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Feds appoint Goodmans partner to Ontario Court of Appeal

Monday, November 12, 2018 @ 2:52 PM | By John Chunn


The federal Department of Justice announced on Nov. 9 that Benjamin Zarnett, a partner at Goodmans LLP, has been appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He replaces Justice S.E. Pepall, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective April 6, 2018.

Justice Zarnett was born and raised in Toronto. He studied political science and philosophy at the University of Toronto before attending Osgoode Hall Law School, where he graduated as the bronze medallist in 1975. He was admitted to the Ontario bar in 1977.

Throughout his career, Justice Zarnett practised trial and appellate advocacy. His cases ranged across a wide spectrum of issues including corporate, commercial and securities law, shareholder rights, pension rights, professional liability, class actions, insolvency law, taxation, real estate, intellectual property and broadcasting policy. His clients included individuals, law firms, court-appointed officers, companies, financial institutions, Crown corporations and public interest advocacy organizations.

Justice Zarnett was counsel in 15 appeals in the Supreme Court of Canada and numerous cases before Ontario’s appellate and trial courts, as well as appeals in the Federal Court of Appeal and the appellate courts of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. At the time of his appointment, he was a member of the litigation group at Goodmans in Toronto, where he had been a partner since 1990.

Justice Zarnett is a former president of The Advocates’ Society; a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers; and a member of the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute. For his contributions to the justice system, he was awarded the Law Society of Ontario Medal (its highest award) in 2006, the Toronto Lawyers Association Award of Distinction in 2007, and the Ontario Bar Association Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation in 2009.

He and his wife, Susie, have two children and two grandchildren.