Long Term Disability Section

The Long Term Disability Section is dedicated to enhancing the ability of OTLA members to seek redress for clients in conflict with their disability insurers. OTLA lawyer members may join for an additional annual fee of $100.00.

Brad Moscato LTD Section Chair

Brad Moscato is a partner at Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP in Toronto, Ontario.  

Brad’s practice is devoted to all types of disability litigation on behalf of Plaintiffs.

Brad has been a frequent speaker at numerous conferences dealing with issues related to disability and personal injury litigation, including at the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, the Ontario Bar Association, the Canadian Defence Lawyers association, the Osgoode Professional Development Continuing Legal Education Programme, and the Canadian Institute.

Brad was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2004. He obtained his Law Degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2003, and fulfilled the requirements for a Certificate in Litigation, Dispute Resolution and the Administration of Justice.

Najma Rashid LTD Section Vice-Chair

Najma Rashid joined Howard Yegendorf & Associates in 1999 and became a partner of the law firm in 2009. Her practice is devoted exclusively to personal injury litigation and she is well versed in Ontario’s Insurance Act and its Regulations, including the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule.

Najma has represented seriously injured clients in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, as well as in dispute resolution proceedings before the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. Najma has developed an expertise in disability and bad faith claims against insurance companies. She is Vice-Chair of the Long-Term Disability section of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA). In 2015, she helped organize and co-chair a conference devoted entirely to Long-Term Disability (LTD) Insurance.

Najma is on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association. She is also a member of the Advocates Society, and supports such organizations such as REACH Canada, the Ontario Brain Injury Association and the Canadian Paraplegic Association.

Medical Malpractice Section

OTLA members with interest in medical malpractice issues may join this section; providing they are able to certify that 0% of their direct or indirect billings or time is derived from the defence of medical malpractice actions. Members are provided with access to the section's Listserve, resource materials and regular education programs. Membership is restricted to OTLA members and requires an additional annual fee of $100.00.

Jillian Evans Medical Malpractice Section Chair

Jillian Evans in a partner at Morris + Stoltz + Evans LLP, and has more than a decade of specialization as a committed advocate for patients and their families in litigation and related proceedings against physicians, nurses, hospitals and other health care professionals.

With extensive experience in medical injuries arising from surgical error, birthing injuries, late cancer diagnosis, misread imaging, pathology error and more, Jillian represents clients at all levels of court, as well as in hearings and appeals before the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board and the Health Services Appeal and Review Board.  

Cynthia Davis  Medical Malpractice Section Vice-Chair

Cynthia is an experienced courtroom advocate who achieves effective and practical solutions to her client’s legal disputes. Cynthia is frequently retained in cases of serious medical malpractice where clients seek compensation for negligence on the part of a physician or health care professional.  She also has clients within the construction industry seeking her expertise in construction law.  In all cases, she is effective at understanding her client’s interests, both legal and practical, and developing a strategy that best achieves results for her clients in the most cost-efficient and timely manner.

Cynthia is pleased to have contributed her time, skills and leadership serving as a Board Member at the Canadian Cancer Society, Kitchener-Waterloo Unit, Focus for Ethnic Women, and most recently, she was appointed by the Ministry of Education as a Trustee of KidsAbility School Authority where she was Chair of the Board. 

New Lawyers Division (NLD)

All members of OTLA who have been practising for less than 10 years may participate in OTLA's New Lawyers Division. Officially formed in May 1995, the NLD seeks to specifically address the needs and interests of new lawyers through conferences and events. NLD gatherings provide valuable networking opportunities which enable new lawyers to get together to socialize, discuss common concerns and experiences, and to help each other by sharing ideas. The NLD also has its own Listserve.

Michael Giordano New Lawyers Division Chair 

Michael Giordano is a founding partner of Avanessy Giordano LLP. Prior to establishing his own practice, he was a partner of a prominent Mississauga personal injury firm.

He completed his law degree at the University of Ottawa. Prior to law school, Michael studied English and Law & Society at York University.

He has successfully argued numerous contested Motions and appeared as lead counsel for judge and jury trials in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. He has also obtained notable decisions at the Financial Services Tribunal.

