Bridgman,"Firsts and Notable Accomplishments by South Asian Men and Women of the Bar," South Asian Lawyers Association, 2002.  
 
 

Nom: LE DAIN, Gerald Eric
Homme
Né en 1924 à Montréal au Québec
Décédé en 2007

Admission au Barreau: 1968
Nom du patrimoine ou de la collectivité: Francophone
Biographie:
Me Gérald Éric Le Dain est le premier Francophone de l'Ontario nommé à la Cour suprême du Canada. Après avoir servi outre-mer pendant la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, il obtient des diplômes de l'Université McGill et de l'Université de Lyon en France. Il est admis au Barreau du Québec en 1949; pendant les années 1950 et 1960, il enseigne à l'Université McGill et pratique le droit à Montréal. De 1967 à 1972, il est doyen de l'école de droit d’Osgoode Hall. De 1969 à 1973, il préside ce qu'on a appelé la Commission Le Dain sur l’usage des drogues à des fins non médicales. Il a recommandé la décriminalisation de l'utilisation de la marijuana. Le juge Le Dain siège d'abord en 1975 à la Cour d'appel fédérale et à la Cour d'appel de la cour martiale. Il est nommé à la Cour suprême du Canada en 1984 où il sert jusqu'en novembre 1988. En 1989, il est nommé Compagnon de l'Ordre du Canada.

 
Source : « L’honorable Gerald Eric Le Dain », scc-csc.gc.ca, Cour suprême du Canada. Web. Oct. 2009.
 
 
Name: LE DAIN, Gerald Eric
Male
Born 1924 in Montreal, Quebec
Died 2007 
Called to the Bar: 1968
Name of Heritage or CommunityFrancophone
Biographical Information:
Gerald Eric Le Dain was the first Francophone from Ontario appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. After serving overseas in the Second World War, he earned degrees at McGill University and at the University of Lyon in France. He was called to the bar in Quebec in 1949; during the 1950s and 1960s, he taught at McGill University and practised law in Montreal. From 1967 to 1972, he was dean of Osgoode Hall Law School. From 1969 to 1973 he chaired what became known as the Le Dain Commission into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs. His report recommended the decriminalization of marijuana use. Justice Le Dain was first appointed to the bench in 1975, to the Federal Court of Appeal and the Court Martial Appeal Court. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1984 and served until November 1988.  In 1989, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.
 
Source: "The Honourable Mr. Justice Gerald Eric Le Dain," scc-csc.gc.ca. Supreme Court of Canada. n.d. Web. Oct. 2009.
 
 
Name: GERRETSEN, John
Male
Born 1942 in Hilversum, The Netherlands
Called to the Bar: 1969
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityDutch
Biographical Information:
John Gerretsen is a long-time politician as well as a lawyer. He was elected by the people of Kingston, Ontario as councillor from 1972 to 1980, then as mayor from 1980 to 1988. He was a member and then the chair of the Ontario Housing Corporation from 1989 to 1995. He is the first lawyer of Dutch heritage to be elected as a Member of the Provincial Parliament (Liberal, for Kingston and the Islands, first elected 1995).  Also a cabinet member, he served as the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing from 2003 to 2007, and as the Minister of the Environment from 2007.
 
 
Name: LAMPKIN, Vibert A.R.
Male
Born 1933 in Kitty, Georgetown, Guyana
Called to the Bar: 1969
Name of Heritage or CommunityBlack
Biographical Information:
Vibert Lampkin earned an LLB at the University of London. He qualified as a solicitor in England and Guyana where he practised from 1959 until 1967 when he and his wife Lorna migrated to Canada. In 1977, eight years after he was called to the bar in Ontario, he earned the LLM degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. He was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in 1982 and served until 2008. He was awarded honorary doctorates of laws by the Law Society of Upper Canada (2008) and by York University (2009). According to the citation for the latter, he was “a trailblazer and a mentor to the many lawyers who appeared before him...known for his knowledge of the law, civility and contribution to the body of criminal law, with 286 reported cases. Everyone who has appeared or worked in his court was aware of his respect and compassion for people.”
 
See "The Honourable Justice Vibert Lampkin and Osgoode Professor Emeritus Paul Weiler to Receive Honorary Doctorate Degrees at Spring Convocation." Events and Bulletins. osgoode.yorkuniversity.ca. Osgoode Hall Law School York University, 24 June 2009. Web. Nov. 2009; “Law Society Presents Two Doctorates at Toronto Call to the Bar Ceremonies,” lsuc.on.ca The Law Society of Upper Canada. 19 June 2008. Web. Dec. 2009. Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
  
 
Name: FELKAI, Frank
Male
Born 1942 in Budapest
Called to the Bar: 1970
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityHungarian
Biographical Information:
Frank Felkai was the first 1956 Hungarian refugee appointed Q.C., in 1984. From 1970 to 1973, he was was executive assistant to the Minister of National Revenue, the Hon. Herb Grey. He was the first Hungarian refugee to seek election to the Parliament of Canada, in 1979-1980, in Don Valley West, Toronto. He was President of the Lawyers' Club in 1987, and Director of the Advocates' Society from 1995-8. Mr. Felkai has served as the Vice-President of the Hungarian Helicon Foundation, and as a director, in the 1970s, of Hungarian House in Toronto.
 
Nominated by Frank Palmay of the Hungarian Canadian Bar Association.
 
 
Name: GOTTLIEB, Gary Lloyd
Male
Born 1943 in Toronto, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1970
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or Community: Orthodox Jewish 
Biographical Information:
Elected a bencher in 1995, Gary Gottlieb was the first Orthodox Jewish member of the governing board of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He writes, “My motivation to become a bencher was to be a voice for the ordinary sole practitioner at Osgoode Hall, but during the course of my time as a bencher I am happy that artificial barriers that may have deterred Orthodox Jewish lawyers from running for bencher have been eliminated and the Law Society has become a leader in the promotion of religious tolerance and inclusiveness.” Because of the leadership of Mr. Gottlieb and his fellow bencher Bob Aaron, Law Society meetings are no longer held on days that would conflict with any bencher’s religious observance. Further, the Law Society has adopted a statement of principles on Respect for Religious and Spiritual Beliefs and approved his motion that anti-Semitism and all forms of religious discrimination be discouraged. Mr. Gottlieb is a sole practitioner in Toronto.
 
See "Respect for Religious and Spiritual Beliefs: A Statement of Principles of the Law Society of Upper Canada," lsuc.on.ca. Law Society of Upper Canada. 10 March 2005. 
 
 
Name: IACOBUCCI, Frank
Male
Born 1937 in Vancouver, British Columbia
Called to the Bar: 1970
CC, Q.C., LSM
Name of Heritage or CommunityItalian
Biographical Information:
Frank Iacobucci, the son of Italian immigrants, has been an exceptional lawyer, educator, public servant, and judge. In 1967 he became a professor of law and administrator at the University of Toronto, serving as dean of the Faculty of Law from 1979 to 1983, then vice-president and provost of the university. In 1985 he was named Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General of Canada. He was appointed Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada in 1988, and served there until his 1991 appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada. He retired from the Court in 2004, served the University of Toronto as Interim President, and then became counsel to the Torys law firm. He has received many awards in Canada and abroad, recognizing his distinguished legal career and contributions to the Italian Canadian community; those include the Law Society Medal (1987), Commendatore (Italy) (1993), and the Order of Canada (2008).
 
See also "Biographical Sketch of the Honourable Mr. Justice Frank Iacobucci," Italian Canadiana Vol 15 (2001), 7-9. utoronto.ca/iacobucci. The Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies, Department of Italian Studies, University of Toronto. Web. Feb. 2010; "The Honourable Frank Iacobucci, C.C., Q.C., LL.D." Torys LLP. Web. Dec. 2009; Kirk Makin, "An Emotional Champion for the Accused," Toronto Globe and Mail, 7 April 2000, A07. Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
  
 
Name: POON, Sidney S.
Male
Born 1936 in Hong Kong
Called to the Bar: 1970
Name of Heritage or CommunityChinese
Biographical Information:
Sidney Poon writes that, “My legal training and knowledge has helped me greatly to serve the Chinese community in the 1980s and 1990s, to address and help promote social harmony among different ethnic groups by serving on the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, to promote employment equity for minority groups.” From 1978 to 1987, he served as Ontario president of the Federation of Chinese Canada Professionals and the national president of the Chinese Canadian National Council. He also was president of the Indo-Chinese Refugees’ Relief Trust Fund and a member of the City of Toronto’s Committee on Immigrant Settlement and Services. In 1985 he was awarded a Certification of Appreciation by the Chinese Community Centre of Ontario for outstanding and dedicated service to the community. Also in 1985, he became one of the first Chinese Canadian lawyers to be appointed Q.C. in Ontario.
 
 
 

1971 – 1980

 
Name: BINAVINCE, Emilio
Male
Born 1935
Called to the Bar: 1971
Name of Heritage or CommunityFilipino
Biographical Information:
One of the first lawyers of Filipino heritage, Emilio Binavince studied law in the Philippines and earned graduate degrees in the United States and Germany.  He was the founding chairman of the joint MBA/LLB. Program, the founder and faculty editor for several years of the Ottawa Law Review, and Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa. He is a member of the bars of Saskatchewan and the Philippines, as well as of Ontario, and has appeared as counsel in all levels of Canadian courts. Mr. Binavince's areas of practice are constitutional litigation, international trade and tax law; his clients include ethnocultural and charitable organizations and foreign investors in Canada, as well as Canadian investors overseas.
 
Nominated by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers.
  
 
Name: NORTON, Keith
Male
Born 1941 in Claremont, Ontario
Died 2010
Called to the Bar: 1971
Q.C. 1978
Name of Heritage or Community: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered or Two-Spirited
Biographical Information:
Keith Norton was a powerful advocate for diverse communities and one of the first Canadian politicians to identify himself publicly as a gay man. After a few years in private practice in Kingston, he entered local and then provincial politics in 1975. He was a key cabinet member in Progressive Conservative governments from 1977 to 1985, in education, social services, and in health, the latter during the first years of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. Norton did not make public his sexual orientation until the 1990 election. He was defeated in his Toronto riding by another prominent and gay (though not openly so) politician and lawyer, Ian Scott of the Liberal Party (see biography). After leaving politics, Norton served as head of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (1992 to 1996) and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (1997-2005). He is remembered for his campaign against mandatory retirement on the basis of age, and as an activist for gays and persons with disabilities.
 
