Advocacy Matters - Fall 2019


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The Advocates’ Society

FALL 2019

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Chair Chat

Hilary Book, Book Law

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Yashoda Ranganathan,

Constitutional Law Branch, Ministry of the Attorney General

TAS Report – Mid-Career Mingle

Rahool Agarwal, Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP

TAS Report – Middle Temple Amity Visit

Andrew Gibbs, Department of Justice Canada

Quirky Case

Tamara Ramsey, Dale & Lessman LLP

Highlights From Women In Litigation

Compiled by Tamara Ramsey, Dale & Lessmann LLP

Diversity in the Profession

Yola S. Ventresca, Lerners LLP (London)

TAS Report – Fall Convention

Ewa Krajewska, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Interview with Jacqueline Horvat

Compiled by Brent J. Arnold, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP

Editor: Brent J. Arnold, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP

The opinions expressed by individual authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Advocates’ Society.



(Click on the program to learn more)


DEC 05





DEC 11

Leading Your Case:

Opening Statements

and Exam-in-chief


DEC 17

Civility in

Changing Times


Harvesting Excellence

Hilary Book, Book Law

JAN 15


Advocates’ Social


JAN 31

Tricks of

the Trade 2020


JAN 22


Strategies for



FEB 20

1 st Annual

Vancouver Gala



JAN 24


Development for


JAN 23

An Evening

with the

Commercial List


JAN 30





The Advocates’ Society is well known for its excellent

CPD programs and the opportunities it

provides for socializing, collegiality and networking.

You’ll find lots of coverage of these

programs and events in this issue, which includes

reports from Yashoda Ranganathan

on the recent Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

for Litigators program, Rahool Agarwal on the

Mid-Career Mingle, Andrew Gibbs on Middle

Temple’s 2019 Amity Visit and Ewa Krajewska

on Fall Convention. Tamara Ramsay adds to

the on-going discussion on the always controversial

Oxford comma, while Yola Ventresca

examines the pitfalls of facetime in the Face-

Time era. Brent Arnold’s interview with Jaqueline

Horvat, founder of Spark LLP and LSO

Bencher, rounds out this issue.

While the Society’s programs and events are

well known, they are only part of the Society’s

mandate. Other central parts of the Society’s

mission are to improve access to justice, defend

the independence of the bar and the judiciary,

give back to the community, and improve diversity,

equity and inclusion within our community

of advocates. In my view, this is some of our

most important work, and I wanted to highlight

some recent activities in these areas:

· Diversity and Inclusion—One of the Strategic

Priorities for the Society in the 2019-

2020 term is to create a vibrant culture of

diversity and inclusion. The Society’s Diversity

and Inclusion Steering Committee, led by

Board member Kathleen Lickers, has been

tasked with identifying, developing and executing

on diversity and inclusion initiatives.

One of those initiatives has been the

creation of Leadership Principles. The Principles

were recently adopted by the Board,

and they are worth a read. They are concise

and clear, and set out important principles

for leaders in many types of roles, whether

at the Society or elsewhere.

· Access to Justice— The Society is regularly

asked to comment on proposals to

amend statutes and regulations. Most recently,

the Society was invited to and did


provide feedback on proposed amendments

to the Ontario Civil Remedies Act,

2001. The Society’s submission raised concerns

about the potential for the amendments

to erode public confidence in the

Ontario justice system. The Society noted

that civil forfeiture proceedings can be fueled

by stereotypes and suspicion, rather

than sound reasoning, and expressed

concern that administrative forfeiture

schemes could disproportionately impact

those who may already be vulnerable.

