2014 Catzman Award to top advocate

Posted: 09/14/2014


The Hon. George R. Strathy, Chief Justice of Ontario; 2014 Catzman Award winner Michal Fairburn; Julie Catzman; Peter Lukasiewicz

One of Canada’s leading advocates was honoured with the 2014 Catzman Award for Professionalism & Civility at the Opening of the Courts ceremony.

Michal Fairburn of Stockwoods LLP was presented the award by the newly sworn-in Chief Justice of Ontario, The Hon. George R. Strathy, on Sept. 9, in Toronto.

Ms. Fairburn joined Stockwoods LLP in 2013 after over two decades with the Ministry of the Attorney General – Crown Law Office Criminal, where she was general counsel.

In that role, Fairburn appeared in all levels of court. She argued over 25 appeals before the Supreme Court of Canada and over 100 cases in the Ontario Court of Appeal, many of which have become the leading cases on significant issues in Canadian law.

The Catzman Award was created in 2008 by the Catzman family, together with The Advocates’ Society and the Chief Justice of Ontario’s Advisory Committee on Professionalism, in memory of The Hon. Marvin A. Catzman of the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

Universally recognized for her persuasive advocacy and for her fairness and civility, Fairburn is a prolific and respected writer and legal educator. She regularly speaks at continuing legal education conferences, including presentations to the National Judicial Institute.

Fairburn is a past director of The Advocates’ Society and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Benchmark Litigation recently recognized her as one of the top 25 women litigators in Canada.

The annual Catzman Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the qualities exemplified by Justice Catzman throughout his distinguished career: knowledge of the law, integrity, fairness, civility, generosity of time and expertise, and dedication to the highest ideals of the legal profession through writing and lecturing.

The members of the 2014 Selection Committee were: The Hon. Justice Kathryn N. Feldman, The Hon. Dennis O’Connor, Q.C., The Hon. R. Roy McMurtry, Q.C., LSM, Janet E. Minor, Peter Lukasiewicz, president, The Advocates’ Society, and Julie Catzman.