Callaghan, Penman appointed judges to the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario

John E. Callaghan (left) and Jennifer K. Penman have been appointed judges of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto.

Two new judges have been appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto.

The first appointee is John E. Callaghan, a Partner at Gowling WLG in Toronto. Callaghan brings extensive experience to his new role, having graduated from the University of Windsor Law School in 1987 and being called to the Ontario bar in 1989.

Throughout his 30-year career, Callaghan specialized in commercial, civil, and administrative law, appearing before all levels of court. He is well-regarded in his field and has been recognized as a superb counsel by numerous rating agencies and publications.

Callaghan’s impressive background includes his involvement in several high-profile public inquiries, notably serving as commission counsel for Ontario’s Covid Long Term Care Commission. In addition, he served as a bencher of the Law Society of Ontario from 2011 to 2019, advocating for access to justice and contributing to the improvement of civil justice in Ontario. Callaghan is married to Seanna and has three children.

The second appointee, Jennifer K. Penman, is the Managing Partner and Lawyer at Derstine Penman Criminal Lawyers in Toronto.

Penman, born and raised in Toronto, earned her Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie University in 1992 and later obtained her Bachelor of Laws from the same institution in 1996. She was called to the Ontario bar in 1998 and completed her Master of Laws, Criminal, at Osgoode Hall Law School in 2005.

With a career spanning over two decades, Penman has conducted trials at all levels of court in Ontario and has appeared at the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. Her primary focus has been on representing individuals charged with serious indictable offenses, including murder.

Penman has actively contributed to the legal community, holding positions such as Toronto Director of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, chair of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association Mentorship Committee, and member of Women in Canadian Criminal Defence. She is married to her law partner, Dirk Derstine, and has two children.

David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, expressed his confidence in the newly appointed judges, stating, “I wish Justices Callaghan and Penman every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve Ontarians well as members of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.”