The Ontario Bar Association's Alternative Dispute Resolution Section has announced that this year's OBA Award of Excellence in Alternative Dispute Resolution will be presented to Justice Mary Jo Nolan '81 during a virtual award ceremony on Thursday, November 25.
The Hon. Mary Jo Nolan was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario in April, 2005 after an interesting and varied legal career in private practice, with the Ministry of the Attorney General, Courts Administration, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee and as a Case Management Master. She was the first female Master to be appointed in Ontario and the first female to be appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in Essex County.
Prior to her call to the bar in 1983, having graduated from Windsor Law in 1981, The Hon. Mary Jo Nolan was a social worker and manager with Children’s Aid Societies in Toronto, Hamilton and Windsor. She has never lost her passion for families in crisis and the rights of children. In addition, she was an adjunct professor at Windsor Law, teaching Civil Procedure and Civil Trial Advocacy from 1999 until her appointment to the Court and then taught Civil Procedure again in the fall of 2016. She has also been a Facilitator in the Problem-Based Learning Program at Windsor Law since its inception in the fall of 2014.
The Hon. Mary Jo Nolan retired from the Court in July, 2014. Since that time, she has been the principal of Nolan Mediation and Arbitration Services, providing services in Southwestern Ontario in family, estate and civil matters. She has a unique background of experience in all aspects of the justice system in Ontario with a particular concern for families and children. She brings this knowledge and experience to her work as a mediator and arbitrator. In June, 2017, the Law Society of Upper Canada awarded her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa for her demonstrated commitment over her career to access to justice. In May, 2018, she was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa by the University of Windsor for her special commitment to children and families as a social worker, lawyer and judge.