· Pro Bono—The Society has a long history

of involvement in finding and training volunteers

for pro bono programs. The Society

has recently teamed up with Pro Bono Ontario

to launch a new program to assist individuals

who have fallen prey to predatory

lenders in asserting their rights under consumer

protection legislation. Louis Century

of the Young Advocates’ Standing Committee

is spearheading this initiative. A launch and

training session for interested volunteers will

take place on November 27, 2019. For more

information and to register, click here

· TAS Gives Back—Volunteers are crucial

to making pro bono programs work, but so

is money. This year, Pro Bono Canada has

been selected as the recipient of the Society’s

annual TAS Gives Back Donate Your Rate

campaign. Pro Bono Canada helps support

formalized pro bono programs across the

country. The Hon. Dennis O’Connor, Chair of

Pro Bono Canada, recently spoke to the TAS

Board of Directors about Pro Bono Canada

and how a little can go a long way towards

making a real difference. We know our members

are asked to donate to many different

causes, but for those who are able to, I hope

you will strongly consider donating and helping

support access to justice across Canada

This will be my last Chair Chat until the new

year. I wish you all the best of the season, and a

new year full of good work, good health (mental

and physical) and whatever other good things

bring you joy.

Launch of





Wednesday, November 27, 2019

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Goldblatt Partners,

20 Dundas Street West, Suite 2039

Countless seniors, newcomers and vulnerable

Ontarians continue to fall prey to door-to-door

sales scams that leave them on the hook for

fees they can’t afford and equipment they

don’t need.

The Advocates’ Society and Pro Bono Ontario

are thrilled to announce a consumer

protection initiative that will give these

clients the help they need. Over 100 clients

are currently waiting for help.

Click here to register and join us at a free

CPD to learn how to fight back.


Ambitious EDI program

for litigators moves TAS

closer to its goal of being

part of the solution

Yashoda Ranganathan,

Constitutional Law Branch,

Ministry of the Attorney General

A meme is circulating: a mother crouches down to eye level with her toddler and says something

to this effect: “Listen to me. Gender is a construct. Race is a construct. Money is a construct. But

bedtime is very, very real.”

Hilarious…because it is so very, very true.

But here’s the thing: a not-so-insignificant

portion of the legal profession in Ontario would

need every aspect of that meme explained.

That’s the moment we are in.

The Advocates’ Society (like every other legal

organization of its time) was not born as part of

the solution. Does that mean it will remain part

of the problem? In recent years, the increasingly

diverse leadership of the Society has been determined

to ensure that it does not.

As an impressive first step, the Society asked

Toronto EDI guru Shakil Choudhury and his organization

Anima Leadership to help the Society

to get woke. (If you haven’t read Shakil’s book

Deep Diversity, put it on your must read list).

And then this month, the Society followed up

with an ambitious afternoon program titled

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for Litigators. Providing

practical tips for litigators, topics of the

program included: “Strategies for managing unconscious

bias and power dynamics in client interviews”,

“Knowing your witness: working with

diverse backgrounds and skill sets”, “Equality,

Diversity and Inclusion in the Courtroom” and

“Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace”, as

well as a keynote presentation titled “The Culturally

Competent Advocate” by Osgoode Hall

Law Professor Jeffery G. Hewitt. The final panel

included fact scenarios that considered such indiscretions

as holding a cocktail party on Ramadan.

The formal program was followed by informal

roundtable discussions led by panelists and

program chairs, giving participants a chance to

share their experiences and views.

At the end of the day, it is likely the odd participant

left the program still not knowing how

real bedtime is, but there is no doubt that every

participant left with something to reflect upon.

And that is the beginning of the solution.

“Yashoda Ranganathan is Counsel in the

Constitutional Law Branch of the Ministry of

the Attorney General. The views expressed in

this article are her own and not those of the

Ministry of the Attorney General or the government

of Ontario.”

8 9


Mid-Career Mingle

Rahool Agarwal, Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP




On October 23, 2019, the TAS 10+ Committee

held its inaugural “Mid-Career Mingle”. The

event was held at the ping pong bar at The Walrus

(a great recent addition to the downtown

food/bar/fun landscape, and which boasts a

barber shop if you are in need of a quick haircut

between drinks).

The night started early at 5:00 pm, with the

hope of making it easier for lawyers with young

families to come to the event. The turnout was

excellent – about 80 people came to the event

– and we received very positive feedback about

the early start, so there may be more 10+ events

in the future with similarly early start times to

look forward to.

