In collaboration with Ontario Association of Black Paralegals and Fasken’s Ontario Women Network, we are excited to present key speakers from the Law Society of Ontario, including Treasurer Jacqueline Horvat and Benchers Atrisha Lewis and Michelle Lomazzo.
Join us for the opportunity to hear their perspective on intersectionality and the law as well as speak with mentors with a variety of backgrounds listed below!
Jacqueline Horvat, Treasurer of LSO
Jacqueline Horvat was elected as Treasurer by the Law Society’s governing body (Convocation) on June 15, 2022 and she took office on June 28, 2022. The Treasurer is the top-elected official of the Law Society, which regulates Ontario’s lawyers and paralegals in the public interest. She is the sixth woman Treasurer in the 225-year history of the Law Society.
Treasurer Horvat was first elected a Bencher in 2011 and was serving her third term when she was elected. She was called to the Ontario bar in 2002.
She is a litigation lawyer and a founding partner of Spark Law, a seven-lawyer full-service firm, which provides her with a close-up view of the issues and daily worries faced by sole and small practice lawyers across the Province.
Treasurer Horvat has a broad and varied corporate/commercial litigation practice representing both plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial disputes, class action litigation and appeals. She has appeared at all levels of court in Ontario, the Federal Court Trial Division and the Federal Court of Appeal.
Atrisha Lewis, LSO Bencher/ Partner, McCarthy Tetrault LLP
Atrisha Lewis is a Partner in McCarthy Tétrault’s Litigation Group in Toronto. She is a trial litigator and with a practice focused on commercial disputes, professional liability and product liability matters. Atrisha frequently provides advice relating to fraud and asset recovery after the discovery of a fraud including by attending at court to seek urgent tracing and freezing orders. Atrisha represents clients in the financial services and technology sectors. Atrisha has argued before all levels of Court. In 2019, Atrisha was elected as bencher of the Law Society of Ontario.
Michelle Lomazzo, Paralegal LSO Bencher/Lomazzo Worker's Compensation Appeals Prof Corp
Michelle M. Lomazzo has worked as an injured worker advocate for more than 30 years in Windsor, representing workers across Ontario. Michelle has her own legal services practice, Lomazzo Workers’ Compensation Appeals Professional Corporation with expertise in workers compensation appeals before the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and regularly appears before the Workplace Safety & Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT). Her practice focus is estate claims and WSIB survivor benefits for the families of emergency responders where their loved one died by suicide because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Ms. Lomazzo has represented the Windsor Police Association and the Windsor Professional Firefighters Association for years, as well as various other unions/associations. Ms. Lomazzo was elected a Bencher at the Law Society of Ontario in 2019. She is the Chair of the Paralegal Standing Committee and as well currently sits as a Bencher on the following committees: Professional Regulation Co., Treasurer’s Appointments Advisory Committee, Access to Justice, Audit and Finance, Proceeding Authorization and Strategic Planning and Advisory. She was an Adjudicator with the Law Society Tribunal adjudicating discipline matters involving lawyers and paralegals for the nine years. She was most recently a Director of the Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital Board of Directors for eight years and a Board member of the Changing Lives Together Foundation Board of Directors. Michelle has a in-depth understanding of governance having sat on numerous boards of directors over the past 30 years including Citizen Advocacy, Family Services Windsor-Essex, the Homeless Shelter for Women, and the Unemployed Help Centre. She is a volunteer with the Coach and Advisor’s Network at the Law Society of Ontario and a mediator with Community Mediation Windsor-Essex. Ms. Lomazzo has been a member the Paralegal Advisory Committee of St. Clair College in Windsor since 2012. She is a regular guest speaker for Continuing Professional Development with various organizations including the Law Society of Ontario. She is bilingual. When not advocating or volunteering Ms. Lomazzo enjoys worldwide travel and golf. She is the proud mother of three adult children and a new grandmother.
