Mentorship Panel |

Mentorship Panel

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Professionalism (Ethics, etc.): 0.75
45 minutes
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: 0.25
15 minutes
Jill McCartney
John Nicholson
Spencer Nicholson
Yola Ventresca
Middlesex Law Association
1 hour
$119.00 plus tax
Straight from the Bench Conference 2023

Justice Spencer Nicholson, Yola Ventresca, Jill McCartney, and John Nicholson present the Mentorship Panel


Jill McCartney

Jill McCartney is a partner at Siskinds LLP. Her practice is focused exclusively to health law litigation. She represents injured clients in medical negligence cases, as well as medical product class actions. She has appeared before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Divisional Court, Court of Appeal, and Consent and Capacity Board. She has acted as counsel on several complex medical negligence trials. Jill is counsel on a number of complex medical product class actions, including transvaginal mesh, hernia mesh, and inferior vena cava filters.

Jill received her B.A. (Hon.) in Applied Health Sciences from the University of Waterloo. She received her LL.B. from the University of Western Ontario and was called to the Ontario bar in 2005. Since her call to the bar, Jill has completed a Master’s of Science degree with the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine in Health Policy. Her graduate research focused on the disclosure of safety incidents involving pediatric patients. Jill is currently pursuing a further Master’s degree in Health Law with York University.

Jill is a Board Member with the Western University Health Sciences Research Ethics Board, which is responsible for reviewing research involving medical patients within London's health care community. She is also a member of the school Governance Committee at Matthew’s Hall, which is responsible for helping to ensure the school is in compliance with all applicable standards. Jill is a member of a number of professional organizations, including The Advocates’ Society. She has been a Co-Chair of The Advocates’ Society Courthouse Series in London for more than 10 years.

John Nicholson

Spencer Nicholson

Justice Spencer Nicholson was born and raised in London, Ontario. He studied life sciences at Queen’s University and then attended Law School at the University of Toronto. Following his articles at Fasken Campbell Godfrey in Toronto, Justice Nicholson returned to London to practice law with his father at the small litigation firm of Nicholson Smith. His practice was primarily focused on insurance defence and plaintiff personal injury litigation. Justice Nicholson was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in September of 2020, in the Southwest Region, with his chambers in London, Ontario. The Judges in that region preside over criminal, civil and family law matters, which he finds challenging and exciting work. He is pleased to be able to contribute to the community where he was born and always called home.

Yola Ventresca

Yola Ventresca is an equity and managing partner at Lerners LLP, practicing in London Ontario. She received her B.A. (Honours) from Huron University College, her LL.B. from Western University and her LL.M. from the University of Toronto. She was called to the bar of Ontario in 2006. Ms Ventresca is engaged in a diverse litigation based practice. She is a member of the firm’s health law, class actions, commercial litigation and labour and employment practice groups. To this end, Ms Ventresca has represented clients at all levels of court in Ontario. Ms Ventresca is also the founder and chair of the firm’s workplace investigation team. In this capacity, she is called upon to investigate highly complex and contentious matters arising from conflicts in the workplace, both unionized and non-unionized. Ms Ventresca is consistently recognized as a leader by her peers and members of her community. Some of her accolades include: Top 20 under 40 award (Business London, 2016), Lexpert Rising Star designation (2017), Inclusion in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (professional regulation) (2018) and Best Lawyers in Canada (health care law, medical negligence and corporate/commercial regulation) (2020-2021). Ms. Ventresca was recently recognized by her local Minister of Parliament as a member of the North London Honour Roll. This honour recognizes Londoners whose actions have inspired others to build a strong, supportive and inclusive community. Ms Ventresca’s inclusion on this list reflects, among other

things, her significant advocacy to support, mentor, sponsor and retain women in private practice. Outside of her practice, Ms. Ventresca is engaged in a myriad of activities and initiatives aimed at bettering the profession, and, specifically, championing female lawyers. Ms. Ventresca just completed her term as Chair of the 10+ Standing Committee of the Advocates’ Society. In this capacity, she represented all mid-career advocates across Ontario. Ms. Ventresca is the founder and Chair of the Advocates’ Society mentoring dinner for women in London. She is a prolific speaker and writer on a variety of topics, frequently contributing to peer reviewed publications Committed to legal education, Ms. Ventresca has chaired

numerous conferences and has held the role of adjunct professor at the Faculty of Law, Western University (Civil Procedure). At Lerners, Ms. Ventresca has supported a variety of initiatives aimed at supporting women in private practice. She is a member of the firm’s Strategic Planning Committee and founded and is a co-Chair of the Lerners Women’s Symposium, an initiative aimed at promoting

collaborative and supportive networks for professional women. Ms Ventresca is also committed to a variety of community initiatives. She is the current Chair of Handbags for Hospice, in support of palliative care at St. Joseph’s Hospice in

London. She is also a member of the Huron University College Board of Governors. In her spare time, Ms Ventresca enjoys musical theatre, travel, spinning and spending time with her young daughter and husband. She is also a long suffering member of #LeafsNation.

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