The Honourable John W. Morden acts as general counsel for our firm, advising chiefly with respect to civil, commercial, and public law matters.
Mr. Morden has had a distinguished career and has managed to gain the respect of both the Bar and the academic community.
After his call to the Bar, in 1961, Mr. Morden practised civil litigation with the Toronto firm Day Wilson Campbell for 12 years. During that period, from 1964 to 1971, he was Counsel to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Civil Rights. In 1969, he acted as Assistant Counsel to the House of Commons Special Committee on Statutory Instruments. While maintaining a very active practice, he was a member of the Senate of the University of Toronto and a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, and served as Editor of the Land Compensation Reports.
In 1973, he was appointed to the High Court of Justice of Ontario, Supreme Court of Ontario. Five years later, he was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario, a position he held until his retirement in 2003. From 1990 to 1999, he held the position of Associate Chief Justice of Ontario.
Mr. Morden played an important part in the reform of judicial procedure in Ontario. In 1974, he became a member of the Rules Committee (latterly, the Civil Rules Committee), and remained on this committee until 1999. From 1975 to 1983, he sat on the Statutory Powers Procedure Rules Committee. He also chaired the Special Sub-Committee of the Rules Committee which prepared the Rules of Civil Procedure for Ontario (1980-84); the Civil Rules Committee (1990-99); and the Criminal Rules Committee (1990-99).
His heavy workload did not preclude him from devoting time and energy to teaching. After a brief tenure in 1965, Mr. Morden returned to the Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto as an Adjunct Professor, teaching Advanced Civil Procedure for the period 1999 to 2004.
In addition to giving judgments for three decades, Mr. Morden has, over the past 45 years, published articles on legal subjects in various periodicals such as the Canadian Bar Review, the Law Society Gazette, The Advocates’ Quarterly and The Advocates’ Society Journal.
Mr. Morden is an Elder for the Rosedale Presbyterian Church, in Toronto, and an Honorary Director of Gilda's Club Greater Toronto, a non-profit organization helping victims of cancer. In 2011 and 2012, he was recognized as a leader in arbitration and dispute resolution in Chambers Global 2012 and 2013: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business. He has also been recognized as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the area of alternative dispute resolution in the 2012 and 2013 editions of The Best Lawyers in Canada (Woodward/White).
Mr. Morden joined Heenan Blaikie in 2004 after retiring from the Court of Appeal for Ontario.
- LL.B., University of Toronto, 1959
- B.A., University of Toronto, 1956
- Canadian Bar Association
- International Commission of Jurists
- Ontario Bar Association
- Osgoode Society
- The Advocates' Society
- The Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario)
- Toronto Lawyers Association