Sources: Robert Benzie, "Keith Norton, 69: Gay Cabinet Minister Fought for Equal Rights," Toronto Star 2 Feb. 2010; Randall Pierce, "I Remember Keith Norton," Toronto Globe and Mail, 16 Feb. 2010.
  
 
Name: ROSEMAY, Vibert T.
Male
Born 1935 in Georgetown, Guyana
Called to the Bar: 1971
Name of Heritage or CommunityAfrican Canadian
Biographical Information:
Justice Vibert Rosemay was one of the first African Canadian lawyers elevated to the bench of the Ontario Court of Justice, in 1991. In 1973, he was appointed a member of the Canadian Consultative Council on Multiculturalism. In 1978, he co-founded the Delos Davis Law Guild in honour of one of the first Black lawyers in Ontario. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1983.
 

Name: ABELLA, Rosalie Silberman
Female
Born 1946 in Stuttgart, Germany
Called to the Bar: 1972
Name of Heritage or CommunityJewish
Biographical Information:
An honoured and influential jurist and scholar. Born in a Displaced Person's Camp in Germany, she emigrated to Canada with her parents in 1950. Abella was a litigator in private practice until, at the age of 29, she became a judge on the Ontario Family Court in 1976, making her Canada's first Jewish and first pregnant woman to be appointed to the Bench in Canada. She chaired the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Ontario Law Reform Commission, and the Royal Commission on Equality in Employment, where she created the term and concept of employment equity. In 2004, she became the first Jewish woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has 27 honorary degrees. She and her husband, historian Irving Abella, have two sons, Jacob and Zachary, both lawyers.

  
 
Name: LOFCHIK, Thomas R.
Male
Born 1943 in Hamilton, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1972
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityHungarian
Biographical Information:
Thomas Lofchik is one of the first lawyers of Hungarian descent. He practised in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1984, he was named Queen's Counsel, and in 1992, he was certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in civil litigation. He was appointed as a judge of the Superior Court of Justice in 1994.
 
Nominated by Frank Felkai of the Hungarian Helicon Society. 
 
 
Name: MARROCCO, Frank N.
Male
Born 1945 in Toronto, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1972
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunityItalian
Biographical Information:
Before his appointment to the bench, Frank Marrocco was a prominent litigator and leader of the bar. His high-profile cases include his defence of Lawrencia Bembenek from 1990 to 1992 in her attempt to avoid extradition to the United States. He was the lead prosecutor in the Bre-X Securities prosecution and the lead counsel for the province of Ontario in the Walkerton Inquiry, from 2000-2002. Mr. Marrocco was first elected as a bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1995. In 2003, he was elected its Treasurer, thereby becoming the first Italian- Canadian to hold the Society’s highest office. In 2005, he was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Law Society in 2008 in recognition of his distinguished career and service.
 
See “Law Society Presents Two Doctorates at Toronto Call to the Bar Ceremonies,” lsuc.on.ca The Law Society of Upper Canada. 19 June 2008. Web. Dec. 2009.  Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
 
 
Name: TAKACH, Gabor
Male
Born 1944 in Budapest, Hungary
Called to the Bar: 1973
Name of Heritage or CommunityHungarian
Biographical Information:
One of the first lawyers born in Hungary to be called to the bar in Ontario. Nominated by Frank Palmay of the Hungarian Canadian Bar Association.
 
 
Name: COOMARASWAMY, Ari
Male
Born c. 1932 in Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
Died 1988
Called to the Bar: 1974
Q.C. 1981
Name of Heritage or CommunityTamil
Biographical Information:
Ari Coomaraswamy grew up in Ceylon and Britain and studied law at Cambridge University. He was called to the bar in London in 1955 and returned to Ceylon to practise as a criminal lawyer. With his family, he emigrated to Canada in 1972; his father, Sir Vellupillai Coomaraswamy, had served as Ceylonese high commissioner to Canada in the 1950s. Soon after he was called to the Ontario bar in 1974, Mr. Coomaraswamy joined the Department of Justice as a criminal litigation specialist. He was well-regarded for his leadership in the Toronto office and for his dedicated and expert prosecution of white-collar crime and extradition cases. His most famous case was that of Cathy Evelyn Smith who was extradited in 1986 to the United States for a murder charge relating to the death of John Belushi, a comedian. Mr. Coomaraswamy died of a heart attack in his office, aged only 56.
 
Nominated by Anusha Aruliah. Source: "Obituary: Ari Coomaraswamy, Lawyer, made name in white-collar crime and extradition cases," Toronto Globe and Mail, 26 July 1988, A18. CPI.Q (Canadian Periodicals). Web. 29 June 2010.
 
 
Name: FERNS, Barboura Ann
Female
Born 1947 in Orangeville, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1974
Name of Heritage or CommunityWomen
Biographical Information:
Barboura Ferns helped to open the area of criminal law to women lawyers when she became the first female Assistant Crown Attorney in Ontario, joining the staff of approximately thirty-four male lawyers in the Toronto office. An advocate for women’s rights as well as a path-breaker, in the late 1970s she sat on the first Premier's Committee on Domestic Violence, which marked the beginning of modern-day policies on this issue. She was also instrumental in implementing in Ontario the Young Offender's Act of 1982. Ms. Ferns retired in 2009.
 
Nominated by Cidalia C. Faria. See Barboura Ferns, "Barboura Ferns, The First Female Assistant Crown Attorney," Yesterday and Today: A Celebration of Fifty Years of the Ontario Crown Attorneys' Association (1996), 33-34. Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
 
 
Name: JURIANSZ, Russell
Male
Born 1946 in Pune, India
Called to the Bar: 1974
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian
Biographical Information:
Russell Juriansz immigrated to Canada on April 5, 1955, when he was eight years old. He
graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School, where he was president of the students’ council, in 1972. Before his appointment to the bench, his work in the public and private sectors focused on human rights law. He was General Counsel to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon. On March 17, 1998, he became the first South Asian to be appointed to the Superior Court of Justice, then called the Ontario Court (General Division). Justice Juriansz was President of the Ontario Superior Court Judges’ Association from April 2002 until March 2004, when he became the first person of colour to be appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal, the highest court in Ontario.
 
See Sutapa Bridgman, "Firsts and Notable Accomplishments by South Asian Men and Women of the Bar," South Asian Lawyers Association, 2002. rc.lsuc.on.ca/pdf/equity/southAsianBrochure.pdf.
  
 
Name: MORTEN, Marvin
Male
Born 1944 in Toronto, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1974
Name of Heritage or CommunityBlack
Biographical Information:
“As a Provincial Court Judge in Peel,” Marvin Morten writes, “I tried, and still try, to improve the lot of children in the community, to give them a more solid footing and to help them focus on a positive future. Youth is the future and I saw too many of them, especially minorities, in the courts. Thus, I joined Rotary, becoming a Paul Harris Fellow, and I founded a new Rotary Club, Brampton Flower City Rotary, a club of Canadians of many ethnicities. I lent my name to the Marvin Morten Centre for Children and Families to help deal with violence. I mentored a young man in Big Brothers and the Peel Board of Education Programme. I was a director on the Sheridan College board and spoke at two of their convocations. I felt it a great honour to be named Brampton's Citizen of the Year 2002. In retirement, I continue on two boards geared to youth, Brampton Neighbourhood Resource Centre and One Voice One Team.”
  
 

Name: TSAMPALIEROS, Gabriel Theodosios
Male
Born 1947 in Paradisi, Rodos, Greece
Died 2009

Called to the Bar: 1975
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information:
G
abriel Tsampalieros is one of a very few Ontario lawyers to be born in Greece. He became a partner with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, but this son of a restauranteur left the practice to manage his wide holdings in the food service business. He was a passionate and generous supporter of the Ontario Science Centre, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto, St. Michael’s Hospital of Toronto, and especially, the University of Ottawa, his alma mater. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by that University as “an entrepreneur with extraordinary vision; a champion of education; a philanthropist; a family man of great character; and a proud University of Ottawa graduate committed to ensuring that the time spent at his alma mater by today’s students is a defining moment in their lives.”

 
Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers' Association. Source: "Gabriel T. Tsampalieros, D. University Citation 2007," uottawa.ca. University of Ottawa. Web. Dec. 2009
 
 
Name: WILLEMSE, Conrad Albert
Male
Born 1947 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Called to the Bar: 1975
Name of Heritage or CommunityDutch
Biographical Information:
Conrad Willemse writes, “I immigrated with my family as an eleven year old from Amsterdam. My parents immediately connected with the DUCA credit union (whose name derives from the combined words, Dutch and Canadian), which provided social and financial support to Dutch immigrants. Today DUCA is one of Ontario’s largest credit unions, and is still community- oriented. I was a board member for many years and acted as its legal counsel in the development of its new head office site in Toronto. I was also a member and president of the board of the Dutch Canadian Business and Professional Association in the 1990s. I have also been on the board of the Dutch Luncheon Club, which has presented notable speakers of Dutch origin for fifty years. I love being able to connect and work in my Dutch language, and it has been a privilege to serve other members of the strong-rooted Dutch community.”
 
Nominated by Marten A. Mol, Canadian Netherlands Business and Professional Association.
 
 

Name: AMERASINGHE, Christopher Ajith
Male
Born 1940 in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Called to the Bar: 1976
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian
Biographical Information:
Christopher Amerasinghe studied law at the University of Ceylon from 1960 to 1963, and then practised law in Sri Lanka until he emigrated to Canada in 1974. After working as counsel at the Ontario Securities Commission, he joined the federal Department of Justice in 1977. He has been counsel for the Attorney General of Canada in important criminal, war crimes and class action cases. He helped to establish the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Section of the Department of Justice in 1987. He received the title of Queen's Counsel from the Federal Government in 1986. Before his retirement in 2007, Mr. Amerasinghe was a Senior General Counsel at the Department of Justice in Toronto.

 
See Sutapa Bridgman,"Firsts and Notable Accomplishments by South Asian Men and Women of the Bar," South Asian Lawyers Association, 2002. 
 
