Advocacy tips from the Bench for Family Lawyers – The 2020 Sequel |

Advocacy tips from the Bench for Family Lawyers – The 2020 Sequel

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Professionalism (Ethics, etc.): 0.25
15 minutes
Substantive: 1.25
85 minutes
Victoria Boger Mull
Andrea Himel
Manjusha Pawagi
Maria N. Sirivar
Julie Stanchieri
Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA)
100 minutes
$119.00 plus tax
Includes Handouts

As family lawyers, we often wonder what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong when appearing before a judge. There aren’t many opportunities to find out what judges really think about different advocacy styles and what we can do to improve. It’s also important given that the environment in which counsel now practice has changed significantly. There is an increase reliance on new technology, virtual forums and new case law related to Covid-19. This program will provide an opportunity for counsel to learn how to best assist their clients and the court in this new reality.

Our panel of 3 judges will provide their top tips for family law conferences, motions and trials, including:

  • Contested motions and Motions to Change due to loss of employment because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Case conferences and the impact of Covid-19 on parenting issues in general
  • Trials and how they are currently being held during the Covid-19 pandemic and how to prepare for them.


Victoria Boger Mull

Victoria Boger Mull, B.A. (York University), LL.B (Osgoode Hall) is currently a Staff Lawyer at Legal Aid Ontario at the Family Law Service Centre in downtown Toronto.

She has experience in family law proceedings at different levels of court, and has handled numerous complex family cases, including in domestic and child protection areas.

Ms. Boger Mull has experience conducting legal aid settlement conferences at Legal Aid Ontario as representative of a party or as a facilitator. She is an accredited family mediator and child protection mediator and is very familiar with different forms of dispute resolution.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts from York University in Political Science and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Ms. Boger Mull graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School (2004) and was admitted to the Ontario Bar (2005).

Ms. Mull is also fluent in Portuguese and proficient in German.

Madam Justice Andrea Himel

Justice Himel is a judge of the Superior Court of Justice who is currently assigned in Newmarket, ON and has been there since her appointment in 2020.

She is graduate of the joint Law and Social Work program at the University of Toronto, and was called to the Bar in 2000. She worked for Torkin Manes LLP from 2000 to 2008. The Hon. J. Himel was a sole practicioner with a focus on family mediation, child protection and children’s law from 2008 to 2020. She was a panel lawyer with the Office of the Children’s Lawyer and Dispute Resolution Office at the Superior Court of Justice (Toronto and Hamilton).

Justice Himel was a member of the Child and Family Services Board, she adjudicated and mediated cases involving school expulsions, adoptions, secure treatment, and other Children’s Aid Society matters.

She is a Past -President of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – Ontario Chapter, and a past co-chair of the AFCC-O Annual Conference, and Research & Policy Committee. She has presented at various family law programs in Canada and the United States on a variety of topics, and she has published several articles in the Canadian Family Law Quarterly, Money and Family Law, the Advocate’s Quarterly and the Family Court Review. Andrea Himel, LL.B., M.S.W., Accred. Family Mediator & Child Protection Mediator (OAFM), Tribunals Ontario (CFSRB Mediator and Adjudicator).

She is an accredited Family Mediator & Child Protection Mediator (OAFM).

Manjusha Pawagi

Manjusha Pawagi is a family court judge, author and former journalist. She has a master’s in journalism from Stanford University and a law degree from the University of Toronto. She has worked as a reporter for Associated Press and CBC Radio; and as a lawyer for the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and the Office of the Children’s Lawyer. She was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in 2009. She presided first in Brampton and then moved to 311 Jarvis in Toronto in 2016.

Her children’s book, “The Girl Who Hated Books,” was translated into 20 languages and made into an award-winning animated short by the National Film Board of Canada. Her latest book, “Love and Laughter in the Time of Chemotherapy,” was long listed for the 2018 Leacock Medal for humour.

Maria N. Sirivar

Madam Justice Maria N. Sirivar is a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice who is currently assigned to the Toronto Family and Youth Court at 311 Jarvis Street, Toronto and has been there since her appointment in 2018.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Western University and Honours Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business. Justice Sirivar graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School (2006) and was admitted to the Ontario Bar (2007).

Prior to her appointment, she practiced in all areas of Family Law including Child Protection. Justice Sirivar was also an agent for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer representing children in domestic and child protection matters.

Justice Sirivar is bilingual and presides over French and English proceedings.

Julie Stanchieri

Julie Stanchieri is the principal of Stanchieri Family Law which she founded in 2008, a firm that focuses on providing highly effective legal representation for family law disputes as well as a positive client experience. She practices in all areas of family law with a special interest in complex financial disputes. Julie is also a trained family mediator and arbitrator. She appears in all levels of court in Ontario. Julie was called to the bar in 2002 after completing her L.L.B from the University of Toronto and B.A. from McMaster University. She obtained an L.L.M. in Family Law from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2008. Julie is a member of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Lawyers Association as well as member of the Advocates’ Society. Julie often contributes to various print, online and other media appearances relating to family law issues.

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