Thursday, January 19, 2023

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced on Dec. 19 new judicial appointments in the province of Ontario.

Faculty of Law alumni R. Lee Akazaki (HBA 1985 Trinity, JD 1988), a Partner at Gilbertson Davis LLP in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto, and Michael Dineen (LLB 2002), Counsel at the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario, Crown Law Office – Criminal in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto.

Justice R. Lee Akazaki came to Canada in 1968 from Japan and grew up in two of Toronto’s multicultural communities, Thorncliffe Park and Malvern. He obtained his BA (Hons.) in French and English Literature and International Relations from Trinity College, Toronto, in 1985 and his JD from the University of Toronto Law School in 1988. He was called to the Ontario bar in 1990 and was certified as a Specialist in Civil Litigation in 2000.

Justice Akazaki is fluent in French and English. After being trained by one of Canada’s foremost civil litigators of the era, Ian Outerbridge, K.C., from 1990 to 1998, Justice Akazaki continued his practice at Gilbertson Davis LLP. He has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario.

Justice Akazaki has held many leadership positions in law. After serving on the Medico-Legal Society of Toronto Council and the Law Society’s Barrister Advisory Committee, he became Chair of the Ontario Bar Association Civil Litigation Section, Chair of the OBA Continuing Legal Education Main Committee, President of the OBA and a national director of the Canadian Bar Association. After 2011, he served as a director of Canadian Defence Lawyers, a trustee of the OBA Foundation, a bencher of the Law Society, and a member of the Ontario Civil Rules Committee. A proponent of public legal education and diversity in the justice system, he has volunteered as University of Toronto Law School moot court supervisor, high school and junior public school mock trial coach and guest teacher, and speaker at countless legal education seminars and conferences. Justice Akazaki has published widely on topics such as intellectual property, medical malpractice, civil justice reform, and cyber law. He is the recipient of several legal community awards, including the OBA’s Linda Adlam Manning Award for Volunteerism and Joel Kuchar Award for Professionalism and Civility.

Justice Akazaki is supported by an amazing family, plays chess, reads French literature and philosophy, and supports Liverpool F.C. and the Toronto Raptors.

Justice Michael Dineen grew up in Toronto and earned a BA at Queen’s University (1999) and a LLB at the University of Toronto (2002). He was called to the Ontario bar in 2003.

Justice Dineen articled at the Crown Law Office – Criminal, and began his career as an assistant Crown attorney. He practised as defence counsel for many years with the firm Dawe and Dineen. His practice focused on criminal appeals and he appeared frequently at the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. He practised primarily in Toronto with occasional appearances in the Yukon. He then joined the Crown Law Office – Criminal as a counsel in February, 2021.

Justice Dineen was an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, teaching Criminal Procedure and Advanced Criminal Procedure and helping supervise the Criminal Appeal Externship. He received an Arbor Award from the University of Toronto for his volunteer work assisting law school moot teams. He has also taught Sexual Offences at Osgoode Hall Law School, as well as Canadian Criminal Law and Evidence at Osgoode Professional Development. Justice Dineen is a co-author of Criminal Appeal: A Practitioner’s Guide. He was a long-time member of the case review committee of Innocence Canada. He volunteered for many years with the Pro Bono Inmate Appeal Program, assisting unrepresented appellants at the Court of Appeal for Ontario.