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Ottawa appoints three judges to Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Tuesday, September 08, 2020 @ 4:00 PM | By John Chunn

The federal Department of Justice on Sept. 8 announced three judicial appointments for Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice.

Spencer Nicholson, partner at Nicholson Smith & Partners LLP in London, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court. Justice Nicholson replaces Justice Helen A. Rady (London), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective June 15, 2020.

Kiran Sah, partner at Martens Lingard LLP in St. Catharines, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court, family court branch. Justice Sah replaces Justice Lynne C. Leitch (London), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Jan. 1, 2019. The chief justice has requested that this vacancy be transferred from the Trial Division to the family court branch.

Kristin Muszynski, partner at Templeman LLP in Kingston, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court. Justice Muszynski replaces  Justice Giovanna Toscano Roccamo (Ottawa), who resigned effective May 1, 2019. The chief justice has requested that the vacancy for Toscano Roccamo be transferred to Belleville.

According to the Justice Department press release, Justice Nicholson was born and raised in London, Ont. He studied at Queen’s University, graduating with a bachelor of science with honours in 1995 and earned his law degree from the University of Toronto in 1998. He summered and articled at Fasken Campbell Godfrey (now Fasken). He was the gold medallist of the 41st Bar Admissions Course in London and received the Beverley E. Martin Genest Family Law Memorial Award.

Called to the bar in 2000, Justice Nicholson returned to London to practise law alongside his father at the small litigation firm of Nicholson Smith. A partner since 2008 at Nicholson Smith & Partners LLP, Justice Nicholson's practice has focused on insurance defence and personal injury litigation, but also includes employment law. He enjoys trial work, both jury and non-jury.

Justice Sah is a first generation Canadian born in Toronto. Her parents are from Nainital, India. Justice Sah earned her B.Sc. from Trent University and her LL.B. from the University of Windsor. She was called to the bar in 2003.

In 2004, Justice Sah joined Martens Lingard LLP where she remained as partner until her appointment. She maintained a civil litigation practice in the area of insurance defence; however, her main area of practice is family law. Her interests in family law led her to organize numerous conferences and seminars on a wide range of family law topics for her local bar throughout the years.

In 2007, Justice Sah was appointed as a member of the St. Catharines Liaison and Resource Committee for family court. She was appointed dispute resolution officer in St. Catharines in 2014. She has been an active participant in her legal community and sits on the board of directors of the Lincoln County Law Association (LCLA) from 2004 to present. She is vice-president of the LCLA (2016 to present), chair of the LCLA's Continuing Legal Education Committee (2007 to present), former chair of the LCLA’s Young Lawyers’ Committee (2004-2007), and was the LCLA’s designate to the Ontario Bar Association’s Council (2007-2012). 

Justice Muszynski received her LL.B. from Queen's University in 2005 and was called to the bar of Ontario in 2006. 

Following her call to the bar, Justice Muszynski practised criminal and family law at a small firm in Gananoque and she then became an associate and later a partner at Templeman LLP (formerly Templeman Menninga LLP) where she practised primarily in the area of civil litigation. She has acted as trial and appellate counsel at all levels of court in Ontario and was certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a specialist in civil litigation in 2016. In 2018, she was appointed as a deputy judge of the small claims court.

Justice Muszynski has played an active role in Ontario’s legal community. She is a past president of the Frontenac Law Association, second vice-chair and East Region representative of the Federation of Ontario Law Associations (FOLA), former Ontario Bar Association (OBA) council member, and former Young Advocates Standing Committee member of The Advocates’ Society. She is committed to participating in and developing quality legal education programing. She created and taught the practical and popular “Motion Advocacy” course at the Queen’s University Faculty of Law. Justice Muszynski is a frequent speaker at legal conferences across the country and, closer to home, has been instrumental in developing and running the annual 1000 Islands Legal Conference.