Board of Advisors

Our Board consists of 22 experts.
Through their knowledge and experience, our advisors assist Legal Line to enhance our public services.

* Legal Line acknowledges our founding contributors.


Antree C. Demakos, B.A., LL.B, J.D.

I would like to formally express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to all 725 diligent and hard working lawyers and judges who have given freely of their time and expertise to create Legal Line.

The 22 members of our Board of Advisors listed below have all extended tremendous care and professionalism in helping to improve Access to Justice for all across Canada.


Andreas J. Levine
Law Student with Distinction


Bond University, Law Student
Board of Advisors since 2014, Legal Line

Bond University, Australia

Yale University

  • Participating in online lectures through the ‘Open Yale Courses‘ website
  • Scholarship application pending
  • Financial Markets: An overview of the ideas, methods, and institutions that permit human society to manage risks and foster enterprise. Emphasis on financially-savvy leadership skills. Description of practices today and analysis of prospects for the future. Introduction to risk management and behavioural finance principles to understand the real-world functioning of securities, insurance, and banking industries. The ultimate goal of this course is using such industries effectively, and towards a better society.
  • Skills to be Gained: Behavioural Finance, Financial Markets, Finance, Behavioural Economics

University of Toronto

  • Received an ‘Academic Achievement’ Scholarship

York University

  • Invited to join The Dean’s top 1% Circle of Student Scholars
  • Acting Interim Dean JJ McMurtry extends his “Congratulations on your extraordinary academic performance which reflects what we value: Ambition, curiosity and passion”

Forest Hill Collegiate Institute

Cedarvale Community School

Self Study

Cooperative Education Experience

  • ‘Feed it Foward’ Program, Personal assistant to celebrity chef Jagger Gordon
  • 250 hours preparing meals and serving thousands of homeless people
  • Participated in numerous business and strategy meetings
  • Appeared on CBC News (twice) representing Feed-it-Forward

Leadership Roles

  • Created and facilitated ‘Talk for Teens’, a weekly forum to discuss student interests
  • Mentor to the Cedervale Chess Club, and participated in citywide competitions
  • Squadron Leader of a 10 minute karate performance for 20,000 fans at a play-off Raptors basketball game
  • Assistant Coach, SC Toronto Rep Soccer
  • Captain, Varsity Soccer, leading his team to victory in 2018 Toronto Championship

Extracurricular Activities

  • Karate: martial artist, training for 13 years; Trained in China with Shaolin Monks (2015)
  • Karate Sakura Dojo Kabuto’s youngest member granted permission to train in ancient weaponry (swords, knives)
  • Soccer Scholarship and assisted Head Coach to develope plays and drills
  • Scuba Diver Certified PADI (Advanced) in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, with experience in 22 other countries

Work Experience



Anne Gottlieb,
Hons. B.A., LL.B., LL.M. Harvard

ADR Institute Board of Directors
Board Member

The ADR Institute of Canada (ADRIC) is recognized as Canada’s preeminent alternative dispute resolution (ADR) professional organization.

Call to the Bar, Law Society of Upper Canada
Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School
Master of Laws (LL.M., ADR) Osgoode Hall Law School
Bachelor of Law (LL.B.), University of Western Ontario
Bachelor of Arts, HONOURS Hons. B.A., York University
Hebrew University, One Year Program

Practice Areas: Business / Commercial, Construction and Real Estate Law

Anne obtained her Master of Laws in ADR from Osgoode Hall Law School. She was trained as a mediator and negotiator at the Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School and at CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado. She served as an Instructor for the Law Society of Upper Canada Skills & Professional Responsibility Program and has taught Negotiation, Interviewing Skills and Business Law while being on the Examination Committee for Business Law on the Bar Admission Course.

Ms. Gottlieb has served 2 terms as Chair of the Canadian Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section, is a former Chair of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) ADR Section, and is a member of OBA Council. She currently is an Executive Board Member of the ADR Institute of Ontario, and has extensive experience in senior leadership positions.

In her various roles, Ms Gottlieb has participated in consultations with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs respecting proposed changes to the Condominium Act and has reviewed and commented on ADR provisions for the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

Under the auspices of the International Development Program of the Canadian Bar Association, Ms. Gottlieb traveled to Zimbabwe to deliver an introductory dispute resolution training workshop for members of the Law Society of Zimbabwe. She made a presentation to the judiciary of the High Court and Superior Court of Zimbabwe on the benefits of court connected mediation and the role of the lawyer in mediation, and met with government representative and different NGOs. Ms. Gottlieb has taught the Skills and Professional Responsibility Program as well as Interviewing Skills and Negotiation for the Law Society of Upper Canada, Bar Admission Course and has taught and sat on the Examination Committee for Corporate Law.

Anne served as an adjunct member of the teaching team for the Lawyer as Negotiator course at Osgoode Hall Law School, and has coached many mediation and negotiation students. She has supervised law school students participating in a Small Claims Court Mediation Program. As part of the Equity Program of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, Ms. Gottlieb created and delivered seminars on diversity and issues of equity. The workshops were presented to a variety of organizations in an effort to develop an understanding and sensitivity to workplace and community issues surrounding discrimination.