  
Name: WAPPEL, Tom
Male
Born 1950 in Toronto, Ontario 
Called to the Bar: 1976
Name of Heritage or CommunityHungarian
Biographical Information:
First person of Hungarian ancestry to be elected to the House of Commons. First elected in 1988 and re-elected five consecutive times in the riding of Scarborough Southwest. Retired in 2008. First person to speak the Hungarian language on the floor of the House of Commons. Founder and President, until his retirement, of the Canada Hungary Parliamentary Friendship Group. Worked with Hungarian-Canadian communities across Canada to advance issues important to them, both here and abroad. Organized and led the first, and only, delegation of Parliamentarians from the Friendship Group to visit Hungary (2000). Worked to successfully repatriate to Hungary a famous painting which had been relocated to Canada. The official announcement was made by Prime Minister Chretien during the visit of Hungarian Prime Minister Orban. Worked to advance tolerance, human rights and religious freedom for ethnic Hungarians in countries surrounding Hungary where they form a significant minority (e.g. Transylvania, Romania).
 
Nominated by Frank Felkai of the Hungarian Helicon Society.
 
 
Nom: CHARRON, Louise V.
Femme
Née en 1951 à Sturgeon Falls en Ontario
Admission au Barreau: 1977
Nom du patrimoine ou de la collectivité: Francophone
Biographie:
La juge Charron siège à la Cour suprême du Canada depuis 2004 et est la première juge francophone née en Ontario nommée à la Cour suprême. Elle commence sa carrière juridique en pratique privée à Ottawa en droit civil et criminel. De 1978 à 1988, elle agit comme procureure adjointe de la Couronne pour Ottawa-Carleton et enseigne la common law en français à la faculté de droit de l'Université d'Ottawa. Elle commence sa carrière de juge en 1988. Elle est à la Cour de district d'Ottawa, à la Cour de justice de l'Ontario (division générale) et à la Cour d'appel de l'Ontario (nommée en 1995), ainsi qu'à la Cour de justice du Nunavut (de 1999 à 2004).
 
Nomination faite par l'Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario. Source :
« L’honorable Louise Charron », Cour suprême du Canada. Web. oct. 2009. Photo : Philippe Landreville, photographe; collection de la Cour suprême du Canada. 
 
 
Name: CHARRON, Louise V.
Female
Born 1951 in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1977
Name of Heritage or CommunityFrancophone
Biographical Information:
Madam Justice Charron has served on the Supreme Court of Canada since 2004, and is the first Ontario-born Francophone Supreme Court judge. She began her legal career in private practice in Ottawa in civil and criminal litigation. From 1978 to 1988, she was the Assistant Crown Attorney for Ottawa-Carleton and also a member of the Faculty of Law, teaching French common law, at the University of Ottawa. Her career on the bench began in 1988. She has served on the District Court in Ottawa, on the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division), on the Ontario Court of Appeal (appointed 1995), and on the Nunavut Court of Justice (1999 to 2004).
 
Nominated by the Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario. See "The Honourable Madam Justice Louise Charron," Supreme Court of Canada. N.d. Web. Oct. 2009. 
  
 
Name: ENG, Susan
Female
Born in Toronto, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1977
Name of Heritage or CommunityChinese
Biographical Information:
Susan Eng was one of the first women lawyers from the Chinese Canadian community. She served as the Chair of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Services Board (1991-1995). Today, as Vice-President, Advocacy, for CARP, Canada's largest national advocacy association for older Canadians, she campaigns for a better quality of life for Canadians as we age. She is also an activist in the Chinese Canadian community. She was co-chair of the Ontario Coalition of Chinese Head Tax Payers and Families, part of the campaign that resulted in a Parliamentary apology and redress for "62 years of legislated racism under the Head Tax and Exclusion Acts." Susan was a founding member of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Equality and the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care.
 
Nominated by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers. See "Susan Eng Bio," CARP.ca. CARP. n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2009.
  
 
Name: OMATSU, Maryka
Female
Born 1948 in Hamilton, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1977
Name of Heritage or CommunityJapanese
Biographical Information:
Maryka Omatsu is the first East Asian Canadian woman judge. She was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in Feb. 1993. Prior to her appointment, she practised in Toronto in environmental, human rights, criminal and immigration law. She was also the chair of the Ontario Human Rights Appeals Tribunal and was an adjudicator for the Law Society Clients' Fund. Her award-winning book, Bittersweet Passage, is the story of her community's and her own family's experience of injustice and discrimination during the Second World War, and of the campaign for redress, in which Omatsu played a key role.
 
Nominated by Sandra Nishikawa and by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers. See Maryka Omatsu, Bittersweet Passage: Redress and the Japanese-Canadian Experience (Toronto: Between the Lines, 1992).
  
 
Name: BONKALO, Annemarie E.
Female
Born in Stockholm, Sweden
Called to the Bar: 1978
Name of Heritage or CommunityWomen; Hungarian
Biographical Information:
Annemarie Bonkalo earned a master's degree in criminology from the University of Toronto and then a law degree from Queen's. She became the first female assistant Crown attorney in Peel Region and the first in that Crown attorney’s office to work part-time while raising her children. She was appointed as a judge to the Ontario Provincial Court (Criminal and Family Divisions) in 1990, presiding in Toronto and Brampton. Bonkalo has extensive prosecutorial, judicial and administrative experience. She is the first female Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice (2007).
 
Nominated by Frank Felkai of the Hungarian Helicon Society. See Louise Harris, "Judicial Profile: Chief Justice Annemarie Bonkalo," Briefly Speaking 34, 2 (April 2009), 18-9. oba.ca Ontario Bar Association. Web. 15 Aug. 2009.
  
 
Name: CZUTRIN, George
Male
Born 1950 in Hungary
Called to the Bar: 1978
Name of Heritage or CommunityHungarian
Biographical Information:
George Czutrin was six years old when he fled Hungary with his parents in 1956. The family emigrated first to the United States. Czutrin became a school teacher in New York City before moving to Canada in 1973 and attending Osgoode Hall Law School. After being called to the bar, he practised in Hamilton. In 1993, he was appointed to the Unified Family Court in Hamilton (now the Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice). In 2007, he became a judge of the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. Justice Czutrin is one of the first Ontario lawyers and judges to come from the Hungarian refugee community.
 
Nominated by Frank Felkai of the Hungarian Helicon Society.
 
 
Name: MOHIDEEN, Fatima
Female
Born 1948 in Shanghai, China
Called to the Bar: 1978
Name of Heritage or CommunityChinese
Biographical Information:
The first bencher (elected member of the board of directors) of the Law Society of Upper Canada of Chinese heritage, Fatima Mohideen is the executive director of the Community Legal Clinic in Brantford.
 
Nominated by Avvy Go.
 
 
Name: PALMAY, Frank
Male
Born 1949 in Budapest, Hungary
Called to the Bar: 1978
Name of Heritage or CommunityHungarian
Biographical Information:
Frank Palmay was a founding member of the Hungarian Canadian Bar Association. Of the Hungarian refugees who came to Canada in 1956, he is one of the first to become a lawyer. Palmay, also an engineer, is a partner in Lang Michener’s Toronto office and chair of the firm’s Corporate and Insurance Law Group. He is currently a director and member of the Corporate Governance Committee of Omega General Insurance Company. In 2007, Frank completed six years as a trustee of Bloorview Kids’ Rehab (formerly Bloorview MacMillan Children’s Centre), and was chair of its Governance Committee and a member of its Executive and Research Committees (on which he currently sits as a community member). He was formerly a director and chair of Providence Centre, a hospital and home for the aged, and was a founding member of Save the Mothers, a charity devoted to partnering to improve the lives of mothers in the developing world.
 
Nominated by the Hungarian Canadian Bar Association.
 
 
Name: FRASER, Hugh
Male
Born 1952 in Jamaica
Called to the Bar: 1979
Name of Heritage or CommunityBlack
Biographical Information:
Justice Fraser was one of the first Black lawyers appointed as a judge in Ontario. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he achieved international standing in sports, having won many national track and field championships and a bronze medal in the 1975 Pan Am games. He also competed in the 1976 Olympics. He has served on national sports organizations such as the Commonwealth Games. Since 1996, he has been a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, an international body that sits in Switzerland.  In 1993, Judge Fraser was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice and sits in Ottawa.
 
See also Dawn Williams, Who's Who in Black Canada 2: Black Success and Black Excellence in Canada, A Contemporary Directory (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006), 147-8.
 
 
Nom: MÉTIVIER, Monique
Femme
Née en 1942 à Ottawa en Ontario
Admission au Barreau: 1979

Nom du patrimoine ou de la collectivité: Francophone
Biographie:
Monique Métivier obtient son diplôme en droit en 1977 de l'Université d'Ottawa. Elle est nommée à la Cour supérieure de justice en 1995 et est la première femme nommée juge régionale principale de la région de l'Est.

 
Nomination faite par l'Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario.
  
 
Name: MÉTIVIER, Monique
Female
Born 1942 in Ottawa, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1979
Name of Heritage or CommunityFrancophone
Biographical Information:
Monique Métivier obtained her law degree in 1977 from the University of Ottawa. She was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in 1995 and is the first woman to be appointed as Regional Senior Justice for the Eastern region.
 
Nominated by the Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario.
 
 
Name: OPEKOKEW, Delia
Female
Born in Saskatchewan
Called to the Bar: 1979
Name of Heritage or CommunityAboriginal
Biographical Information:
Delia Opekokew is one of the first Aboriginal women lawyers and the first to be called to the bar in both provinces of Ontario and Saskatchewan. In private practice, she has negotiated treaty rights and advised on Aboriginal law for clients across Canada. She helped resolve the land claim of the Canoe Lake Cree Nation, her home community. In Ontario, she served as counsel for the George family prior to the public inquiry into the shooting death of Dudley George in 1995. The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation recognized her legal career and service with an award in 2009, and noted that, "Delia has used her upbringing to ground her work as she furthers the cause of justice for Aboriginal people, and the civil liberties and human rights for all Canadians."
 
See also " National Aboriginal Achievement Award Recipients: Profile of Delia Opekokew." naaf.ca. National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. Web. October 2009. See transcript of interview with Delia Opekokew by A. Kirk-Montgomery, 2011, forthcoming.
 

Name: SAREEN, Iva
Female
Born 1950 in Kolkata, India
Called to the Bar: 1979
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian
Biographical Information:
Iva Sareen was the first woman of South Asian heritage to be called to the bar of Ontario.
 
 
Name: SUGIYAMA, Constance
Female
Born in Canada
Called to the Bar: 1979
Name of Heritage or CommunityJapanese - "Sansei" (third generation Canadian of Japanese ancestry)
Biographical Information:
Among the first lawyers “of colour” on Bay Street, Ms Sugiyama was also one of the first Asian women to make partner at a major Canadian law firm (in 1985). She is a leading practitioner in corporate law and mergers and acquisitions and has advised domestic and international businesses in connection with some of the largest and most complex transactions in Canada. Ms Sugiyama is also an experienced director and is widely recognized as a leader in the broader community. Currently, she is the Chair of the Hospital for Sick Children, serves on the boards of the Toronto International Film Festival, SickKids Foundation, Canada Health Infoway and LuminaTO and is an advisor to Women in Capital Markets and the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.
 
