The Demise of Oral Advocacy?
Gary Joseph

The Demise of Oral Advocacy?

While reflecting on my advocacy this week, I had time to pause and think about how I got to this point in my career. More specifically how whatever skills I do possess as an advocate, came to be. Two immediate thoughts came to mind, watching and doing. Having a great interest in the development ...

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Family Resemblance: Piercing Corporate Veil in Family, Corporate Law
Gary Joseph

Family Resemblance: Piercing Corporate Veil in Family, Corporate Law

When a marriage breaks down and corporations are involved, both family law and corporate law can be engaged in sometimes complementary, sometimes conflicting ways. This is particularly the case with piercing the corporate veil. Parties and counsel involved in these situations should keep both ...

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Stopping Anti-Vaccination Debate in the Courts
Gary Joseph

Stopping Anti-Vaccination Debate in the Courts

Lawyer David Frenkel argued that the justice system should not have given a platform in recent court proceedings for a mother to argue against the vaccination of her children with her estranged husband. I vigorously disagree with this view.  Let me also identify that my personal views on ...

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COVID and the Continuation of Child Support
Gary Joseph

COVID and the Continuation of Child Support

While the media focuses during the pandemic has been on primary and secondary school challenges, college and university students have also been greatly impacted. Many post-secondary programs have been cancelled, suspended or deferred. Part-time jobs are almost non-existent and many children have ...

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Lawyers and the OBA Come Blow Your Horn
Gary Joseph

Lawyers and the OBA Come Blow Your Horn

In these bleak times leadership counts. The public needs to know that despite continual government failings, leadership can be found among the practising bar and among its leadership organizations such as the OBA. In doing so, we can help restore public confidence in the administration of ...

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Breach of Court Orders and
Gary Joseph

Breach of Court Orders and 'No Audience' Concept

As an officer of the court, lawyers have a positive duty to advise clients of their obligations under an order of the court and the imperative of full compliance. However, the rights to be heard and the right of meaningful appeal are also important components of our system of justice. ...

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Streamlining Process for Review of Temporary Orders
Gary Joseph

Streamlining Process for Review of Temporary Orders

As family lawyers become increasingly busy with the certain fallout of COVID and the overburdened courts struggle to keep up, trials will be further delayed. A possible answer is some form of summary review process for orders made on temporary motions. Original article posted by  The ...

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Embrace of Work-Life Balance Coming to Legal Profession
Gary Joseph

Embrace of Work-Life Balance Coming to Legal Profession

What we describe as "rat race culture," appears to be coming to an end. Young lawyers for the most part reject this model. The idea of servitude for years is a poison to work-life balance, and more importantly, often to overall mental health. Work addiction is not an ideal sought by the young. ...

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Predatory Marriage Problem Just Getting Worse
Gary Joseph

Predatory Marriage Problem Just Getting Worse

The practices of family law and estates law often cross paths. One such area of overlap between the two fields is the law as it relates to what has been called the "Predatory Marriage." Consider a divorced older gentleman with two adult children. He has worked hard all his life and wants to ...

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Last Words on Paralegals
Gary Joseph

Last Words on Paralegals

The public wants better access to justice and the LSO seems convinced that the method best to address this issue is to license paralegals to do the family law work. For many years this work has been recognized as legal work requiring an individual trained in the law and mentored into the ...

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No to Unlimited Settlement Conferences
Gary Joseph

No to Unlimited Settlement Conferences

For too long counsel and parties have used conferences as disclosure vehicles often engaging the court in repeated events on their way to either trial or settlement. In the process, they burn up valuable resources on legal fees and wasted court time. In my view, this contributes to the increase ...

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Decision Throws Light on Mechanics of Parallel Parenting
Gary Joseph

Decision Throws Light on Mechanics of Parallel Parenting

Parallel parenting has been recognized as a useful tool in high conflict cases.  Decision making for the child(ren), often the core of the dispute, is parsed between parents.  These arrangements can reduce parenting conflict and calm the seas of parental engagements.  Courts have ...

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Better Ways of Giving Self-Reps Access to Justice
Gary Joseph

Better Ways of Giving Self-Reps Access to Justice

I have written many (too many) times about my concerns with the proliferation of self-represented litigants and am gratified that much of the data gathered supports some of my previously expressed views. Most upsetting to me, is our profession's continual silence on the value we bring to the ...

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Disclosure in family court and the need for co-counsel
Gary Joseph

Disclosure in family court and the need for co-counsel

Family law matters have become increasingly complex. Managing a family law trial now involves the usual presentation of evidence but the extent of documentary evidence necessary has greatly expanded with the focus on disclosure as articulated in a number of decisions of the Court of Appeal. Now ...

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COVID, opportunity and future of family law
Gary Joseph

COVID, opportunity and future of family law

I have been fortunate to professionally grow up in an era of family law giants. I have negotiated with and against, litigated with and against and learned from the likes of Malcolm Kronby, Alan Poole, Harold Berry, Phil Epstein and many other of the now gone greats. Now the era of these ...

