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Ottawa announces four judicial appointments for Ontario Superior Court

Monday, April 06, 2020 @ 3:17 PM | By John Chunn


The federal Department of Justice (DOJ) on April 6 announced four judicial appointments in the province of Ontario.

According to the DOJ’s press release, Steve A. Coroza, a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, is appointed a justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Justice Coroza replaces Justice Kathryn Feldman, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Leonard Ricchetti, a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, is appointed regional senior judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario for the Central West Region. Justice Ricchetti replaces Justice Peter A. Daley (Brampton), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Jan. 31, 2020.

Melanie Kraft, a partner at Epstein Cole LLP in Toronto, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Justice Kraft replaces Justice Julie A. Thorburn (Toronto), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal effective Sept. 1, 2019.

Giulia B. Gambacorta, defence counsel and legal agent for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Justice Gambacorta replaces Justice Theresa Maddalena (Welland), who was appointed to the Family Court Branch on April 4, 2019.

Justice Coroza was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice (St. Catharines) in 2009 and to the Superior Court of Justice (Brampton) in 2013. He received n LL.B. from the University of Windsor and was admitted to the bar of Ontario in 1997. He also received an LL.M. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2003.

Justice Coroza was a staff duty counsel for Ontario Legal Aid in Toronto from 1997 to 1998. From 1998 to 2009, he was senior counsel with the Department of Justice and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, where his main area of practice was criminal law. Justice Coroza was a member of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers. He is a past adjunct instructor of the trial advocacy course at Osgoode Hall Law School and a guest instructor with the University of Notre Dame Law School. He frequently participates as a panellist in continuing education programs for lawyers and judges. He was also a co-author of a publication titled Sentencing Drug Offenders.

Justice Ricchetti was born in Faeto, Italy. He received a bachelor of science from the University of Toronto in 1975 and a bachelor of laws from the University of Western Ontario in 1979. He was called to the bar of Ontario in 1981.

Justice Ricchetti was a partner with McMillan Binch Mendelsohn (now McMillan LLP) from 1986 to 2008 and an associate with that firm from 1983 to 1986. He developed an expertise in municipal law, environmental law, constitutional law and commercial law. Justice Ricchetti was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in 2008.

Justice Kraft graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1994. Upon completion of her articles with Epstein Cole, she was admitted to the bar of Ontario. She practised family law exclusively with the firm, becoming a partner in 2001.

Justice Kraft’s practice covered a broad range of family law issues and involved various dispute-resolution mechanisms, including the negotiation of domestic contracts in complex financial matters and acting as counsel in contentious parenting, support, and property disputes.

Given Justice Kraft’s long-held commitment to improving the public’s access to justice, she has supported and participated in programs developed to support this objective. This includes her past participation in the Intensive Poverty Law Program at Parkdale Community Legal Service; her service as duty counsel at the Ontario Court of Justice;, and, most recently, her service both as a dispute resolution officer and as advice settlement counsel at the Superior Court of Justice.

Justice Kraft is an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, where she co-teaches family law. She has obtained certificates in mediation from both the Collaborative Decision Resource Centre in Boulder, Colo., and the Program of Instruction for Lawyers at Harvard Law School.

Justice Gambacorta was born in Toronto and raised in Amherstburg, Ont., by Italian immigrant parents. She received a bachelor of science from the University of Western Ontario and pursued the study of French and modern languages before entering law school. She obtained an LL.B. from the University of Windsor and was admitted to the bar of Ontario in 2002.

After completing corporate/commercial articles, Justice Gambacorta pursued a career in criminal law with the Ministry of the Attorney General as an assistant Crown attorney until 2016. In 2016, she established her own practice and taught as an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. Diversifying her experience further, in 2018, Justice Gambacorta became an agent for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.

Throughout her career, Justice Gambacorta has been dedicated to the community and has held many board and community volunteer positions. These included leadership roles serving as president of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton, chair of her Catholic School Council and as a member of the Council of Catholic Service Organizations.