Anne is an Member of OBA Council, an Honorary Chair of the National CBA ADR Section. She is a former Chair of both the CBA and the OBA ADR Sections and has served as Newsletter Editor for various OBA and CBA sections. She is a Board Member of the ADR Institute of Ontario, and serves on ADRIO’s regulatory and education committees.


Antree C. Demakos
B.A., LL.B, J.D., Notary, Author

Founder and Chief Information Officer

For 30 years, Antree Demakos has devoted her entire career to demystifying the law and helping Canadians obtain Access to Justice.

During her early days as a lawyer, Antree had her first big insight — that a significant number of the Canadian population were enduring lives full of shame over past criminal misdeeds. Unable to clean up their records and move forward, these people suffered in silence, not knowing where to turn for help. In an effort to help these people, Antree co-founded Pardons Canada, whose purpose was to give people HOPE and to help Canadians start fresh.

For over twenty years, Antree intensively and continually researched the minutiae of records creation, retention and destruction, as well as inter-bureau policies. A comprehensive set of procedures was developed and maintained, ensuring that the difficult and complex job of criminal record removal could be successfully completed.

During Antree’s time as General Counsel, Pardons Canada successfully cleared 250,000 records, thereby helping people to remove the obstacles affecting employment, education, licensing, and so on. As a leading expert in Canadian criminal records, Antree went on to write the authoritative 300-page book, “Canadian Criminal Records and How to Start Fresh”.

In 1993 Antree Founded and continues to be the driving force behind Legal Line, a federal, non-profit organization. For 27 years, she has helped millions of people obtain free legal information and professional help.

Antree collaborates with over 725 volunteer lawyers and judges who help to keep the legal information up-to-date and accurate. She has also received the endorsement and support of 8,000 government and agency offices across Canada, who promote Legal Line through the distribution of Legal Line materials, and by linking to the Legal Line website.

An ongoing concern is that the vast majority of our population have been left out of traditional Access to Justice programs. Their legal issues are numerous, including — employment, tax, marriage, divorce or living common-law, children, mortgages, immigration, starting or growing a business, insurance for life, health, or property, lawsuits for breach of contract or injuries, and so forth. By removing barriers to justice, Antree Demakos continues to empower Canadians within the legal system.


• 2020 Order of Canada
• 2020 Order of Ontario
• 2020 YWCA, Women of Distinction

Recent Awards:

• 2019 Ontario Paralegal Association Public Legal Education (PLE) Award
• 2019 Acquisition International Best Online Canadian Law Advisory
• 2018 Law Society of Ontario John Shirley Denison Award
• 2017 City of Toronto Access, Equity and Human Rights, “Constance E. Hamilton Award”
• 2017 Thomson Reuters’ Zenith Award, “Celebrating Women in Law”
• 2016 Thomson Reuters’ Canadian Lexpert Award, “Diversity and Inclusion”

Professional Positions:

Founder, Chief Information Officer, Legal Line (1993-present)
Co-Founder and General Counsel, Pardons Canada, (1993-2008)
Carson, Gross, McPherson Law Office
Crown Life Insurance, In-House Counsel
Demakos Law Office, Corp & Commercial Law


York University, B.A., Economics
Western University, Faculty of Law, J.D.

Books Published:

Your Guide to Canadian Law, Fitzhenry Whiteside, (700 pgs. ref. book, 7th printing)
Canadian Criminal Records and How to Start Fresh, Fitzhenry Whiteside (300 page guide)

Published in:

The Toronto Star
The Globe and Mail
Numerous local papers and radio talk shows


Caryma Sa’d, LL.B. and Notary


Caryma Sa’d is a lawyer practicing in the areas of criminal, landlord/tenant, and cannabis law. She is the newly appointed Executive Director of NORML Canada, a national organization that advocates for fair and equitable reform to cannabis law and policy.

Caryma is passionate about access to justice. She hosts free monthly legal information sessions for community members. In 2019, Caryma received a Canadian Law Blog Award for “Best Innovative Projects” in recognition of her #LandlordTenant101 comic series.

An educator at heart, Caryma is frequently called upon by the media as a trusted source for their news stories. Her cases and legal commentary have been featured by reputable media outlets including Associated Press, BNN Bloomberg, CBC, Canadian Lawyer, CityNews Toronto, CP24, CTV, Global Toronto, Globe and Mail, Law Times, Ming Pao, Sing Tao, StarMetro Vancouver, Toronto Star, and VICE News.

Caryma articled at a top-tier Bay Street litigation boutique where she had the opportunity to work under the direct tutelage of some of Canada’s leading litigators. She was selected for a secondment to one of the Big Five banks.

Caryma graduated cum laude from the University of Ottawa – Common Law in 2015. She was ranked 1st out of 265 students in English Common Law during her first year, and received several prizes for academic excellence.

Prior to attending law school, Caryma interned with a prominent human rights organization in India. She wrote and illustrated a simplified guide to domestic violence legislation, which has since been circulated to thousands of at-risk women across the country.

In her spare time, Caryma likes to watch professional wrestling.

Donna Moore

Donna Moore, J.D., M.A.

Aboriginal Law:

Donna Moore grew up in rural Saskatchewan, in the heart of the traditional territory of Treaty No.6.

