The Honourable  James M.  Spence,  Q.C.,  LL.D.

Judge of the Superior Court of Justice (Ontario), from February 1, 1993 to retirement, September 7, 2015.

Education (Pre-Law)

  • Secondary school education at University of Toronto Schools, Toronto
  • A. (Honours Philosophy and History) from the University of Toronto, 1962

Legal Education, Degrees and Academic Affiliation

  • D. (formerly LL.B.) from the University of Toronto, 1966 (Butterworth Prize)
  • Articled with the Toronto law firm of Tory, Tory, DesLauriers & Binnington (1966-1967)
  • Called to the Ontario bar in 1968
  • D honoris causa from The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2001
  • Senior Fellow, Massey College, University of Toronto, 2006-

Professional Experience Prior to Appointment

  • Partner in the firm of Tory, Tory, DesLauriers & Binnington (now Torys LLP) from 1976 to 1993 and previously a member of the firm from 1968, except as noted below; engaged in corporate and commercial law matters, including government regulation.
  • Senior Legal Advisor to the Foreign Investment Review Agency of Canada from 1975 to June 1976 and previously Chief, Legal Policy Division Agency from November 1974, on leave from Toronto practice.
  • General Counsel and Secretary of Torstar Corporation in Toronto from March 1978 to June 1979.

Offices and Memberships Relating to the Law 

Since Judicial Appointment

  • Co-Chair, Steering Committee, NJI/CIAJ Education Program for Long Serving Judges, 2001-2011
  • Co-Chair, Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics, 2004-2007 (Member, 1999 – Chair, 2001-2003)
  • Former President, Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, 1999- (Past-President, 1999-2001, President, 1997-1999,Vice-President, 1995-1997)
  • Director, The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 1989-2011
  • Member, Chief Justice’s Liaison Committee with The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2009-
  • Member, Planning Committee, National Judicial Institute Domestic Violence Education Project 2006-2007
  • Member, Local Organizing Committee, Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association Conference, Toronto, 2006
  • Member, Judicial Liaison Council, The Insolvency Institute of Canada, 1995
  • Member, Canadian Superior Court Judges’ Association, 1993-
  • Member, Ontario Superior Court Judges’ Association, 1993-
  • Chair, Ontario Superior Court Judges Association Committee on Judicial Independence, 1999-2002
  • Honorary member, the Advocates’ Society, 1992-

Prior to Appointment

  • Treasurer (head) of The Law Society of Upper Canada, first elected June 1990; re-elected June 1991; Bencher of The Law Society (elected May 1983; re-elected May 1987; ex officio from June 1990 to January 1993)
  • 1993 Law Society committee memberships: Women in the Legal Profession; Equity in Legal Education; Professional Conduct
  • Member, Advisory Board, Law Reform Commission of Ontario, 1989-1993
  • Director, Federation of Law Societies of Canada, 1989-1993
  • Chair of the Federation’s committee on the Independence of the Legal System in Canada, 1992-1993
  • Member, Federation’s Committee on Inter-jurisdictional Practice, 1988-1993
  • Chair, Canadian Bar Association committee on Canada-U.S. Investment and Trade, 1985-1993
  • Chair, Committee V (Foreign Investment) and Member of Council, International Bar Association, 1992-1993 (Vice-Chair, Committee V and Member of Council from 1987)
  • Member, Advisory Committee, International Business and Trade Law Program, Ontario Centre for International Business, 1988-1993
  • Panel member, the Private Court (dispute resolution facility for commercial cases), Toronto, 1988-1993
  • Member, Corporation Legislative Committee, The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Toronto, 1990-1993
  • Queen’s Counsel, appointed January 1984

The Law Society

  • Member (ex officio), Ontario Judicial Council, 1990-1992
  • Chair, Research and Planning Committee, The Law Society of Upper Canada, 1988-1990
  • Chair, Sub-committees of The Law Society of Upper Canada on Bar Admission Reform and Lawyers’ Fee Guidelines, 1987-1990
  • Chair, Special Committee of The Law Society on Foreign Lawyers in Ontario, 1986-1988
  • Chair, Professional Standards Committee of The Law Society of Upper Canada, 1986-1988
  • Vice-Chair, Legal Education Committee of The Law Society of Upper Canada, 1985-1986

