Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario

News release

October 1, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments under the new judicial application process announced on October 20, 2016. The new process emphasizes transparency, merit, and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

Jessica Kimmel, a partner at Goodmans LLP, is appointed a judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. She replaces Justice R. Clark, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective June 18, 2018.

Annette Casullo, a partner at Will Davidson LLP, is appointed a judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Barrie. She replaces Justice G.M. Mulligan, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective August 30, 2018.

Sharon Shore, a partner at Epstein Cole LLP, is appointed a judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. She replaces Justice I.A. MacDonnell, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective July 30, 2018.

R. Sonya Jain, a sole practitioner, is appointed a judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and a member of the Family Court, in Barrie. She replaces Justice R.A. Wildman, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective November 24, 2017.


Justice Jessica Kimmel grew up in Vancouver and attended the University of Toronto, where she received a B.Sc. (with concentrations in neuropsychology and criminology) in 1986. She then attended Osgoode Hall Law School, receiving her LL.B. in 1989, and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1991. 

During her more than 30 years as a student, an associate and, since 1997, a partner with the Toronto law firm of Goodmans LLP, her practice in civil litigation, arbitration and regulatory law has covered the spectrum of domestic and cross-border disputes. She is no stranger to the courtroom, having appeared in cases at all levels of court in Ontario, as well as the courts of other provinces, and at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice Kimmel’s commitment to serving the legal community has provided her with rewarding opportunities to contribute to important improvements to the administration of justice, such as through the Ontario civil case management practice direction. It has also allowed her to undertake broader community outreach through organizations like the Toronto Lawyers’ Association, of which she was President in 2009.

She has been a regular presenter and demonstrator at continuing legal education programs through the Advocates’ Society and the Law Society, as well as other legal organizations. She has written extensively, particularly about procedural matters (such as arise in class actions) and practical matters (such as electronic trials, privilege, and civility).

Justice Kimmel maintains many active interests outside of the practice of law, especially those that involve travel and her family.

Excerpts from Justice Kimmel’s judicial application are available.

Justice Annette Casullo graduated from the University of Toronto (criminology, with distinction) in 1992 and Queen’s University Faculty of Law in 1996. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1998. Prior to her appointment, she was a partner in the Huntsville office of Will Davidson LLP, with a practice focused on insurance litigation. In 2011, she was designated a Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Ontario. 

Justice Casullo was a member of the Ontario Bar Association Council from 2015 until her appointment, representing the Central East Region, and was most recently a member-at-large of its Insurance Law Section Executive. She was also First Vice President of the Muskoka Law Association, and a member of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, the Advocates’ Society, the Simcoe County Law Association and the Orillia Law Association.

She has also been enthusiastically engaged in her community, and is a former board member of both the Huntsville Festival of the Arts and Reel Alternatives. More recently, she joined the Hunters Bay Radio board of directors, and volunteered at Huntsville High School’s Breakfast Program.

Born and raised in Toronto, Justice Casullo now calls Muskoka home and delights in spending time with her family and friends, travel, lake views, and her local ski hill.

Justice Sharon Shore holds a B.A. in political science from York University and an LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1998.

Prior to her appointment, Justice Shore practised exclusively in family law for more than 20 years. She articled at Epstein Cole LLP, where she subsequently became an associate and then a partner. More recently, she also served as a Dispute Resolution Officer in Toronto and Newmarket, and as Family Law Duty Counsel in the Court of Appeal. 

Justice Shore has been actively involved with the Ontario Bar Association, where she was Chair of the Family Law Executive, Chair of the Access to Justice Committee, as well as a member of the Council for several years. She was also a member of the Steering Committee for the Unbundled Family Legal Services Project and has been a regular presenter at various continuing legal education programs.

Justice Shore credits her parents for instilling in her a strong commitment to giving back to the community. When not at work, she enjoys volunteering in the community. She is a past president of Jewish Family & Child Service of Greater Toronto and has served on the boards of several other charitable organizations. She also loves spending time with her husband and their three amazing teenage children.

Excerpts from Justice Shore’s judicial application are available.

Justice R. Sonya Jain received her B.A. in sociology (1996) from York University, and her LL.B. (1999) and LL.M. (2017) from Osgoode Hall Law School. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2001.

Prior to her appointment, Justice Jain was in private practice specializing in family law, mediation and children’s law. From 2003 until her appointment, she represented children in family law and child protection proceedings through the Office of the Children’s Lawyer. She also assisted low-income clients through the Legal Aid Duty Counsel Panel.

Justice Jain is passionate about helping people resolve their disputes. She has significant experience as a family mediator, as a Dispute Resolution Officer in the Superior Court of Justice (Family Court), and as a member of the Consent and Capacity Board. Throughout her career, she has been an active member of the legal profession, having served in many leadership roles. Among them, she has chaired both the Family Law Committee of the Federation of Ontario Law Associations and the Simcoe County Family Law Lawyers Association, where she advocated on behalf of family lawyers in Ontario. She also worked closely with the Law Society, the Ministry of the Attorney General, and other stakeholders to develop continuing education and access to justice programs.

Justice Jain firmly believes that lawyers have a responsibility to assist members of the community who are most in need. She has volunteered with the Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie, Lawyers Feed the Hungry, and the Young Parent Program in Barrie. Her experiences in practice and as a community volunteer have made her particularly sensitive to issues facing children and other vulnerable members of society.

Justice Jain was raised in Barrie, Ontario and credits her strong work ethic, compassion and inspiration to “never give up” to her parents. Outside of law, Justice Jain and her husband, Keith, are busy with their family, including two children and one grandchild.

Quick facts

  • Since taking office, the Minister of Justice has made over 200 judicial appointments, including 100 in 2017 – the most a Minister of Justice has made in one year in at least two decades. Of the individuals appointed, over half are women, eight are Indigenous, 18 have self-identified as a member of a visible minority population, 12 identify as LGBTQ2, and three identify as a person with a disability.

  • The Government of Canada is committed to promoting access to justice for all Canadians. To improve outcomes for Canadian families, Budget 2018 will provide funding of $77.2 million over four years to support the expansion of unified family courts, beginning in 2019-2020. This investment in the family justice system will create 39 new judicial positions in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • In addition, Budget 2018 provided funding for a further seven judicial positions in Saskatchewan and Ontario, at a cost of $17.1 million over five years.

  • The funding outlined in Budget 2018 comes on top of resources allocated under Budget 2017, which created 28 new judicial positions across the country.

  • In addition, the Government will invest $6 million over two years, beginning in 2018-2019, to support the judicial discipline process through which allegations of judicial misconduct are investigated. In this way, the Government will ensure that a robust process remains in place to allow Canadians to voice their concerns and submit complaints about judicial conduct to the Canadian Judicial Council and the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs.

  • Federal judicial appointments are made by the Governor General, acting on the advice of the federal Cabinet and recommendations from the Minister of Justice.

  • The Judicial Advisory Committees across Canada play a key role in evaluating judicial applications. There are 17 Judicial Advisory Committees, with each province and territory represented.

  • Significant reforms to the role and structure of the Judicial Advisory Committees, aimed at enhancing the independence and transparency of the process, were announced on October 20, 2016. Sixteen Judicial Advisory Committees have been reconstituted to date.


For more information, media may contact:

Célia Canon
Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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