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49th Annual Fall Conference – Advocacy Skills Camp

Date: November 19-20, 2021

We are pleased to announce that the 49th Annual CLA Fall Conference – Advocacy Skills Camp – will be offered as a hybrid conference for 2021.  Our ability to provide an in-person experience will depend on local, provincial and federal mandates. We are monitoring this closely. All efforts to hold this event while ensuring maximum safety will be implemented. If government regulations do not allow for an in-person event, the conference will still proceed as 100% virtual on the same dates.

Conference date and location:

Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen St W, Lower Level, Toronto

When registering, you will be provided the option to choose in-person or virtual participation. Please refer further down the page for important information to review PRIOR to registering for the in-person option. Registrants will be able to switch their registration preference up to November 15 at no extra charge. To update your registration, please email your preference to support@criminallawyers.ca.

All presentations, other than the G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal Luncheon honouring Patrick Ducharme, will be LIVE broadcast. The luncheon will be recorded with the recording made available to those that purchase the luncheon at a later date.

The conference presentations will be RECORDED and only made available to those that register in advance within 10 business days after the conference closing date. The recordings will be available for viewing for 60 days from posting.



  • 55 minutes of EDI
  • 1 hour 20 minutes of professionalism.
  • Substantive Hours: 7 hours (if hours are not needed for EDI and/or professionalism they can be added to)

Plus:  Approved for LAWPRO’s Risk Management Credit

Please note for LSO Accreditation purposes, the CLA will submit the final registration list to the LSO as confirmation of participation. Those that do not register in advance will not be able to claim CPD.



Friday, November 19, 2021

8:35 to 8:36 a.m.: Land Recognition presented by Andrew Bigioni

8:36 to 8:51 a.m.: Presentation by Elder Little Brown Bear

8:51 to 9 a.m.: Welcoming remarks and Enhanced Designations update from Dan Brown, Vice President, Criminal Lawyers’ Association

9 to 9:30 a.m.: Understanding the LSO’s Member Assistance Program with Regard to your Mental Health

  • Jo-Anne Blumberg, Homewood Health
  • Teresa Donnelly, Treasurer, Law Society of Ontario
  • Jonathan Rosenthal, Bencher LSO & Criminal Lawyer
  • Introduction by Dan Brown

9:30 to 11 a.m.: Advanced Cross-Examination

11 to 11:30 a.m. BREAK

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Advanced Cross-Examination (cont…)

1 to 2 p.m. LUNCH BREAK

2 to 4:30 p.m.: Advanced Cross-Examination (cont…)

4:30 to 5 p.m. SOPINKA LECTURE

5 to 5:30 p.m.: CLA Annual General Meeting

5:30 to 7:30 p.m.ish:  Cocktail Reception

Saturday, November 20, 2021

9 to 9:30 a.m.: Advocacy: A view – from the other side

9:30 to 9:45 a.m.: Announcing Ed Sapiano Charity and Scholarship 

9:45 to 10:15 a.m.: Former Defence Lawyers Now Judges – A view from the bench 

  • Justice Myriam Lachance (SCJ – Montreal)
  • Justice Heather Perkins-McVey (OCJ – Ottawa) 
  • Justice Enzo Rondinelli (OCJ – Toronto)
  • Introduction by Leonardo Russomanno

10:15 to 11 a.m.: Sentencing Advocacy for Racialized Accused 

11 to 11:30 a.m. BREAK

11:30 a.m. to 12 noon: Charter Advocacy: Drafting effective Charter Materials. Tactics and Consideration

12 to 12:30 p.m.: Etiquette? Bad habits in court and how to avoid? 

  •  Justice Suhail Akhtar (SCJ – Toronto)
  • Nader Hasan, Stockwoods LLP
  • Justice Apple Newton-Smith (OCJ – Toronto)
  • Introduction by Chris Sewrattan

12:30 to 1 p.m.: Closing to a Jury – Advocacy

1 to 3 p.m.: G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal Luncheon honouring Patrick Ducharme



The discounted group rate is available to attendees by making  reservations using the below weblink:

Book your group rate for Criminal Lawyers’ Annual Fall Conference

Alternatively guests can call a toll free line at 1-888- 6277175 and state that they are with Criminal Lawyers’ Annual Fall Conference block, to reserve at the special rate.