Donna’s family farmed and ranched alongside the Cree and Dene people. Her clients include First Nations in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.

Donna specializes in Aboriginal and Treaty rights, First Nations’ land claims, administrative and environmental law, and litigation. Donna has experience at all levels of court, including the Federal Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada. She has also participated in landmark First Nations litigation and in matters before the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board, the National Energy Board, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

Donna is a member of the Law Societies of Alberta (2004), Saskatchewan (1997) and British Columbia (2009) and has received numerous awards for academic and professional achievements including the Civil Procedure Award (College of Law), Graduate Fellowships and Scholarships (University of Saskatchewan, College of Graduate Studies) and Research Funding/Grants. Donna attended the University of Saskatchewan obtaining a Master’s Degree in Sociology and her Juris Doctor. She practiced criminal and family law as well as civil litigation in Prince Albert and northern Saskatchewan before moving to Alberta with her family. She is very active with her family (a son, 23, who is pursuing his law degree at the U of A, and her daughter, 21, an artist/entrepreneur).

She is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Calgary Bar Association, the Centre for International Legal Studies and the International Bar Association and has presented or moderated at various conferences and panels including the Centre for International Legal Studies. Donna is also proud to be a Learning Group Facilitator and Evaluator for the Bar Admission Course in Alberta.

DR. Nada

Dr. Nada Beserminji, MD, ND, NMD, MDH

Medical Doctor,
Doctor of Naturopathy, and
Doctor of Homeopathy
Board Licensed in Europe and in Canada

Dr. Beserminji has been an important volunteer to Legal Line for 25 years. She actively participates in monthly meetings and helps Legal Line by reviewing content and by being a passionate advocate for people’s well being.

Dr. robert_cooper

Dr. Robert Cooper, LLB, JD, MD, FCFP, CCFP

Robert is a Medical Doctor, and a Doctor of Law

Ontario Long Term Care Clinicians Board Member

Medical Director of Addiction Services, One Mississaga Clinic, Orillia, Ontario
Medical Director of Addiction Services, Dufferin St. Clair Community Clinic
Ontario Medical Association Past Chair Section on Addiction Medicine
Canadian Medical Protective Association Council Member
Medical Director, Blooming Acres
Medical Director, Apple Blossom Village

Dr. Rob Cooper graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Toronto Medical School. He completed a family practice residency at the University of Toronto. He has a clinical practice at the Dufferin St. Clair Community Clinic in Toronto and in Orillia. He is a Councillor for the Canadian Medical Protective Association and Chair of the OMA section for Addiction Medicine.


Gerold Goldlist, LL.B., Partner



Gerold Goldlist is a partner at Davies, Ward, Phillips + Vineberg.

Gerold practices in the areas of Corporate/Commercial, Gaming, Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity. He has extensive expertise in gaming and secured financing transactions and international and cross-border transactions, acting for Canadian and foreign clients on a variety of acquisitions, divestitures, financings and joint ventures. He acts for manufacturing companies, private equity firms and gaming corporations. Gerold acts for Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, an agent of the Province of Ontario, which conducts and manages casinos and lotteries in that province. He has extensive involvement in negotiating the agreements relating to each of the casino complexes developed in the province, including the Niagara Falls and Windsor Casinos, and Casino Rama, which is located on First Nations Land.

Gerold’s corporate practice has extended into the area of public/private development projects. His experience in the public sector includes advising government agencies and Crown corporations on legislative and policy matters as well as being engaged in all aspects of government proposal calls and the related selection processes.

  • Named Toronto Gaming Law “Lawyer of the Year” 2013 by The Best Lawyers in Canada®.
  • Recognized by The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory as a repeatedly recommended lawyer in the area of Corporate/Commercial Law.
  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in Canada as a leading practitioner in Gaming Law.
  • Recognized in Lexpert®’s The Best Lawyers in Canada.
  • Achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s highest ranking, AV Preeminent.

Heather Suttie,
Legal Marketing Consultant

Heather Suttie & Associates

Specializing solely in legal marketing and business development, I have helped lawyers win more than $720 million in new business since 2001.

I work with a range of lawyers in private practice — Global to Solo — BigLaw to NewLaw — helping them claim a distinctive position in the evolving legal sector resulting in greater market share, revenue and profits.

I am best known for executing on major projects that matter: positioning lawyers, law firms and legal service providers in unique markets that target core strengths; innovative, high-profile brand campaigns that establish new markets in Canada and abroad; and, aggressive, tightly-focused business development growth strategies resulting in quality client work, significantly increased revenue, and sustained competitive advantage — all of which are built around putting clients first.

Mostly, I offer an independent mind and highly customized solutions to audacious lawyers, law firms, and legal service providers who want change.

Highly customized solutions ensure that my clients are one of one rather than one of many.

Clients say my “expertise in the legal industry, and experience with different law firms and range of practices is invaluable” and “planning, follow-through and execution of deliverables is like no other.” These traits plus “opinions that mean something” and “a quick mind and loyal to the core” have earned me a reputation of being “a recognized go-to for marketing and business development in the legal services industry.”

