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Feds appoint new associate chief justice of Ontario

Thursday, September 03, 2020 @ 2:16 PM | By John Chunn

The Prime Minister’s Office on Sept. 3 announced the appointment of J. Michal Fairburn, a justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, as the new associate chief justice of Ontario.

According to the PMO’s press release, Associate Chief Justice Fairburn replaces Justice Alexandra H. Hoy, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective June 1, 2020, after more than 18 years of service as a judge.

“I wish the Honourable J. Michal Fairburn every success as the new associate chief justice of Ontario. She brings six years of service as a judge, and over two decades of experience as Crown counsel and general counsel with the Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario. I am confident she will continue to serve Ontarians well in this new role,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Justice Fairburn was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in December 2014, after which she sat as a trial judge in Brampton, Ont. She was then appointed a justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario in July 2017.

Prior to these appointments, Justice Fairburn was a partner at Stockwoods LLP, which she joined in 2013. She also worked as Crown counsel and then general counsel within the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario for over two decades.

Justice Fairburn has held many roles within the administration of justice, including serving as an adviser to the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute. She was appointed a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and sat on the board of directors of The Advocates’ Society. She was also a member of the Justice-Media Liaison Committee. She has been and remains actively involved in legal education, both within and outside of Canada, including with the National Judicial Institute and the Gale Cup Moot competition committee. She is the recipient of various awards and recognitions, including the Catzman Award for Professionalism and Civility.

Justice Fairburn was born in Toronto. She obtained her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Toronto and was called to the Ontario bar in 1992.