Alumin Photo

Joseph Nuss (BBHS ’51)

Born: Montreal, Quebec 1934

Joseph Nuss’s father was a foreman in the bottling room of  Seagram’s Distillery.  He bought a dry goods store below the apartment where they lived,  which his mother managed. As the business grew, his father left Seagrams to work full-time in their store.

Nuss attended Devonshire Elementary School, and entered BBHS in 1947.  There he was involved in the debating club. Upon graduation he entered  McGill University and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in literature, political science and philosophy. He was actively involved with the Debating Society throughout his time at McGill University. While in law school he was also involved in the Players Club appearing in theatre and skits. During this time, he received a scholarship from the Italian government to study in Torino at the Institute of Higher European Studies. He received his law degree in 1958 when he returned to Montreal and soon after joined the firm of John Ahern. Nuss become Senior Partner in 1968 and remained at the firm until his appointment to the bench in 1995. As a practicing lawyer he specialized in litigation, and appeared as counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court and all the Courts of Quebec as well as before federal and provincial administrative tribunals. He was also counsel before a number of Federal Commissions of Inquiry.

He remained Judge of the Québec Court of Appeal from 1995 until 2009, and  heard cases involving commercial and financial matters of significant importance.

Since 2009, Nuss is Senior Counsel of the firm Woods LLP, handling matters of Canadian and international arbitration and mediation. In addition, he acts as counsel and has also been retained as an expert on Québec law. He was appointed Claims Officer to decide unresolved disputes between creditors and the debtor company in the restructuring and reorganization of the AbitibiBowater group of companies under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act as well as in the liquidation of Penson Financial Services Canada under the Canada Business Corporations Act.

He is a lecturer on arbitration and mediation at national and international conferences and recently delivered a paper, “Public Policy invoked as a ground for contesting the enforcement of an arbitral award or for seeking its annulment” published in Dispute Resolution International (Vol 7 no 2). Among his many publications, he is one of the authors of the chapter on arbitration in the annual LegisPratique: Code de procédure civile annoté.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, member of CBA, IBA, LCIA, ICDR panel of arbitrators and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Committee.

On a personal note Joseph Nuss has been a close friend of Harvey Yarosky (BBHS ’51)  since their time together at Devonshire, BBHS and McGill law school.

Click here to see a video interview of Joseph Nuss recalling his time at BBHS.