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Ottawa appoints three judges to Ontario Superior Court

Thursday, December 13, 2018 @ 4:11 PM | By John Chunn

Justice Canada announced the following three judicial appointments on Dec. 13:
E. Llana Nakonechny, a partner at Dickson Appell, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto. She replaces Justice Frances P. Kiteley, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Sept. 1, 2018.

Lorne Sossin, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto. He replaces Justice E.M. Stewart, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Sept. 26, 2018.

Jonathan Dawe, a partner at Dawe Dineen, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Newmarket. He replaces Justice E.A. Quinlan, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Sept. 7, 2018. Due to internal transfers effected by the chief justice, this position is in Newmarket.

Justice Nakonechny was born and raised in Thunder Bay, where her parents, friends and family still reside. She received her B.F.A. in drama and voice from Brock University, her LL.B. from the University of Ottawa, and her LL.M. in international protection of human rights from the University of Essex in Colchester, England. She was a law clerk to the judges of the District Court of Ontario and was called to the Ontario bar in 1988.

Throughout her legal career, Justice Nakonechny practised in the areas of family and estate law. She articled at the all-woman firm of Aitken, Greenberg in Ottawa. She practised in Toronto with Lang Michener in the areas of family law, civil litigation and construction lien. In 1999, she joined the all-woman firm of Dickson Appell, where she practised family and estate litigation at both trial and appellate courts until her appointment.

Justice Nakonechny was an instructor in family law at the bar admission course and taught law clerks at the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario and Ryerson University. She also taught ensemble acting at Concordia University Faculty of Fine Arts. She is a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law, teaching family law and civil procedure and is involved with the Walsh Moot team. She has volunteered with the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) and was involved in LEAF cases dealing with spousal rights and the feminization of poverty. She was co-counsel with professor Gillian Calder when LEAF intervened in Dickie v. Dickie at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice Nakonechny is a former board member of Casey House AIDS Hospice, chair of its Foundation Committee and a past board member of the Music Gallery. She continues to be involved in the arts community as a performer and director.

Justice Sossin graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992 and was admitted to the Ontario bar in 1996. He holds doctorates in political science from the University of Toronto (1993) and in law from Columbia University (1999).

From 1992 to 1993, Justice Sossin served as a law clerk to former Chief Justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada. He then commenced his litigation practice with Borden & Elliott (now Borden Ladner Gervais). After faculty appointments at Osgoode Hall (1999-2001) and the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto (2002-2010), he was appointed dean of Osgoode Hall and concluded his term in 2018. As dean, Justice Sossin pursued initiatives for accessibility in legal education, the expansion of legal clinics and experiential learning, community engagement and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

A prolific writer, Justice Sossin is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 12 books and over 100 articles and book chapters across a wide variety of legal fields, including administrative and constitutional law, legal process, legal ethics and civil litigation. He was the recipient of the 2012 David Mundell Medal for excellence in legal writing.

Justice Sossin has contributed as a board member to numerous organizations, including the National Judicial Institute, the Law Foundation of Ontario and the Law Commission of Ontario. He also served as the vice-chair of the Ontario Health Professions Appeal and Review Board and Health Services Appeal and Review Board, and as the integrity commissioner and the open meeting investigator for the City of Toronto.

Before deciding to pursue a career in law, Justice Dawe received a B.Sc. from McGill University (1987) and began doctoral studies in theoretical particle physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He graduated as Bronze Medallist from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1994 and clerked for Chief Justice Antonio Lamer at the Supreme Court of Canada before receiving his LL.M. from Yale Law School in 1996. Justice Dawe was called to the Ontario bar in 1997. After practising for 15 years in the criminal law group at Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP (now Goldblatt Partners LLP, he co-founded his own law firm, Dawe & Dineen, in 2012. He served as associate commission counsel to the judicial inquiry in Manitoba into the wrongful conviction of James Driskell from 2006 to 2007.

Justice Dawe’s legal practice focused mainly on criminal appeals, and he participated in numerous significant appeals in the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. A long-time member of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association (CLA), he frequently represented the CLA in Supreme Court interventions. He regularly served as a panellist on Supreme Court Advocacy Institute preparatory sessions for Crown, defence and civil counsel who had pending Supreme Court appeals.

Justice Dawe spent many years as an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, teaching courses on criminal procedure and the Charter. In 2014, he co-founded the faculty’s criminal appellate externship program. He also co-wrote a book on criminal appeals for practitioners.