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Five new judges are heading to Ontario's Superior Court of Justice

Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 12:41 PM | By Paula Kulig

Five new judges have been appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced on June 23. The appointments were made under the new judicial application process announced last October.

Justice Andras Schreck, a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice, is moving to the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. He graduated from the University of Toronto’s law faculty in 1994. Prior to his appointment to the Ontario Court of Justice in 2014, he practised law for 18 years and was a partner in the law firms of Schreck Presser LLP and Schreck & Greene, where he acted for clients at all levels of court, primarily in the areas of criminal and constitutional law.
He has argued more than 100 appeals in the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, including a number of significant constitutional cases. Justice Schreck has also been an adjunct professor in the law of evidence at both the University of Toronto law faculty and Osgoode Hall Law School, and was a director and vice-president of the Ontario Criminal Lawyers’ Association. He replaces Justice Nancy Backhouse, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective April 6.

Justice Markus Koehnen, who will be sitting in Toronto, received his law degree from the University of Toronto and is a partner at McMillan LLP, practising complex commercial litigation at the firm for 29 years. During that time, he appeared before courts of all levels, securities commissions and international arbitration tribunals. His practice led him to work with a wide variety of legal and social cultures, including those of China, Iran and Nigeria. He was active in the International Bar Association, where he served as chair of the litigation committee. Justice Koehnen is the author of Oppression and Related Remedies, which has been cited frequently by courts throughout Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada. In addition, he has contributed to various books dealing with director and officer liability, privilege and arbitration. He replaces Justice Frank Newbould, who resigned effective June 1.

Justice Darlene L. Summers, a sole practitioner with Thompson Summers, will be sitting on the family court in Ottawa. She received her law degree from Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., in 1988. From the beginning of her legal career with Burke-Robertson LLP in Ottawa, where she became a managing partner, she practised exclusively family law. In 2002, she joined Steinberg Thompson d'Artois Rockman Summers, and 10 years ago co-founded the firm of Thompson Summers. Justice Summers' contribution to legal education includes teaching, judging student moot and negotiation competitions, conference presentations, and panel discussions on family law and professionalism issues. She replaces Justice V. Jennifer Mackinnon, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Sept. 5, 2016.

Justice Cynthia Petersen, a partner at Goldblatt Partners LLP who practised labour law, human rights law and Charter litigation at the firm for 22 years, will be presiding in Brampton. After obtaining an LL.M. from Harvard University in 1990, she began her legal career as a professor at the University of Ottawa. Her early scholarship on systemic racism in the jury selection process was cited in Ontario court decisions that led to changes in the criminal justice system. After five years in academia, she moved to Toronto and joined Goldblatt Partners LLP. She appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada and numerous courts of appeal in landmark Charter cases that helped to shape Canada's equality jurisprudence. Justice Petersen is renowned for her work in combating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and is a prominent figure within Canada's LGBT communities. She replaces Justice Meredith Donohue, who has been transferred to Hamilton.

Sally A. Gomery, a senior partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, will be sitting in Ottawa. After receiving degrees in common law and civil law from McGill University, she articled at the Supreme Court of Canada, first with Justice Frank Iacobucci and then with Justice Claire L'Heureux-Dubé. She began her practice at McCarthy Tétrault in Montreal. Moving to Ottawa a few years later, she became a partner at Ogilvy Renault (now Norton Rose Fulbright) in 2000. During 26 years as a civil litigator, Justice Gomery handled a wide array of disputes, but she was particularly active in the areas of insurance, medical malpractice and health-sector regulation, and class action defence. She also advised on procurement and led investigations of potential wrongdoing within organizations and companies. She was the head of her firm's business ethics and anti-corruption team. She replaces Justice Robert Smith, who will become a supernumerary judge effective July 1.