OBA Tom Marshall Award of Excellence for Public Sector Lawyers

Each year, the Public Sector Section of the Ontario Bar Association ("OBA") presents the OBA Tom Marshall Award of Excellence for Public Sector Lawyers. 

2018 Award Recipient

Orlando Da Silva

Orlando Da Silva
Ministry of the Attorney General - Crown Office Civil

The OBA’s Public Sector Lawyers Section is pleased to announce Orlando Da Silva as the recipient of its 2018 OBA Tom Marshal Award of Excellence for Public Sector Lawyers. Mr. Da Silva will be honoured at an award dinner on May 24, 2018 at Twenty Toronto Street Conference and Events in Toronto.

Award Program Information


2018 Recipient Q&A

Q: What advice would you give a young lawyer starting out in your area of practice?

A: Fasten your seatbelt! The ride will be fast and turbulent. It will take you, breathlessly, to unexpected places. You will never be bored. Your life will never lack meaning. Public law will give you the chance to affect thousands of lives. Maximize that opportunity. Make an impression. Make it matter. Make it last.

Q: How has your OBA membership enriched your career?

A: It yanked me from my comfort zone (my office) and implanted me in the life and times of my profession. Through the OBA, I met people, started projects, taken risks, and grown as a lawyer and a person in ways that would not have been possible otherwise. For me, the OBA has made all the difference in the world.

Q:  What are you reading right now?

A: The Mathematics of Poker (Chen and Ankerman)

Q: What inspires you?

A: Fearless compassion.

Q: Do you prefer cats of dogs?

A: Dogs, especially pugs.

About the Award

This award is established to recognize, honour, and celebrate the outstanding achievement of lawyers practising in the province of Ontario in the public interest. The award is named for Mr. Marshall in recognition of his excellence and dedication as a public sector lawyer.

Thomas C. Marshall, Q.C. has, during more than thirty years as counsel with the Crown Law Office -Civil, made an exemplary contribution to the public service, to the law and to the profession. As counsel with the civil litigation branch of the provincial Ministry of the Attorney General since 1974, six of these years as Director of the office, Tom Marshall has conducted or supervised much significant litigation on behalf of Ontario including precedent setting cases in the Supreme Court of Canada. 

In addition, he is a mentor to numerous students and young lawyers, giving freely of his time and experience to guide them in their work for the province. More seasoned lawyers continue to benefit from his sage advice. 

Tom Marshall has also been dedicated to the profession that he has served.  As a member of the CBA for many years, Tom represented the rights and interests of lawyers in the private and public sector. He was selected President of the OBA for the 2000-2001 term.  During his time as President, he recognized the particular interest of public sector lawyers as well as the need for many private sector lawyers to better understand the public sector role. Tom Marshall founded the Public Sector Lawyers Section of the OBA to help meet this interest.


This Award is open to a lawyer, an OBA member, currently or formerly practising in the province of Ontario in the public sector and working, or having worked, for any

  1. Level of government;
  2. Crown corporation;
  3. Legal aid office or clinic;
  4. Public statutory body; or
  5. Board, agency or commission.

Criteria (Choose one or more as applicable)

  • outstanding mentorship contribution to public sector lawyers through personally sharing knowledge, experience, skill and commitment with articling students and/or lawyers; or
  • outstanding organizational contribution in government, in the Ontario Bar Association, or in the Law Society of Upper Canada in relation to public sector issues and/or public sector lawyers; or
  • outstanding legal contribution either as a barrister or solicitor including in the areas of public policy and legislation; or
  • outstanding contribution in the development of public sector legal practice and related matters, through scholarly and other writing, and speaking commitments; or
  • outstanding commitment and service to the public; or
  • exemplary achievements in the area of social justice or community affairs


The Award will be presented at a program or other function of the Section as determined by the Executive. 

Selection Process

The Chair is to appoint a Nominations Committee to solicit nominations, recommend candidates to the Executive, and administer the Award and Award ceremony.  The composition of the Nomination Committee is at the discretion of the Chair but it should consist of a minimum of five and a maximum of seven members, and may include a representative from the Municipal, Provincial, and Federal governments, the previous Chair of the Section, last year’s winner of the Award, a Judge from the public sector, and Tom Marshall. 

The recipient of the Award shall be chosen from candidates submitted by the Nomination Committee to the Executive of the Public Sector Lawyers Section by a majority vote of the Executive at a regular meeting or a special meeting called for that purpose.  The Executive may decide to present the award to individuals who have been nominated in previous years as indicated on the nomination form.

This nomination may be considered for the Award for up to the next three years (provided that the candidate remains an OBA member at the time of consideration), unless the nominator contacts the Nomination Committee to withdraw this nomination.


The Recipient will receive a plaque or other award.

Additional Information

Janet Green
Sections/PD Co-ordinator
(800) 668-8900 or (416) 869-1047 x 312

Past Recipients

Voy Stelmaszynski2017 Award Recipient
Voy T. Stelmaszynski

Ontario Labour Relations Board

Mr. Stelmaszyski was honoured at a dinner on Thursday, May 25th, 2017 at Twenty Toronto Street Conferences and Events.

View photos from this event.

Past recipient winners of the OBA Tom Marshall Award of Excellence for Public Sector Lawyers include:

  • 2017 - Voy T. Stelmaszynski
  • 2016 - The Honourable Howard I. Wetston, Q.C.
  • 2015 - Mary Ellen Bench
  • 2014 - S. Ronald Ellis, Q.C.
  • 2013 - Kim Twohig
  • 2012 - Anna Kinastowski, Dale Yurka, Michael Fleishman (posthumously)
  • 2011- Leslie McIntosh
  • 2010 - Janet Minor -  Toronto
  • 2009 - Andre Marin - Ottawa
  • 2008 - M. David Lepofsky, O. Ont. – Toronto
  • 2007 -  Joint Recipients  The Honourable Madam Justice Denise E. Bellamy,  Toronto and Roslyn J. Levine, Q.C.,  Toronto (presented at OBA Festive Awards Dec 2006)