Personal Injury & Insurance Defence Litigation for Lawyers |

Personal Injury & Insurance Defence Litigation for Lawyers

Personal Injury & Insurance Defence Litigation for Lawyers

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Substantive: 2.25
Patrick Brown
John Olah
Phillipa G. Samworth
Edona C. Vila
Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA)
135 minutes
$149.00 plus tax
Includes Handouts

Stay on top on the legal developments in the area of tort-auto and accident benefits litigation. Designed for the busy Toronto personal injury and insurance defence lawyer, this program is aimed at providing a synopsis of the recent trends and developments in the area of motor vehicle tort and accident benefits litigation. A panel of distinguished personal injury and insurance defence lawyers will cover updates on experts, accident benefits, and tort law.

Top 10 Recent Tort Cases, Trends and Developments


  • A review of recent cases on the topics of threshold, pre-judgment interest and the deductible, and evidentiary and trial issues

An Update on Accident Benefits


  • Strategic considerations and implications for accident benefits litigation;
  • Tactical and strategic considerations at the LAT

The Evolution of Recent Law on Expert Evidence

  •  Tracing the Court of Appeal’s recent pronouncements on expert evidence from Moore v. Getahun and Westerhof v. Gee Estate to White Burgess Langille Inman v. Abbott and Haliburton Co.


Patrick Brown

Patrick Brown

Patrick Brown is a principal partner of the firm and has been practicing critical injury in Ontario for over 20 years.  His cases have involved children, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, wrongful death, biking/cycling injury, daycare and camp negligence, drowning, road disrepair and motor vehicle collisions.  He is one of a select set of lawyers in Ontario who is a Certified Specialist with the Law Society and has been voted by his fellow lawyers and listed in Best Lawyers Canada and Lexpert Lawyer Rankings. He was recently awarded the Active Transportation Champion of the Year Award by TCAT for his advocacy work with pedestrians and cyclists.  In 2012 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and is their Past President. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, cycling and playing hockey.

During his career he has successfully conducted jury and non-jury trials and has been recognized for his advocacy skills.  After successfully obtaining the jury verdict in the case of Ishoy v. Abreau, which involved a five time Olympian who was seriously injured, the trial judge stated “counsel presented their case in a focused, well organized fashion.  Their trial preparation resulted in well prepared and focused witnesses.  The charts, aerial photographs, medical illustrations, and demonstrative evidence both assisted the jury in understanding the medical and liability issues…Mr. Brown was lead counsel …his closing address to the jury was dramatic, focused and effective.” After obtaining a multi-million dollar award in Roberts v. Morana, a case involving road disrepair, Justice O’Brien noted “I have not seen a case which has been better prepared or presented than this one.”  His advocacy skills have assisted Patrick in ensuring his clients are awarded fair and reasonable awards.

Patrick was appointed by the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario as an expert to the Ontario Coroners 4 Year Review on Cycling Deaths. He was selected to provide legal insight and expertise on ways to prevent cycling deaths within Ontario while representing the interests of cycling organizations such as CycleToronto, ARC, 8-80 Cities, and the United Senior Citizens of Ontario. When the Bike Law Network expanded to represent Canadian cyclists, Patrick joined as the representation for Canada in Bicycle Injury Cases.

As a leader in his field, he has taught advocacy for legal associations and the Law Society and has been widely published within Canada Law Books and legal magazines.  He has been a guest speaker across Canada and has been appeared on television and talk radio including Canada AM, CBC News, CP24, CTV News, Global Morning Show, CityTV News, CFTO, Le Drew Live, Goldhawk Fights Back, John Moore Show 1010, Dave Agar Show 1010, Live Drive John Tory, Moose FM, 680 and other talk radio shows in the province.    He Chaired the Trial Lawyers for Veterans which provided free legal advice to disabled veterans returning to Canada from oversea conflicts.  He also started and continues the annual Toronto Helmet on Kids program where he and his firm have donated over a thousand helmets to children across Toronto to reduce head injuries.  He was Co-Chair with Dr. Charles Tator for Concussion Ontario on their Recognition and Awareness Committee which seeks to prevent the impact of concussions within team sports.  He is a former director and founding member of CycleToronto, a proud member of Bikelaw and the Chair of the Ontario Safety League.   He is the Past Chair with the Ontario Bar Associations Insurance Law Section.  He frequently attends at Queens Park and Government Ministries regarding legislative reform and consultation.