I am a frequent presenter at legal industry conferences, a marketing columnist with Lexpert since 2010 and LexisNexis since 2014, and write about how to thrive in the evolving legal market at heathersuttie.ca


Hilary Linton, J.D., LL.M., Lawyer, Mediator, Arbitrator, Adjunct Prof. & Trainer

Founder & President
mediate393, mediate311, mediate47 and Riverdale Mediation Ltd.

Hilary Linton is a highly respected Toronto lawyer, family mediator, and family arbitrator. After litigating family and civil disputes for 14 years, she started Riverdale Mediation in 2000 which is recognized for high-quality alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services and innovative ADR training in Toronto, all over Ontario, across Canada as well as internationally.

Hilary is also the Toronto provider of court-connected family mediation and information services, managing the mediators and information and referral coordinators who serve the public in both the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice.

Riverdale Mediation has trained many hundreds of adult learners in family mediation, arbitration and parenting coordination training leading to professional designations, and also International and Civil Mediation training. Family mediator Hilary Linton and her team at Riverdale Mediation Training have designed a wide range of courses, including:

A family mediation certificate program;
Courses in family arbitration and parenting coordination;
Family law for Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) professionals;
Identifying, assessing and managing risk and power imbalance in family dispute resolution;
Mediation for civic leaders, social workers and police officers; and
Restorative justice processes for at-risk youths.

Family mediator Hilary Linton has been honoured with the inaugural James G. McLeod Professorship in Family Law at Western University Law School, and the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in ADR in 2014. She has taught many ADR courses as an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, Western Law School, and Toronto Advanced Professional Education.

Ian's picture

Ian D. Levine, B.A., D.M.A., Author


Ian Levine is a Canadian visionary who has been innovating the Canadian legal space since 1991.

As founder of Pardons Canada, Ian undertook the herculean effort of assessing the REAL effects of criminal records, and building relationships with hundreds of associations that helped people get back-on-track. After more than two decades of guiding 200,000 Canadians to a ‘fresh start’, Ian looked up one fine day and realized that the organization he had created had become the recognized authority in its field.

Before long, Ian was bombarded with invitations to speak, and has since conducted over 400 presentations to all levels of government including Canadian Border Services, Continuing Education for lawyers, probation officers, Toronto Police and many others. The purpose of Pardons was to help Canadians who had ‘paid their dues’ to get a second chance at a full life. Ian was constantly asked why he would work so hard for ‘criminals’ and he replies… “Any person who did wrong, paid their dues, learned from it, and then tried to be a better person has fulfilled their punishment and is deserving of a pardon. What the community doesn’t realize is that good people continue to punish themselves with shame, and suffer needlessly for years after their court imposed sentence has ended, and that’s not right, everyone needs closure and HOPE.”

While Pardons was being built, Ian’s partner, Antree Demakos, decided to climb another mountain. “Where is the free, comprehensive, accurate and current database of answers to all the common questions Canadians have about the law ?”, she asked. It did not exist, and so Ian and Antree decided to build it.

Ian reached out to lawyers with impeccable reputations and asked for their expertise in writing easy-to-understand legal answers to help Canadians better understand their rights and obligations under THE LAW. In the winter of 1993, 30 (and now over 725) prominent Canadian lawyers and judges had volunteered to help. With Ian’s telecommunications knowledge and technical skills, Legalline.ca was cultivated into a telephone ‘live answer’ hot-line, and an internet online information trove.

Professional Positions:

Informix Database Software Corporation, National Telecom Manager
Pardons Canada (Pardons.com), Founder & Program Director (1993-2008)
Legal Information Ontario, Co-Founder
Legal Line Corporation, Co-Founder, VP of Strategic Alliances (1993-present)

Books Published:

Your Guide to Canadian Law, Co-Author, Fitzhenry Whiteside (2007)
Canadian Criminal Records, and How to Start Fresh, Editor, Fitzhenry Whiteside (2013)

Published in:

The Toronto Star
The Globe and Mail
Numerous local papers and radio talk shows


De La Salle, Honours Student
York University, B.A. Economics
McGill University, Post Graduate Applied Business Management


family law coach

Joel Miller, LL.B., Certified Specialist


Founder, The Family Law Coach

For almost 50 years Joel was a full-time, traditional, family law lawyer representing clients at all levels of court in Ontario. Now he operates a practice serving only people acting for themselves in a family law matter.

“A few years ago I noticed that there were more people in family court without lawyers than with – and that they weren’t getting the results that they should. At the time I was a senior partner at a downtown Toronto law firm, and chair of our firm’s family law group, charging $600/hr. to represent those who could afford me. I loved what I was doing but was ready for a change. I wanted to see if a for-profit lawyer could create, price, and deliver affordable services of value to those in court representing themselves. What would those services might be, cost, and how would they be accessed, if we looked at this from the perspective of the user/litigant – not that of the provider/lawyer.”

This eventually lead to the creation of The Family Law Coach – a for-profit practice model exclusively serving family law self-reps by providing affordable legal assistance and coaching, remotely by phone and email to be accessible by anyone from anywhere.

