Dealing with Difficult Clients |

Dealing with Difficult Clients

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Jennifer Birrell
Mamta Gautam
Leslie Kirk
Ray Leclair
Malcolm Mercer
Naila Parsons
Alan Silverstein
County of Carleton Law Association (CCLA)
75 minutes
$129.00 plus tax
CCLA Solicitors Conference
Includes Handouts
  • Dealing with Difficult Clients
  • The Future of the Law Practice (Alternative Business Structures; Billing Practices)
  • Legislation to be aware of: PIPEDA, anti-spam, non- discrimination, harassment, accessibility for Ontarians
  • Joint Retainers
  • New Rules of Professional Conduct


Jennifer Birrell

Jennifer joined Emond Harnden as an Associate in 1999 and became a partner in 2005. She currently practices exclusively in the areas of employment, labour and education law. Jennifer maintains a labour and employment law practice with a particular focus on representing school boards at labour arbitration, collective bargaining and expulsion appeals. Jennifer was called to the Ontario Bar in 1995, following a distinguished academic career. She began a general civil litigation practice with focus on public sector clients. In 1997, Jennifer was seconded to the former Carleton Board of Education to work as a legal advisor and labour relations advisor. In this role, she provided general legal advice and written legal opinions; developed and drafted Board policies and procedures; prepared and delivered training programs for staff; reported to and advised Trustees concerning employment and labour issues; and acted as management’s representative on all employment and labour matters, including acting as chief spokesperson for the Board in collective bargaining. Since joining Emond Harnden, Jennifer has represented her clients’ interests in all aspects of employment and labour relations issues. Jennifer has been an advocate for her clients in collective bargaining, grievance arbitrations, and proceedings under the Employment Standards Act, the Human Rights Code and the Ontario Labour Relations Act. Jennifer is a regular speaker on issues of employment and labour law. Jennifer received her LLB, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Ottawa in 1993, and was called to the Bar in 1995. She brings to the firm a dedication to the Ottawa community where she was born, raised and educated. Jennifer is the President of the County of Carleton Law Association.

Dr. Mamta Gautam

Mamta Gautam, MD, MBA, FRCPC, CPDC, CCPE is a psychiatrist in the Psychosocial Oncology Program at The Ottawa Hospital, a clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa, a certified coach, and President and CEO of PEAK MD. She is a pioneer in the area of Physician Health and Well-being, and is hailed as “The Doctor’s Doctor”. She was the founding director of the University Of Ottawa Faculty Of Medicine Wellness Program. This program served as the template for the Canadian Medical Association Centre for Physician Health and Wellbeing, where she served as the Chair of the Expert Advisory Group. She created the Canadian Psychiatric Association Section on Physician Health. In 2008, she founded the International Alliance on Physician Health, bringing together experts worldwide to collaborate on work in this area. Dr. Gautam has expanded her work to other professionals, and is an internationally known consultant and speaker on Professional Health, and Leadership in Medicine. She serves as expert faculty on many medical and business leadership courses in Canada and US, focusing on topics such as Self Awareness, Engaging Others, Effective Communication, Dealing with Difficult Behavior, and Leading Change. The author of the column, Helping Hand, in the Medical Post on Physician Health, she now writes Coach’s Corner, a column in the newsletter for the Canadian Society for Physician Executives. She has written two bestsellers - Irondoc: Practical Stress Management Tools for Physicians, and The Tarzan Rule: Tips for a Healthy life in Medicine. She founded PEAK MD in 2009, expanding the concept of Professional Health to focus on wellness, and the proactive primary prevention of health of professionals. She has received numerous awards for her innovative work, including Distinguished Fellowships in both the Canadian and American Psychiatric Associations, and was the inaugural recipient of the Canadian Medical Association’s Physician Misericordia Award.

