The 5th Annual Mental Disorder and the Law Conference

Date: Saturday, February 22, 2020

Saturday, February 22, 2020, 9:30 to 4 p.m.
In person: Law Society of Ontario (LSO), Donald Lamont Learning Centre, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto (includes lunch)
Live webcast will also be available.

The 5th Annual Mental Health Conference – being held on February 22, 2020 has been accredited for 50 minutes of EDI Professionalism Content and 25 minutes of Professionalism content. 2 hours and 55 minutes substantive (if hours are not needed for EDI and/or professional they can be added to substantive)


A day of exploring some of the nuanced (and some of the more basic) intersections of the criminal law and issues of mental health.


For individuals attending in person, food and beverages will be provided.

For individuals participating via live webcast, webcast details will be sent to the email provided when registering at least 48 hours prior to event start date.

Agenda and Topics:

  • 9:30 – 10 a.m. Check-In and Networking
  • 10 – 10:05 a.m. Opening Remarks – Webcast begins
      • Cassandra DeMelo, DeMelo Law, Women’s Vice President, Criminal Lawyers’ Association and Co-Chair, CLA Mental Health Committee
  • 10:05 – 10:40 a.m. “Lessons from Walker: What being amicus means now”
      • Moderator: Graedon Pfeiffer, Greenwood Defence
      • Dena Bonnet, Crown Counsel
      • Megan Savard, Addario Law Group LLP , Director, Criminal Lawyers’ Association
      • The Honourable Riun Shandler, Ontario Court of Justice
  • 10:40 – 10:55 a.m. BREAK
  • 10:55 – 11:10 a.m. “The 4-1-1 on s. 33.1: How the NCR test might look if s. 33.1 is struck down by the Court of Appeal”
      • Moderator: Cassandra DeMelo, DeMelo Law, Women’s Vice President, Criminal Lawyers’ Association and Co-Chair, CLA Mental Health Committee
      • Jill Presser, Presser Barristers
      • Danielle Robitaille, Henein Hutchison LLP
  • 11:10  – 11:50 a.m. Keeping up with the Justices: Reviews of the latest and greatest out of the Court of Appeal by the greatest and latest out of the Bar”
      • Moderator: Anita Szigeti, Anita Szigeti Advocates
      • Michael Davies, Davies Barristers
      • Maya Kotob, Anita Szigeti Advocates
      • Meaghan McMahon, Davies Barristers, Recent Call Director, Criminal Lawyers’ Association
      • Joanne Stuart, Crown Counsel
  • 11:50 a.m.  – 12:30 p.m. “Jails are not and can not be treatment centres
      • The Honourable Senator Kim Pate
  • 12:30 – 1:15  p.m. LUNCH BREAK
  • 1:15 – 2 p.m. “The Double-Whammy: a consideration of the intersection of race and mental illness in criminal law?
      • Moderator: Cassandra DeMelo, DeMelo Law, Women’s Vice President, Criminal Lawyers’ Association and Co-Chair, CLA Mental Health Committee
      • Jennifer Chambers, Executive Director, Empowerment Council 
      • Roy Wellington, H. Roy Wellington, Barrister
  • 2 – 2:25 p.m. “Fall from Grace: when getting fired by your client (or firing them) is for the best”
      • Moderator: Dean Embry, Embry Dann, Assistant Secretary, Criminal Lawyers’ Association and Co-Chair, CLA Mental Health Committee
      • David Connally, Barrister & Solicitor
      • Sabrina Feldman, Sabrina Feldman Law
      • Suzan E. Fraser, Fraser Advocacy
  • 2:25 – 2:40 p.m. BREAK
  • 2:40 – 3:20 p.m. “Paging the Doctor: preparing your client for assessments, and the intricacies of this process”
      • Moderator: Leah Shafran, Greenwood Defence
      • Emily Dixon, Defence Lawyer
      • Dr. Mitesh Patel
      • Dr. Lisa Ramshaw
  • 3:20 – 3:55 p.m. Worlds Colliding: Civil and Criminal Mental Health Law Clash In MOCK ORB hearing”
      • Moderator: Anita Szigeti, Anita Szigeti Advocates
      • Kelley Bryan
      • Christel Francis
      • Dr. Robert McMaster, Forensic Psychiatrist, CAMH
      • Meghan O’Brien, Lamb and O’Brien
      • Dr. Mark Pearce, Forensic Psychiatrist, CAMH
  • 3:55 – 4:00 p.m. Closing Remarks
      • Dean Embry, Embry Dann, Assistant Secretary, Criminal Lawyers’ Association and Co-Chair, CLA Mental Health Committee