The service is designed to provide value from the perspective of the user/litigant – not the provider/lawyer – and is based on selling time, not tasks. The user chooses how much time they buy and defines how it’s to be used. There’s no up-front retainer and no visits to a lawyer’s office requiring time off work, child care arrangements, or difficult transportation. It’s intended to be a support for those acting for themselves and emphasizes coaching as well as legal assistance.

Our current traditional model requires a person in the court system to deliver their problem to a lawyer to deal with at a cost determined by the lawyer, which cost is never known until the lawyer delivers an account. And if the client runs out of money part way through – tough.

The Family Law Coach model keeps the client with the problem in control of their own case and supplies as much legal assistance and coaching as the client chooses. This provides specific information when needed and ongoing support and practical coaching to help the client be their most effective in representing themselves before a judge, in mediation, or in negotiations.

The Family Law Coach isn’t for everyone with a family law matter. Your best chance of success is by hiring an experienced family law lawyer to take over your case. If you can’t afford that, then consider The Family Law Coach to get the legal assistance and coaching you need to present your case in the most persuasive way you can.


Larry Banack, B. Comm, Dip. I.R., LL.B.

  • For 16 years, I served as an elected Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada
  • I publish ‘Banack’s Bencher News’ to keep the profession informed of matters arising in Convocation
  • For 7 years, I served as Chair of the Law Foundation of Ontario
  • For 3 years I served as Chair of the Law Commission of Ontario

I am a dispute resolution specialist with a background in civil litigation. Before founding Banack Resolutions Inc., I maintained a diverse commercial litigation practice for 30 years at a boutique law firm. As a certified civil litigation specialist, I acted for clients involved in commercial, real estate, construction, estates and professional insurance disputes.

During that time I also developed a robust dispute resolution practice. I am frequently appointed as mediator or arbitrator and I have experience resolving complex, multi-party disputes dealing with diverse issues. Lawyers also retain me in the unique position of settlement counsel to achieve resolutions that elude the adversarial litigators. I am committed to understanding the key issues between the parties and to assist in finding creative and practical solutions to resolve disputes.


LL.B., 1975, University of Toronto
B. Comm, 1972, McGill University
Dip. I.R., 1972, McGill University

Areas of Expertise:

Construction Law
Real Estate Law
Condominium Law
Professional Liability
Employment Law
Shareholder Disputes
Franchise Disputes

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Marisa Cutter, Pardon Partners



Board of Advisors, Legal Line (since 2001)

Marisa is one of Canada’s leading experts at erasing criminal records from public record, and getting her clients USA Entry waivers so that they may travel easily into the United States. She has been a life long criminal justice advocate with an education in human services – counselling & therapy.

For over 20 years Marisa has worked in a harmonious partnership with Ian Levine and Antree Demakos, the Founders of Pardons Canada, and also Legal Line.

In 2014, Marisa acted as a consulting criminal records expert to Antree as she authored the nationally acclaimed 300 page book on pardons and waivers: Antree Demakos, Canadian Criminal Records and How to Start Fresh, published by Fitzhenry Whiteside. This definitive reference book has since been distributed, and is used by over 3,000 police stations, court houses, and probation and parole offices across Canada.


Everyone deserves to have HOPE so Marisa began championing for this under-represented group in the mid 1990’s.

Marisa’s background includes work with young offenders in open-custody settings with Operation Springboard which was established in 1984 as a community based agency working to support people who are otherwise under served. She then advanced to earn tenure with The Ministry of Corrections, now called The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), by facilitating programs for male residential clients in drug treatment facilities. This is where she discovered that her hearts passion was to help people get pardons and waivers and she began studying to become one of the best in the field.

She has enjoyed the last 20 years working with all levels of government in developing the most efficient and effective strategic planning, policy implementation, and innovative solutions designed to make things easier for her clients.

Marisa held many positions after being hand picked by the Founders of Pardons Canada.  Starting her career as a Counsellor, then Team Leader, she moved into the Program Coordinator of the Courts Department & Parole Board of Canada (PBC) Liaison roles, US Waiver Dept. Head and finally, Director of Stratgey & Development for Pardons Canada, before she branched out with the unyielding support and full encouragement to build Pardon Partners.

Pardon Partners was created to meet the  needs of her clientele … including ‘straight talk’ about the different stages of processing so her clients always understand THE TRUTH about this important application which affects their lives in such a positive rebirth, and real life way.

MARISA cares about people, which from her experience always seemed lacking with the ‘corporate-type’ take-a number-and wait attitude that other ‘helping’ agencies have adopted in her industry. Sadly, clients just become obscure file numbers that just get stuffed into filing cabinets until some eventuality forces them along the process without enough consideration for the applicants ideal well being. For Marisa, this sub standard approach to helping people motivates her to run Pardonpartners.com by always acting in accord with her belief that everyone’s life matters.

Throughout her long career there have been numerous and extraordinary legislative changes. Marisa has trained more than 60 staff, developed office-wide internal procedures, and established strong relationships in working with the courts and police, CPIC, RCMP, Parole Board, U.S. Customs & Border Protection & Admissibility Review Office, the Consulate General, and  the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Office.