Nominated by Sandra Nishikawa.
 
 
Name: ANAND, Raj
Male
Born 1955 in New Delhi, India
Called to the Bar: 1980
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian
Biographical Information:
Mr. Anand is a leading practitioner in human rights, civil litigation, and administrative law. He was the first South Asian-born chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (1988-9) and has served on several administrative tribunals, task forces, and inquiries. A teacher of administrative law at two law schools, and a prolific writer, Mr. Anand has advanced diversity in the legal profession. He has represented ethnic minorities and many other disadvantaged groups in Charter equality litigation, and worked to establish the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario. For representing those “whose cause may be politically or socially unpopular or against the mainstream,” he became the first recipient of the Advocates’ Society Award of Justice in 1997. He received the Law Society Medal in 2003 and was named the Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce Professional Man of the Year in 2007. He is also a bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
 
Nominated by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers. See Sutapa Bridgman,"Firsts and Notable Accomplishments by South Asian Men and Women of the Bar," South Asian Lawyers Association, 2002. 
 
 
Name: IMAI, Shin
Male
Born 1950 in Tokyo, Japan
Called to the Bar: 1980
Name of Heritage or CommunityJapanese
Biographical Information:
Shin Imai is one of the first Ontario lawyers of Japanese heritage, and a specialist in Aboriginal law and rights of indigenous peoples.  A faculty member of Osgoode Hall Law School since 1997, he is the Director of the Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governments. He also teaches and writes on indigenous rights in Latin America and on alternative dispute resolution, an area of law he practised in his prior positions as counsel with the Ministry of the Attorney General and as a staff lawyer at Keewaytinok Native Legal Services in Moosonee. Mr. Imai has twice won Osgoode’s Excellence in Teaching Award and was the recipient of the York University-Wide Teaching Award in 2010.
 
Nominated by Sandra Nishikawa and by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers.
 
 
Name: LOW, Wailan
Female
Born 1950 in Victoria, British Columbia 
Called to the Bar: 1980
Name of Heritage or CommunityChinese
Biographical Information:
Wailan Low is one of the first Chinese Canadian judges in Ontario, and the first Chinese Canadian appointed to the Superior Court of Justice, in 1998.
 
Nominated by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers.
 
 

1981 – 1990

 

Name: PREOBRAZENSKI, Christophe
Male
Born 1951 in Toronto, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1981
Name of Heritage or CommunityPolish
Biographical Information: 
Christophe Preobrazenski's practice is now restricted to criminal law. He explains, “Early on in my career, I volunteered on a weekly basis with several Polish community groups, providing pro bono legal services to those individuals who had difficulty accessing legal services due to language restrictions. That led to my decision to concentrate on criminal law.” Mr. Preobrazenski is a former assistant coach to the Canadian National Junior Judo team and a Pan American Games athlete and medallist. “Fitness remains an important part of my life, providing the framework for how I approach law,” he writes.

 
See Bruce McDougall, “Law’s Changing Face,” Canadian Lawyer (November 1991), 14-7.
 
 
Name: RAY, Sheila
Female
Born 1956 in Nigeria
Called to the Bar: 1981
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian
Biographical Information:
Sheila Ray was the first South Asian Canadian woman lawyer to become an Ontario judge: in 1992, she was appointed to preside in Toronto at the provincial criminal court, now the Ontario Court of Justice. She is a frequent public legal education speaker, participates on the OJEN Courtrooms and Classrooms sub-committee for the Toronto Region, acts as an instructor to students of the Trial Practice Course at Osgoode Hall Law School, has organized and participated on judicial education panels, and has facilitated judicial education workshops. A bilingual jurist, she has distinguished herself as an authority on interpreter issues affecting the courts. Justice Ray is a Dalhousie graduate. Prior to becoming a judge, she served as a lawyer with the Federal Department of Justice, where, among other accomplishments, she represented public sector employers in precedent setting litigation and assisted the department with major criminal law reform initiatives on sentencing and sexual assault.
 
Nominated by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers. See also Sutapa Bridgman,"Firsts and Notable Accomplishments by South Asian Men and Women of the Bar," South Asian Lawyers Association, 2002.
  
 

Name: KARAKATSANIS, Andromache
Female
Born 1955

Called to the Bar: 1982
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information: 
Andromache Karakatsanis joined the Ontario Public Service in 1987. She served as the Chair of the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario (1988-1995), Secretary of the Ontario Native Affairs Secretariat (1995-1997) and Deputy Attorney General for the province of Ontario (1997-2000) before becoming head of the Ontario Public Service. From 2000 to 2002, she also served as Secretary of the Cabinet and Clerk of the Executive Council. In 2002, she became the first woman judge of Greek heritage in Ontario, appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. In March 2010, Madam Justice Karakatsanis was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal. In October 2011, she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.

 
Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers' Association. See also Christine Ward, "Ontario's Front Line," Continuum v. 25,3 (Winter 2003), 11. osgoodealumni.ca. Osgoode Alumni. Web; “The The Honourable Madam Justice Andromache Karakatsanis.scc-csc.gc.ca. The Supreme Court of Canada. N.d. Web. Nov. 2011.
 
 
Name: NAHWEGAHBOW, David
Male
Born 1956 in Little Current, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1982
Name of Heritage or CommunityAboriginal; Anishnabe/Ojibway
Biographical Information:
David C. Nahwegahbow is the son of a former chief of Whitefish River First Nation, a part of the Anishinabek Nation and is one of the first Anishinabe lawyers in Ontario. He received his law degree from the University of Ottawa in 1980 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1982. He is the senior partner of the First Nations law firm Nahwegahbow, Corbiere, located on Rama Reserve, Ontario. Mr. Nahwegahbow is a founding member and former President of the Indigenous Bar Association in Canada (IBA), an organization of Indigenous lawyers. In 2003, he received the “IPC” (Indigenous People’s Counsel) designation from the IBA in recognition of his advocacy work on behalf of Indigenous peoples. He is the 2007 recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for “Law and Justice.” In 2008, Mr. Nahwegahbow received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Anishinabek Nation.
 
For more information on Nahwegahbow Corbiere, see nncfirm.ca. Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
 
 
Name: PIERCE, Helen M.
Female
Born 1953
Called to the Bar: 1982
Name of Heritage or CommunityMétis
Biographical Information:
Helen Pierce earned a degree in social work before she studied law. She practised in Sault Ste. Marie from 1982 until 2001. She was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice at Thunder Bay in 2001 and thus may be the first Métis lawyer to become a judge in Ontario. In 2009, she was appointed Regional Senior Judge of the Northwest Region. Madam Justice Pierce is active in continuing legal education and in a variety of legal organizations, including the Advocates' Society, the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, the Ontario Association of Superior Court Judges, and the Canadian Superior Court Judges Association. She is also the Honorary Colonel of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment.
 
Nominated by the Honourable Mr. Justice Todd Ducharme.
 
 
Name: RAWLINS, Micheline
Female
Born 1951 in Montreal, Quebec
Called to the Bar: 1982
Name of Heritage or CommunityBlack
Biographical Information:
The Honourable Madam Justice Rawlins was the first Black woman appointed to the bench in Ontario, in 1992, to the Ontario Court of Justice. She is a graduate of McGill University (B.A. 1974) and of the law school at the University of Windsor (LLB 1978). She has served on various boards such as the University of Windsor Board of Governors (1985-87 and 1995-2004), Windsor Media Council, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, and she has served as president of the Windsor Urban Alliance, Chatham Youth Soccer Association and the Distinguished Women in International Service. She received the African Canadian Achievement Award (1997), the National Congress of Black Women Award for Outstanding Contribution to Women, to Law and to Canada (2002) and was named Windsor Woman of the Year in 2004. She is the proud mother of sons, Gareth and Evan, who she considers to be her greatest achievements.
 
See also Micheline Rawlins, "An Autobiographical Sketch," Yesterday and Today: A Celebration of Fifty Years of the Ontario Crown Attorneys' Association (1996), 101.
  
 
Name: VAN MELLE, Francine E.
Female
Born 1955
Called to the Bar: 1982
Name of Heritage or CommunityDutch
Biographical Information:
Francine Van Melle is one of the first woman lawyers of Dutch heritage in Ontario, and perhaps the first woman judge of that background in the province. She was born in Toronto soon after her parents emigrated from Holland. Van Melle graduated from McGill University in law in 1980. Certified as a specialist in family law, she practised in Oakville for eighteen years and taught family law through bar admission courses. She served as the president of the Halton County Law Association and was also a board member of the Advocates Society. In 2000, she was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. In 2009, Justice Van Melle was named Regional Senior Judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Central West Region).
 
Nominated by Ron van der Steen. See also Kim Arnott, "Family Law Lawyer Appointed Judge," Oakville Beaver, 30 Aug. 2000, B2. Web. September 2009.
 
 
Name: KRISHNA, Vern
Male
Born 1943
Called to the Bar: 1983
Q.C.
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian 
Biographical Information:
As a young lawyer of South Asian heritage, Vern Krishna used to feel like an outsider in Canada, he told a reporter in 2002, but he became a member of the bars of Nova Scotia (1977), Alberta (1981), and Ontario (1983), and a leader in his profession. Mr. Krishna was both the first South Asian bencher of the Law Society of Ontario, in 1991, and the first person of colour to be elected its Treasurer, serving from 2001 through 2003. He is also a leading accountant. An expert in tax law, he is the author of fifteen texts on domestic and international tax, including the Fundamentals of Canadian Income Tax, now in its tenth edition. Mr. Krishna has taught law at the University of Ottawa since 1981. He has also has served on the Ontario Securities Commission. He practises dispute resolution, tax litigation, wealth management and international tax law.
 
See Bill Rogers, "Krishna Ascendant," Canadian Lawyer (May 2002). billrogers.ca. Web. Oct. 2009. Interviewee, Osgoode Society Oral History Programme.
 
