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Ottawa appoints judge to Ontario Superior Court

Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 2:55 PM | By John Chunn

David E. Harris has appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced on Aug. 17. The appointment was made under the new judicial application process announced last October.

Harris, a sole practitioner, replaces Justice J. Michal Fairburn, who was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario on July 14, 2017.

Prior to his appointment, Justice Harris was a criminal defence lawyer with an emphasis on appeal work. He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1985 and was called to the bar in 1987.

He worked initially as an assistant Crown attorney in Toronto. In 1988, he joined the criminal defence firm of Carter, McCombs and Minden. Since 1993, he has been a sole practitioner.

Justice Harris has argued over 150 cases in the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. Between 1996 and 2005, he worked part-time assisting law students with criminal law cases at Downtown Legal Services, the University of Toronto's law clinic.

Since 2004, Justice Harris has been a member of the Circle of Directors of the Native Men's Residence — a provider of housing, employment services and support for Aboriginal men in Toronto. He served on the organization's executive committee for several of those years.

Justice Harris also spent 15 years, including a two-year term as president, on the board of directors of the John Howard Society of Toronto, which assists individuals in conflict with the law.

He has worked with a number of other charitable causes, including the Chess Institute of Canada, Lawyers Feed the Hungry and the Royal Conservatory of Music. Since 2012, he has been a member of the Stratford Festival board of governors.

In addition, Justice Harris has led numerous canoe trips in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.