Michael is an active member of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and is a past Vice-Chair of the New Lawyers Division. He is a regular contributor to the OTLA blog and has also written for The Litigator.

Sharon Bauer New Lawyers Division  Vice-Chair 

Sharon Bauer is a Partner at Fireman Steinmetz Daya LLP. She obtained her law degree from the University of Windsor in 2008. She also participated in an international exchange program at the University of Amsterdam. Prior to obtaining her law degree, Sharon majored in Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario (Huron College).

Sharon has been an active member of OTLA. She was Chair and Vice-Chair of the Women’s Caucus. She has conducted various OTLA webinars and participated in roundtable discussions. Sharon enjoys writing. She writes a parenting column for Precedent where she takes a humeorus approach on how to use lawyer skills to raise children. She has also been featured on Lawyers Weekly.

Sharon has a four year old son and two year old daughter. If she is not parenting or working, she usually locks herself up in the car and listens to podcasts.


Women Trial Lawyers Caucus

The OTLA Women Trial Lawyers Caucus was formed in the spring of 1998 to offer events specifically geared to the interests and needs of women litigators. The Women's Caucus gatherings provide valuable networking opportunities to enable women lawyers to socialize and discuss common concerns and experiences.

Daniela Pacheco Women Trial Lawyers Caucus Chair

Daniela is a member of the Medical Malpractice Group at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers. She has experience in all areas of plaintiff side medical malpractice and traumatic injury litigation. Daniela has appeared as counsel in complex multi-party medical malpractice trials and appeals, and has appeared before the Superior Court of Justice and Court of Appeal for Ontario as an advocate for her clients.

Daniela completed an Honours Bachelor of Science with High Distinction at the University of Toronto, and went on to complete a Juris Doctor at Osgoode Hall Law School. In law school, Daniela worked as a case worker in the Social Assistance, Violence and Health Group at Parkdale Community Legal Services, and represented Osgoode Hall Law School as Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court Moot at The Hague, Netherlands.

Daniela is a member of the Medical–Legal Society of Toronto and the Advocates’ Society.  Daniela has written for and spoken at Ontario Trial Lawyers Association conferences and webinars on issues ranging from tavern liability, complex examinations for discovery, and trial preparation. Daniela is also a regular contributor to the OTLA Medical Malpractice Newsletter and has been recently named Chair of the Women’s Caucus.  Daniela is on the Board of Directors and Policy Committee of Abrigo Centre, a charity that works to build community capacity in downtown Toronto.

Ines Jelic Women Trial Lawyers Caucus Vice-Chair

Ines articled with Burke-Robertson LLP (Ottawa) in 2013 and stayed with the firm after her Call to the Bar in 2014 as an associate in the Civil Litigation department. Her practice predominantly consists of personal injury and insurance-related cases including car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice, and long-term disability claims.

In her spare time Ines is dedicated to volunteering. She is Vice-President of The Rehabilitation Centre Volunteer Association (TRCVA) Board of Directors and Chair of its Charity Auction & Dinner Committee. In these roles Ines is actively involved in fundraising for of the Ottawa Hospital to enhance the quality of life of TRCVA patients who have experienced disabling physical illnesses or injuries and are in need of mobility devices and services that they cannot otherwise afford.

Over the years Ines has been involved with the Carleton University women’s basketball team and other Ottawa basketball teams as a coach. Ines also mentors female students who have an interest in pursuing law as a career through the Alumni Mentorship Program at Carleton University, and is an ambassador of the Women’s Business Network (Ottawa).

Outside of her practice and volunteering, Ines enjoys staying active and is always up for a friendly, or competitive, game of basketball.

Ines has been a member of OTLA since 2014 and feels privileged to be the incoming Vice-Chair of the OTLA Women’s Caucus. 

Law Clerk Section

OTLA's Law Clerk Section meets twice annually at the OTLA Spring and Fall Conferences, plus round table meetings are organized throughout the province. The Law Clerk Section has an active Listserve.