Brenell Dean, founder of Dean’s Paralegal Services has diligently and tirelessly served Windsor and the surrounding area since March 2018 in the areas of Small Claims Court and Landlord Representation. Mrs. Dean had many requests to service Clients in new areas of law and Mrs. Dean answered the call. In 2020 Dean’s Paralegal Services expanded services and hired a team of professional paralegals and lawyers; now offering a broad range of legal services.
Mrs. Dean has a unique background in real estate investing and property management. These skills have led to a deeper understanding of the law as it relates to representation at the Landlord and Tenant Board. Mrs. Dean also has 10 years of extensive community service experience, where Mrs. Dean was involved with such organizations as Afforest-UWindsor, Sisters Taking Action for a New Direction, The Downtown Mission, Raising Autism Awareness, Youth Embracing Today’s Youth, the YMCA and Pre-Law Student Society at the University of Windsor. While maintaining a sense of pride in her community, Brenell Completed an Honors Degree in French and Psychology at the University of Windsor. Mrs. Dean holds a B.A. [H] French Studies & Psychology from the University and has graduated from the Paralegal Program at St. Clair College. Mrs. Dean is a highly sought-after public speaker and mentor in the legal profession. Alongside her paralegal practice, Mrs. Dean returned to College holding the role of Instructor where Mrs. Dean teaches such classes as Criminal Law: Summary Convictions, Administrative Law, Paralegal Practice Management, among other courses. Mrs. Dean comes from a family with a rich history in the legal field as a direct relative of Delos Davis, one of Canada’s first black lawyers, the Honorable Justice Dean, and others spanning across Canada and the United States.
Rochelle Ivri, Immigration Judge, Mohawk College Professor
Appointed in 2018, Judge Rochelle Ivri is 1 of 9 Citizenship Judges in Canada and was the first African-Canadian Citizenship Judge assigned to the Hamilton and Niagara Falls offices. She is currently assigned to the Greater Ontario Area. Judge Ivri holds an Honours Degree in Criminology, as well as a post-graduate certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution and is a professor in the paralegal program at Mohawk College and adjunct professor at Queen’s Law School. She is also an author and sought after speaker and facilitator.
Judge Ivri is deeply committed to community engagement and involvement, serving on various boards and committees in the past and present, while continuing to lend her knowledge and expertise to advance the needs of the community. She has received many awards; was awarded a Woman Who Rocks Award for Hamilton in 2019 and, in 2020 she was a nominee in the Education/Mentorship category for the YWCA Hamilton Women of Distinction Awards. Also in 2020, she was awarded the Leading Women, Leading Girls, Building Community Award for her work in Kitchener Centre. In 2021, Judge Ivri received the Lincoln Alexander Award by the Law Society of Ontario making her the first ever paralegal to receive this recognition in the awards’ nearly 20-year history. Judge Ivri was named one of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women for 2022 and her accomplishments documented in a commemorative book. Also in 2022, Judge Ivri was given the Rev. John C. Holland Award of Merit by the Hamilton Black History Council and was recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Black Women to Watch of 2022 by CIBWE.
She is passionate about human rights, the Charter, and encouraging active citizenship and civic engagement to make communities thrive. She and her husband Eldean have 4 children.”
Rochelle was the first African-Canadian to be appointed as a board member on the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library Board where she served for 8 years. She was also the first African-Canadian to be appointed to the Council of the College of Midwives of Ontario, where she served for 8 years, 2 of which involved being on the Executive Board. Additionally, Rochelle was also a member of the Discipline, Appeal, and Review Committee of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (Now the CICC). She currently sits on the board of Bravo Niagara! and she is the first and only African-Canadian to be appointed to the inaugural Niagara Region Women's Advisory Committee.
Marie Kiluu-Ngila is an Indigenous Business Lawyer at Pape Salter Teillet LLP in Toronto. She works with Indigenous groups across the province to promote their economic participation within a transactional business driven context. Prior to joining Pape, she practiced corporate finance and M&A at a small boutique in Toronto, after articling at a full service Bay Street firm.
Marie attended the University of Toronto where she completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Political Science and minoring in History and Gender Studies in 2014. She completed her Juris Doctor in 2019 and was called to the Ontario bar in 2020.
