Focus On

New appointments for three judges

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 1:34 PM | By Carolyn Gruske

Two justices have received new assignments and one lawyer has been elevated to the bench in the latest round of appointments from the Department of Justice Canada.

Justice Ian V.B. Nordheimer, a judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, has been appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He replaces Justice J.C. MacPherson, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Jan, 1, 2017.

Justice Nordheimer spent eighteen years serving as judge with Toronto’s Superior Court of Justice and Administrative Judge of the Divisional Court. He has held significant administrative positions on the Superior Court of Justice, including Leader of the Criminal Long Trial (Homicide) Team, Criminal Administrative Judge, Chair of the Advisory Committee tasked with implementing the recommendations of the Civil Justice Reform Project, and Chair of the Subcommittee on Summary Judgments.

Justice Nordheimer has expertise in a number of areas of law, including class actions, commercial law and criminal law. Before being appointed to the bench, practised commercial litigation with Fraser & Beatty (now Dentons LLP) in Toronto.

Justice Barbara L. Fisher, a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, has been appointed a justice of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. She replaces Justice N. Garson, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Aug. 11, 2016.

Justice Fisher was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Nov. 2004. As a member of the court, she has been involved in judicial education. On the local level, Justice Fisher has been as a long-time member of the Education Committee, while nationally, she is part of the the National Judicial Institute. Further afield, Justice Fisher was part of a justice initiative in Ethiopia sponsored by the Justice Education Society of British Columbia.

Justice Fisher began her legal career while clerking for the Chief Justice of British Columbia Nathaniel Nemetz. Her first job, after being called to the bar, was with the firm then known as Davis & Company, where she practised civil litigation.

Following her time in private practice, Justice Fisher took on a number of judicial and public service roles. She acted as Legal Officer to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. She was General Counsel to the Ombudsman for British Columbia, as well as General Counsel to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia. Justice Fisher was one of the first commissioners to be appointed to the British Columbia Treaty Commission.

Justice Fisher then returned to private practice, becoming a member of Blake, Cassels & Graydon, where she mainly practised administrative and Aboriginal law. She appeared before various tribunals and in both trial and appellate courts.

In his first appointment to the bench, Justice Shirzad S. Ahmed has been named as a judge of the Federal Court. He replaces Justice L.S. Mandamin, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Aug. 19, 2017

Justice Ahmed has been working as a sole practitioner in Calgary, focusing on the areas of areas of immigration, refugee, human rights, and civil liberties law. He is a frequent speaker and author on these same topics.

In 2008, the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of Alberta presented Justice Ahmed with the Distinguished Service Award for Pro Bono Legal Service. In 2009, Justice Ahmed received the Alberta Order of Excellence, Alberta’s highest award.

Justice Ahmed arrived in Canada as a refugee fleeing Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. His personal journey has helped shaped his law career. He is particularly invested in mentoring students and junior lawyers, as he believes they have the ability to carry on humanitarian and human rights work and to ensure that Canada continues to set the standard for global human rights practices.