Canadian Bar Association

  • Member (ex officio), Council of Canadian Bar Association and Canadian Bar Association (Ontario), 1990-1992
  • Member, Task Force on Corporate Counsel, Canadian Bar Association, 1986
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association Committee on the Foreign Investment Review Act of Canada, 1983-1994
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association Advisory Committee on the Ontario Business Corporations Act, 1983-1984
  • Member, Special Committee on the Commercial Law Subsection of the Canadian Bar Association (Ontario) on Proposed Revisions to the Ontario Business Corporations Act, 1979-1982
  • Vice-Chair, Corporate Lawyers Section of the Canadian Bar Association (Ontario), 1978-1979

Other

  • Convenor, Consultative Committee to the Ontario Law Reform Commission Project on the Amendment of the Law of Contract, 1980-1981

Publications and Papers

  • Study Leave Paper, “Governing Justice” in report to Canadian Judicial Council, March 2006
  • “A Judge’s Perspective on Commercial Litigation”, The Law Society of Upper Canada, April, 2006
  • “Judicial Conduct: A Canadian Perspective” in Journal of the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges’ Association, Vol. 16, No. 3, June, 2006
  • “The Judiciary and Commercial Matters – A Canadian Perspective from a Commercial Court Judge”, Blantyre, Malawi, December, 2006
  • “Truth Versus Justice: No Contest?” in Statistics, Science and Public Policy: VIII Science, Ethics and the Law, (A.M. Herzbertg and R.W. Oldford, Ed.; Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, 2004)
  • “The Splendid Mystery of Nomenclature” in the Advocates Society Journal Vol. 20, No. 3 (December, 2001)
  • “The Elusive Pattern: The Law of Contract in the Courtroom” in the Advocates Society Journal Vol. 19, No. 3 (February, 2001)
  • “The Oppression Remedy: A View of its Development to Date”, Judicom, May 2001
  • “Dissenters’ Rights: Shoom and After” in Critical Issues in Mergers and Acquisitions (2000, Queens Annual Business Law Symposium)
  • “Unconscionability: A Look at Harry Kreutziger” (with Josie Gravelle) Judicom, March, 2000
  • Co-editor, The Administration of Justice in Commercial Disputes (Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, Editions Thémis, Montreal, 1999)
  • “The Courts as an Instrument for Securities Regulation” in The Future of Corporation Law (Toronto, Carswell, 1999)
  • “Lifting the Corporate Veil” in the Advocates Society Journal Vol. 17 No. 4
    (December, 1998)
  • “A Place for Sympathy: Review of ‘Poetic Justice’” by Martha Nussbaum, in
    The Advocates Society Journal Vol. 16 No. 2 (July, 1997)
  • “Called to the Bar” in Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Vol. IX, No. 1 (January 1996)
  • “Law’s Intermediaries: The Responsibilities of Lawyers in a Changing Society” (1991), unpublished; included in materials for The Law Society of Upper Canada benchers’ retreat, September 1993
  • “In the Company of Advocates” in the Advocates Society Journal Vol. 12, No. I
    (March 1993)
  • “New Way of Thinking: Introductory Remarks” in The Cambridge Lectures 1991
    (Les Editions Yvon Blais Inc., 1993)
  • Remarks as Treasurer published in The Gazette of The Law Society of Upper Canada:
    • “The Independence of the Legal System and the Rule of Law in a Pluralistic Society,” Vol. XXVII, 1993, Number 3/4
    • “Remarks Following the Divine Interfaith Service on the Occasion of the Opening of the Courts,” Vol. XXVI, 1992, Number 1
    • “An Independent Legal Profession: Looking Ahead,” Vol. XXV, 1991, Number 3
    • “Swearing-In Ceremony of the Honourable Frank Iacobucci, Supreme Court of Canada,” Vol. XXC, 1991, Number 2
    • “Escaping from History,” Vol. XXV, 1991, Number 2
    • “Retirement Ceremony of the Honourable Bertha Wilson, Supreme Court of Canada,” Vol. XXV, 1991, Number 1
    • “Ceremony of Commemoration, December 6, 1990,” Vol. XXIV, 1990, Number 4
    • “A Letter from the Treasurer to the Members of The Law Society of Upper Canada,” Vol. XXIV, 1990, Number 3
  • “Counsel on the Tightrope: Renewal of Professional Responsibility” in Canadian Corporate Counsel, September 1992, Vol. 2, No. 1, p. 1
  • “The Lawyer as Trusted Counsel: Still a Viable Ideal?” Creative Change, 1992
  • Co-Chair, “New Opportunities Under the U.S./Canada Free Trade Agreement: Breaking the Trade Barrier,” published by Prentice-Hall Law & Business, 1989
  • Co-author, A Guide to the Investment Canada Act (Toronto: Butterworths, 1986)
  • Contributor to Canada-United States Economic Ties: The Technology Context in Canada-United States Law Journal, Vol. 11, 1986 (Case Western Reserve University School of Law)
  • “Current Approaches to Foreign Investment Review in Canada” in McGill Law Journal, Vol. 31, No. 3, June 1986
  • Co-editor and contributor, Foreign Investment Review Law in Canada (Toronto: Butterworths, 1984)
  • “Canada’s Foreign Investment Review Act and the Problem of Industrial Policy” in Policy Perspectives on National Industrial Development, Vol. VI, 1984, Michigan Yearbook of International Legal Studies
  • Contributor to “Commentary on: Towards a New Canada”, compiled by the Canadian Bar Association (Ontario), 1979
  • “The Foreign Investment Review Act of Canada” in Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce, Vol. 4, 1976-1977

