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Section Voting Now Open

Ballots may be cast between April 20-29, 2020.
Voting is restricted to section members.
Use only the link provided in the original email to access the ballot.

For more information, contact jhanlan@otla.com.


New Lawyer Division (NLD) Section

Chair Candidates

 

   Lindsay Charles McLeish Orlando LLP

   

 

Lindsay Charles joined McLeish Orlando as a law student and following her call to the bar she was hired to the firm as an Associate Lawyer. Lindsay’s practice is devoted exclusively to plaintiffs’ personal injury and wrongful death cases, including motor vehicle collisions, occupiers’ liability, products liability, medical negligence, and disability benefits claims.

Lindsay regularly appears at the Superior Court of Justice and the License Appeal Tribunal. Lindsay has been co-counsel on a precedent setting arbitration to restore denied benefits and on a precedent setting motion to have a fraudulent conveyance action proceed concurrently with a personal injury action.

Lindsay devotes time to educating the personal injury bar at different speaking engagements. The Law Society of Ontario and the Ontario Bar Association regularly ask Lindsay to speak at conferences. Lindsay has co-chairs the Ontario Bar Association Anatomy of a Trial Demonstration on an annual basis. Lindsay is also asked to speak at a variety of conferences geared towards health care professionals in Ontario.

Lindsay also dedicates time to publishing papers and articles in textbooks and conferences. Lindsay is a co-editor of the Oatley-McLeish Guide to Personal Injury Practice in Motor Vehicle Cases, a contributor to the Lexis Nexis Practice Advisor database, a contributor to The LAT Handbook: Dispute Resolution Procedure for Accident Benefits Guide, and a contributor to the McLeish Orlando Accident Benefits Guide.

Lindsay was heavily involved with the Brain Injury Association of Durham Region and previously sat on the board of the Board of Directors for the association. She also continually appears as a guest on the radio show, ‘What She Said’ speaking about issues relating to personal injury law and insurance.

Before pursuing her law degree, Lindsay was the captain of the McMaster varsity swim team and represented her school at Provincial and National championships.

In her free time, Lindsay enjoys early morning F45 workouts, training for triathlons, skiing, golfing, and throwing a stick to her dog Molly.

Education

  • University of Windsor, Faculty of Law, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    • Juris Doctor – 2013
  • University of Detroit Mercy, School of Law, Detroit, Michigan, United States
    • Juris Doctor – 2013
  • McMaster University, Faculty of Social Science, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    • B.A., Honours Bachelor of Arts – 2010

Bar Admission

  • Ontario, 2014

 

   

Hi everyone,

In 2012 I started my legal career as a summer student at McLeish Orlando. Since then, I have dedicated my practice to plaintiff’s personal Injury.

In the past eight years our industry has changed at a rapid pace. As NLD chair, I’d like to work together to ensure that we are at the forefront of industry changes, while also honing our litigation, marketing, and technological skills.

It’s important that as new lawyers we continually grow our own practices by distinguishing ourselves. As NLD chair, coordinating valuable learning opportunities for new lawyers to refine all aspects of our practice will be my focus. My three main priorities for CLE’s are as follows:

  1. Developing an arsenal of litigation strategies, including varying aspects of complex motions, arbitrations, and trials.
  2. Innovative marketing strategies.
  3. How to use technology to increase efficiency and distinguish yourself.

I am excited at the prospect of working with my fellow new lawyers to make sure we are at the leading edge of new trial strategies, that we are developing reliable marketing tactics, and that we are the ones advancing our industry with efficient technological modifications.

 

   Jennifer Hoffman Hoffman Law

   

Jennifer Hoffman is the managing partner of Hoffman Law P.C. Since her call to the bar in 2010, she has dedicated her legal career to helping people who suffered serious personal injuries and disabilities, such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, fatalities, chronic pain and brain injuries.

In addition to her legal training and experience, Jennifer holds a Master of Science in Neuroscience, which complements her legal expertise with insight into potential medical aspects of her clients’ claims, especially in head injury cases. 

Jennifer is the current Chair of the New Lawyers Division of the Ontario Lawyers Association, a Member-At-Large at the Advocates’ Society for the Personal Injury and Insurance Practice Group, and a member of the Canadian Bar Association, and Ontario Bar Association.