Lawyers from across the litigation bar dropped

in – sole practitioners, small firm, big firm, and

government. The night was filled with rousing discussions

about everything from recent cases to

the federal election to the Raptors’ championship

banner ceremony (which, as an aside, was perfect

in all respects and should never be criticized by

anyone). The food was also really tasty. My personal

favourite was the Yorkshire pudding.

All in all, it was a great night and a wonderful

opportunity to re-connect with old friends

and make some new friends. The goal of the

10+ Committee is to give busy mid-career advocates

chances to engage (and re-engage) with

TAS, the profession and with each other. On

this night, mission accomplished!

And, thank you to our sponsors, PricewaterhouseCoopers

and Lax O’Sullivan Lisus

Gottlieb LLP.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

The Advocates’ Society

2700-250 Yonge Street,

Toronto, ON M5B 2L7

Mark your calendar. Please join your fellow TAS

members for an evening of collegiality and

festive cheer. This complimentary event is

exclusive to TAS members.

To learn more visit

10 11


Life Lessons from Justice

Abella: A Generation of

Justice’s Journey - Now What?

Andrew Gibbs, Department of Justice Canada

Mastering the art and craft of advocacy is a career-long commitment and we are

here to help. The Advocates’ Society has been the premier provider of advocacy

skills training for over 30 years. We are proud to provide lawyers across Canada

with the training and the confidence they need to execute on their feet when it

counts. The Judge will notice…your clients will too.

London’s Honourable Society of Middle Temple

2019 Amity Visit began in Ottawa on September

18, 2019. Members of The Advocates’ Society

joined members of the UK bench and bar in the

glass atrium of the National Arts Centre to hear

the Hon. Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella deliver

the Treasurer’s Lecture entitled A Generation

of Justice’s Journey: Now what?

In a moving, personal account, Justice Abella

described justice as the application of law to

life. According to Justice Abella, we learn about

law by studying jurisprudence; we learn about

life by living and by reading literature. Literature

teaches empathy and exposes the reader

to different experiences and different perspectives.

Justice Abella also spoke passionately of

the evolution (or lack thereof) of human rights

around the world, from the heady days at the

end of the Second World War and the creation

of the United Nations to recent resurgences of

insularity and division. In thanking Justice Abella,

the Treasurer of Middle Temple said it was the

first time he had seen a standing ovation in response

to a Treasurer’s Lecture. I was honoured

to be present for this inspiring lecture delivered

in a wonderful, collegial atmosphere.

Visit Be part of the legacy of extraordinary advocates.



Much ado about a comma:

Austin v. Bell Canada,

2019 ONSC 4757

Tamara Ramsey, Dale & Lessman LLP

This column features a case that is interesting

because of its quirkiness. This can include unusual

facts, a novel legal issue, or something

else that makes it out of the ordinary.

Austin v. Bell Canada is a case about the annual

indexing provision of a pension plan. This would

not normally qualify as interesting let alone

quirky if the case did not consider the contractual

significance of the sometimes-controversial

Oxford comma and, for all the grammar nerds

out there, the last antecedent rule vs. the series

qualifier rule. I had heard urban legends about a

million-dollar comma, but never thought I would

have the pleasure of reading a case about one.

This particular dispute is about whether the

cost of living increase for a pension plan for 2017

should have been 1% or 2%. The amounts for

each pensioner were insignificant, but cumulatively

it is a comma worth more than a million.

The case turns on basic math, basic grammar

and ultimately on the contextual interpretation

of the plan’s document and Justice E.M. Morgan

includes a fun survey of divergent views on the

significance of the comma in different cases. In

the end, the case is also a reminder that precise

drafting and grammar are always important.

The parties agreed that the percentage increase

for indexing over the previous year was

1.49371% and agreed that the plan required

the final number to be rounded to a single digit,

but disagreed on the rounding process.

The section of the plan with the troublesome

comma provided:

“Pension Index” means the annual percentage

increase of the Consumer Price Index,

as determined by Statistics Canada, during

the [relevant period].