Marisa is committed to working with individuals who are ready to clear their name and START FRESH towards their best future, free from all the barriers that otherwise needlessly rob people of their peace-of-mind and ability to advance themselves long after their punishment has been served. She advocates that everyone would be wise to avail themselves of the opportunity which exists for them to apply for their pardon and rejoin society as productive and vibrant members. Once her clients criminal records have been cleared, every single person goes on to be optimistic, independent, and happier family members, friends and neighbours which invariably makes life better for all of us.



Marvin A. Zuker, The Honourable Justice

LL.B. (Osgoode), M.Ed. (University of Toronto), Associate Professor University of Toronto

      As a Criminal Court Judge sitting in Toronto, Ontario, a Small Claims Court Judge (12 years), and a Family Court Judge prior (22 years) , as well as lecturing at OISE for more than thirty years, I am very interested in the relationship of law and education, the impact of legislative changes, youth criminal justice, provincial and federal as well as common law decisions affecting our most precious commodity, our children. I focus additionally on the education profession, the rights/responsibilities of parents, school councils and private schools.

Employment History


    • 1978 to date – Justice, Ontario Court of Justice
    • 1982 to date – Associate Professor, OISE/UT
    • 2013 – Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario
    • 2010 – Adjunct Professor, Department of Law, China Women’s University, Beijing, China
    • 2010 to date – Adjunct Professor, Department of Higher Education and Law, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    • 1987 to 1989 – Visiting Professor, Acting Director, M.A. Program in Judicial Administration, Brock University
    • 1982 to 1987 – Lecturer, York University Centre for Continuing Education
    • 1979 to 1981 – Lecturer, Ryerson Polytechnic Institute (Continuing Education)
    • 1973 to 1978 – Faculty representative, Board of Governors, Ryerson Polytechnic Institute
    • 1972 to 1978 – Professor of Law, Ryerson Polytechnic Institute
    • 1972 to 1977 – Lecturer, Faculty of Education, University of Toronto
    • 1969 to 1972 – Master of Law Professor, Centennial College of Applied Arts
    • 1966 to 1967 – Lecturer, Centennial College of Applied Arts



Michael Crawford, LL.B., Author


  • Accomplished communicator, author and speaker on leveraging communications technologies.
  • Proven track-record in management, marketing and business consulting.
  • Extensive experience in all forms of content creation and production, from print to broadcasting to multimedia.
  • Specialized expertise in financial services, professional services, high technology, retail and manufacturing.
  • Accomplished communicator who has written over 4 million words, from magazine articles to videos to books.

Current Responsibilities:

President, Senior Editor & Co-Founder, WebNews Management
Principal Consultant, MarketingDept.Biz

Professional Education & Qualifications:

Bachelor of Laws, University of New Brunswick
Bachelor of Business Administration, University of New Brunswick

Previous Professional Positions:

Chief Marketing Officer, Holden Day Wilson
Chief Marketing Officer, Mintz & Partners
Executive Editor, Canadian Lawyer Magazine
Consulting Editor, Law Times
Consulting Editor, Labour Times
President, Update Communications
Law Columnist, CBC Midday & CTV National News
Legal Columnist, The Financial Post
Senior Vice President, Institute For International Research, Toronto
Documentary Producer & Researcher, CTV’s W-5
News Writer & Reporter, Global Television
Documentary Reporter, CBC’s The Journal & CBC’s Midday
Radio & Television Reporter, CBC
Radio & Television Reporter, CHSJ

Books Published:

Your Guide to Canadian Law, Co-Author, Fitzhenry Whiteside (2007)
The Journalist’s Legal Guide, First, Second, Third, Fourth & Fifth Editions, Carswell (2008)
Marketing Masters (Articles), Wiley
Solicitor-Client Relationships (Chapter), Ontario Bar Association

Previously Published In:

CA Magazine
Canadian Business
Canadian Lawyer
Canadian Treasurer
Labour Times
Law Times
Maclean’s Magazine
Profit Magazine
Reader’s Digest
The Bottom Line
The Financial Post
The Globe and Mail
The National
The National Post
TLOMA Newsletter


LEXPERT 2017 Zenith Award Recipient

Navi Gill has been Crown Counsel with the BC Ministry of Justice since 2004 and also serves as Hate Crime Resource Counsel.

Navi was part of the northern community working project, using her litigation and dispute-resolution skills to work with Indigenous people involved in the criminal justice system, or struggling with domestic violence. She taught in the Department of Criminology at Northwest Community College, where she was an active youth mentor. She is also a sessional instructor at KPU in the faculty of Criminology.