Leslie Kirk

A native of Ottawa, Leslie obtained her B.Sc. (Honours) at Queen’s University before attending law school at the University of Ottawa. Leslie teaches the Estate Planning course at uottawa Faculty of Law, Common Law Section. She is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association / Ontario Bar Association and the County of Carleton Law Association. Follow her on twitter @anottawalawyer

Ray Leclair

Ray Leclair

Ray Leclair joined Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company (LawPRO) in June of 2008 in the role of Vice President, TitlePLUS, and as of May, 2012 became Vice President, Public Affairs, responsible for government relations efforts at LawPRO.

Formerly General Counsel for the Kanata Research Park Corporation, a development company and major commercial landlord in Ottawa, Ray has practised in both major national law firms and as a sole practitioner, and was a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa Law School and Cité Collégiale instructing the French language portion of the real estate law course. He also served for 15 years as the Ottawa senior instructor for the French and English Real Estate Sections of the Bar Admission Course and member of the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Solicitor Advisory Group, Licensing Process.

Called to the bar in 1984, Ray is Past-Chair and remains an active participant of both the National Real Property Section of the Canadian Bar Association and of the Real Property Section of the Ontario Bar Association, past Co-Chair and remains a member of the Working Group on Lawyers & Real Estate, and President of the Ontario Real Estate Lawyers Association (ORELA).  Former member of the Ontario Bar Association Council, past executive member of CBA’s National Sections Council, past member of its budget committee and formerly Vice President of the North American Bar-related® Title Insurers, past President of the Advisory Committee for the Cité Collégiale Legal Assistants Program. Ray volunteered as Manager of the fundraiser TOM* MensFashion4Hope and a VIP & Sponsor Relations Officer for semi-annual Toronto Men’s Fashion Week (TOM*). Ray is and has been a frequent speaker/presenter, in French or English, in numerous programs on various real estate and other law related topics in Canada and the United States.

Malcolm Mercer Treasurer, Partner

Malcolm M. Mercer was re-elected as Treasurer for a second term by the Law Society’s governing body on June 27, 2019. The Treasurer is the top-elected official of the Law Society, which regulates Ontario’s lawyers and paralegals in the public interest. Elected as a bencher in 2011, 2015 and 2019, he became Treasurer in June 2018. Prior to that, he served as Chair of the Advertising and Fee Arrangements Issues Working Group, Chair of the Professional Regulation Committee and Co-Chair of the Alternative Business Structures Working Group. He also served on numerous other Law Society committees, task forces and working groups and was an active member of the Law Society Tribunal. Committed to issues of legal ethics, he is a member of the Canadian Association for Legal Ethics and Co-Chair of the CBA-FLSC Ethics Forum. He is also an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, where he teaches legal ethics. In 2013, he was recognized by the Canadian Bar Association with the prestigious Louis St. Laurent award. He is a former director of Pro Bono Law Ontario and is currently Chair of the board of the Victorian Order of Nurses Canada. He is also a member of the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board. In 2014, he was voted one of the Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers. Treasurer Mercer was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1984 after receiving an LLB from the University of Toronto (1982). He also holds a B.Sc., in systems design and engineering (1977). He is a partner in McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Litigation Group in Toronto, with a focus on commercial and corporate matters and professional negligence. He was the firm’s General Counsel and is the former co-leader of its National Litigation Practice Group.

Naila Parsons

Alan Silverstein

Alan G. Silverstein has been at the forefront of real estate and mortgage issues for over three decades as a writer, lecturer, commentator and media personality. Alan was an inaugural Director of the Real Estate Council of Ontario, the regulator of real estate agents and brokers. Since his 2003 election as a bencher, Alan has served on many committees: Finance and Audit; Government Relations; Compensation Fund; Sole Practitioner and Small Firm Task Force; Proceedings Authorization; Real Estate Working Group; and LibraryCo. In addition, Alan is the past Chair of the provincial Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund. Alan has been in private practice since 1977, working on TELUS’ Assyst Real Estate initiative from 2006 to 2010.

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