Conferences and Other Legal Education Programs, Speeches, etc.
(since Judicial Appointment)

2014

  • Judicial panel member, Massey Moot, Massey College, University of Toronto, November, 2014
  • Presenter, “Judges defying Parliament!?” Massey College, University of Toronto, February, 2014

2011-2013

  • Presenter, ”The Oversight of Decisions by Public Authorities and Administrative Officials” Ontario Superior Court of Justice Spring Seminar, Toronto, May 2013
  • ”Presenter, Remarks in Tribute to Mr Justice Jennings at the Toronto Region Judges’ Dinner in his honour, University Club , Toronto , September 2012
  • “Presenter, “Strategies for Writing Good Decisions” Program for Administrative Tribunals, The Canadian Institute, Ottawa, February 2012
  • Presenter, NJI/CIAJ Education Program for Long-Serving Judges “Dialogues on Judging”, Millcroft Inn, Alton, November 2011
  • Presenter, Remarks in Tribute to Mr. Justice Ferrier at the Toronto Region Judges’ Dinner in his honour, Osgoode Hall, Toronto, October 2011
  • Presenter, Remarks to the 45th Anniversary of the Class of 1986 Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, October 2011

2008-2010

  • Panel Member, “Lawyer Referrals to The Law Society”, Ontario Superior Court Judges conference, May 2010, Niagara on the Lake
  • Presenter, “Self-Governance of the Legal Profession”, the Chief Justice of Ontario’s Twelfth Colloquium on the Legal Profession, March 2009, Queen’s University
  • Participant, NJI Judges’ Colloquium on International Judicial Education, September 2008, Ottawa

2007

  • Presenter on Judicial Ethics, to Judges of the Supreme Court of the Ukraine on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner of Federal Judicial Affairs of Canada, February 21 to 23, 2007, Kiev, the Ukraine
  • Participant, UNCITRAL/INSOL Judges Conference on Insolvency and Bankruptcy, Capetown, South Africa, March 2007
  • Presenter, “Remarks in Tribute to Mr. Justice John Ground at the Toronto Region Judges’ Dinner in his honour, University Club, Toronto, June 2007
  • Presenter, “The Independence of the Judiciary and the Rule of Law” to the Delegation of Judge from the Supreme Peoples’ Court of China on behalf of the Office of Federal Judicial Affairs of Canada, September 17, 2007, Toronto
  • Presenter, “Skills-Based Training for Longer-Serving Judges” at the Third International Conference of the International Organization for Judicial Training, October 21 to 25, 2007, Barcelona, Spain
  • Participant, Roundtable on Judicial Ethics, Centre for Research on Practical Ethics, October 26 to 28, 2007, York University, Toronto

