Advocacy tips from the bench for family lawyers

As family lawyers, you often wonder what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong when appearing at family conferences, motions and trials. There aren’t many opportunities to find out what judges really think about different advocacy styles and what you can do to improve. It’s also important with a an ever growing number of self represented litigants for counsel to better understand your obligations to assist the court where necessary.

Join us on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 to hear our panel of 3 judges as they provide their top tips for family law conferences, motions and trials. There will be time for Q&A at the end.

Some of the issues that the judges will address will include:


- What is the right balance between advocacy vs. settlement focus for a conference?
- In very high conflict matters, what can the lawyer do to assist in keeping the discussions focused and to not escalate the conflict?
- What are the most common errors that counsel make at conferences?


- What drafting errors are most common in affidavits and in factums?
- When arguing a motion with a self-represented litigant, are there certain things counsel can or should be doing to assist the court?
- When making oral submissions, are there things that counsel do that are inappropriate or annoying to the court?


- When is it appropriate to make objections and how often should counsel be interrupting?
- When is it appropriate to re-examine a witness?
- What obligations do counsel have to assist self represented litigants with procedure at a trial?


  • Justice Melanie Sager, Ontario Court of Justice
  • Justice Sharon Shore, Superior Court of Justice
  • Justice Cory Gilmore, Superior Court of Justice


  • Audrey Shecter, Beard Winter LLP
  • Julie Stanchieri, Stanchieri Family Law

This program contains 15 minutes of Professionalism Content and is eligible for 75 minutes of Substantive Content.

Advocacy Tips from the Bench for Family Lawyers | Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 5:15 – 6:45 p.m. | TLA Lawyers Lounge, 2nd Floor, 361 University Avenue Court House

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