The parties dispute was whether the annual

increase should (a) start with the rounded

number of 1.5% that was published by Statistics

Canada, or (b) start with the number rounded

to two digits as mandated in a different section

of the plan to 1.49%. Both parties pointed out

that the proper interpretation of the provision

depends on the importance one ascribes to the

comma between the words “Consumer Price Index”

and “as determined by Statistics Canada.”

Justice Morgan reviewed comments from

some other Canadian courts about the importance

of grammar, which include:

· “Canadian courts are ‘rightly cautious of

attaching too much significance to a single

punctuation mark’”;

· “Punctuation, particularly the comma, is essential

to written communication, and judges

cannot totally ignore it”; and

· “[T]he comma has earned its notoriety as a


With respect to the comma, Justice Morgan

concluded that:

· “The comma, it would seem, can mean everything

or nothing in a sentence, statutory

provision, or contractual clause;” and

· “Despite their physically small stature,

commas have created controversy in important


The grammar question in this case is whether

the phrase at the end of the list modifies

only the last item in the list or the entire series

of items where the comma appears at

the end of the list. There are two competing

grammar rules. First, the last antecedent rule

holds that the modifier “as determined by

Statistics Canada” would apply only to the

last item in the preceding sequence if there

was no comma preceding it. Second, the series

qualifying rule holds that where there is

a straightforward, parallel construction that

involves all nouns or verbs in a series then a

modifier that comes at the end of the list with

a comma separating it from the list normally

applies to the entire series. The application of

these grammar rules results in the phrase “as

determined by Statistics Canada” modifying

both the “Consumer Price Index” and the “annual

percentage increase.”

This was not the end of the matter. Justice

Morgan ultimately agreed that the grammar

rules were rebutted by the context of the plan

and by a reading of the plan as a whole. Justice

Morgan considered other sections of the plan

that required the Pension Index to be rounded

to two decimal places. There was evidence that

it was mathematically impossible to need to

round the number to two decimal places when

starting with a number from Statistics Canada

that is rounded to one decimal place.

Justice Morgan concluded “[T]here is no rule

of interpretation that would implement a version

of the [p]lan that renders it partly meaningless.”

More specifically, the words of the

contentious section did not reflect a modifying

rule for the series of two items that come before

it and that it was not intended to apply

the Statistics Canada rounding methodology

to the calculation of the annual percentage increase

in the Consumer Price Index.

Justice Morgan’s final line on this issue was:

“It was likely punctuated unconsciously; I do not

believe it was a legally induced comma.”

14 15

Highlights from Women in Litigation Symposium

The Symposium’s theme was Strength and Resiliency in Litigation and the panelists shared insights

and personal stories of success, failure and support. We identified some sub-themes that

permeated through the Symposium: Succeeding through Failure and Finding Your Mentor(s). In

addition, we were given insight into the important work being done by women advocates and

the support they provided to each other – in particular, by some women lawyers who were part

of the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls who reminded us that it

is important to support each other and that we should all consider how to give life to the “Calls

for All Canadians in the Calls for Justice”.


Succeeding Through Failure

Cynthia Spry, Babin Bessner Spry LLP

In a compelling panel comprised of Sandra Barton, Patricia Jackson and Ann Morgan,

the panelists provided reflections on “What I Wish I Knew When I Was New.” Their

message: it is up to you to define what success is, otherwise, your career may be

frustrating and unfulfilling. Trisha Jackson told an insightful story of self-defined success: in her first

appearance before the Supreme Court of Canada she didn’t win, but she had an exhilarating conversation

with the justices, in which she acquitted herself well. And this was despite a mere week to

prepare, and one hour of sleep the night before (the fire alarm rang all night). Why were these stories

of self-defined success inspiring? They were relatable, for all counsel and all levels of seniority.

Resiliency and other themes

from the TAS Women in

Litigation Symposium

Erin Farrell, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP,

Cynthia Spry, Babin Bessner Spry LLP

Compiled by Tamara Ramsey,

Dale & Lessmann LLP

Finding your Mentor(s)

Erin Farrell, Gowling WLG

Mentorship was a major theme of the Symposium. Sandra Barton provided some

sage advice, namely to seek out and find a wise “Mr. Miyagi” for mentorship and inspiration.