2006

  • Participant, Second International Conference on International Judicial Education, Ottawa, January 2006
  • Participant, Impartiality and Equality, NJI Seminar, St. Sauveur, Québec, April 2006
  • Presenter, The Law Society of Upper Canada Continuing Legal Education Seminar on Commercial Litigation, April 2006
  • Presenter, Judicial Reform for Malawi – Commercial Courts, sponsored by the World Bank,Blantyre, Malawi, December, 2006

2005

  • Study Leave from September 2004 to April 1, 2005
  • Visiting Judge, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, to April 2005
  • Senior Visitor, Massey College, University of Toronto, to April 2005
  • Presenter, “Oral Advocacy”, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, January 2005
  • Judge, Gale Moot, February 2005
  • Judge, Wilson Moot, February 2005
  • Judge, Callaghan Moot, March 2005
  • Participant, UNCITRAL/INSOL Judges’ Conference on Bankruptcy and Insolvency, Sydney, Australia, March 2005
  • Participant, Judicial Education Leaders Conference, National Judicial Institute, Kanata, June 2005
  • Presiding Judge, Call to the Bar, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, July 2005; remarks: “The Task of Legal Argument”
  • Presenter, Judicial Ethics and Judicial independence, Commonwealth Law Conference, London, England, September 2005
  • Presenter, “Conducting a Fair Trial”, Judicial Education Mission (World Bank),Tirana, Albania, October 2005
  • Co-Chair, Longer-Serving Judges Pilot Project, CIAJ/NJI, Millcroft Inn, November 2005

2004

  • Presenter, “The Toast to the Immortal Memory”, Robbie Burns Dinner, University Club of Toronto, January 2004
  • Judge, Wilson Moot, February 2004
  • Judge, 10th Anniversary Callaghan Moot, March 2004
  • Co-Chair, Longer-Serving Judges Pilot Project, NJI/CIAJ, Millcroft Inn, March 2004
  • Co-Chair, Supreme Court of Justice of Ontario Education Seminar, Niagara Falls,
    May 2004
  • Presenter, Conference on Insolvent Corporations, NJI, Vancouver, B.C., May 2004
  • Study Leave, Canadian Judicial Counsel, September 2004 to April 2005: Visiting Judge, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
  • Senior Visitor, Massey College, University of Toronto, from September 2004
  • Director, “Twilight Court”, Toronto Region Judges’ Seminar, September 2004
  • Judge, University of Toronto Faculty of Law Grand Moot, September 2004
  • Participant, Second International Judicial Education Conference, Ottawa,
    November 2004
  • Presenter, “Attending to the Justice Factor”, Canadian Institute Seminar on Securities Litigation, Toronto, November 2004

2003

  • Participant and presenter, “Scopes Revisited”, Social Context Training for Judges, NJI, Montreal, January 2003
  • Judge, Wilson Moot, Toronto, February 2003
  • Judge, Callaghan Moot, Toronto, March 2003
  • Presenter, Judicial Ethics, Supreme Court of British Columbia Judges’ Seminar, Vancouver, March 2003
  • Presenter on Truth and Justice, Queens University Conference on Science, Ethics and Law, Herstmonceaux Castle, England, April 2003
  • Co-Chair, Ontario Superior Court of Justice Judges’ Seminar, Toronto, May 2003
  • Presenter, Judicial Ethics, Alberta and Saskatchewan Superior Court Judges’ Seminar, Jasper, May 2003
  • Presenter, Judicial Independence and Ethics, Judicial Education Mission, CIDA and Department of Justice of Canada, in Budapest, Bratislava and Prague, June 2003
  • Panel Chair, Judicial Independence and Ethics, Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges’ Conference, Malawi, August 2003