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COVID and the race to the negotiating table
Gary Joseph

COVID and the race to the negotiating table

COVID-19 has spawned an enormous wave of child-related motions. The decision of Justice Heather McGee in Clemente v. O'Brien 2020 ONSC 3287 appears initially as just one more. While not quite a COVID-motivated motion it becomes one as it caused the court to consider and opine (most elegantly ...

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Reflections on Costs Awards and an Appeal of That Issue
Gary Joseph

Reflections on Costs Awards and an Appeal of That Issue

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently dealt with an appeal of a costs award from the trial decision of Justice Sharon Shore in Climans v. Latner 202 ONCA 554.  Both the trial decision and the appellate court ruling are fascinating from a legal and factual basis. Original article posted ...

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Unexpected child support consequence of COVID-19
Gary Joseph

Unexpected child support consequence of COVID-19

Courts generally reduce the amount of child support during the academic year where the child is not living at home, in accordance with s. 3(2)(b) of the  Child Support Guidelines  (CSG). Where a child is residing in another residence for the bulk of the year, it is inappropriate to ...

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Best Lawyers in Canada - Recognition
Gary Joseph, Geoffrey Wells, Michael Stangarone, William Abbott

Best Lawyers in Canada - Recognition

MacDonald & Partners LLP is pleased to announce that Gary Joseph, William Abbott, Geoffrey Wells and Michael Stangarone have been recognized as leaders in their field in the latest edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada ® for their work in Family Law.

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To School or Not To School
Gary Joseph

To School or Not To School

Already backed up and overburdened, now our courts and family law judges are faced with more COVID-19 driven litigation.  One parent wants the child to return to school while the other parent opposes and wishes to continue with online learning.  Decisions that should be made ...

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Making joint experts mandatory is long overdue
Gary Joseph

Making joint experts mandatory is long overdue

The Family Law Act in British Columbia and the Family Law Rules thereunder have implemented a mandatory requirement for the use of joint experts on financial issues in family cases. The rule is stated in mandatory terms. This is a change that is long overdue and one that should be the norm ...

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Address All Potential Issues When Using Experts
Gary Joseph

Address All Potential Issues When Using Experts

Recent amendments to the Family Law Rules have now formally introduced the jointly retained expert to family law matters. A joint litigation expert is defined as a litigation expert engaged to provide expert evidence for two or more parties. Rule 20.2 (10) permits the court to make an ...

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The Trouble With Invisible Litigants
Gary Joseph

The Trouble With Invisible Litigants

Most of the family law bar is now familiar with the Court of Appeal decision in Leitch v. Novac 2020 ONCA 257.  Once released, I wrote and commented on Justice C. William Hourigan's "granular" dissection of the lower court ruling, his powerful comments on non-disclosure and his ...

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After COVID-19 We Can Never Go Back
Gary Joseph

After COVID-19 We Can Never Go Back

The pandemic has most abruptly changed the legal landscape and the practice of family law.  The speed within which change has occurred is breathtaking.  I am often a severe critic of the court system, but I take this opportunity to extend sincere appreciation to those directing the ...

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Mourning the Loss of Oral Advocacy
Gary Joseph

Mourning the Loss of Oral Advocacy

Recently many lawyers have been reflecting upon the place and future of oral advocacy in our changing world.  Even before the COVID-19 crisis hit we have seen a gradual erosion of the time-honoured tradition of oral advocacy supplementing the written world.  Original article posted ...

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The Matrimonial Home & the Right of First Refusal
Gary Joseph

The Matrimonial Home & the Right of First Refusal

Once again, the issue of the disposition of a matrimonial home has found its way to the Ontario Court of Appeal in the case of Barry v. Barry 2020 ONCA 321.  I find this surprising in that the same court in 1992 clearly articulated its view on a very similar if not identical issue in Martin ...

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No Going Back: Technology & Court Process
Gary Joseph

No Going Back: Technology & Court Process

The COVID-19 shutdown of the court system was initially viewed as a temporary measure to address legitimate health concerns.  Most lawyers expected a quick return to "normal" once the pandemic passed.  Two things have now become quite apparent; Original article posted by  The ...

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COVID-19 no excuse to rip up existing custody arrangements
Gary Joseph

COVID-19 no excuse to rip up existing custody arrangements

By Gary Joseph , managing partner Parents should not view the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to change the rules of the game when it comes agreements or court orders regarding custody and access of their children. While regular operations of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ...

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Just one kick at the can to challenge urgency of matters during COVID-19
Gary Joseph

Just one kick at the can to challenge urgency of matters during COVID-19

By Gary Joseph , managing partner Family law litigants can not challenge the urgency of a matter once a hearing has been scheduled under the court’s COVID-19 measures, according to a recent Ontario Superior Court judgment. Since its temporary suspension of operations in mid-March, the court ...

