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;
  • 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.

In addition to the above criteria, the Nominations Committee may also consider broader service to the community, through pro bono activities, or other projects or initiatives.


Members of the OBA who practice municipal law in Ontario, including those who are recently retired,  are eligible to be nominated for the Award. However, current members of the OBA Municipal Law Section Executive are not eligible for nomination. 


The Award is presented during an Award Dinner of the Section on a date as determined by the Section Executive. Please bookmark Tuesday, June 11, 2024 on your calendar and stay tuned for more updates.

Nomination Procedure

Any member of the OBA in good standing is eligible to nominate a candidate for submission in writing to the committee.

Nominators are encouraged to include the nominee’s CV, and to canvas those both within and beyond the nominee’s place of work when providing supporting material. Maximum 2 letters of support are permitted and encouraged.

Online Nomination Form

Deadline for Applications

Nominations  close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, 2024.

Selection Process

The Section Executive shall assemble a Nominations Committee, which shall in turn review the nominations and select the award recipient. 

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


An award plaque will be presented to the recipient.

Additional Information

Peter Guennel
OBA Section Executive Liaison
Ontario Bar Association
300-20 Toronto St. Toronto, ON M5C 2B8
Phone: (800) 668-8900 or (416) 869-1047 x 340

Past Recipients

  • 2023 - John Mascarin
  • 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, K.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