"I’m inspired by the members of our family law community - who are incredibly committed to making the family justice system work."
The Honourable Justice Stanley B. Sherr, Ontario Court of Justice, is being honoured this year with the OBA Award for Excellence in Family Law in Memory of James G. McLeod for his outstanding leadership and contribution to the advancement of family law. Gain a glimpse of what motivates him and how he is making a difference in the administration of justice in this candid Q&A.
- Who or what inspires you most in your career?
I’m inspired by the members of our family law community - who are incredibly committed to making the family justice system work.
- What does a ‘good day’, or success, look like for you in your work?
When a parent in a child protection case has done the hard work and everyone agrees that the child can be safely returned to their care.
- What challenges or motivates you most about your particular professional sphere?
Every case, every day, is a new challenge and an opportunity to see what I can do to help a family. While a court appearance may be one of dozens of cases that I hear in a week, for the family before me this is a significant moment in their lives and it may be their only interaction with the justice system. I’m motivated to make it as positive an experience as it can be for them.
- Apart from encyclopedic knowledge of the law, is there a single trait that most effective members of the justice sector share?
There isn’t one dominant trait. You need a wide variety of skills that do not operate in isolation.These include the ability to: listen and communicate; prepare and organize; case manage efficiently; quickly integrate, analyze and adapt to new information; creatively problem-solve; apply knowledge of the law to complex family problems with compassion; and make thoughtful and timely decisions.
And…. give only a single trait when asked for it.