You might find pieces of your Mr. Miyagi in different places. Don’t dismiss

a helpful learning experience with someone just because they may be flawed in other unrelated

aspects of their lives. Sana Halwani also discussed the strength that can be gained from your

peers. She recommended finding colleagues you can let your guard down around, and suggested

sharing and supporting each other through struggles. Christa Big Canoe recommended finding

colleagues who value parenting, caring for aging parents, social justice or whatever else is important

to you. In the words of Mr. Miyagi, “balance is key!”

16 17

Tricks of the

Trade 2020

Friday, January 31, 2020

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Post-program cocktail reception

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The Carlu (College Park)

444 Yonge Street, 7th Floor, Toronto

Tricks of the Trade is ‘THE’ conference for

the personal injury bar, addressing current

challenges for both plaintiff and defence

counsel. Attend this exceptional program

and hear directly from judges and senior

litigators on the trends of 2019 and what

to expect in the year ahead. If you practise

personal injury law, this is one conference

you cannot afford to miss!


Facetime in the Era of

FaceTime: Working

Flexibly to Maximize

Talent Management

Yola S. Ventresca, Lerners LLP (London)

Early Bird Price Starts at: $558.33

Early Bird ends December 20, 2019

Eligible CPD Hours:

6.0 CPD Hours

The Advocates’ Society has been approved as an Accredited

Provider of Professionalism Content by the Law Society of

Ontario. For accreditation information outside of Ontario, please


To learn more or register visit

As I was finishing up this reflection, one of those

ubiquitous pings sounded on my phone heralding

the arrival of some social media notification.

Usually, I know better than to expose myself

to such distractions, most of them rather

trivial, while working on something that requires

sustained concentration. But for once I’m glad I

forgot to leave my phone on “do not disturb” as

the alert was a post about Persons Day – October

18 th – commemorating the monumental

day in 1929 when women were declared “persons”

before the law.

The historic decision in the Persons Case was

one of those milestone events in history that,

over time, revolutionized the status of women in

public life. It’s one of those markers in time; a decisive

moment when the legal system was ahead

of the curve, stepping out ahead of popular opinion

and political will to begin to dismantle one of

the many structural barriers that sustained the


systemic marginalization of women in society.

I think it’s a very good thing to commemorate

an anniversary like Persons Day and use the occasion

to learn something about our past, and

about how far we’ve come. Yet, as I wrote in my

inaugural reflection, there’s always a risk when

we focus on celebrating milestone accomplishments.

Sure, these anniversaries focus our

attention on how far we’ve come. But we must

not lose sight of how far we still must go to address

the inequities and power imbalances that

impede the full and meaningful participation of

women in the legal profession, not to mention

in politics and society at large.

One of the most persistent barriers to women’s

full and equitable participation in the legal profession

arises from the issues women lawyers

face in navigating the challenges of reintegration

into practice after parental leave and, even

more importantly, in the years when they are

raising toddlers and small children.

Let’s be honest. For all the advances made by

women in the legal profession, much of legal

practice today remains wedded to a model of

time and talent management grounded in the

social practices and attitudes of thirty or more

years ago. The organizational behaviour expert

Jennifer Petriglieri speaks of this earlier time as

an era of ‘unbounded talent’. The unbounded

talent – almost always male – conformed to the

standard of the so-called ‘ideal worker’ – someone

fully committed to work, mobile and flexible

enough to work almost without any boundaries,

be they of time or travel. Without regard

to any childcare commitments, for instance, the

unbounded talent could make an 8 am breakfast

meeting. He could meet with clients in the

late afternoon - around the time the children

would need to be picked up from school. He

could attend that networking cocktail social –

when the children need to be put to bed. He

could travel out of town on a moment’s notice.