2002

  • Judge, Wilson Moot, Toronto, February, 2002
  • Judge, F.W. Callaghan Moot, Toronto, March, 2002
  • Panel member, Ontario Superior Court of Justice Judges’ Seminar, Ottawa, April 2002
  • Participant, NJI Seminar on Social Context Training for Judges: Phase II; Niagara on the Lake, June 2002
  • Participant, Colloquium on Corruption in the Judicial System, Commonwealth Secretariat and CMJA, Limassol, Cyprus, June 2002
  • Co-producer, “Injudicious”, Toronto Region Judges’ Seminar, The Briars, September 2002

2001

  • Address to the Call to the Bar: “The Virtue of Disagreement”, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, February 2001
  • Judge, Wilson Moot, Toronto, February 2001
  • Judge, Canadian Corporate/Securities Law Moot, Toronto, March 2001
  • Judge, F.W. Callaghan Moot, Toronto, March 2001
  • Speaker: “The Oppression Remedy: Exercising Judgment” at the National Judicial Institute Seminar on Commercial Law, Vancouver, May 2001
  • Registrant, Conference of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, Cambridge, England, July, 2001
  • Speaker, Presentation of the Award of Justice to the Honourable Horace Krever, Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice Annual Conference, Halifax, October, 2001
  • Speaker, Faculty of Law Class of 1966 Reunion Dinner, November, 2001

2000

  • Judge, F.W. Callaghan Moot, Toronto, Ontario, March 2000
  • Speaker, “The Doctrine of Unconscionability: Respecting the Law’s Dilemma” at the National Judicial Institute Seminar on Contract Law, Montreal, May 2000
  • Speaker, “Judicial Treatment of Contract Issues”, Ontario Superior Court Judges Seminar, October 2000

1999

  • Speaker on behalf of CIAJ, Canada-China Judges Training Project, Montreal, Québec, February 1999 and Toronto, Ontario, March 1999
  • Speaker on behalf of CIAJ to Canadian Bar Association Mid-winter Meeting, Montibello, Québec, February 1999 and to the Seminar for Newly Appointed Judges, Mont Tremblant, Québec, February 1999
  • Judge, F.W. Callaghan Moot, Toronto, Ontario, March 1999
  • Speaker for the Committee of the Ontario Superior Court Judges Association on the Independence of the Judiciary, Association General Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, May 1999
  • Speaker, “Revisiting Past Decisions”, Ontario Superior Court Judges Seminar, May 1999
  • Speaker, Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, Bob Jones Award Ceremony, Toronto, May 1999
  • Chair, CIAJ 25th Anniversary Events: “The Rule of Law and the Role of Judges”, Toronto, Ontario, June 1999
  • Speaker, Tory Tory DesLauriers & Binnington Alumni Dinner, Toronto, Ontario, June 1999
  • Speaker, The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History Conference on “History Goes to Court”, Toronto, Ontario, June 1999
  • Speaker, Corporate and Securities Law, at the 5th Queens Annual Business Law Symposium, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, November 1999
  • Speaker, “Written Material in Longer Trials” Fasken, Campbell, Godfrey, Toronto, December 1999

1998

  • Speaker, Dinner in Honour of Mr. Justice Ian Binnie, Toronto, January 1998
  • Judge, Wilson Moot, Toronto, February 1998
  • Speaker on behalf of CIAJ, Seminar for Newly Appointed Judges, Ste. Adele, Québec, March
  • 1998 and Judgment Writing Seminar, Montreal, Québec, July 1998.
  • Speaker on behalf of CIAJ, Canadian Bar Association Council Meetings, Victoria, B.C., March 1998 and St. John’s, Newfoundland, August, 1998
  • Judge, F.W. Callaghan Moot, Toronto, March 1998
  • Participant, National Judicial Institute Social Context Training Initiative Faculty Development Seminar, Ottawa, April 1998
  • Speaker, “Lifting the Corporate Veil”, Ontario Court of Justice Judges Seminar,
    May 1998
  • Speaker, Conference “Justice to Order: Changing Demands and Coordination Issues in the Justice System in Canada”, Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, October 1998
  • Workshop Chair, Social Context Training Session for Judges, Ontario Court of Justice Judges Seminar, October 1998

