Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario

News release

September 8, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments under the judicial application process established in 2016. This process emphasizes transparency, merit, and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

Spencer Nicholson, partner at Nicholson Smith & Partners LLP in London, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Mr. Justice Nicholson replaces Madam Justice H.A. Rady (London), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective June 15, 2020.

Kiran Sah, partner at Martens Lingard LLP in St. Catharines, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, Family Court Branch. Madam Justice Sah replaces Madam Justice L.C. Leitch (London), who elected to become a supernumerary Judge effective January 1, 2019. The Chief Justice has requested that this vacancy be transferred from the Trial Division to the Family Court branch.

Kristin Muszynski, partner at Templeman LLP in Kingston, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Madam Justice Muszynski replaces Madam Justice G. Toscano Roccamo (Ottawa), who resigned effective May 1, 2019. The Chief Justice has requested that the vacancy for Madam Justice  G. Toscano Roccamo be transferred to Belleville.

Biographies

Justice Spencer Nicholson was born and raised in London, Ontario. He studied at Queen’s University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science with Honours in 1995 and earned his Law Degree from the University of Toronto in 1998. He summered and articled at Fasken Campbell Godfrey (now Fasken Martineau). He was the Gold Medallist of the 41st Bar Admissions Course in London and received the Beverley E. Martin Genest Family Law Memorial Award.

Called to the Bar in 2000, Mr. Justice Nicholson returned to London to practise law alongside his father at the small litigation firm of Nicholson Smith. A partner since 2008 at Nicholson Smith & Partners LLP, Justice Nicholson’s practice has focused on insurance defence and personal injury litigation, but also includes employment law. He enjoys trial work, both jury and non-jury.

Justice Nicholson has been a dedicated volunteer in the community throughout his legal career. Driven by his lifelong passion for sports, he has been committed to youth sports, coaching soccer for over a decade and managing a minor hockey team. He strives to be a positive influence for the diverse group of players and their families.

Justice Nicholson was raised by wonderful parents of very different backgrounds. His mother’s family originally settled in rural Manitoba and his father’s great-grandfather came to Canada to escape slavery via the Underground Railroad. He is proud of his biracial heritage.

Justice Nicholson enjoys spending time with family, golfing, and travelling with his wife, Carolyn, and their two teenage sons.

Justice Kiran Sah is a first generation Canadian born in Toronto. Her parents are from Nainital, India. Justice Sah earned her B.Sc. from Trent University and her LL.B. from the University of Windsor. She was called to the Bar in 2003.

In 2004, Madam Justice Sah joined Martens Lingard LLP where she remained as partner until her appointment. She maintained a civil litigation practice in the area of insurance defence; however, her main area of practice is family law. She has a deep passion to continue learning with a view of improving professionally and personally. Her interests in family law lead her to organize numerous conferences and seminars on a wide range of family law topics for her local bar throughout the years.

In 2007, Justice Sah was appointed as a member of the St. Catharines Liaison and Resource Committee for Family Court. She was appointed Dispute Resolution Officer in St. Catharines in 2014. She has been an active participant in her legal community and sits on the Board of Directors of the Lincoln County Law Association (LCLA) from 2004 to present. She is Vice President of the LCLA (2016 to present), Chair of the LCLA’s Continuing Legal Education Committee (2007 to present), former Chair of the LCLA’s Young Lawyers’ Committee (2004-2007), and was the LCLA’s designate to the Ontario Bar Association’s Council (2007-2012). 

Justice Sah and her supportive husband are proud parents of a daughter and son. Her mother-in-law is an integral part of their family unit.

Justice Kristin Muszynski received her LL.B. from Queen’s University in 2005 and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2006. 

Following her call to the bar, Madam Justice Muszynski practised criminal and family law at a small firm in Gananoque and she then became an associate and later a partner at Templeman LLP (formerly Templeman Menninga LLP) where she practised primarily in the area of civil litigation. She has acted as trial and appellate counsel at all levels of court in Ontario and was certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a specialist in civil litigation in 2016. In 2018, she was appointed as a Deputy Judge of the Small Claims Court.

Justice Muszynski has played an active role in Ontario’s legal community. She is a past President of the Frontenac Law Association, Second Vice-Chair and East Region Representative of the Federation of Ontario Law Associations (FOLA), former Ontario Bar Association (OBA) council member, and former YASC member of the Advocates’ Society. She is committed to participating in and developing quality legal education programing. She created and taught the practical and popular “Motion Advocacy” course at the Queen’s University Faculty of Law. Justice Muszynski is a frequent speaker at legal conferences across the country and, closer to home, has been instrumental in developing and running the annual 1000 Islands Legal Conference.

Justice Muszynski lives with her patient, supportive and loving husband Matthew and their smart, funny and kind daughter Gwen.

Quick facts

  • At the Superior Court level, more than 390 judges have been appointed since November 2015. These exceptional jurists represent the diversity that strengthens Canada. Of these judges, more than half are women, and appointments reflect an increased representation of visible minorities, Indigenous, LGBTQ2S, and those who self-identify as having a disability.

  • The Government of Canada is committed to promoting access to justice for all Canadians. To improve outcomes for Canadian families, Budget 2018 provides 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 provides funding for a further seven judicial positions in Saskatchewan and Ontario, at a cost of $17.1 million over five years.

  • 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.

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-6568
rachel.rappaport@justice.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.ca

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