He could even relocate altogether if new and

exciting professional opportunities called. The

other spouse – usually female – would shoulder

the burden of the childcare and be unable to

be ‘unbound’ such that she would not have the

same chances for advancement.

Most law firms still place a premium on a culture

of ‘facetime’ – of being physically present

in the office, 9-to-5 as the saying goes (granted,

and realistically, much longer) and able

to handle hours outside of a child’s school or

daycare hours.

We need to ask ourselves: how do the demands

of being seen in the office square with

the lived experience of women in the law who

are navigating a return to work after parental

leave and with small children? How realistic

is it to expect her to make it to that breakfast

meeting? Even if she has a supportive partner

at home, or adequate (if costly) childcare

arrangements, is it a sound strategy of talent

management to insist on physical presence

that punishes her for having to leave the office

early each day to pick up her child; or for

cancelling a meeting because her child is home

sick from school? These expectations disproportionately

disadvantage women, ostracizing

an enormous part of the talent pool. This does

no one – not women in law, and not the firms

or clients – any good.

The important point is this: in the digital age

in which we live, it doesn’t make sense to cling

to outdated conventions and unnecessary practices.

We need to insist on changing workplace

structures and effecting change in the cultures

that undergird them.

The digital technologies of today have

changed the practice of law. With that comes

new challenges, but also new opportunities.

The speed, efficiency and security with which

information and communication occurs

makes it entirely possible to give people flexibility

to get work done ‘off-site’. What matters,

ultimately, is that it gets done and done

well. It’s the output that matters more than

where the work gets done.

Frankly, the model of the 10- or 12-hour workday

in the office is, for many professions like

law, a relic. My own productivity has improved

enormously through a practice called split-shift.

Most evenings, I’m home for supper and then I

return to work – remotely – in the evening, once

my five-year old has gone to bed. And while I’m

always keen to take on assignments outside the

office and out-of-town, I need reasonable notice

to make sure childcare can be arranged.

I believe this is less about achieving that elusive

‘work-life’ balance, and more about insisting

that professional practice respond to

the realities, and to the opportunities, created

by the technological and social changes of our

day. With the value placed on what is important

– quality and quantity of work, not location.

All of which means demanding flexible, equitable

and, above all, productive work arrangements.

The key is to work smartly, efficiently,

and in a manner that allows women to realize

the full potential of their talent – not just the

work they do, but also the advancement and rewards

for that work. The goal, after all, is to enable

professional achievement while promoting

personal well-being; it’s about talent unleashed

rather than unbound.

20 21

Donate Your Rate

to support Pro Bono Canada

Our Donate Your Rate TAS Gives Back campaign asks members to donate

just 15 minutes of their billable rate to Pro Bono Canada. Our collective

power has the ability to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to make a

difference for Canadians in need of access to justice.


Advocacy in the Bahamas

Ewa Krajewska, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Visit to Donate Your Rate today!

The 2019 Fall Convention took place at the

beautiful Rosewood Bar Mar resort in the Bahamas.

This year’s program had record attendance

of nearly 240 TAS members and guests

from across Canada. The two mornings of CPD

featured panels on diverse topics that brought

attendees up to speed on the admissibility of

social media evidence, privacy class actions,

family law intersections with estate freezes, and

Supreme Court decisions in bankruptcy law and

journalist source privilege. On the techie side,

we learned about the future of artificial intelligence

and how that may affect the way we practice.

We also enjoyed a fabulous, live demonstration

on how to actually run a paperless trial

with the assistance of tablets.

The CPD program also provided insights into

how advocates can make a difference in their

community. Retired justices from Canada and the

Bahamas spoke about their community involvement

to assist those who are less privileged and

lack access to the courts. A panel of young advocates

gave a presentation on using social media

to affect social change for causes that are important

to them. An inspiring keynote address from

Dr. David Goldbloom explored mental health in

the legal profession and why it is important that

lawyers and law firms speak more openly about

mental health. Finally, we were honoured to hear

from leaders in the Bahamian community about

recent hurricane relief efforts and the history of

Junkanoo which became a form of advocacy for

social change in the Bahamas.

