29th May 2024

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Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario

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May 1, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable Arif Virani, 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 the diversity of the Canadian population, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

The Honourable Darla A. Wilson, a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Toronto. Justice Wilson replaces Justice A.L. Harvison Young, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective September 1, 2023.

The Honourable Lene Madsen, a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, Family Court, in Hamilton, is appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Toronto. Justice Madsen replaces Justice P. Lauwers, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective September 2, 2023.

The Honourable Apple C. Newton-Smith, a Judge of the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto. Justice Newton-Smith replaces Justice P.J. Monahan (Toronto), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal for Ontario effective May 11, 2023.

Carissima Mathen, Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto. Justice Mathen replaces Justice T.J. McEwen (Toronto), who resigned effective June 30, 2023.

Elizabeth McCarty, Counsel at the Office of the Children’s Lawyer of the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, Family Court, in Belleville. Justice McCarty replaces Justice W.B. Malcolm (Belleville), who resigned effective June 23, 2023.

Yvonne D. Fiamengo, Legal Counsel at the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, Family Court, in Newmarket. Justice Fiamengo replaces Justice J.E. Hughes (Oshawa), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective July 30, 2023. Due to internal court transfers by the Chief Justice, the vacancy is located in Newmarket.

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“I wish Justices Wilson, Madsen, Newton-Smith, Mathen, McCarty, and Fiamengo every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve Ontarians well as members of the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.”

—The Hon. Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Biographies

Justice Darla A. Wilson received a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University in 1981, and a Bachelor of Laws from Queen’s University in 1984.  She was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1986.

Justice Wilson was previously a partner with Lawson McGrenere LLP in Toronto, where she practiced exclusively in the area of civil litigation. She carried on her practice throughout Ontario defending hospitals and other health care facilities on negligence claims, general insurance defence work including occupier’s liability, motor vehicle and municipal negligence claims as well as representing plaintiffs in personal injury claims. She was an instructor in Trial Advocacy at the University of Toronto Law School, as well as a Director of the Advocates’ Society and a member of the Board of Directors of the Medico-Legal Society. In 2007, Justice Wilson was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. Since February 2020, she has been the Civil Team Lead for trials in Toronto. She was a member of the Moot Court Council at Queen’s Law School and sat on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Superior Court Judges Association. 

Justice Wilson is an avid long-distance runner and ran the Boston Marathon in 2010 and the Berlin Marathon in 2015.

Justice Lene Madsen obtained an honours BA from McGill University in 1992 and a Master of Environmental Studies from York University in 2000. She earned a Bachelor of Laws (2002) and a Master of Laws (2012) from Osgoode Hall, York University. She was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 2003.

At the time of her appointment to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in 2016, Justice Madsen was a principal mediator with Bluewater Mediation in London. She was previously an associate with Epstein Cole LLP. Her legal practice focused mainly on counsel-assisted mediation, the majority of which resulted in comprehensive settlements. She also conducted numerous arbitrations leading up to her appointment to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.

Justice Apple C. Newton-Smith graduated from McGill in 1994 earning a Jt. Hons B.A. in English and Philosophy. She obtained her LL.B. from Queen’s University in 1997 and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1999. 

Justice Newton-Smith was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in 2019. Prior to her appointment to the Ontario Court of Justice, she was a partner at Berkes Newton-Smith. She practised as a criminal defence lawyer at both the trial and appellate level and appeared regularly at all levels of court for 20 years.

Justice Newton-Smith was a Vice-President of the Criminal Lawyer’s Association. She sat on the Board of the Pro Bono Inmate Appeals Program at the Ontario Court of Appeal, McGill Women in Leadership and Philanthropy, and the Cottingham Public School Parent Council. She was actively involved in education and mentorship in various capacities. She was an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law where she taught Evidence and Trial Advocacy and an instructor in the criminology department at Metropolitan University. She is an editor of the Law Society of Ontario’s lawyer licensing materials and was chair of the Ontario Judicial Education Network (OJEN) Toronto committee.

Justice Newton-Smith resides in Toronto with her husband, their three sons and a beagle.

Justice Carissima Mathen grew up in Montreal. She attended McGill University, obtaining an honours BA in philosophy and political science in 1989. After earning her LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992, she was admitted to the Law Society of Ontario in 1994. In 2002, she received an LLM from Columbia University, graduating as a Stone Scholar.

Justice Mathen joined the University of Ottawa in 2011 where she was promoted to Full Professor and served a term as Vice Dean Academic of the English common law program. She taught law full time at the University of New Brunswick in 2002-2011. After her call to the bar, she spent seven years working for the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) where she pursued path-breaking Charter of Rights litigation. 

Justice Mathen has published over fifty articles and numerous books, among them the award-winning monograph Courts Without Cases: The Law and Politics of Advisory Opinions (2019), The Tenth Justice (with Michael Plaxton) (2020), and (expected in 2024) Decoding the Court: Legal Data Insights from the Supreme Court of Canada.  She was General Editor of the casebook Canadian Constitutional Law, 6th Edition (2022). She holds several legal and academic honours, including the David W. Mundell Medal and the Law Society Medal. 

Justice Mathen enjoys travel, cooking, dance and spending time with her husband, Jason, and dog, Bolo

Justice Elizabeth McCarty received her LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1996 after obtaining her BA (First Class Honours) from Dalhousie University in 1993.  She was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1998.

Justice McCarty has spent most of her career representing children in family law matters at the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) of the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario. She co-managed the OCL’s adoption and openness programs and she has appeared at all levels of court in Ontario.

Justice McCarty was a member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Child and Youth Section Executive. She has co-chaired the OBA’s Advanced Issues in Child Protection Law for the past three years and is a frequent presenter at continuing education programs. She worked with the Ontario Association for Family Mediation to help develop a program to certify openness mediators and she has written extensively on child protection related issues.  She previously served on the Board of Trustees of Grandview Children’s Centre, the Family Law Rules Committee and has been involved in various roles with her children’s hockey teams.

Justice McCarty and her husband Jay have three adult children who are currently attending university. She enjoys gardening and long hikes with her family and her dog.

Justice Yvonne D. Fiamengo obtained her Law degree from the University of Alberta, Faculty of Law in 1997, after obtaining her Bachelor of Arts degree from York University in 1992. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1999. 

Justice Fiamengo joined the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto as Legal Counsel in 2002. Over the last 22 years, she has represented the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto before all levels of court in Ontario and at the Child and Family Services Review Board. In 2000-2002, she worked in association with a small firm in North York, where she had her first practical exposure to Family Law, acting on behalf of parents both in the domestic and child welfare court. She began her legal career practicing civil litigation in a mid-sized insurance defence firm in downtown Toronto.

Justice Fiamengo has been a member of the 311 Open Bar Education Committee and a regular presenter at Continuing Professional Development Programs. She was on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation (CANAAF), actively promoting their important work in supporting individuals and families impacted by this unpredictable disease. 

Justice Fiamengo is the proud single parent of her teenage son, and they can often be found at hockey arenas and baseball parks across Toronto.

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