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Appointee Biographies

Custody Review Board (Tribunals Ontario)


Catherine Bickley has been an adjudicator at provincial tribunals since 2000. She is a graduate of the University of Guelph and the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1991. Ms. Bickley is active as a volunteer in professional and charitable organizations.


Sara Mintz has practiced law for over 15 years. She graduated from the University of Wester Ontario in 2004 from the concurrent business and law program through the Faculty of Law and the Richard Ivey School of Business. Ms. Mintz has written and presented on a variety of legal issues at professional seminars. She is also an active volunteer with charitable organizations.


Daniel McSweeney has a Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Toronto. He began his career as a health promoter in Toronto. Later, he founded and led a successful strategic and program planning and evaluation practice which specialized in supporting pre-natal, early child development, and family support agencies in the GTA. He has extensive experience in administrative law and decision-making as a member of the Refugee Protection Division and Refugee Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.


professional experience includes mediation, adjudication, medical research and genetic counselling. Ms. Nichols has served as a School Trustee, Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario and Senior Researcher with the Learning Opportunities Task Force. She has provided legislative support to several disability organizations. Ms. Nichols is a member of the Ontario Special Education (English) Tribunal, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Child and Family Services Review Board and the Custody Review Board. She received her education in pure sciences in the United Kingdom and has been accredited in alternative dispute resolution through the University of Windsor.


is an Investigator with the College of Physicians and Surgeon's mental health team. She is a former Child and Family Therapist at the Sick Kids Centre for Community Mental Health and former Regional Clinical Supervisor at the Ministry of the Attorney General's Office of the Children's Lawyer. Ms. Novak's community involvement has included being a volunteer consultant with the Bereaved Families of Ontario and with Camp Erin, a bereavement program for children and youth. She is a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers and the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Ms. Novak holds a Master of Social Work degree from McGill University.


Caroline Sand serves as a member (full-time) for the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and is a former (Vice-Chair) for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal. Her community involvement includes serving as a member of the board of directors for the North York Women’s Shelter.


Malcolm M. MacFarlane is a retired Registered Psychotherapist and marriage and family therapist with 30 years’ experience in the mental health field at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay. He is a former Vice-President with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario where he participated in discipline tribunals and chaired registration panels. In his early career, he was a front-line family services worker at Durham Children's Aid Society. He was President of the Lindsay and District Council on Child Abuse, and a member of the Ross Memorial Hospital Ethics Committee, as well as the Ross Memorial Family Centred Care Working Group. He is author of two edited textbooks, Family Therapy and Mental Health: Innovations in Theory and Practice, and Family Treatment of Personality Disorders: Advances in Clinical Practice. He has published a number of journal articles and was the Section editor of the Family Therapy and Mental Health Section of the Journal of Family Psychotherapy.


Kathryn Rippey retired from the Ontario Provincial Police after 30 years of service. The first thirteen years of her career were spent in Southwestern Ontario, in front line policing duties, starting as a constable, then corporal and sergeant. In 1993 she moved to Orillia on a promotion to staff sergeant. She retired as an Inspector having served in many areas of provincial responsibility including traffic and marine management and police discipline. She is a member of the Ontario Chiefs of Police Association. She describes her life now as a volunteer at large in Orillia. Past roles have included President of the Canadian Federation of University Women – Orillia, Lakehead University Board of Governors Member, Chair of the Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital Foundation. Kathryn has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies Degree from Waterloo and a Masters of Public Administration from Queen’s.


Michele O'Connor is a Partner in the Toronto law firm of Chappell Bushell Stewart LLP. Ms. O'Connor has been practicing family law exclusively since graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School and her call to the Bar in 1985. Her work has involved all aspects of family law (child protection, custody/access, adoption and divorce related issues). She is trained in mediation and collaborative law, was a part-time instructor with the Bar Admissions Course for the Law Society of Upper Canada, and sat as a Family Law Referee for the Ontario Court for several years. She is a member of Collaborative Practice Toronto, the Ontario Bar Association - Family Law Division, the Toronto Lawyer's Association and the Advocates Society.


holds Master of Social Work and Law degrees. She practiced as a lawyer for several years, including with Goodman and Carr LLP in the areas of family law and sexual assault and harassment, and as legal counsel to the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. Also, Ms. Jordan has worked as an Investigator with the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth and in various capacities with Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre. Ms. Jordan served six years on the Board of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Legal Clinic. She currently works part-time with Ethical Associates conducting investigations and mediations.


Pierre R. Lavigne is a member of the Bar of Ontario and the Bar of Quebec, with a practice in administrative law, litigation, and class actions. His Ottawa based practice has experience in the areas of medical and governmental malpractice, design of compensation systems, alternative dispute resolution, actuarial issues, consent and capacity issues, insurance, and municipal law. He has appeared at all levels of provincial and federal courts up to the Supreme Court of Canada. He has been a sessional lecturer in Insurance and Municipal Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa.


Sean Weir was CEO of Canada’s largest national law firm from 2000 to July 1, 2018. In his legal practice, Mr. Weir advised financial institutions, corporations and major pension funds. Active in his community, Mr. Weir served as an elected Councillor of the Town of Oakville, a director of the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital and a Director and Chair of Oakville Hydro. Mr. Weir was named a “Diversity Champion” by Women of Influence Magazine, received the Lexpert Zenith Managing Partner Award for Corporate Social Responsibility and was listed in the Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada.