Hon. Joseph R. Nuss, Q.C., Ad. E.: Lawyer with Woods LLP

Hon. Joseph R. Nuss, Q.C., Ad. E.

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Senior Counsel
Montreal,  QU  Canada

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AV® Preeminent

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Practice Areas

  • Arbitration
  • Mediation
  • Civil Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
University McGill University, Faculty of Arts And Science, Bachelor of Arts, 1955; Institut Universitaire D'etudes Europeennes, Turin, Italy, Certificat d'etudes Superieures Europeennes - On scholarship, 1960
Law SchoolMcGill University, Faculty of Law, Bachelor of Civil Law, 1958
Admitted1959, Quebec
LanguagesEnglish; French; Italian; Hungarian
BornMontreal, Quebec, December 1, 1934

The Honourable Joseph R. Nuss, Q.C., is a former Justice of the Quebec Court of Appeal. He joined Woods LLP, as Senior Counsel, in December 2009 after his retirement from the Court. In addition to giving advice as senior counsel, he concentrates his practice in the fields of domestic and international arbitration and mediation.

Prior to his appointment as a judge, he was a lawyer specializing in litigation, who appeared as counsel, in various areas of the law, before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court, all the Courts of Quebec as well as before administrative tribunals. He was counsel before a number of Federal Commissions of Inquiry. As a judge, he also acted as mediator within the framework of the system of mediation established in the Quebec Court of Appeal. He is a lecturer on mediation at national and international conferences.

Representative Mandates

Since resuming the practice of law in December 2009, he was appointed:

Sole arbitrator in a number of commercial disputes amongst which were international ad hoc commercial disputes as well as a dispute governed by the ICC Rules of Arbitration. He was also named chair of a panel of arbitrators sitting in appeal from an arbitration decision in an ad hoc commercial arbitration.

Claims Officer "In the matter of the Plan of Compromise or Arrangement of AbitibiBowater Inc. et al." involving the restructuring and reorganization (under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (R.S.C. 1985 c.C-36) of the AbitibiBowater group of companies. The Claims Officer's function, essentially the same as that of an arbitrator, is to determine (decide) unresolved disputes between creditors and the debtor company. Approximately 34 disputed claims were submitted to him.

Mediator in a number of commercial matters.


Named Queen's Counsel in 1976.

Inducted as fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1986.

Recipient in November 2002 of the distinction Ufficiale dell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic).

Honoured by the Lord Reading Law Society (Montreal) in September 2009 and presented with citation which concludes: "In recognition of his lifelong dedication to the pursuit of Justice at the Bar and on the Bench."

The Quebec Bar awards him the distinction Advocatus Emeritus (Ad. E.) September 2013.

Professional Activities and Associations

Professional Activities

Lecturer and panellist at conferences on arbitration and mediation as well as on the Art of Advocacy before Trial Courts and Appeal Courts

One of the authors of the chapter on arbitration in the annual LegisPratique: Code de procédure civile annoté

Judge at student Moot Courts


Canadian Bar Association

London Court of International Arbitration

International Bar Association

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce (ICC Canada) - Arbitration Committee

Member of the panel of arbitrators of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR)

Publications and Conferences

International Bar Association's Arbitration Committee White Nights Conference "Public Policy invoked as a ground for contesting the enforcement of an arbitral award or for seeking its annulment", St. Petersburg, Russia, June 28, 2010.

LexisNexis LégisPratique, Code de procédure civile annoté - Arbitration Section, Editions 2011 to 2013, authors James A. Woods, Marie-Louise Delisle Joseph R. Nuss.

ADR: From the Court of Appeal to Private Practice, Panellist and Speaker, Montreal Bar Continuing Education Program Conference, Montreal, February, 2012.

Advocacy in the Court of Appeal, Canadian Institute Conference, Training Workshop for Advocates, Montreal, October, 2010.

The Art of Advocacy, Lord Reading Law Society, Alan B. Gold Advocacy Lecture, Montreal, September, 2009.

Class Actions: the Need for Reform, Moderator of the lecture by the Honourable Lee Rosenthal, U.S. District Court Judge, Cambridge Lectures, July, 2009.

Quel juge pour quelle société?, Steering Committee Member, Quebec Congress of the Judiciary, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City, November, 2008.

A Free Press and an Independent Judiciary, Panellist at the Session "Les médias et la diffusion des auditions," Halifax Conference, Nova Scotia, November, 2008.

Class Actions and the Indian Residential School Settlement, Moderator of the lecture by the Honourable Frank Iacobucci, Cambridge Lectures, July, 2007.

Médiation à la Cour d'appel du Québec, The Honourable Joseph R. Nuss, Q.C., International Conference on Mediation, Vilnius, Lithuania, May, 2007.

"Functions and Role of the Quebec Court of Appeal" and "Mediation Before the Court of Appeal", Seminar on Civil Law Reform (Appeal and Special Proceedings), CIDA Project, Vilnius, Lithuania, December, 2003.

The Role and Obligations of Lawyers in a Democratic and Free Market Society, Lecturer chosen by the Canadian Bar Association for a conference in Budapest, Hungary, June, 1991.

The Evaluation of a Business, The Professional Forum, Montreal, November, 1991.

Shareholders Agreements, Canadian Institute Conference, Montreal, April, 1990.

The René Cassin Conferences on Human Rights, Participant since 1988 at each of the thirteen (13) conferences, at McGill University, Montreal.


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Office Information

Hon. Joseph R. Nuss, Q.C., Ad. E.

Suite 1700
MontrealQU H3A 3H3

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