 
Name: NATIVIDAD, Alicia
Female
Born 1950 in Manila, Philippines
Called to the Bar: 1983
Name of Heritage or Community: Filipino
Biographical Information:
Alicia S. Natividad was the first Filipino female lawyer to practise law in Canada. She practises in Ottawa, Ontario, in the areas of real estate, estates, wills, trusts, corporate/commercial, and litigation in these areas. She has used her legal knowledge and expertise to further her commitment to her profession and to Canada. In recognition of her outstanding contribution she has been awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Philippie Presidential Citation for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas Banaag Award, Ontario’s Leading Women, Building Communities Award, the 2007 Asian of the Year Award Finalist, the Business and Professional Women’s Award, among other awards and citations.
 
Nominated by Justice of the Peace Ivana Baldelli, Ottawa. 
 
 
Name: CARASCO, Emily
Female
Born 1948 in Bombay, India
Called to the Bar: 1984
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian
Biographical Information:
After earning her LLB in Uganda, Emily Carasco attended Harvard where she obtained LLM and S.J.D degrees. Dr. Carasco became the first woman law professor of South Asian heritage in Ontario in 1980. She teaches and writes in the areas of family, immigration and public international law at the University of Windsor. In her academic position and on Ontario government boards and commissions, Dr. Carasco has advocated for equity, equality and human rights particularly of women and children. She was one of the first to speak out on the rights of Aboriginal children to be raised in their own cultures, and on the complexities of the intersectionality of race and gender. In 2006, the Law Society of Upper Canada awarded Dr. Carasco an Honorary LLD for her commitment and solid contributions to improving race and gender equity issues.
 
See also Sutapa Bridgman,"Firsts and Notable Accomplishments by South Asian Men and Women of the Bar," South Asian Lawyers Association, 2002.
 
 
Name: ESPINET, Thora
Female
Born 1942
Called to the Bar: 1984
Name of Heritage or CommunityBlack
Biographical Information:
One of the first black women called to the bar in Ontario, Thora Espinet started her own law firm because she could not get a job. She opened her private practice in Scarborough but has been located for many years in North York. Ms. Espinet is a deputy judge of the Small Claims Court in Toronto. Until 2006, she was a chair of the Canada Pension Plan Review Tribunal. She also serves on the board of governors of Humber College.
 
See transcript of interview with Thora Espinet by A. Kirk-Montgomery, 2011, forthcoming. See also Tom Godfrey, “Sole Black Woman Lawyer in Class of ’84,” Contrast (13 Apr. 1984), 5.
 
 
Name: LYNK, Michael
Male
Born 1952
Called to the Bar: 1984
Name of Heritage or CommunityArab
Biographical Information:
Michael Lynk is one of the first lawyers of Arab Canadian heritage. He is currently Associate Dean (Academic) at Western Law, at the University of Western Ontario, and is an award-winning teacher. He has written on labour law, human rights law, and disability rights in the workplace.
 
Nominated by the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association. 
 
 
Name: WHITEHALL, Ivan G.
Male
Born 1942 in Budapest, Hungary
Called to the Bar: 1985
Q.C. 1981
Name of Heritage or CommunityHungarian 
Biographical Information:
Beginning in 1968, Ivan Whitehall has been called to the bars of British Columbia, Alberta, and the Yukon and Northwest Territories, as well as Ontario. His expertise is in Charter and Aboriginal litigation, and has been named as one of Canada’s best lawyers in the latter. Through his career, Whitehall appeared in courts of all levels, including a number of appearances as lead counsel in the Supreme Court of Canada. He was the senior litigator for the federal government, as the Chief General Counsel, Department of Justice, from 1989 to 2003. He also has extensive experience in out of court dispute resolution. Mr. Whitehall lectures on Aboriginal and public law litigation. He also was a visiting professor at Károli Gáspár University in Hungary, in cooperation with the Centre for International Legal Studies. Currently, Whitehall is counsel to the firm Heenan Blaikie LLP.
 
Nominated by Frank Felkai of the Hungarian Helicon Society.
  
 
Name: YEE, Gary
Male
Born 1959 in Hong Kong
Called to the Bar: 1985
Name of Heritage or CommunityChinese
Biographical Information:
Gary Yee has a long history of achievements and public service in the equity-seeking and administrative justice communities. In 1987, he became the first Executive Director of the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic. That same year, Yee was elected National President of the Chinese Canadian National Council. In both roles, he was a champion for human rights and equity. In 1993, Yee became one of the first Chinese lawyers to chair a tribunal – Ontario’s Board of Inquiry, hearing public complaints about police misconduct. In 1999, he joined the Immigration and Refugee Board as Special Advisor. In 2009, Yee was appointed Chair of the Social Benefits Tribunal. In recognition of his contributions to the community and the administrative justice system, Yee received the 125th Anniversary Confederation Medal (1992), Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators Medal (1999), Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), and the Head of the Public Service Award (2003).
 
Nominated by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers.
 

Name: FAVRET, Lucia
Female
Born 1957
Called to the Bar: 1986
Name of Heritage or CommunityItalian
Biographical Information:
Lucia Favret has appeared in both sides of the courtroom, as a Crown counsel for the Federal Department of Justice in Toronto specializing in consipiracy prosecutions (1991 to 1998) and as a criminal defence lawyer (1998 to 2004). She has served as president of the Canadian Italian Advocates Organization.  In 2004, she was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice and presides in Newmarket, Ontario.
 
 
Name: STEINBERG, Jenny Chu
Female
Called to the Bar: 1986
Name of Heritage or CommunityKorean
Biographical Information:
One of the first Korean Canadian lawyers, Jenny Chu Steinberg is an expert on securities and corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions. She is a member of the Securities Advisory Committee of the Ontario Securities Commission. Previously a partner in Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, she is now a partner of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP.
 
Nominated by the Korean Canadian Lawyers’ Association.
 
 
Name: URSEL, Susan
Female
Born 1958
Called to the Bar: 1986
Name of Heritage or CommunityLesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Two-Spirited
Biographical Information:
Susan Ursel is one of the first openly lesbian lawyers in Ontario. Ursel practises in the areas of labour, pensions and benefits, employment equity, and human rights. She has advocated for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgener and Two-Spirited) community in several groundbreaking legal battles for the equality rights of gay men and lesbians. She appeared as co- counsel for the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto on Egan v. Canada, the first Supreme Court decision on equality rights of gay men and lesbians. She has also acted in or been involved with cases dealing with the rights of persons with HIV / AIDS, adoption rights of same sex couples, the meaning and extent of religious freedom, and the rights of trans individuals. She was also one of the team of lawyers who litigated the Jane Doe v Metro Police case. Her contributions to the LGBT community have been honoured through her induction into the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Archives’ National Portrait Collection. Ursel was a founder of Pro Bono Law Ontario, an organization that encourages lawyers to provide pro bono legal services to low income persons.
 
See: Jane Doe v. Toronto (Metropolitan) Commissioners of Police, [1989] O.J. No. 471, 58 D.L.R. (4th) 396; Egan v. Canada, [1995] 2 S.C.R. 513; Hamilton Gay Pride Case (Oliver v. Hamilton (City) (No.2)), (1995), 24 C.H.R.R. D/298 (Ont. Bd. Inq.); Dwyer v. Toronto, [1996] O.H.R.B.I.D. No. 33; Rosenberg v. Canada (Attorney General), [1998] O.J. No. 1627, 38 O.R. (3d) 577; M. v. H. [1999] S.C.J. No. 23, [1999] 2 S.C.R. 3; Trinity Western University v. British Columbia College of Teachers, [2001] 1 S.C.R. 772, [2001] S.C.J. No. 32; Brillinger et al v Brockie et al, [2002] O.J. No. 2375, 222 D.L.R. (4th) 174; Hogan et al (Stonehouse et al v. Crown in Right of Ontario), [2006] O.H.R.T.D. No. 34, 2006 HRTO 32, among others.
 
 
Name: WONG, Mavin
Female
Born 1960
Called to the Bar: 1986
Name of Heritage or CommunityChinese
Biographical Information:
Mavin Wong became one of the first Chinese Canadian judges appointed in Ontario, in 2000. After graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1986, Justice Wong served as a defence lawyer. She has written on criminal justice for young offenders. Justice Wong currently presides as a criminal judge in Toronto.
 
Nominated by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers.
 
 
Name: BHABHA, Feroza
Female
Born 1958 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Called to the Bar: 1987
Name of Heritage or CommunityMuslim; South Asian
Biographical Information:
Feroza Bhabha immigrated to Canada from South Africa when she was ten years old. Her legal career has mostly been in government, as counsel in the federal Department of Justice in tax litigation, and as Crown counsel in criminal law at the Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario, where she was one of the first visible minority counsels. (Her heritage includes Indian, Scottish, and Italian ancestors). In her fifteen years as a Crown counsel, she argued cases at all levels of court. In 2006, she was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice.
 
Nominated by the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association. See also "SAWW Awards, 1999."
southafricanwomenforwomen.com South African Women for Women. Web. 10 Oct. 2009.
 
 
Name: KIM, Eunice
Female
Born 1960 in Seoul, Republic of Korea
Called to the Bar: 1987
Name of Heritage or CommunityKorean
Biographical Information:
Eunice Kim is one of the first women lawyers in Ontario of Korean heritage. After graduating from the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School, she was admitted to the New York and Ontario bars in 1987 and practised commercial law in New York City for five years. Specializing in real estate, she serves as commercial and international trade counsel to businesses in both Canada and the United States. She served as a legal advisor in Toronto to the Counsel General of the Republic of Korea, and is fluent in both written and oral Korean.
 
Nominated by the Korean Canadian Lawyers’ Association.
 
 
Name: WONG, Chi-Wah (Tony)
Male
Born 1948 in Hong Kong
Died 2009 
Called to the Bar: 1987
Name of Heritage or CommunityChinese
Biographical Information:
Tony Wong served Markham as a York regional councillor and MPP, elected in these positions from 1997 through 2006. His political interests and responsibilities included planning and economic development, emergency medical services, and community and immigrant services. He worked to improve relations between the large Chinese and Muslim communities in his riding. Wong was a founding member of the Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic.
 
Nominated by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers.
 
 
Name: ANAND, Gita
Female
Called to the Bar: 1988
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian
Biographical Information:
Gita Anand is one of the first South Asian women to become a lawyer in Ontario.  She was educated in London, England, and Nova Scotia, receiving her LLB from Dalhousie Law School. She is a member of the bars of Nova Scotia and Ontario. A partner at Miller Thomson LLP, she advises management on labour relations and employment law; her clients include several Ontario ministries and large corporations in the health and non-profit sectors. She represents employers before provincial and federal administrative tribunals and the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and in litigation at all levels of court in Ontario. Ms. Anand is a former member of Miller Thomson’s National Executive Committee, and currently chairs the National Labour and Employment Specialty Group and the firm’s Diversity Committee.
 