Jennifer Received her law degree from the University of Western Ontario in 2010. Her M.Sc. in neuroscience and Honors B.Sc. are also from the University of Western Ontario.

 

 

   

I would like to thank OTLA and all the members for once again considering me for Chair of the New Lawyers Division. Active since 2010, I have enjoyed and benefited from the bi-annual conferences, webinars, and round table discussions. I strive to attend every event and encourage other plaintiff lawyers to participate in OTLA’s diverse programming.

As Chair of the New Lawyers Division, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with new lawyers, develop relationships with board members, and gain invaluable insight that will certainly carry into the next term should I be elected to serve as your Chair again. This past year allowed me to build new relationships that will provide strong footing for a second term. I also served on OTLA’s Awards Committee and Access to Justice Committee, and I truly believe that all the experiences I’ve gained this year as Chair of NLD has set the foundation to make me an even stronger Chair for the next term.

Over the past year, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Jeff Hanlan, and with Vice-Chair, Casey Dorey, to bring engaging and relevant programming to NLDs. One such endeavor was our NLD Luncheon speaker on the new cannabis laws at the Fall OTLA conference. Upcoming webinars on topics such as how to examine an LTD adjuster; the nuts and bolts of AB practice; and insight into opening your own practice will follow suit. 

Outside of OTLA, I also particularly enjoy working with young lawyers in a mentorship capacity. Over the years, I have mentored several young lawyers on practice management, business development, and most recently have had members reach out to me about how to set up and start their own practice. As such, I have vast insight into what new lawyers are most mindful of during their first 10 years of practice and can adapt this knowledge into NLD programs.

Undeniably, this year’s programming will be entirely affected by Covid19 and new norms of social distancing and the necessity of virtual teleconferencing. I would be interested in canvassing topics moving forward about adapting to new challenges as well as incorporating strong mental health initiatives to ensure all lawyers have the tools to thrive in this ever-evolving environment.

As our industry braces for the tumult spurred by rapidly changing procedures, increased stress and client demands will most certainly remain a fixture of this new reality. Mental health and wellbeing in the legal world has been an increasing topic of interest in recent years. With this new shift, I hope to enjoin topical experts for events that address and develop foundational tools for new lawyers. Holistic and medical perspectives on yoga, meditation and other wellness topics will give legs to new ideas during the first 10 years of legal practice that will help carry you through the remainder of your careers.  

Passion for mentorship grounds my interest and candidacy in this position. I am so grateful for the opportunity afforded to me to dive in over the past year and successfully execute many memorable initiatives and build so many core relationships. With your vote, I seek to build on these fundamentals while also shaping a compelling entry point for new lawyers seeking a dynamic professional community. 

I hope everyone is keeping well and staying safe during these challenging times. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LTD Section Vice-Chair Candidates

 

Nainesh Kotak candidate portraitLeanne Goldstein MK Disability Lawyers

Leanne Goldstein is a Partner at ​MK Disability Lawyers​. She has been a practicing lawyer for 20 years. For 16 years she has been tirelessly advocating for individuals whose short term and​ long-term disability​ benefits have been wrongfully denied by ​insurance companies​.

Leanne has extensive experience litigating every type of disability case against every disability insurer that offers disability benefits in Ontario and has litigated several cases against US disability insurers. Leanne successfully leverages the knowledge she has obtained through many years of litigating against disability insurers to help her clients resolve disability benefit denials in an effective and expeditious manner. Leanne’s primary focus is always on ensuring that her clients are supported emotionally through the process of litigation and that their needs are accommodated and respected.

Leanne Goldstein was admitted to the Law Society of Ontario in 2002. Prior to that, Leanne practiced as an Attorney in a different jurisdiction with a large international law firm. In Ontario, Leanne initially practiced personal injury litigation with one of the top ten personal injury law firms. She then devoted the next 16 years to representing individuals denied disability benefits at two leading long-term disability practices in Ontario.

Since 2002, Leanne’s practice has been devoted primarily to ​disability litigation​, including short term and long term disability claims, critical illness claims, life insurance claims, Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits claims as well as wrongful dismissal claims with a disability and Human Rights component. She has also represented individuals in motor vehicle accident cases, accident benefits claims, slip and falls, and other personal injury litigation.

Over the years, Leanne has conducted hundreds of mediations, settlement negotiations, examinations for discovery as well as several arbitrations, and trials. Leanne has appeared before various levels of the Ontario Courts and multiple administrative bodies. 

