The OBA Barnet Kussner Award of Excellence in Municipal Law

About the Award

The award recognizes any single or combination of the following outstanding achievements:

  • Proven skills and expertise in the provision of legal services, including written and oral advocacy, legal advice, negotiation skills, and alternative dispute resolution;
  • Characteristically exhibits the highest degrees of professionalism, integrity and civility;
  • Significant contributions in the area of legal education or professional development;
  • Contribution to the community through pro bono activities, or other projects or initiatives;
  • Leadership in the municipal bar through the sharing of knowledge, experience, skill, commitment, and by acting as a role model and mentor to new members of the profession and to his or her peers;
  • Enhancing the practice of municipal law in the Province of Ontario;
  • And/or Contribution to the development of municipal related policies, procedures, practice and legislation in the Province of Ontario.


Members of the OBA who practice municipal law in Ontario or who are recently retired, but not including current members of the OBA Municipal Law Section Executive, are eligible to be nominated for the Award. Any member of the OBA in good standing is eligible to nominate a candidate for submission in writing to the committee.


The Award is presented during an Award Dinner of the Section on a date as determined by the Section Executive.

Nomination Procedure

The nominator must indicate that the candidate has been advised of the nomination prior to the nomination deadline and consents to being nominated. Nominations and supporting material must be filed with the Nominations Committee of the Municipal Law Section on a deadline to be set each year.

Deadline for Applications

Please send your nomination together with a detailed letter of recommendation with supporting reasons.  Nominations Open on Monday, January 9, 2023 and close at 5 pm on Feb 20, 2023.

Online Nomination Form

Selection Process

The Nominations Committee will review the nominations and make a recommendation to the Section Executive.  The final decision shall be made by a majority vote of the Executive at a regular meeting of the Section Executive or at a special meeting of the Executive called for the purpose.

The Selection Committee shall consider OBA policies, rules and guidelines on Diversity and Inclusion when selecting the winner of the Award.


A special plaque and a gold pin are presented to the recipient.

Additional Information

Cindy Ng
Coordinator, OBA/Municipal Law
Ontario Bar Association
300-20 Toronto St. Toronto, ON M5C 2B8
Phone: (800) 668-8900 or (416) 869-1047 x 407
Fax: (416) 869 – 1390

Past Recipients

  • 2022 - Douglas Kelly
  • 2021 - Barnet Kussner
  • 2020 - Diana W. Dimmer
  • 2019 - Mary Ellen Bench
  • 2018 - Roger Beaman
  • 2017 - Patrick J. Devine
  • 2016 - Wilson Lee
  • 2015 - Allan Leibel
  • 2014 - William H. White, Q.C.
  • 2013 - Lynn Townsend
  • 2012 - Alan Cohen
  • 2011 - The Honourable Peter Howden
  • 2010 - Leo Longo
  • 2009 - Dennis Wood
  • 2008 - Jane Pepino
  • 2007 - George Rust D’eye
  • 2006 - Julia Ryan
  • 2005 - Rusty Russell