Nominated by Madam Justice Sheila Ray.
 
 
Name: CASE, Patrick
Male
Born 1950
Called to the Bar: 1988
Name of Heritage or CommunityBlack
Biographical Information:
Patrick Case has devoted his career to promoting human rights. He has been a trade unionist and a school trustee.  As a young lawyer in Toronto, both as a member of the private bar and as a staff lawyer at a legal clinic in Parkdale, Case worked to assist women who were victims of violence. He has served as chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, co-chair of the Court Challenges Program of Canada, and a member of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Currently, Case is the director of the Human Rights and Equity Office at the University of Guelph, and the chair of the board of the Human Rights Legal Support Centre. He also teaches in the areas of human rights and poverty law at Osgoode Hall Law School and at the University of Guelph.
 
See Robert Coates, “Lost in a Sea of White,” Canadian Lawyer (13 October 1989), 27-9.
  
 
Name: DUCHARME, Todd
Male
Born 1959 in Alliston, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1988
Name of Heritage or CommunityAboriginal; Métis
Biographical Information:
One of the first Aboriginal lawyers in Ontario, Todd Ducharme studied law at the University of Toronto and Yale Law School. He served on the board of the Criminal Lawyers Association for many years and became a prominent Toronto criminal lawyer, appearing at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. In 1999, he was elected a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada and was re-elected as Regional Bencher for Toronto in 2003. In 2004, he was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, thereby becoming Canada's second Métis judge. Justice Ducharme has a particular interest in Aboriginal Law and also serves as a Deputy Judge of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories, the Supreme Court of Yukon, and the Nunavut Court of Justice.
 
 
Name: JANSSEN, Charlotte
Female
Born 1960 in Saskatchewan
Called to the Bar: 1988
Name of Heritage or CommunityDutch
Biographical Information:
Charlotte Janssen is one of the first women lawyers of Dutch background.

 
Nom: LÉVESQUE, Gérard
Homme
Admission au Barreau: 1988
Nom du patrimoine ou de la collectivité: Francophone
Biographie :
Dans le cadre de sa carrière juridique, comme avocat (en Alberta et en Ontario) et comme juge (Cour des petites créances de Toronto), rédacteur, éditeur et éducateur (faculté de droit de l'Université d'Ottawa), Gérard Lévesque lutte constamment pour les droits des Francophones dans les systèmes ontariens de justice criminelle et civile et dans le système de l'éducation. De 1991 à 2001, Me Lévesque est directeur général de l'AJEFO, le réseau des juges et avocats bilingues de l'Ontario.
 
Nomination faite par l'Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario.
 
 
Name: LÉVESQUE, Gérard
Male
Called to the Bar: 1988
Name of Heritage or CommunityFrancophone
Biographical Information:
Throughout his legal career, as a lawyer (in both Alberta and Ontario), judge (Toronto Small Claims Court), writer, editor and educator (Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa), Mr. Lévesque has been a strong advocate for French language rights in the Ontario criminal and civil justice and education systems. From 1991 to 2001, Mr. Lévesque served as the Executive Director of the AJEFO, the network of bilingual judges and lawyers of Ontario.
 
Nominated by the Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario.
 
 
Name: NAKATSURU, Shaun
Male
Born 1960 in Alberta
Called to the Bar: 1988
Name of Heritage or CommunityJapanese
Biographical Information:
Shaun Nakatsuru's father was confined as an enemy alien by the Canadian government during the Second World War. His son became one of the first Japanese-Canadian judges, in 2006, when he was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice at Toronto.  Nakatsuru developed legal expertise in two main areas before his appointment. In criminal law, he was both a defence lawyer and prosecutor; he has taught trial advocacy and written a textbook on criminal law. In constitutional law, he was a litigator with the Ministry of the Attorney General, appearing many times on the province’s behalf before the Supreme Court of Canada. He was also prosecutor and counsel for Ontario’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.
 
Nominated by Sandra Nishikawa.
 
 
Name: ANDAL, Ramon
Male 
Born 1955 
Called to the Bar: 1989
Name of Heritage or CommunityFilipino
Biographical Information:
Ramon Andal was called to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in 1982; he is also the first member of the Philippine bar to practise in Toronto.  Recognized as an authority in insurance law by courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, he has contributed to the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest and co-authored the award-winning Insurance Law in Canada (Carswell, 1999). His practice encompasses insurance, litigation, human rights, employment, marine/transportation, and mental health law. He served as lawyer member of the Board of Inquiry under the Police Services Act and the Consent and Capacity Board which conducts reviews under the Mental Health Act. He has worked with Filipino and Chinese non-profit organizations on mental health, insurance, and human rights issues including the redress campaign on behalf of Chinese Head Tax payers. Mr. Andal is a founding director of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, and a committee member of Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care.
 
Nominated by Avvy Go.
 
 
Name: GUPTA, Neena
Female
Born 1963 in Oakland, California, U.S.
Called to the Bar: 1989
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian
Biographical Information:
As an instructor at Queen's University and the University of Toronto in the 1990s, Ms. Gupta was one of the first Ontario law teachers of South Asian heritage.  She was a founding member of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Equity Committee and one of the first South Asian lawyers to be on the CBA’s board. As one of the first female senior directors of the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce and JVS, she focused on helping immigrants succeed in business and employment. She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2001 on the nomination of the CBA for her contributions to the legal profession in matters of equity. In 2007, she was appointed to the Law Commission of Ontario, whose mandate is to investigate issues and recommend measures to make provincial laws more effective and accessible. Ms. Gupta is a partner at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP.
 
See also Sutapa Bridgman,"Firsts and Notable Accomplishments by South Asian Men and Women of the Bar," South Asian Lawyers Association, 2002.
 
 
 

1991 - 2000

 
Nom: BOUTET, Nathalie
Femme
Née en 1965 à Québec au Québec
Admission au Barreau: 1991
Nom du patrimoine ou de la collectivité: Québécoise Francophone
Biographie :
Me Nathalie Boutet est avocate en droit de la famille ainsi que formatrice en droit collaboratif et juge à la Cour des petites créances. Elle consacre sa carrière au bien-être des familles et des enfants. Son travail sur le droit collaboratif, le système le plus avancé de négociations pour les couples qui se séparent, permet aux familles d'arriver à une entente à l’amiable. Me Boutet a joué un rôle essentiel dans le développement du droit collaboratif en France, en Italie et aux Bermudes. Lorsqu'elle a été présidente de l'AJEFO (Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario), le Barreau du Haut-Canada a accepté de modifier ses règles de déontologie pour obliger les avocats à expliquer à leurs clients bilingues qu'ils ont le droit d'utiliser le français ou l’anglais dans le système juridique. Elle obtient le prix de distinction de l'AJEFO en 2004.
 
 
Name: BOUTET, Nathalie
Female
Born 1965 in Quebec City, Quebec 
Called to the Bar: 1991
Name of Heritage or CommunityCanadian Francophone from Quebec 
Biographical Information:
Nathalie Boutet is a family law lawyer, a collaborative law instructor, and a judge in the Small Claims Court. She is dedicated to the well-being of families and children. Her focus on collaborative law, the most evolved system of negotiation for separating couples, enables families to achieve peaceful and evolved separations. Nathalie is instrumental in the development of collaborative law in France, Italy and Bermuda. During her presidency at the AJEFO (Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario), the Law Society of Upper Canada agreed to amend the Rules of Professional Conduct to compel lawyers to advise their bilingual clients of their right to use French or English in the court system. She was awarded the AJEFO's Award of Distinction in 2004.
 
 
Name: GO, Avvy Yao-Yao
Female
Born 1963 in Hong Kong
Called to the Bar: 1991
Name of Heritage or CommunityChinese
Biographical Information:
Avvy Go is a founder and the Clinic Director of Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic. In 2001, she was elected as bencher (member of the governing body) of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Consistent with her life-long interest in advancing racial equality and promoting access to justice for low income immigrants, Avvy has served on a number of advocacy organizations in various capacities including as Vice Chair of the Canadian Court Challenges Program, President of the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter, and a founding member of the Colour of Poverty Campaign. Avvy was appointed to the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board as a part time member in 2005. In 2002 Avvy received the President's Award of the Women's Law Association of Ontario. She was also a recipient of the 2008 City of Toronto’s William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations.
 
 
Name: KISSOON, Dhaman Persaud
Male
Born 1956 in Guyana
Called to the Bar: 1991
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian
Biographical Information:
Dhaman Kissoon is a criminal lawyer practising in Toronto. He has been a lecturer at Queen's University Faculty of Law since 1990. He was honoured by the students for his teaching at the Faculty of Law. He is also a mentor for young lawyers from the South Asian community. Mr. Kissoon sits on the boards of many charitable organizations within the Etobicoke and South Asian communities. He is the co-chair of Advocates for Etobicoke Youth, an organization that provides guidance and creates opportunities for underprivileged youths in the Etobicoke area. For more than ten years, he has been on the advisory board for the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame. Mr. Kissoon is a past president of the Brampton Flower City Rotary Club. Rotary recently presented him with the Paul Harris Fellowship award in recognition of his outstanding community involvement.
 
See also Sutapa Bridgman,"Firsts and Notable Accomplishments by South Asian Men and Women of the Bar," South Asian Lawyers Association, 2002.
 
 
Name: LAL, Stindar K.
Male
Born 1942 in Kigoma, Tanzania, East Africa
Heritage or Community: South Asian
Called to the Bar: 1991
QC
Biographical Information:
Stindar Lal earned his law degree at Middle Temple, London, and has been called to the Bars of England, India, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, as well as Ontario.  Most of his career in Canada has been in the public service of Ontario and the Northwest Territories, serving as deputy minister in several ministries. He was a key legal advisor in the constitutional development of the Territories and was involved in the process leading up to the patriation of the Constitution of Canada particularly as it related to the entrenchment of Aboriginal rights.  He also served as general counsel to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and chair of the Inuvialuit Arbitration Board, a quasi-judicial body constituted under the Western Arctic (Inuvialuit) Final Agreement to arbitrate disputes with the governments of Canada, the two Territories, and industry. In April 2010, he was appointed as the Complaints Resolution Commissioner for the Law Society of Upper Canada.
 
