A skilled advocate and trusted advisor, Adam helps clients achieve their objectives in complex disputes.
Adam Goldenberg is a litigator in our Toronto office. His trial and appellate practice focuses on commercial disputes and public law. He has been counsel in arbitration proceedings, at all levels of court in Ontario, in the courts of Alberta, Manitoba, and the federal courts, and in 17 appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada.
In his commercial litigation practice, Adam has experience in contractual, shareholder, partnership, employment, and real property disputes, as well as in class actions, product liability matters, and disputes concerning the use of confidential information.
His notable experience includes:
- Counsel for the successful appellant in C.M. Callow Inc. v. Zollinger, 2020 SCC 45, in which the Supreme Court of Canada clarified the scope of the duty of honest contractual performance.
- Counsel for the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers, as intervener, in Matthews v. Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd., 2020 SCC 26, in which the Supreme Court of Canada considered the principle of good faith in employment contracts.
- Counsel for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, as intervener, in TELUS Communications Inc. v. Wellman, 2019 SCC 19, in which the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that arbitration clauses in commercial contracts are enforceable in the class actions context.
- Counsel for the Canadian Gaming Association, as intervener, in Atlantic Lottery Corporation Inc. v. Babstock, 2020 SCC 19, in which the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that waiver of tort is not an independent cause of action.
In his public law practice, Adam represents businesses, organizations, and individuals in constitutional and regulatory litigation. He also regularly acts pro bono in significant litigation for individuals and public interest organizations, among them Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, and the Canadian Mental Health Association (Ontario Division). His notable experience includes:
- Counsel for the successful applicant in Canadian Constitution Foundation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2021 ONSC 1224, in which the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck down the “false statements” prohibition in the Canada Elections Act as an unconstitutional limit on free expression.
- Counsel for Advocates for the Rule of Law, as intervener, in Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65, and Bell Canada v. Canada (Attorney General), 2019 SCC 66, in which the Supreme Court of Canada established the governing framework for judicial review of administrative decisions.
- Counsel for the successful applicant in Balasuriya v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, 2018 ONSC 7743, in which the Ontario Divisional Court confirmed that the right to make full answer and defence in a regulatory proceeding can outweigh a complainant’s privacy interest in confidential medical records.
Adam’s public law expertise includes emergency law and political law. He is the co-author of Emergency Law in Canada: Commentary & Legislation and the host of McCarthy Tétrault’s award-winning podcast, Law in the Time of COVID-19. Adam also advises organizations and individuals on their legal obligations in the political sector, including ethical compliance, conflicts of interest, election finance, political advertising, and lobbying law.
Early in his legal career, Adam was a law clerk to Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin at the Supreme Court of Canada, and to Justices James MacPherson, Janet Simmons, and Eleanore Cronk of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He previously served as chief speechwriter to the Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Canada, and as a senior advisor to a Cabinet minister in the Government of Ontario. Adam has taught appellate practice and procedure as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Toronto, and has lectured at law schools across Canada on constitutional and administrative law.
Adam’s scholarship and commentary have appeared in the Supreme Court Law Review, the Yale Journal of International Law, and the Michigan State International Law Review, as well as in the Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, Slate, Maclean’s, and Policy Options. He is the co-founder and a director of Teach For Canada, a non-profit organization that works with northern First Nations communities to recruit, prepare, and support teachers. He was selected to be an Action Canada Fellow in 2010 and is a member (and former Chair) of Action Canada’s Board of Directors. He was named a “Leader To Be Proud Of” by Start Proud, a national LGBTQ+ organization, in 2014, and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada in 2017.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Adam received his law degree from Yale, where he was a Kirby Simon Human Rights Fellow. He holds an undergraduate degree with high honours from Harvard, where he was a John Harvard Scholar and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honour society.
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
- “Automation Not Domination: AI and Inclusion” (June 2019), published by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (with Michael Scherman)
- “Automation Not Domination: Legal and Regulatory Frameworks for AI” (June 2019), published by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (with Michael Scherman)
- “Automation Not Domination: AI and the Workforce” (June 2019), published by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (with Michael Scherman)
- “Religious Freedom: Taking Stock of the State of Constitutional Protections in Canada & the United States” (January 2019), panel at Runnymede Society annual conference (video)
- “If an autonomous vehicle has an accident, who is legally responsible?” (December 2018), Maclean’s
- “Why Canada’s Supreme Court appointments are nothing like America’s circus” (July 2018), Maclean’s
- “Unfinished Business: The McLachlin Court and the Standard of Review” (April 2018), presentation to University of Ottawa symposium on the legacy of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin
- “A Lawyer’s Judge: Justice Marshall Rothstein and the Rule of Law” (2017), 74 S.C.L.R. (2d) 51 (with Neil Finkelstein, Brandon Kain, and Richard J. Lizius)
- “Closing the Citizenship Gap in Canada’s North: Indigenous Rights, Arctic Sovereignty, and Devolution in Nunavut” (2013), 22 Mich. St. Int’l L. Rev. 23 (with Tony Penikett)