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Hon. Joseph R.Nuss, C.M., Q.C./C.R., AD. E., FCIArb
514 982-5010 jnuss@woods.qc.ca

Hon. Joseph R.
Nuss, C.M., Q.C./C.R., AD. E., FCIArb

Member of the Quebec Bar since 1959
Advocatus Emeritus of the Quebec Bar in 2013

Languages: English, French, Italian, Hungarian

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 following 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. 

Recent distinctions





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 CCRA 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.

He also acted as mediator in a number of commercial matters.


Named Lawyer of the year 2022 (Montreal) in Alternative dispute resolution by The Best Lawyers in Canada

Recognized as a leading lawyer in Alternative dispute resolution by The Best Lawyers in Canada since 2020

Recognized as a leading lawyer in Commercial Arbitration in the The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory since 2013

Included as a Lexpert-ranked lawyer in the Lexpert Special Edition on Canada’s Leading Litigation Lawyers since 2013

Named Member of the Order of Canada in 2019

Inducted as Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) in 2019

Martindale Hubbell gives him the highest rating of AV® Preeminent™. The LexisNexis directory indicates in reference to him AV® Preeminent™ and the highest Peer Rating (5).

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.”

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).

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

Named Queen’s Counsel in 1976.


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
International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR)
The Advocates' Society


                 Certificat d’Études Supérieures Européennes – On scholarship

                 Bachelor of Civil Law

                 Bachelor of Arts


LexisNexis LégisPratique, Marie-Louise Delisle, James A. Woods & the Honourable Joseph R. Nuss, Q.C., Code de procédure civile annoté – Arbitration Section, Editions 2011 to 2015-2016.

International Bar Association, Arbitration Committee, St. Petersburg, June 2013 – Lecture on “Public policy invoked as a ground for contesting the enforceability of an arbitral award or for seeking its annulment”; text published in « Dispute Resolution International », Vol. 7, No. 2, November 2013, pp. 117-133.

ADR: From the Court of Appeal to Private Practice, Panelist and Speaker, Montreal Bar Continuing Education Program Conference, 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, September, 2009.

Class Actions: the Need for Reform, Host of the Conference 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, Panelist at the Session “Les médias et la diffusion des auditions,” Halifax Conference, Nova Scotia, November, 2008.

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

Médiation à la Cour d’appel du Québec, 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.

L’évaluation d’une entreprise, The Professional Forum, November, 1991.

Les conventions entre actionnaires, Canadian Institute Conference, April, 1990.

The René Cassin Conferences on Human Rights, Participant at each of the fifteen (15) conferences, McGill University, since 1988.