Nominated by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers. See Sutapa Bridgman, "Firsts and Notable Accomplishments by South Asian Men and Women of the Bar," South Asian Lawyers Association, 2002. Web.
  
 
Name: TURNBULL, Brian
Male
Born 1944 in Scotland
Died 2006 
Called to the Bar: 1991
Heritage or Community: Persons with Disabilities
Biographical Information:
Brian Turnbull harnessed his competitive spirit to overcome his disabilities and help his clients. He became paraplegic at age 17 when the car he was a passenger in was struck by a drunk driver. He had to give up his dreams of professional football but he became an outstanding paraplegic athlete. He won a gold medal in swimming and competed in several other sports in the 1976 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. After a number of years in the security business in Barrie, he decided to enter the legal profession. At Osgoode Hall Law School, he excelled in moot competitions (in which teams of law students argue hypothetical cases before judges). Turnbull developed a successful criminal practice in Barrie. He became an innovative advocate for his clients; he was one of the first to offer the defence of addiction to gambling in a fraud case and to organize a sentencing circle for an Aboriginal client.
 
Source: Catherine Dunphy, "Brian Turnbull, 62: Life lived full Out," Toronto Star, 8 May 2006. Web. 
 
 
Name: RAY-ELLIS, Soma
Female
Born 1964 
Called to the Bar: 1992
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian
Biographical Information:
Soma Ray-Ellis was the first woman of South Asian origin to clerk for the Superior Court of Ontario. She specializes in employment and human rights law. In 1996, she co-drafted the Rules of Practice for the Ontario Board of Inquiry (Human Rights). She has published extensively in employment law including the Halsbury’s Laws of Canada volume on Discrimination and Human Rights (2008) and a text on federal equity laws (2002). Through her writing, speaking engagements and national media appearances, she has interpreted human rights and employment laws for legal and general audiences. Her work and leadership have been recognized by, among others, the Women Entrepreneurs who awarded her the Business Leadership Award and the South Asian Bar who named her Lawyer of the Year (Female) (2008). She is the first and only female lawyer to be inducted by India Abroad Newspaper to its “Power List of South Asian Professionals” (2009).
 
See also Sutapa Bridgman,"Firsts and Notable Accomplishments by South Asian Men and Women of the Bar," South Asian Lawyers Association, 2002.
 
 
Name: ALEXANDRIS, Georgina
Female
Born 1967 
Called to the Bar: 1993
Name of Heritage or CommunityGreek
Biographical Information:
One of the first women lawyers of Greek heritage, Gina Alexandris was Past President of the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers' Association. From 2000-2009, she was Assistant Dean (Student Services) at Osgoode Hall Law School, where she was awarded for her dedication to her students and to the school. She is currently Director of the Internationally Trained Lawyers Program at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
 
Nominated by the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers' Association.
 
 
Name: BAXTER, Evelyn
Female
Born 1967 in Sioux Lookout, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1993
Name of Heritage or CommunityAboriginal
Biographical Information:
Evelyn Baxter is one of Ontario’s first Aboriginal women lawyers. She is an Oji-Cree, born in northern Ontario. Growing up in a family that practised traditional pursuits (hunting, fishing, trapping), she and her siblings were also encouraged to pursue an education. Evelyn eventually became the first member of all of Nishnawbe Aski Nation (Treaty #9), which includes Marten Falls First Nation, her home community, to become a lawyer. Her work has centred on Aboriginal litigation and issues, notably resource development, through various positions and roles for Nishnawbe Aski Nation, among other clients. Currently employed in her own practice, she is an adjudicator for the Indian Residential Schools Canada Assessment Process and serves as duty counsel from her Thunder Bay office. 
 
 
Name: MUNDI, Kamaljit Kaur
Female
Born 1970 in India
Called to the Bar: 1993
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian
Biographical Information:
One of the first South Asian women lawyers in Ontario, Kamaljit Mundi articled and practised at Torys LLP and subsequently as in-house counsel at TLC Vision before commencing a private practice at RZCD Law Firm LLP in Mississauga. She has always been involved in her community. She was one of the founders of the South Asian Professionals' Association, a networking group for the young South Asian professional community. As part of this organization, she mentored South Asians aspiring to become lawyers. She served as Vice President of Indian Rainbow Community Services, a non-profit agency that assists the South Asian community and new immigrants to Canada. Ms. Mundi has also served on the board of directors of the United Way of Peel Region. She believes that it is of utmost importance to make a meaningful contribution to the community and her legal background has facilitated her ability to do so.
 
See also Sutapa Bridgman,"Firsts and Notable Accomplishments by South Asian Men and Women of the Bar," South Asian Lawyers Association, 2002. 
   
 
Name: PERSAUD, Mark M.
Male
Born 1961 in Georgetown, Guyana
Called to the Bar: 1993
Name of Heritage or CommunityIndo-Guyanese
Biographical Information:
Persaud is a social entrepreneur who has helped vulnerable communities including refugees, homeless and youth at risk since 1983 when he himself was briefly homeless when he arrived in Canada as a youth. He holds both LLB and LLM degrees from Osgoode Hall Law School. He also studied at the Center for Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard University. He held a range of positions with the Department of Justice as civil litigation counsel, prosecutor and counsel to the RCMP. An advisor to a federal Cabinet minister, he also chaired and advised on political campaigns at all levels. Persaud is an outspoken critic of racism including the systemic racism he experienced at the Department of Justice.
 
Recognized for his extensive service in diverse communities, he was awarded the 2007 Public Sector Gold Key from Osgoode Hall Law School and nominated by the diplomatic community for the prestigious 2006 Seoul Peace Prize.

 
Nom: LEVASSEUR, Gilles

Homme
Nom du patrimoine ou de la collectivité: Francophone 
Admission au Barreau: 1994 
Biographie:
J.L. Gilles LeVasseur, membre des barreaux de l'Ontario et du Québec, auteur et professeur d’université en droit, en gestion et en économie, est un fier franco-ontarien qui milite pour les droits constitutionnels et linguistiques des francophones en Ontario et dans le reste du Canada. Il est membre actif des principales organisations qui œuvrent pour la promotion de la langue et de la culture française en Ontario et au Canada. Il est actuellement président du Conseil de la Coopération de l’Ontario (CCO) et président de l’Association des auteurs et auteures de l’Ontario. Il a reçu, entre autres, le prix du lieutenant- gouverneur de l’Ontario pour la préservation du patrimoine franco-ontarien et la médaille du Jubilé de Sa Majesté pour contributions à la francophonie canadienne. Il a aussi reçu le prix Séraphin Marion pour sa contribution exceptionnelle au développement des francophones hors Québec.

 
Name: LEVASSEUR, Gilles
Male 
Called to the Bar: 1994
Name of Heritage or CommunityFrancophone
Biographical Information:
J.L. Gilles LeVasseur, member of the Ontario and Quebec bars, author and university professor of law, economics and business, is a proud Franco-Ontarian who is an activist for the constitutional and language rights of Francophones in Ontario and in the rest of Canada. He has been a leading member of many organizations working to promote French language and culture in Ontario and Canada. He is currently president of the Conseil de la Coopération de l’Ontario (CCO) and president of the Association des auteurs et auteures de l’Ontario. Among other awards, he has received the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for his contributions to the preservation of Franco-Ontarian heritage and the Queen's Jubilee medal for his contributions to the Canadian Francophonie. He was also awarded the Séraphin Marion award for his outstanding contributions to Francophone rights outside Quebec. 
 
 
Name: LI, Jinyan
Female
Born 1963 
Called to the Bar: 1994
Name of Heritage or CommunityChinese
Biographical Information:
Jinyan Li is one of the first Chinese Canadian lawyers to hold a teaching position at a faculty of law. Her areas of expertise include taxation law and policy, pension law, social security law, and Chinese law. Professor Li taught law at the University of Western Ontario starting in 1991, then joined Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in 1999. From July 2009 to July 2010, she served as Interim Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School. She has been recognized for her writing and teaching excellence. In 2007, she received the Academic Excellence Award from the Canadian Association of Law Teachers. In 2009, she  received an Award of Merit for outstanding achievement from the Federation of Chinese Canadian Professionals (Ontario) Education Foundation, as well as the CPAC Professional Achievement Award for  Distinguished Professional Achievement from the Chinese Professionals Association of Canada.
 
Nominated by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers. 
 
 
Name: MA, Lillian
Female
Born 1946 
Called to the Bar: 1994
Name of Heritage or CommunityChinese
Biographical Information:
Dr. Ma's career has been in the public sector since 1994. She is one of the first Asian Canadian lawyers to chair an agency, board or commission. Among other positions, she has been a member of the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (since 1994) and a commissioner for the Ontario Human Rights Commission (1986-8). She is currently the chair of the Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario. She is also active in legal and other organizations interested in services for diverse communities. She was a founding director of both the Chinese Canadian National Council (1980-1994) and the National Organization of the Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada (1986-1988). Lilian Ma holds a doctorate in chemistry as well as a law degree.
 
Nominated by the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers.
 

Name: SHIN DOI, Julia S.
Female
Born 1967 in Seoul, Korea 
Called to the Bar: 1994
Name of Heritage or Community: Korean 
Biographical Information:
Julia S. Shin Doi is one of the early Korean Canadian women to practise law in Ontario and is among the first Korean Canadians to publish a legal textbook, teach law, and direct a legal clinic (Osgoode Business Clinic). Ms. Shin Doi is Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and practises corporate/commercial, intellectual property and privacy law. She is co-founder of the Korean Canadian Lawyers Association (1995) and the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (2007). She was appointed general counsel and secretary of the Ryerson Board of Governors in 2011. Ms. Shin Doi and her family immigrated to Canada from South Korea in 1969. She grew up in Toronto, Ontario and served in volunteer leadership roles in the Korean Canadian community. She is married to lawyer, Michael Doi, a third generation Japanese Canadian, and they have two children.
 
Nominated by the Korean Canadian Lawyers Association. See also, “Julia Shin Doi appointed general counsel and secretary of the Board of Governors,” ryerson.ca/ryersontoday, 27 July 2011. Web.
 
 
Name: HARE, Susan Mabel
Female
Born 1952 
Called to the Bar: 1995
Name of Heritage or CommunityAboriginal
Biographical Information:
Susan Hare is Ojibwe, of the M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island, and one of the first Aboriginal lawyers in Ontario. In addition to her general practice, which includes child protection, business and criminal law, she has worked as an adjudicator in the Grandview School for Girls Settlement and in the Indian Residential Schools adjudication. As a student at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, she helped to establish the Intensive Program in First Nations Lands, Resources and Governance, in 1993. She was elected a bencher of the Law Society in 2007. 
 