There was, of course, some downtime for attendees

to enjoy the Bahamian sunshine, the

ocean and each other’s company. Various local

tours and two group dinners (hosted by our

sponsors PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada and

Heuristica Discovery Counsel LLP) also provided

a great opportunity for attendees to connect.


Jacqueline Horvat is a litigator and

a founding partner of Spark LLP,

a bencher for the Law Society of

Ontario, and a driving force behind

the Reclaim Pro Bono Project.

Q. Your firm is involved with the Reclaim Pro Bono Project. What would you like people to

know about that project?

A. The Reclaim Pro Bono Project ( is the first in a series of collaborations

between the University of Windsor Faculty of Law and Spark LLP aimed at addressing

issues of social injustice in online environments. This particular project is focused on helping the

victims of non-consensual distribution of intimate images, or “revenge porn.” This is a serious

violation that can have long-lasting emotional and financial impacts on its victims. However, only

a small number of revenge porn cases have been brought before Ontario courts. The Reclaim

Project hopes to remove some of the barriers currently preventing people from receiving the redress

they deserve. Spark LLP provides legal representation to clients on a pro bono basis, while

the University of Windsor provides research support to help develop the legal foundations and

arguments for bringing these sorts of claims.


In conversation with

Jacqueline Horvat, Spark LLP

Compiled by Brent J. Arnold,

Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP

Q. You’ve embarked on bold new initiative in starting Spark LLP. How did Spark get started

and what’s different about it?

A.Spark was born from a general dissatisfaction with the way that most law firms operate. We

wanted to break out of the mentality of doing things a certain way because “that’s how it’s always

been done” and look for new, better and cost-efficient ways to deliver high quality legal services

to our clients. One example is a billing concept that ensures clients of Spark will never be charged

more than one concurrent hourly rate when benefitting from the legal experience and brainpower

of multiple Spark lawyers working on their file.

Another example is a monthly subscription-based legal service aimed at providing small- and

medium-sized businesses with an “on call” lawyer who effectively acts as in-house counsel for a

variety of day-to-day legal issues. Also, one of our core beliefs as a firm is that maintaining a meaningful

involvement in our legal community is a necessary part of being a lawyer.

Time for the lightning round!

Q. You were the youngest lawyer ever elected bencher when you began your

first term. Any advice for young lawyers thinking about running in the next

bencher election?

A. If you are serious about running in 2023, my best advice is to start getting

your name and face out there now. It’s never too early to become acquainted

with the issues that challenge our profession and the concerns of the public

whose interests you are elected to protect as a bencher. I’ve found that the best

way to understand these issues is to speak with members of the profession and

the community who have distinct backgrounds and perspectives.

Q. TV/movie lawyer you most

relate to and why?

A. Vincent LaGuardia “Vinny” Gambini

from My Cousin Vinny because we’re both

pretty short.

Q. During your commute

to work you are ...?

A. When in Toronto, fighting backpacks

and briefcases for space on the TTC.

Q. What drives you insane?

A. Misuse of the word fulsome. People

keep using this word. It does not mean

what they think it means. Also, any use of

the word penultimate. Or emails that start

with “Team:”

Q. Restaurant recommendation

for out of town counsel?

A. Depends, are you

opposing counsel?

24 25

Q. How long from the time you wake up in the morning to the time you first look at

your phone?

A. Instantly (is there any other answer?). I’ve actually caught myself looking at my phone before

I’m fully awake.

Q. Most proud moment as a litigator?

A. Next question.

Q. Most embarrassing moment

as a litigator? …

A. Next question.

1 st Annual

Q. word or phrase do you

most overuse?

A. The F-word, and I don’t mean fulsome.

Q. Your key to staying healthy in a

stressful profession?

A. Next question.


Gala Dinner

Q. A food you can’t stand?

A. Limp asparagus. Actually,

any asparagus.

Q. Favourite vacation spot?

A. Vacation?

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Terminal City Club,

837 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC

Join us for The Advocates’ Society’s first

annual Vancouver gala exclusively for the

bench and bar.