Pricing: Individuals will be asked to select the IN PERSON or LIVE WEBCAST option when registering. Pricing is the same for both options.
  • CLAFull/Observer/LAMDA Member called in or before 2016: $125+HST
  • CLAFull/Observer/LAMDA Member called in 2017 and after: $100+HST
  • CLAArticling Student Member/LAMDA Student member: $80+HST
  • CLAStudent Member: $60+HST
  • Non-Member Practicing Lawyer: $230+HST
  • Non-Member Articling Students, Students, law clerks and paralegals: $130+HST

Register online by going to https://members.criminallawyers.ca/event-3702080 or call the CLA office with credit card information to register over the phone (416-214-9875). The CLA office is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Live Webcast details:
For those that select the live webcast option, details on how to access the live webcast will be shared to the email address used for registering 48 hours in advance of the eventPlease be sure to check your “spam/junk” folders for the link as they often land there.There are no refunds if you are not able to locate the link. DO NOT SHARE THE LINK as it is only being sent to paid registrants. Only paid registrants can claim the CPD.*
Webcast recording:
Pending the quality of the recording, a recording of the presentation will available for purchase by members and non-members at a later date. Details on how to purchase will be shared once available.

Sponsored by:

Destination CPD

Now accepting sponsorships for the 2020 CLA Mental Health Conference!

Expected attendance of 150+ (in person and live webcast) defence lawyers, judiciary, educators, reporters and other prominent guests from across Canada.

  1. Gold Level (2 available) $1,250.00
  2. Exhibitor Gold Level (2 available) $1,650.00
  3. Silver Level (6 available) $500.00
  4. Bronze Level (15 available) $250.00

Click here to download the sponsorship package: WinterSpring2020Sponsorship

Cancellation Deadline:

Cancellations will be accepted in writing if received by 12 noon (ET) on or before February 15. Cancellations are to be sent to [email protected] [email protected]. A $12 admin fee will apply. No refunds will be accepted on or after February 15. The substitution of registrants is not accepted unless emailed to[email protected]36 hours prior to the event start time. The sharing of registrations is not permitted. The CLA reserves the right to alter or cancel, without prior notice, any of the arrangements relating directly or indirectly to an event, for any circumstances beyond the CLA’s reasonable control. If CLA cancels the event, registrants will be offered a full refund. Should circumstances arise that result in the postponement of an event, registrants will have the option to either receive a full refund or transfer registration to the same event at the new, future date. In the case of inclement weather, unless otherwise notified by CLA, the event will still take place. When an event proceeds as planned, there will be no refunds should attendees not be able to attend as a result of weather. The CLA will also not be liable to refund registration fees should the event be impacted by a transit strike, strike lock-out, accident, civil disturbance or any other cause whatsoever beyond their control.

* We work hard to bring recent calls quality programming and networking opportunities. Your support of our efforts is very much appreciated and we hope you enjoy our programming. To help us continue with bringing quality programming, it is important that only those that register participate. The Recent Call event series has been experiencing issues with the live webcast link being shared with non-registrants. This has impacted our efforts negatively for the volunteers planning the event as was as on association finances (we pay a fee per live webcast participant). Please do NOT share the webcast link with anyone.Please note that for CPD purposes, each Live Webcast registrant MUST register individually (even if planning on watching with a group). The email address provided when registering is where the webcast details will be sent closer to the event date. Only those that register in advance can claim CPD.