The group’s cut off date after which any remaining unused rooms will be released is November 12th.  

Room type: Traditional King/Two Queens*

  • Single/Double occupancy: $199.00
  • Triple occupancy: $229.00
  • Quad occupancy: $249.00

Hotel room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes (currently 13% HST and 4% MAT) in effect at the time of check-out.

*Includes the complimentary upgrade to the Club level with club access.

Reservations is in the process of changing the rate and updating all existing reservations that are in the system for the block.



  • As of September 22, 2021, you must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination to access the conference in-person. You must also receive your final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before providing the proof of being fully vaccinated.
    • October 22: use your vaccine certificate – An enhanced vaccine certificate, as well as a verification app to allow businesses to read the QR code, will be available. Details about this will be emailed to all in-person registrants closer to the date.
    • EXCEPTION: to those that have a valid document from a physician or nurse practitioner saying you have a medical exemption from full vaccination. Medical exemption must be provided seven days in advance to the CLA office and subject to evaluation. 
  • We are implementing measures to reduce the risk of infection among all those that attend in person.
  • We are holding the event at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen St W, Toronto.
    • We have the ENTIRE lower level reserved for the Conference.
    • This is a MUCH larger space than previous years.
    • Chairs/seating in the main conference room will have a hook on the back of the chairs in the case attendees prefer not to use coat-check.
    • All food/beverages will be served/packaged.
    • The exhibitor, beverage/food and live feed area will be located in an open area to help avoid congestion.
  • To help avoid line-ups, registrants will be able to grab their own name badge when they arrive with lanyards being placed on a hook on the back of chairs in the main conference room for attendees to grab.
  • All in-person attendees must wear a mask. This includes attendees, hotel staff, volunteers and exhibitors. Speakers will only remove their mask when presenting.



  • All presentations, other than the G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal Luncheon honouring Patrick Ducharme, will be LIVE broadcast. The luncheon will be recorded with the recording made available to those that purchase the luncheon at a later date.
  • Registrants will have the opportunity to ask speakers questions. This will be a fully interactive experience. Details on how questions can be submitted will be shared closer to the event date.
  • It is up to each registrant to ensure they have a strong internet connection prior to the event.
  • Access information to the Virtual Hub will be emailed to all registrants at least 48 hours before the start date and will be sent to the email address entered when registering.
  • It is up to each registrant to ensure they have the Virtual Hub link and test access before the conference start date. Be sure to check your spam and junk boxes. The CLA is not responsible if you cannot locate the access link or if you have access issues. If you are not able to locate the access information by 9 a.m., November 18, please email support@criminallawyers.ca. It is the responsibility of each registrant to ensure they have the access information.



As a result of the impact of the pandemic on our members, we continue to offer reduced Fall Conference Registrations fees for members. The price for in-person and virtual is the same.

  • $100 plus HST: CLA Student Members
  • $225 plus HST: CLA Junior Active & Junior Observer Members
  • $315 plus HST: CLA Senior Active, Senior Observer & Affiliate Members
  • $600 plus HST: Non-members – open to all legal professionals*
  • $250 plus HST: Non-member students*

Extra Options:

  • $25 plus HST: Recording: Martin Medal Award Luncheon
  • $20 plus HST: CLA Baseball Cap
  • SOLD OUT – $45 plus HST: In-Person Martin Medal Award Luncheon

Register online by going to https://members.criminallawyers.ca/event-4499325 or call the CLA office (with credit card payment) Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm at 416-214-9875.

* Not a current member of the CLA? Find out more about membership by going to https://members.criminallawyers.ca/joinus

There are no refunds.






  • Pharah Bacchus

  • Chugh Law

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