Marc Neckles Law Clerks Section Co-Chair

Marc is a Personal Injury Law Clerk at Carranza LLP. He joined the firm in 2012 and has been working with civil litigation for approximately seven years. Marc has accumulated extensive experience in accident benefits and plaintiff tort actions throughout his tenure. He is skilled in all aspects of managing litigation readiness, including pleadings preparation, medical documentation analysis, the discovery process, mediation, liaising with expert witnesses, and preparing for dispute resolution proceedings before the LAT and FSCO. He is an effective problem solver, an excellent communicator and a fearless advocate for personal injury victims.

Prior to joining Carranza LLP, Marc entered the personal injury field as a filing clerk at a small west end firm and quickly worked his way up to assistant to the managing partner. Although he officially became an OTLA member in 2013, he attended his first OTLA conference in 2012, demonstrating his dedication and hands-on approach to the plaintiff personal injury law. He attributes much of his success in this field to the knowledge gained from attending OTLA conferences and webinars, and to contributions from fellow OTLA members through the OTLA Law Clerks list serve, in which he has been actively involved.

He is the Chair of the Town of Ajax Diversity and Community Engagement Advisory Committee and the Carranza LLP Social Committee. He participates in various community fundraising initiatives, such as the Ontario Spinal Cord Injury Wheel Chair Relay, the Brain Association of Peel and Halton Annual Bowlathon, and the Ontario Employment and Education Research Centre Worker’s Bowl. During his leisure, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, playing soccer and staying physically fit.

Jennifer Schmidtz Law Clerks Section Co-Chair

Jennifer Schmidtz is a Licensed Paralegal with the Law Society of Upper Canada and a Senior Law Clerk with Ross & McBride LLP. Jennifer joined Ross & McBride LLP in 2003 in the personal injury department and has worked directly for Andrew Spurgeon since that time.

Jennifer has extensive experience in plaintiff focused personal injury cases including motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, assault and other negligence cases. Jennifer is very organized and has excelled at managing a busy multifaceted workload.

Her attention to detail and prioritizing of assignments along with her approachable personality has been an asset to the firm’s busy personal injury practice. Jennifer has acted as a mentor to staff and students over the years.

Jennifer is a member of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and The Ontario Paralegal Association. She has also presented on accident benefit changes at Mohawk College to the Legal Administration Program. Jennifer believes in the benefit of continuing education opportunities and attends conferences regularly. In addition to the Conferences offered by OTLA, she enjoys learning from presenters at the Hamilton Law Association’s Joint Insurance Seminars, The Advocates Society and the Ontario Paralegal Association as well as numerous service provider presentations.

In addition to being a valued member of the Ross & McBride LLP personal injury team, Jennifer supports her local community by participating and volunteering at various fundraising events and community projects.

Jennifer also enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children.

Amela Selimovic Law Clerks Section Vice-Chair

Amela is a Law Clerk in the personal injury department. Prior to joining Ross & McBride LLP in 2015, she worked at a mid-size personal injury firm in Hamilton for 6 years.

Amela has extensive knowledge with plaintiff personal injury cases, with a focus on accident benefits and tort motor vehicle cases. Amela provides ongoing assistance to lawyers in all aspects of the personal injury litigation process, combining her experience in all areas of litigation including motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, medical malpractice, assault and other negligence and insurance claims.

In her spare time, Amela supports her local community by participating and volunteering at various fundraising events, is an avid runner and enjoys bikram yoga.

Jennifer Scarponcini-Fornaro Law Clerks Section Education Rep

Jennifer is a personal injury law clerk at McNally Gervan LLP in the National Capital Region. She is responsible for handling all aspects of both accident benefits and tort claims for clients injured in motor vehicle collisions. Jennifer has gained considerable experience in advocating on behalf of clients of the firm, including routinely dealing with insurance adjusters and drafting documentation for the LAT, Statements of Claim, and mediation and pre-trial briefs.

Prior to joining the firm in 2013, Jennifer worked in the research and statistics division of the Department of Justice, and it was her work in this field that sparked her interest in law. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Carleton University and a Law Clerk Diploma from Algonquin College.

Since her graduation from Algonquin College, Jennifer has returned on many occasions as a guest speaker in both the classroom and at various conferences held by the College’s Legal Department. She enjoys sharing her experiences with students who plan to work in the legal profession.

Jennifer is a proud member of the Ottawa Association of Law Clerks and is a contributing member of her firm’s website blog.