Q. Other than files, name 3 things that are always on your desk.

A. Why would you assume there are files on my desk?

To learn more or register visit

Generously Sponsored by:


Q. Your best advice for young litigators just starting out?

A. Your client’s problems are theirs, not yours. Avoid losing objectivity and becoming

emotionally invested in a file. The best advice and representation you will provide

your client is when you analyze the dispute from a high level without the cloud

of subjectivity. That, and get a retainer.

Premier Dinner Sponsor

Host Cocktail Sponsor


Winning Body Language for Litigators

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 | The Advocates’ Society, Toronto, ON

8 th Biennial Women in Litigation Symposium

Friday, October 25, 2019 | The Carlu, Toronto, ON

Anne Turley, Department of Justice, and Beth Symes, C.M., LSM, Symes Law

Mark Bowden, TRUTHPLANE®

Patricia D.S. Jackson, LSM, Torys LLP, Sandra L. Barton, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, Ann L. Morgan, Barrister & Solicitor,

and Reena Lalji, BMO Financial Group

The Hon. Justice Andromache Karakatsanis,

Supreme Court of Canada

28 29

Mid-Career Mingle

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | Walrus Pub & Beer Hall, Toronto, ON


End of Term

Dinner TM

1,300 TAS Members can’t be wrong!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

North Building

Metro Toronto Convention Centre

255 Front Street West

Toronto, ON

To learn more or register visit


Atlantic Advocacy Symposium

Friday, October 25, 2019 | Hotel Halifax, Halifax, NS

1 st Annual

Calgary Gala

Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Fairmont Palliser,

133 9th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB

Jack Townsend, Nova Scotia Department of Justice, The Honourable Justice Cindy A. Bourgeois, Nova Scotia Court of Appeal,

Brian P. Casey, Q.C., Boyne Clarke

Moderator: Sheree L. Conlon, Q.C., Stewart McKelvey

Calgary’s 1st Annual Gala will take place

next April. Mark your calendar and

stay tuned for more information on

The Advocates’ Society’s innaugual gala

evening for advocates in Calgary.

To learn more or register visit

Signature Sponsors:



Rory Rogers, Stewart McKelvey,

Michelle Awad, McInnes Cooper,

The Hon. Justice Denise Boudreau,

Supreme Court of Nova Scotia

Brian K. Awad, McInnes Cooper, and

The Honourable Michael J. Wood, Chief Justice of Nova Scotia

Middle Temple Amity Tour

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 – Saturday, September 21, 2019

Ottawa, ON, and Toronto, ON

ADR Advocacy: Advanced Techniques

Friday, November 1, 2019

The Advocates’ Society Education Centre, Toronto, ON

The Hon. Rosalie Silberman Abella, Supreme Court of Canada

Paul Michell, Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP, Lisa K. Talbot, Torys LLP, Larry Banack, Banack Resolutions,

and Craig Lockwood, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Scott Maidment, McMillan LLP

Katherine L. Kay, Stikeman Elliott LLP, Connie Reeve, Reeve Resolutions, Jeffrey S. Leon L.S.M., Bennett Jones LLP,

Kathleen Kelly, Kelly International Settlement, and The Hon. W. Ian C. Binnie, Lenczner Slaght

34 35

Fall Convention 2019

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 – Sunday, November 10, 2019

Rosewood Baha Mar, The Bahamas

Erin H. Durant, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP,

Breanna Needham, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP,

Atrisha S. Lewis, McCarthy Tétrault LLP,

and Dominique T. Hussey, Bennett Jones LLP

Arlene Nash-Ferguson,

Educulture Junkanoo Museum & Resource Centre

Dr. David S. Goldbloom, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

36 37

Colin Baxter, Conway Baxter Wilson LLP

Emily Kirkpatrick, McEwan Partners, Jean-Marc Leclerc, Sotos LLP, Lindsey L. Love-Forester, Lerners LLP,

Tamara Prince, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Calgary, Justin Safayeni, Stockwoods LLP,

and Sarah J. Armstrong, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

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