Faculty of Law

Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law

2015 alumni award winners selected from strong group of nominees

Jim Parks, Law’71, Kristin Muszynski, Law’05, and Robert Frater, QC, Law’84
Queen's Law alumni award winners (l-r): Jim Parks, Law’71,
Kristin Muszynski, Law’05, and Robert Frater, QC, Law’84

With the introduction of two new awards, along with the longstanding H.R.S. Ryan Award, 2015 has been a great year for Queen’s Law alumni to honour their peers. From a broad slate of candidates, the Dean’s Council Awards Committee has announced this year’s winners: James “Jim” Parks, Law’71, Kristin Muszynski, Law’05, and Robert Frater, QC, Law’84. The honorees will accept their trophies at an upcoming alumni event.

Parks, counsel with Gardiner Roberts in Toronto, will receive the H.R.S. Ryan Award of Distinction for significant contributions to the Faculty, University and legal profession. Having practised for more than 40 years, he has been repeatedly recognized as a leading trusts and estates lawyer by Best Lawyers in Canada and by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory for charities/not-for-profit law. He has chaired the Canadian Bar Association’s National and Ontario Charity Law sections, and continues to serve as chair of the Queen’s University Gift Planning Advisory Committee. A seven-year member of the Queen’s Law Dean’s Council, he has been a valued strategic advisor and philanthropic leader.

Muszynski, a partner with Templeman Menninga LLP in Kingston, becomes the first winner of the Dan Soberman Outstanding Young Alumni Award for demonstrating promising future leadership. Having gained significant experience in complex insurance defence and family law matters at an early age with one of the largest regional firms in Central and Eastern Ontario, she was also recently appointed its student coordinator. She is VP of the Frontenac Law Association, an elected Ontario Bar Association–East Region representative and a member of Young Advocates’ Standing Committee of The Advocates’ Society. At Queen’s Law, she developed and teaches the Motions Advocacy course.

Frater, Senior General Counsel with the Department of Justice Canada, is the inaugural recipient of the Justice Thomas Cromwell Distinguished Public Service Award for sustained outstanding service and significant contributions to the public. The Government of Canada recently recognized Frater as Queen’s Counsel for his exemplary service to the Canadian justice system. He has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada more than 50 times, acting for the federal government on notable cases, the most recent being the controversial Carter et al. v. Attorney General of Canada on assisted suicide. A teacher and lecturer on a myriad of subjects to diverse audiences, he has also written numerous articles and two books.

“We received some strong nominations and had difficult decisions to make,” says Sheila Murray, Law’82, chair of the Dean’s Council and its awards committee. “It’s wonderful to hear of so many graduates doing such exceptional work. We’re extremely pleased with this year’s winners and hope fellow grads will join us to celebrate their accomplishments!”

The Faculty is planning for the award presentations to take place at the annual “Celebrate Queen’s Law” gala in Toronto in late April.