Memoirs of a Judge, Lawyer, Teacher and Working Mom

A blockbuster behind-the scenes true account of life as a Judge, Lawyer, Teacher and Working Mom.

Watch this interview with Sandra and career coach Gina Alexandris.


At twenty-one, she married her soulmate.  By thirty, she had four children. By forty, she was a practicing lawyer. At fifty, she was appointed a Superior Court Judge, a position she occupied for over twenty-four years.  BOLD DECISIONS is the story of how the author used those roles to champion the disabled and the underdog in a world much in need of a kindred spirit. 

Sandra Chapnik also speaks to the universal balancing act endured by working mothers and the need to practice unconditional love.  

Her insight and her passionate love story over 60 years resonates through the ages and is told with a warm and endearing sense of humour.


Sandra Chapnik has beautifully related her life story, balancing the responsibilities of motherhood with professional life. With remarkable detail, this talented and accomplished judge has written a feel-good, warm-hearted recollection of her life experiences. With sprinklings of wisdom and solid advice, she leaves the reader inspired to pursue exciting challenges. It’s hard to put this book down as her ambitions and achievements are beautifully told.

– Jack Grossman, retired justice, Ontario Court of Justice
Author: Decisions: My Memories as a Lawyer and a Judge



A must read, this is a revealing look behind the scenes of often heart-wrenching cases. And yet, the life story of the Honorable Sandra Chapnik is more than just the courts. She takes us through her childhood in the early 1940s, falling in love and raising a family to the present day. The story of her path to success includes some hard-won lessons, most important was “to be present”. Written in an easy, warm style, Sandra Chapnik artfully paints an inspiring picture of her compelling personal journey.

—Joan Yolleck, Author: Paris in the Spring with Picasso,
Random House, New York

Sandra Chapnik

The Honourable Sandra Chapnik has had an inspiring career as a teacher, lawyer and judge. In 1973, she entered Osgoode Hall Law school in Toronto, Ontario, when her children were nine, seven, four, and three years old.

As a judge, Sandra wrote over 600 reported decisions, prompting a Supreme Court of Canada judge to describe her judgments as “beautifully written and filled with common sense and good judgment.”

In December 2021, the Governor General of Canada announced Sandra’s induction as a Member of the Order of Canada. She is also a recipient of the Order of Ontario and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal.

Sandra lives in Toronto with her husband, Dr. Jerry Chapnik, close to their children, ten grandchildren, and recently, an adorable great-granddaughter.


With four children under the age of 10, Sandra Chapnik became a lawyer at the age of 40, a judge at 50. “It’s never too late to define and pursue your purpose” says the gutsy determined Judge Chapnik. She knows because she lived it and she speaks to you from her heart, revealing the triumphs and challenges she encountered every step of the way. A memoir must read!

— Micki Moore, Broadcaster and Journalist

Contact Sandra