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Ottawa promotes judge in Ontario, one in Quebec

Thursday, June 27, 2019 @ 4:18 PM | By John Chunn

The federal Department of Justice on June 27 announced the following judicial appointments:

Geoffrey B. Morawetz, a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, takes over as chief justice of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, effective July 1, 2019. He replaces Chief Justice Heather J. Smith, who will retire on June 30 after more than 36 years of distinguished service as a judge.
The government also announced the appointment of Catherine La Rosa, a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Quebec, as senior associate chief justice of the Superior Court of Quebec, effective Oct. 1, 2019. She will replace Justice Robert Pidgeon, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Sept. 30, 2019, after more than 30 years of distinguished service as a judge.

Chief Justice Morawetz was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in 2005. He served as the Court’s Team Leader of the Commercial List from 2010 to 2013, when he was appointed regional senior justice for the Toronto Region. In this role, he heard civil, commercial and Divisional Court matters. Prior to these appointments, he practised at Goodmans LLP and at the firm now known as Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.

Chief Justice Morawetz is a fellow of the Insolvency Institute of Canada, a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and an editor of the Canadian Bankruptcy Reports.

In 2012, Chief Justice Morawetz was honoured with the Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal, which is based at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta. In 2016, he was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Insolvency Section of the Canadian Bar Association.

Chief Justice Morawetz has lectured at universities in both Canada and the United States and has participated in a number of educational programs for the National Judicial Institute.

Since 2008, Chief Justice Morawetz has been an adviser to the Canadian Delegation at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law - Insolvency Law.

Chief Justice Morawetz graduated from the University of Western Ontario Law School in 1978, and was admitted to the Ontario bar in 1980.

Senior Associate Chief Justice La Rosa was appointed to the Superior Court of Quebec in 2006. Prior to her appointment, she practised in the areas of family and human rights law for 20 years. She is the author of two works of reference, Loi sur le divorce annotée and Loi sur le patrimoine familial annotée (1st edition).

Senior Associate Chief Justice La Rosa has served as co-ordinator of the family court in the District of Quebec since 2008, where she has contributed to concrete measures to improve access to justice. In particular, she worked on the Parenting Conflict Resolution (PCR) pilot project, launched in collaboration with the Quebec bar and the Ministère de la Justice du Quebec, which supports children whose parents have difficulty communicating after a separation.

Senior Associate Chief Justice La Rosa sat on the committee on the application of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction for two years. She is a member of the training group for the Seminar for New Federally Appointed Judges and has co‑chaired the Canadian training program since fall 2018. Senior Associate Chief Justice La Rosa was also chair of the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee for Quebec – East from 2017 to 2019.

Senior Associate Chief Justice La Rosa graduated from the Université Laval’s Faculty of Law in 1985 and was admitted to the Quebec bar in 1986.