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Urgency, COVID-19 and Family Law
Gary Joseph, Family Law

Urgency, COVID-19 and Family Law

Gary S. Joseph, LL.M., C.S., Managing Partner, MacDonald & Partners LLP., Family Law Practitioners   Access to our courts is now largely governed by the test of “urgency”.   There is a multitude of cases addressing what our Judges view as urgent.  For the most part, ...

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Advocacy: What works and what doesn
Gary Joseph

Advocacy: What works and what doesn't

Much has been written about effective advocacy.  There are courses designed to assist lawyers in being or becoming persuasive both orally and in writing.  One of the most prized skills for both barrister and solicitor is the ability... Original article posted by  The Lawyer's ...

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Staggering Cost Award: How to Lose Big
Gary Joseph

Staggering Cost Award: How to Lose Big

The Family Law Rules require costs to be determined promptly after each step in a case.  The rationale for this rule is obvious but perhaps twofold; the judge hearing the "step" is best able to assess costs and the court's assessment of costs can and should illuminate for the parties the ...

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The Open Court Concept and Family Law
Gary Joseph

The Open Court Concept and Family Law

Century old common law principles describe the importance of an open and accessible court system.  Democracy flourishes when you have a court that is open to public discussion, participation and critical comment.  The open court principle... Original article posted by  The ...

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What COVID-19 has taught us
Gary Joseph

What COVID-19 has taught us

The COVID-19 virus is a risk to all but specifically it targets and exposes the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.  In the same way the pandemic has exposed our court system for what it is... Original article posted by  The Lawyer's Daily , and requires a subscription ...

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Court of Appeal weighs in on non-disclosure
Gary Joseph

Court of Appeal weighs in on non-disclosure

In late February I wrote and opined on the "impressive reasoning" of Justice Cory Gilmore of the Superior Court of Justice in her analysis of the partial summary judgment motion and costs claims in Leitch v. Novac 2019... Original article posted by The Lawyer's Daily , and requires a ...

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Multiple masters: A modern lawyer’s dilemma - Gary Joseph
Gary Joseph

Multiple masters: A modern lawyer’s dilemma - Gary Joseph

The website for the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) states that it exists to govern the legal profession in the public interest. LSO governs its members through the Rules of Professional Conduct (the Rules). Professional standards for lawyers are governed by these regulatory codes but also by ...

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Judge’s Decision to Reject Settlement Divides Appeal Court
Family Law, Gary Joseph

Judge’s Decision to Reject Settlement Divides Appeal Court

Judge’s decision to reject parties’ settlement divides appeal court By  Gary Joseph , managing partner   When two parents reach an agreement over the future of their children mid-trial, the judge needs a very good reason to reject it. In the ...

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Judge Cuts Through Post-Separation Noise
Gary Joseph

Judge Cuts Through Post-Separation Noise

Appropriate Parenting Schedule Set in High-Conflict Case

Judge cuts through post-separation noise to set appropriate parenting schedule in high-conflict case By Gary Joseph , managing partner.   In the wake of a messy separation , the reality of the couple’s parenting roles during the marriage can easily become obscured by the ...

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Gary Joseph

The harnessed power of the brainstorm

Good ideas can come out of thin air. Generating consistently great ideas, however, requires more than mere luck. Creative thinking must be fostered, and it must be actively supported at all levels of the organization. Regular brainstorming sessions can help. Brainstorming as a way of working ...

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Gary Joseph, Arbitration, Mediation

Mediation & Arbitration Explained

“What is Mediation” There is a pervasive misunderstanding as to this form of alternative dispute resolution. Mediation involves a neutral third party working to assist the parties in reaching a settlement of their dispute. Mediation may be “open” in which case in the event that no resolution ...

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Gary Joseph

Family lawyers back NDP bill to amend Family Law Act

For family lawyers like Gary Joseph, the Family Law Amendment Act (Support for Adult Children) has been a long time coming. “Back in 2010, Justice [Carole] Curtis commented that this legislation needed to be amended to address this concern and the government ignored that,” said ...

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Gary Joseph

Payor income hike doesn't always increase support

Marriage is, among other things, an economic partnership. In Canada, the relevant legislation has evolved to ensure that the economic benefits of this partnership are divided fairly upon its breakdown. What sort of division is fair depends on the nature of the partnership being divided. Not ...

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Gary Joseph, Family Law

Efforts to improve system significant

Numerous efforts, including additional mediation options and the passage of new rules, have been made in an attempt to address public concerns over the family law system, Toronto family lawyer Gary Joseph says in Law Times . “After eliminating most of the archaic demands of ...

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We can help you find a resolution that will help your family move on.


If you are going through family issues or a relationship breakdown in the Greater Toronto Area, contact the laywers at MacDonald & Partners LLP and come into our office, in downtown Toronto, Etobicoke, Oakville and North York.

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