John Olah

John OlahJohn A. Olah practises Civil Litigation.  He specializes in complex tort litigation ranging from cases involving product liability, a wide variety of sports injuries and the liability of hotels, resorts and bars.  He is involved in private international law cases as well as business litigation cases.

He received his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 1970 from York University (Glendon College) and his Bachelor of Law from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1973. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1975.

Mr. Olah has appeared at all levels of courts, including the Court of Appeal for the Province of Ontario and Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. Olah was counsel at the Royal Commission into certain deaths at the Hospital for Sick Children where he acted for one of the members of the nursing team under suspension.

He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Advocates’ Society, the Canadian Bar Association, the Lawyers’ Club, the American Bar Association, the Association of Ski Defence Attorneys and the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (ADTA). Mr. Olah served as Chairman of the Criminal Justice Section (Ontario), as Secretary-Treasurer of the Legal Education Section (Ontario) of the Canadian Bar Association, and served as Co-Chairman of the Annual Advocacy Symposium presented by the Canadian Bar Association (Ontario) and the Law Society of Upper Canada. He was a member of the Constitutional Initiatives Committee of the Canadian Bar Association (Ontario). He is also a past director of the Advocates’ Society and served on the Council of the Medico-Legal Society. He is a former Director of the Association of Ski Defence Attorneys.

Mr. Olah is the author of a number of articles on civil litigation and criminal law. He has lectured across Canada and in the United States on trial advocacy. He was a guest instructor and demonstrator in advocacy at the Intensive Advocacy Programme for trial lawyers at Osgoode Hall Law School. He also taught advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School.

He is the author of “The Art and Science of Advocacy”, a two volume textbook for lawyers on trial tactics and trial procedure.

Mr. Olah has been counsel to the Ontario Snow Resorts Association for over 20 years. He has and continues to act for a number of resorts across Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces. He has and continues to act for a number of resorts and hotels across Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico. Mr. Olah has argued some of the leading cases in this area including Cejvan v. Blue Mountain in which a lift ticket waiver defence was accepted for the first time in Ontario.

Mr. Olah was counsel for the defendant resort in the Van Breda case recently decided by the Supreme Court of Canada as to when a Canadian court can take jurisdiction over a tort occurring abroad.  He was also counsel in Blue Mountain v. Ministry of Labour in the Ontario Court of Appeal as to the ambit of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the province of Ontario. More recently he was successful on appeal in the case of Ziebenhaus v. Mount St. Louis as to the right of the defence to have non-medical examinations based on the court’s inherent jurisdiction powers.  As well, Mr. Olah successfully acted for the Canadian Defence Lawyers Association in the closely watched case recently decided by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Moore v. Getahun regarding counsel’s communications with expert witnesses and the use of draft expert reports in cross-examination.

Phillipa G. Samworth

Philippa SamworthPhilippa G. Samworth is a partner at Dutton Brock and her area of practice is exclusively insurance defence with a specialty in Accident Benefits. Miss Samworth has a number of achievements and was retained by the Ministry of Finance of Ontario as a consultant to provide analysis and technical advice to the Ministry on its preparation and drafting of the new Automobile Insurance Legislation: Bill 59 and its regulations.

In May 1997, Philippa was appointed to the Minister’s Committee for Designated Assessment Centres as Chair from September 1998 - September 2000, and again from December, 2001 to February 2004.

In 2000, she was asked by the Government of Ontario to Chair on Advisory Committee to make recommendations regarding the definition of Catastrophic Impairment. In March of 2004 Miss Samworth was again retained by the Minister of Finance to conduct stakeholder consultations and provide advice and recommendations on proposals to replace the DAC system.

In October of 2007 Philippa was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Edona C. Vila

Edona Vila

Edona defends corporations, insurers, and public institutions in claims arising from consumer products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, professional negligence, disability insurance, and construction disputes. She is committed to providing strategic and pragmatic solutions in every case through an integrated blend of preparation and understanding of her client's business. Edona regularly advocates on behalf of clients and has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, including the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Edona's previous legal experience includes working within the in-house legal departments of a global pharmaceutical company and two leading Ontario hospitals. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Edona worked as a Management Consultant with a focus in the health care industry and as a Medical Radiation Technologist at five teaching and community hospitals in Ontario.

Edona's academic training in life and medical radiation sciences, and graduate degree in management of innovation, assist her in the defence of claims involving complex scientific and technical factual matrix.

In addition to serving as a mentor to law students at BLG, Edona enjoys contributing to the legal community. She has a special interest in the intersection of innovation and the law, as well as promoting diversity and inclusion in the profession. She serves on the Board of the Toronto Lawyers' Association

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