 

Name: O'DONNELL, Marie E. (Tracey)
Female
Born 1966 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1995
Name of Heritage or CommunityAboriginal; Anishinabek 
Biographical Information:
Tracey O'Donnell is a member of the Red Rock Indian Band, located southeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario. She has focussed her career on providing legal services and support to First Nations, Aboriginal organizations and Aboriginal peoples in a range of areas. As a lawyer and member of the Anishinabek Nation, Ms. O'Donnell is extensively involved in the 42 First Nation Anishinabek self-government negotiations, First Nation constitution development and capacity development projects. She has shared her knowledge and expertise by volunteering on several boards of directors for Aboriginal-based organizations and by representing the Aboriginal community on a number of boards for other organizations and public institutions. In 2003, Ms. O'Donnell was elected as a bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada - the first Aboriginal woman ever elected. She has worked to balance her career with raising two daughters and a son, now aged 9, 6, and 2.


  
Name: WATKINS, Christopher C.
Male
Born 1959 
Called to the Bar: 1995
Name of Heritage or CommunityPersons with Disabilities
Biographical Information:
Christopher Watkins practises in Thunder Bay, mostly in poverty law, and serves clients with mental health and other disabilities on a pro bono basis.  Since a 1988 automobile accident, he has suffered chronic pain, arthritis, and lung illnesses. He has worked to raise awareness about disability issues by appearing in the media, taking on cases with mental health issues, involving himself in politics and fund-raising, and climbing mountains around the world. With David Shannon, he became one of the first persons with disabilities to reach the North Pole, on 11 April 2009. Watkins has been honoured for his contributions, including an award from the city of Thunder Bay for outstanding achievement and another from the province of Ontario for his volunteer work. He is also an honorary knight of the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem.
 
Nominated by Corrina Phillips. For more information on the historic North Pole expedition, see www.teamindependence.ca. Web. Oct. 2010. Forthcoming: transcript of interview by A. Kirk- Montgomery, 2011.
  
 
Name: ASSAF, Dany H.
Male
Born 1969 in Edmonton, Alberta
Called to the Bar: 1996
Name of Heritage or CommunityArab
Biographical Information:
A leading expert in competition law and foreign investment law, Dany Assaf is one of the first Ontario lawyers of Arab heritage. He also has a Middle East and Islamic finance practice and is fluent in spoken Arabic.
 
Nominated by the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association.
  
 

Name: CHANDHOKE, Inderpaul Singh
Male
Born 1952 In Ludhiana, Punjab, India
Called to the Bar: 1996
Name of Heritage or CommunitySikh; South Asian
Biographical Information:
In 1979, Inderpaul Singh Chandhoke was the first baptised Sikh to become justice of the peace in the Ontario Court of Justice.  He served as senior justice of the peace and administrative secretary to the Justices of the Peace Review Council from 1994 to 1996. In 2002, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding contributions to the community.

 
 
Name: SHANNON, David William
Male
Born 1963 
Called to the Bar: 1996
Name of Heritage or CommunityPersons with Disabilities
Biographical Information:
David Shannon is a lawyer with disabilities who has practised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Accompanied by lawyer Christopher Watkins (see biography), Shannon became the first person with paraplegia to reach the North Pole, in April 2009. Shannon has received many awards and honours for his legal and community work for and with persons with disabilities, including his promotion of civil rights for persons who are subject to medico-legal incarceration. In 2011, for his advocacy on behalf of Canadians with disabilities, David Shannon was honoured with both the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada. In 2012, Shannon was appointed director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.
 
Nominated by Corrina Phillips. See David Shannon, Six Degrees of Dignity: Disability in an Age of Freedom (Creative Bound, 2007). Forthcoming: transcript of interview by A. Kirk-Montgomery, 2011.
  
 
Name: PAWAGI, Manjusha B.
Female
Born 1967 in Amravati, Maharashtra, India
Called to the Bar: 1997
Name of Heritage or CommunitySouth Asian
Biographical Information:
One of the first women lawyers of South Asian heritage appointed to the bench, Manjusha Pawagi is a family court judge of the Ontario Court of Justice, Brampton. Her first career was as a writer. She studied journalism at Stanford University and worked as a reporter for the Associated Press and CBC Radio. Her children's book, The Girl Who Hated Books, was translated into 15 languages including Cantonese, Urdu, and Marahti (her native tongue), and made into an award-winning animated short by the National Film Board. The heroine, Meena, happens to be South Asian, but that is not the point of the story, just a reflection of Canadian reality. Justice Pawagi’s work as a lawyer focused on children, at the Children's Aid Society of Toronto and the Office of the Children's Lawyer. She has been active in legal education and in children's education, working for children's literacy in India.
 
 

Nom: WESTMORELAND-TRAORÉ, Juanita
Femme
Née en 1942 à Montréal au Québec
Admission au Barreau: 1997
Nom du patrimoine ou de la collectivité: Québécoise d'origine africaine
Biographie :
Me Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré est la première Canadienne d'origine africaine devenue doyenne d'une faculté de droit canadienne et une des premières juges noires. Après avoir obtenu son diplôme en droit de l'Université de Montréal et son doctorat de l'Université de Paris II, elle pratique le droit et fait de nombreuses présentations sur le droit au Québec. Dans la fonction publique, elle est commissaire à la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne (de 1983 à 1985), et en 1985, elle est la première présidente du Conseil des collectivités culturelles et de l'immigration au Québec. En Ontario, elle est Commissaire à l'équité en emploi de l'Ontario (de 1991 à 1995) et doyenne de la faculté de droit de l'Université de Windsor (de 1996 à 1999). En 1999, elle est nommée à la Cour du Québec. En 2005, l'Association du Barreau canadien remet à la juge Westmoreland-Traoré le prix « Les Assises » pour son travail de promotion de l'égalité dans la profession juridique. En
2009, le Barreau du Québec lui remet le Mérite Christine Tourigny.


  

Name: WESTMORELAND-TRAORÉ, Juanita
Female
Born 1942 in Montreal, Quebec
Called to the Bar: 1997
Name of Heritage or CommunityAfrican Canadian; Quebecer
Biographical Information: 
Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré is the first African Canadian dean of a Canadian law faculty and one of the first Black women judges. After earning a law degree from the Université de Montréal and a doctorate from the Université de Paris II, she practised and lectured on law in Québec. In public service, she was a Commissioner for the Canadian Human Rights Commission (1983 to 1985), and in 1985 she was the first chair of the Conseil des communautés culturelles et de l'immigration in Québec. In Ontario, she served as the Employment Equity Commissioner of Ontario (1991 to 1995), and dean of the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law (1996-1999). In 1999, she was appointed to the Court of Québec.  In 2005, the Canadian Bar Association awarded Judge Westmoreland-Traoré the Touchstone Award for promoting equality in the legal profession. In 2009, the Québec bar awarded her the Christine Tourigny Merit Award.
 
 
Name: AN, Juyung Jacqueline
Female
Born 1962 in Daegu, South Korea 
Called to the Bar: 1998
Name of Heritage or CommunityKorean 
Biographical Information:
Jacqueline An has practised criminal law as a sole practitioner since her call to the bar. She has conducted hundreds of jury trials, constitutional challenges, judge-alone trials, and appeals involving a wide variety of charges such as drug trafficking, homicide, and assault. As a criminal lawyer, Jacqueline has been profiled on Korean and Canadian legal television shows and in newspapers and magazines, including a 2010 Korean documentary on a cult and gang rape case in which Jacqueline was involved in as the lead defence counsel.
Jacqueline An is active within the Korean community as a lawyer and advisor. For many years she was the legal advisor to the Korean Consul General, and served as the Vice President of KCWA (Korean Canadian Women’s Association). She is now serving as the President of KOWIN (Korean Women’s International Network), Toronto chapter, and as the Vice President of FACL (Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers).
 
Nominated by the Korean Canadian Lawyers' Association.

 
 
Name: DETLOR, Aaron
Male
Born 1967 in Belleville, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1998
Name of Heritage or CommunityKanienkehaka/Haudenosaunee
Biographical Information:
Aaron Detlor has devoted his career to advancing First Nations lands issues. He is counsel to the Whitefish Lake First Nation who have set precedent with an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which recognizes that First Nations are entitled to have compound interest considered in the assessment of damages for breaches of fiduciary duty. Detlor has also assisted the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council who have asserted rights to a twenty-kilometre wide band of land in south-western Ontario along the Grand River which was formally recognized in the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784. Detlor and the HDI argue that the Haudenosaunee/Six Nations should have influence on the future development of these lands as well receive fees from developers and municipalities.
 
 

Name: VAN DER STEEN, Ronald H. A.
Male
Born 1959 in Oakville, Ontario
Called to the Bar: 1998
Name of Heritage or CommunityDutch
Biographical Information:
One of the first lawyers of Dutch background, Ronald van der Steen practises commercial and civil litigation in Oakville.

 
 
 

2001 -

 
Name: NAQVI, Yasir
Male
Born 1973 in Pakistan
Called to the Bar: 2001
Name of Heritage or CommunityMuslim
Biographical Information:
Yasir Naqvi and his family immigrated to Canada in 1988 after the Pakistani government imprisoned his father for leading a pro-democracy march. Mr. Naqvi obtained his law degree (LLB) from the University of Ottawa, and is a member of the bars of Ontario, England and Wales. He practised international trade law with Lang Michener LLP and Flavell Kubrick LLP before joining the Centre for Trade Policy and Law (CTPL) as counsel and director. In 2007, Mr. Naqvi, a Liberal, was elected as MPP for Ottawa Centre, and in 2009 he was elected President of the Ontario Liberal Party.
 
Nominated by the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association.

 
Name: CHO, Meerai
Female
Born 1951 in Busan, South Korea 
Called to the Bar: 2002
Name of Heritage or CommunityKorean
Biographical Information:
Meerai Cho was a human rights activist and journalist in South Korea before coming to Canada. For many years, she was a labour activist in Toronto, organizing and helping low income immigrant workers. She co-founded the Korean Canadian Women’s Association and the Canadian Coalition for Comfort Women Redress. She decided to go into law and graduated from the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law. Ms. Cho practises immigration and refugee law in Toronto.
 
Nominated by Avvy Go.
 
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