Since 2004, she has advanced utility of witness accommodation, enabling vulnerable witnesses, including children, to testify from outside the courtroom. She’s a champion for advancing women in law, serving on numerous boards and giving time to organizations addressing cultural and systematic barriers. A founding member of the Women in Law group at U of C Faculty of Law, she has promoted equity, diversity and access to justice.

rachel bromberg

Rachel Bromberg
Law Student with Distinction

Law Student, Mental Health and LGBTQ Advocate

2019 University of Toronto, Law Student
2019 Bachelor of Arts, First Class ‘A+’ Standing, University of Toronto
LSAT Law Exam, Ranked Top .05% in Canada

Work and Volunteer Experience:
Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee Member, January 2019-Present
• Participate in policy discussions at the intersections of law and social work
• Assist in improving the quality of services for clients with mental health challenges who are involved in the criminal justice system

TIDES Educator, January 2019-Present
CAMH, Toronto, Ontario
• Provide trauma-informed crisis intervention and de-escalation training for all CAMH inpatient and outpatient staff
• Lead simulations, debriefings, and reflections to help staff reflect critically on their practice
• Promote a client-centered, collaborative crisis response framework

Let’s Lead Fellow, September 2018-Present
CAMH and Yale University
• Work collaboratively with a team at CAMH and Yale University to create a mobile crisis unit at CAMH
• Research best practices and diverse models of crisis intervention teams

Peer Support Worker, January 2017-Present
Stella’s Place, Toronto, Ontario
• Provide empathic, client-centered, anti-oppressive, and non-judgmental peer support to young people aged 16-29
• Conduct risk assessments and engage in safety planning with service users who may be at risk of harm

TEACH Peer Educator, 2016-Present
Planned Parenthood, Toronto, Ontario
• Provide anti-oppression and anti-homophobia education to youth in public schools
• Empathically respond to questions about the LGBTQ community

Crisis Responder, 2017-2018
Kids Help Phone, Toronto, Ontario
• Provided non-judgmental text-based crisis support to children and youth under age 20 throughout Canada

Peer Support Worker, 2014-2018, LGBT Youth Line, Toronto, Ontario
• Provided referrals to other supports and services for LGBT youth

Policy Committee Member, 2017-2018
LGBT Youth Line, Toronto, Ontario
• Drafted new Youth Line policies
• Ensured that Youth Line policies align with relevant federal or provincial legislation (ex. PHIPA)

Student Voice Mental Health Priorities Project, 2016
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
• Assisted in drafting mental health priorities for the university to focus on
• Engaged in mental health advocacy to open lines of communication with the university and share resources

Lead with Pride Conference Organizer, 2015, 2016 / University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
• Organized the Lead with Pride leadership conference for LGBTQ students
• Helped select presenters and students for the conference

Defense Attorney’s Assistant, Summer 2014, Summer 2015
Beth Barwin, LLB, Hamilton, Ontario
• Assisted with legal research and preparing criminal case documents

Pardons Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Assistant to the CEO, 2013
• Performed administrative duties including data entry, filing, answering phones/emails, and running inter-office errands

Scholarships and Awards:

Moses and Anne Tartick Scholarship, 2018
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
• Scholarship recipient for overall academic excellence

Tracy Scholarship for Ethics, 2017
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
• In course scholarship for the student with the highest percentage in an ethics course

Rueben Wells Leonard Scholarship, 2016
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
• In course scholarship for excellence in a humanities course

Rainbow Triangle Alumni Association Award, 2015
• Award for a student in a Sexual Diversity Studies course on the basis of academic merit in leadership in the LGBTQ community

UC Special In-Course Scholarship, 2014
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

Paul and Jacqui Perron Book Award, 2014
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
• In course scholarship for the student with the highest percentage in a second-year course (SDS255)

J.S. McLean Scholarship, 2013
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

University of Toronto Scholar, 2013

Research Experience:

LGBTQ Parenting Network Book List, 2017-2018
• Compiled a list of children’s books featuring LGBTQ characters of colour
• Outlined gaps in literature and explored potential solutions

LGBTQ Families in Schools Project, 2014-2015
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, Ontario
• Worked on a research project to study the experiences of children of same-sex parents attending public schools
• Wrote blog posts for project website


Rob Rotenberg B.A., LL.B., LL.M.

Rotenberg, Shidlowski, Jesin
Barristers & Solicitors In Association

When people ask Rob Rotenberg what type of criminal law he and his law firm practice, he likes to say: “We do everything from shoplifting to murder.” In his lengthy career as a one of Ontario’s top criminal lawyers, Rob and his firm have done every type of case.

In the last ten years, Rob has turned much of his practice to domestic abuse charges. He defends those who have been charged, and also represents victims in need of assistance to help navigate them through the complex judicial system. Most of his cases are referrals from his vast network of family lawyers, counsellors and former satisfied clients.

Rob is deeply involved with each of his clients and prides himself by giving one-on-one, 24-hour, emergency service. He assists his clients in every possible way, and has a whole array of specialists at hand (counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, drug rehabilitation specialists, emergency counsellors, grief counsellors, etc.) who have worked with him for years and will to jump in at a moment’s notice when needed.

Rob makes every effort to avoid trials unless absolutely necessary. In the vast majority of his cases, he gets the charges withdrawn. When children are involved he always puts their interests first. Often he gets families out of crisis and when appropriate, knits the family unit back together.

Rob’s firm, Rotenberg, Shidlowski, Jesin, features three other excellent lawyers so there is always a lawyer at hand to assist. The firm offers its services at various price points but does not take legal aid clients. All of the lawyers share the same philosophy of practicing criminal law at the highest level.

Rob has always had a natural feel for criminal law. At Osgoode Hall Law School he was the head of the student criminal legal clinic. As a well-known bestselling author, he uses his excellent writing and public speaking skills to advocate effectively for his clients. He and his firm welcome any inquiries – from shoplifting to homicide – with the promise of excellent, caring, confidential and professional service.