1997

  • Speaker, Securities Law Practitioners’ Conference, Langdon Hall, Ontario,
    February 1997
  • Judge, Wilson Moot, Toronto, February 1997
  • Judge, Corporate-Commercial Moot, Toronto, March 1997
  • Judge, Niagara Moot Court Competition, Toronto, March 1997
  • Judge, F.W. Callaghan Moot, Toronto, March 1997
  • Speaker, “Comments on Poetic Justice by Martha Nussbaum,” Ontario Court of Justice Seminar, May 1997
  • Co-Chair, Conference on the Administration of Justice in Commercial Disputes, Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, Toronto, October 1997
  • Speaker: “The Six-Minute Judge”. A Program on Courtroom Practice, The Law Society of Upper Canada, November 1997
  • Panellist: “The Boundaries of Corporate and Securities Law” at the 4th Queen’s Annual Business Law Symposium, Queen’s University, Kingston, November 1997

1996

  • Judge, Wilson Moot, Toronto, February 1996
  • Judge, Gale Cup Moot, Osgoode Hall, March 1996
  • Judge, Corporate-Commercial Moot, Toronto, March 1996
  • Speaker, “Social Context Education for Judges: Dealing with Diversity,” Ontario Court of Justice Seminar, October 1996

1995

  • Panel speaker, “Update on Lister v. Dunlop”, Ontario Court of Justice seminar, May 1995
  • Judge, Gale Cup Moot, Osgoode Hall, March 1995
  • Judge, Corporate-Commercial Moot, Toronto, March 1995
  • Registrant, Conference of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies,
    Cambridge, England, July 1995
  • Registrant, Conference on Public Perceptions of the Administration of Justice, Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, Banff, October 1995

1994

  • Judge, Gale Cup Moot, Osgoode Hall, Toronto, March 1994
  • Judge, Corporate-Commercial Moot, Toronto, March 1994
  • Panel speaker, Fiduciary Duties, The Law Society of Upper Canada Continuing Legal Education program, Osgoode Hall, June 1994
  • Judge, Motions Court Demonstration, Bar Admission Course, Osgoode Hall, 1994
  • Judge, Trial Advocacy Workshop, Osgoode Hall, July 1994
  • Judge, Grand Moot, University of Toronto Law School, September 1994

1993

  • Judge, Law Day Moot Court, Toronto, April 1993
  • Speaker, The Independence of the Legal System: An International Perspective, Commonwealth Law Conference, Nicosia, Cyprus, May 1993
  • Panel moderator, Changing Attitudes to the Independence of Lawyers and Judges, Canadian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, Cambridge, England, July 1993
  • Judge, University of Toronto/Osgoode Hall law schools’ mock trials, Toronto,
    October 1993

Offices and Memberships

  • Member, University Club, Toronto
  • Member, Art Committee, University Club, Toronto

Offices Held Prior to Judicial Appointment

  • Vice-President and Director, Sechura Inc., listed on the Montreal Stock Exchange
  • Director, Hawley Group Canada Limited, Bose Investment Ltd., Bose Limited;
    Tarkett Inc.; Trygg-Hansa Reinsurance Co. of Canada
  • Member of the Governing Council, Ontario College of Art, Toronto
  • Director, The Canadian Art Foundation
  • Director, Syrinx Concerts, Toronto
  • Director, University of Toronto Schools Alumni Association

 

FOR APPOINTMENTS

Contact Marjorie Coe
Coe ADR Management
617 – 7 King Street East
Toronto, Ontario
M5C 3C5

Tel       416-363-2977
Toll Free   1-844-547-2977
Fax      416-703-4597
Cell      416-805-8555
mcoe@rogers.com
www.coeadrmanagement.com

james m. spence

The Honourable  James M.  Spence,  Q.C.,  LL.D.

FOR APPOINTMENTS

Contact Marjorie Coe
Coe ADR Management
617 – 7 King Street East
Toronto, Ontario
M5C 3C5

Tel       416-363-2977
Toll Free   1-844-547-2977
Fax      416-703-4597
Cell      416-805-8555
mcoe@rogers.com
www.coeadrmanagement.com