Marie is a co-founder of Black Future Lawyers (BFL) at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. BFL is a program that aims to empower and support the endeavors of Black students who are interested in attending law school and has impacted hundreds of prospective law school applicants. The program has expanded and multiple chapters can be found in universities across Canada.
Danielle Abimbola is an Associate Lawyer at Monkhouse Law, licenced by the Law Society of Ontario, practicing employment law. She completed her J.D. at the University of Ottawa. She was the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada National President in 2018-2019.
Danielle assists employees with navigating workplace issues ranging from wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal, human rights discrimination, contract reviews, and disability insurance claims. She is passionate about advocating for her clients and keeping their interests centred throughout the process. She approaches her work with a listening ear, a keen eye, and seeks to protect the interests of her clients.
Jennifer Gold is a Partner of Wood Gold LLP in Brampton, where she practices Family Law and Wills. She’s experienced in achieving consensus, negotiating agreements, de-escalating conflict, and representing clients in mediation, arbitration and court. Jennifer was recently appointed as a part-time member of the Ontario Land Tribunal. Since 2021, she has been a Dispute Resolution Officer for the Superior Court of Justice to assist in early resolution of cases. She has completed a Certificate in Family Mediation and, in keeping with her professional commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, has also completed the University of Alberta’s course, Indigenous Canada, and The Path.
Jennifer is Past President of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario and is a Board Member of Pro Bono Ontario. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Legal Aid Ontario where she chairs the Audit and Finance Committee, and is a member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Council, representing the Central West region. To support the next generation, Jennifer is a mentor in the Women’s Law Association of Ontario’s mentorship program and York University’s Advancing Women program. The efforts of Jennifer and her partner to create alternatives to the traditional law firm, with a better work-life balance in a diverse workplace, were featured in The Toronto Star.
Jennifer is the 2021 recipient of the Ontario Bar Association’s Award of Excellence in Promoting Women’s Equality and a 2017 Lexpert Zenith Award celebrating the advancement of women in the legal profession.
Teresa Donnelly has been a lawyer with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General since 1994. During that time, she has been an Assistant Crown Attorney in the Region of Waterloo and the County of Huron (1994-2011), the Crown Attorney for the County of Huron (2011-2015); the West Region Sexual Violence Crown, Sexual Violence Advisory Group (2015-2020, 2022-2023) and Counsel conducting a review of the Direct Accountability Program (DAP) at the Ministry (2022-2023).
As West Region Sexual Violence Crown she was one of 7 full-time prosecutors in Ontario dedicated to enhancing the quality of sexual violence prosecutions and the victim’s experience in the criminal justice system. As a Crown, Teresa has been dedicated to prosecutions involving violence against women and children – both domestic violence and sexual violence.
Teresa was elected as a Bencher with the Law Society of Ontario in 2015 and 2019. She was elected the Treasurer or President of the Law Society of Ontario from June 2020-June 2022. Teresa was the fifth woman Treasurer in the 223 year history of the Law Society of Ontario. As Treasurer her focus included the mental health of legal practitioners, EDI, reconciliation, the competence and ethical responsibilities of lawyers and paralegals, and the important role that paralegals play in access to justice in Ontario.
Derin Abimbola is a lawyer with the City of Toronto in their Planning and Administrative Law group. Derin holds a BA in Criminology and a JD degree, both from the University of Ottawa. She has appeared at Divisional Court, the OLT, the TLAB and Small Claims Court on various matters.
Reshida Darrell, is an associate employment lawyer at Monkhouse Law. Reshida received her JD from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law after obtaining her Honours Bachelor in Justice Studies at the University of Guelph.During her time at the University of Ottawa, Reshida volunteered as a student caseworker with the Employment Insurance Litigation Clinic, was a founding steering committee member for the Employment Law Fellowship at the University, and finished in the top tier of her trial advocacy course.
Before joining Monkhouse Law, Reshida gained valuable civil litigation experience articling with a multinational insurance corporation and financial services provider, as well as worked as the corporation’s legal analyst spearheading the statutory interpretation for the privacy modernization program.