Stephen Hebscher, Honours B.A., LL.B.

The Criminal Law Team

Stephen is lead counsel of The Criminal Law Team. His office is located in North York. Stephen has appeared in all the levels of criminal courts in Southern Ontario.

Stephen Hebscher has represented clients charged with all manner of criminal offences including murder, robbery, assault, sexual assault and other sex-related offences, theft, drug and mental health-related offences.

Stephen has an expertise representing clients with mental health and addiction issues in the criminal courts. He has fought for decades to ensure the justice system treats these clients fairly, by keeping them out of jail, avoiding a criminal record, and getting the help they need. Stephen has assisted many clients and their families obtain the mental health community help and support that is so difficult to obtain in the Ontario health care system. Many accused persons, and particularly those with mental illness, turn to drugs and/or alcohol to self-medicate. Stephen has helped these clients because of his close relationship with many professionals- psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and substance abuse counselors- who have expertise in dealing with mental health, addiction, as well as other social problems.

Over the years, Stephen has successfully defended a number of clients charged with sexual offences, including sexual assault, possession and distribution of child pornography, sexual interference, voyeurism, indecent act, indecent exposure, and internet-related offences. He has also successfully defended clients charged with spousal assault (domestic assault), many times arranging counseling for the client, resulting in a withdrawal of the charges. He has also represented young persons charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. In a number of his cases, Stephen has successfully argued that his clients’ rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms have been violated.

Scott Pearl is an associate of The Criminal Law Team. Scott represents clients charged with all manner of criminal offences, and accepts legal aid certificates. Scott has obtained funding for clients charged with serious offences who have been refused legal aid by successfully arguing a Rowbotham Application.


Stephen Hebscher graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1983, after completion of the Criminal Law Intensive Program. Stephen is a member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario, and was called to the Bar in 1985. Stephen has been practicing exclusively criminal law for over thirty years. The offices of the Criminal Law Team are located in North York and Stephen and his team practice criminal law throughout Ontario. Stephen is a longstanding member of the Criminal Lawyers Association, as well as a member of the Area Committee of Legal Aid Ontario for over twenty years.

Stephen worked as a part-time Assistant Crown Attorney from 2005 to 2007, which has contributed to the development of a relationship of mutual respect with many crown attorneys in the Greater Toronto Area.

Stephen was appointed to The Ontario Review Board in 2015 as a legal member. The Ontario Review Board reviews the status of every person who has been found to be not criminally responsible or unfit to stand trial for criminal offences on account of a mental disorder. The Ontario Review Board is established under the Criminal Code of Canada. The Board is made up of judges, lawyers, psychiatrists, psychologists and public members.

Stephen lives in Toronto with his wife of over thirty years. They have two adult daughters. To keep fit, Stephen works out regularly, and plays hockey twice weekly.

Community involvement

Stephen is a guest speaker every year at the Middlefield Collegiate Institute in Markham, Ontario, discussing criminal law issues with the Grade 12 law class. Stephen also volunteers as a coach for their Mock Trial team. The Grade 12 class was the Gold Medal winner of the Ontario Bar Association’s Mock Trial Competition. Stephen has also volunteered as a Judge at the Ontario Bar Association-sponsored Mock Trial Competition for High School students.


Steven Benmor, LL.B., LL.M., Cert. Specialist

Benmor Family Law Group

Steve Benmor is one of the top divorce lawyers in Toronto. He is a recognized in the city as a divorce lawyer, family mediator, arbitrator, speaker, writer and educator. Mr. Benmor has worked as lead counsel in many divorce trials, held many leadership positions in the legal community and has been regularly interviewed on television, radio and in newspapers as an expert in Family Law. As 1 of Toronto’s 34 Certified Specialists in Family Law, as 1 of Canada’s 51 Fellows of the prestigious International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and as a Master of Laws in Family Law, Mr. Benmor’s curriculum vitae is a testament to his credentials, professional achievements, leadership posts, published papers, successful trial decisions, media interviews and many educational presentations to lawyers, mental health professionals and financial advisors.

Steve Benmor is committed to children and families. He believes that separating spouses need guidance, expertise and compassion. Most importantly, Mr. Benmor knows how important it is to find solutions to the consequences of separation – respectfully, speedily and inexpensively. After decades of helping families through hundreds of court hearings, Mr. Benmor witnessed the emotional and financial distress that his clients suffered – even when they succeeded at trial. Mr. Benmor then began referring his clients to Family Mediation as the better solution for families. Recognizing the delicate skills needed to effectively mediate the consequences of divorce, Mr. Benmor then committed himself to becoming educated, then trained and finally certified as a Family Mediator himself. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario awarded Steve Benmor his designation as a “Certified Family Mediator”. Mr. Benmor is highly skilled in negotiation, conflict resolution, domestic violence and ethics in order to assist families through the many stages of separation and divorce.

Mediating high net worth family matters or complex financial cases requires a sophisticated financial understanding and in depth knowledge of the law. Mr. Benmor has spent the last 20 years representing and settling cases for families with significant wealth and assets and, in doing so, has achieved positive and highly satisfactory results, with confidentiality and discretion.

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