In her spare time, Leanne advocates for children with special needs and devotes her energy to volunteering for disability-related charitable causes that are close to her heart.

WHY NOW?

For the past 16 years my practice has been devoted almost exclusively to long-term disability claims. I have sued every LTD insurer (including all Canadian and many American insurers), analyzed countless long-term disability policies and claims files, examined hundreds of case managers, and absorbed the nuances of the decision-making styles of litigation consultants from across the country. I have developed ways to mine claim files so as to bolster extra-contractual damages claims and facilitate capitulation. 

So why now?

Twenty years ago, I embarked on a journey. A qualified, idealistic lawyer from an international jurisdiction, I landed in Canada ready to head directly to the Supreme Court of Canada. I had been on the cusp of partnership at a large multinational law firm in my country of origin and naively believed that this would springboard me directly into countless opportunities.

What I quickly learned is that opportunities are not laid before you, they are presented to you to seize when the moment is opportune. In the early years of legal practice, I enthusiastically embraced every opportunity to absorb tips, techniques and strategies from many excellent lawyers. 

I learned the subtleties of the art of advocacy; of knowing when to use fire power and when to employ a softer touch.

I learned that ​authenticity, sincerity and empathy, often unchartered territory in a lawyer’s arsenal, can sometimes be just as effective as the strongest legal strategy.

I learned the importance of diligent preparation and of forging a reputation for tenacity and an unwavering commitment to fight for a just result.

Perhaps the most valuable lesson of all has been how much I needed to learn over the years and how magnanimous others have been in their willingness to impart their knowledge.

Platforms like OTLA facilitate knowledge-sharing, and enable mentoring to take place at the highest levels. Many lawyers have approached me recently for advice on long term disability matters. This has served to enhance my desire to contribute in a meaningful way. My leadership experience includes sitting on the board of directors of special needs organizations, leading multiple community outreach projects, mentoring junior lawyers for many years and currently managing a long term disability practice. 

My extensive expertise in litigating long term disability matters places me in a unique position for the role of Vice Chair. It enables me to, amongst other things: 

  • Source engaging speakers for conferences and continuing legal education initiatives;
  • Delineate aspects of the practice that are of interest and importance to members seeking to enhance their knowledge and skill sets;
  • Create and identify fresh and exciting programming material;
  • Recruit prospective members to the LTD section;
  • Utilize networking resources to obtain insight into insurer practices;
  • Facilitate the dissemination of tricks and techniques to encourage excellent advocacy and the pursuit of justice.

COVID-19 has heightened the need for diversification and I have reached the point in my journey where the moment is right for me to seize a position at the helm and share what I have learned with others so we can navigate these new realities together.

 

Najma Rashid Candidate PortraitNainesh Kotak Kotak Personal Injury Law

Nainesh was called to the bar in 1994.  He holds a wealth of experience having appeared in trials with and without a jury at the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice.  He has represented clients and conducted appeals at the Federal Court, Trial division.  Nainesh has appeared before numerous Tribunal panels including; the Financial Services Commission and the Social Security Tribunal.  He has been featured in several televised and radio interviews on the subjects of Personal Injury and Long-Term Disability claims. 

Nainesh’s practice includes a heavy emphasis on long-term disability cases.  Nainesh is active in the community and supports many worthy charities and causes. For the past five consecutive years he has brought one thousand troops, veterans and cadets to a professional hockey game in a Remembrance Day event known as Kotak Law Military Appreciation Day.

Nainesh is a proud contributor and supporter of Wounded Warriors Canada and The Peel’s

Children’s Centre.  Nainesh hosts the inductees to the Brampton Sports Hall of Fame annually at his box suite at a Brampton Beast hockey game. 

Nainesh is on the Paralegal Course Advisory Committee for Sheridan College and is also on the Board of Directors of the Peel Children’s Centre.  Nainesh also serves as the Vice Chair of the Long-Term Disability Section of the Ontario Trial Lawyers’ Association.  He is also on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Trial Lawyers’ Association and serves on the Public Relations, Access to Justice and Listserve Committees.  Nainesh is a former Board member of Spectra Community Support Services and Distress Centres of Greater Toronto.

Nainesh lives in Mississauga with his wife, Susan, and their two boys ages 23 and 6, and their 3-year-old daughter.