Karen McCleave, a lawyer from the Greater Toronto Area, served as an Assistant Crown Attorney for over 30 years.
She received a B.A. from Western University, where she studied in an Honours Program, before obtaining her law degree from the University of Windsor. Studying law and representing her law school at a mooting competition reinforced that advocacy, as a barrister, was the best path to pursue.
As an Assistant Crown Attorney, Karen prosecuted a variety of crimes, ranging from summary conviction matters to complex homicides. Among them were dozens of jury trials, including murder cases, high-profile and sensitive cases, including children and victims with intellectual and physical challenges.
Karen has been honoured with the Doug Lucas Award for excellence in the pursuit of justice through science and two Ontario Excelsior Awards for Outstanding Achievement.
In November, 2020, Karen was appointed by the Attorney-General to the Justice of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee (JPAAC) for Central East Region. She is the Law Society’s licensee member on that Committee.
Over the years, Karen has dedicated herself to educating others; she taught Crown colleagues, municipal, provincial and military police, provincial prosecutors, paralegals, and community organizations throughout Ontario.
She has long been enthusiastic about volunteering in the community with charitable organizations and supporting the arts and live music. Karen served on both professional and public boards. For nine years, she was a member of the board of directors for Blue Hills (now York Hills) Child and Family Centre, a youth mental health agency. During that time, Karen gained experience in governance, by-laws and policies concerning not-for-profit agencies while becoming more conversant with the resource challenges across this critical sector.
Karen was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees for the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and looks forward to supporting this unique and culturally important organization.
Karen McCleave is also a lifelong fan of standardbred and thoroughbred horse racing. In her leisure time, she enjoys her Book Club, travelling and hiking.