Jessica Zita

Jessica Zita
Hicks Adams LLP
Criminal Law

Jessica Zita, an associate with the Toronto firm Hicks Adams LLP, focuses on criminal defence.

She graduated from the University of Toronto with her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in political science and French studies in 2010 and earned her Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2016.

Ms. Zita, who was the recipient of Osgoode’s Wendy Babcock Social Justice Award and the Legal and Literary Society’s Student Honour Award, was called to the Ontario Bar in 2017.

Focusing exclusively on criminal law, Ms. Zita has appeared before all trial and appellate levels.

During her legal studies, Ms. Zita completed Osgoode Hall’s criminal law intensive under the guidance of Justices Enzo Rondinelli and Joseph DiLuca. She was a judicial intern with Judge Helene N. White of the United States Court of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit, and a student intern at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General’s Crown Law Office – Criminal, focusing on appeals.

In addition, Ms. Zita worked at legal clinics as well as with Pro Bono Students Canada and served as an editor of Osgoode Hall’s Journal of Law and Policy.

Ms. Zita has appeared as a legal commentator on the CBC and is a contributing writer to the Supreme Court Law Review.

She is a member of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association and the Ontario Bar Association.

Jessica Zita Posts

Time to re-examine changes to provocation defence: Zita

Changes to the Criminal Code stipulating when provocation can be mounted as a defence are very restrictive and could deter people from legitimately using it, says Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita. Read more

Legal Aid cuts in Ontario ‘a devastating affront to justice’

Budget cuts to Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) are an attack on the access to justice movement , Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita tells The Lawyer’s Daily . Read more

Video voyeurism ruling glimpses at new reality of communicating

A decision by Ontario's top court to uphold a voyeurism conviction of a man who secretly took screenshots of his then-girlfriend in sexually provocative poses during video chats illustrates "a tension in the law that we will start seeing more of," especially as intimate relationships become more intertwined and dependent upon technology and the sharing of media, says Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita. Read more

Earning credibility with jury key in acquittal: Zita

Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita has successfully convinced a jury to acquit her client of a serious armed robbery charge and instead find him guilty him of one count of the lesser assault causing bodily harm, she tells AdvocateDailycom . Read more

Sentence reduction in heroin case an important precedent

A recent Court of Appeal decision to reduce her client's sentence to time served provides a valuable precedent for those facing charges related to drug trafficking, Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita tells Read more

SCC ruling in voyeurism case goes beyond Parliament's intent: Zita

A Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision in a voyeurism case involving a teacher “opens the floodgates as to what could be considered criminal behaviour,” Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita tells CBC News. Read more

Calling police first step in revenge porn cases: Zita

If intimate images of you are posted online without consent, you are possibly the victim of revenge porn and should contact police, Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita tells . Read more

McArthur guilty plea to eight murder counts 'unprecedented:' Zita

Bruce McArthur’s guilty plea to eight counts of first-degree murder is an “extraordinary” circumstance, Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita tells CBC News. Read more

Many facets to weigh when considering an appeal: Zita

A lawyer should carefully consider multiple factors when determining whether to appeal a conviction and never hesitate to recommend that course if it’s in the client’s best interests, says Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita. Read more

Add more bite to police watchdog mandate: Zita

The Ontario Special Investigations Unit (SIU) needs to be more transparent in order to gain and maintain public trust, Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita tells . Read more

Dangerous offender ruling a good starting point: Zita

A recent Supreme Court of Canada judgment examining the dangerous offender designation helps clarify the process for the classification, along with the subsequent consideration of indeterminate sentences, Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita tells . Read more

Privacy expectations and the ‘electronic conversation’

By Jessica Zita . What happens to your texts once sent? Are they yours? Do you have a right to them? Read more

Pair of SCC decisions 'progressive,' in step with the digital age: Zita

A Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision likening text message exchanges to a telephone conversation is a “progressive step” which clarifies many murky areas around the right to privacy, says Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita. Read more

Justice denied to many because of strict legal aid rules: Zita

More people charged with criminal offences are defending themselves in court, mostly because they can’t afford a lawyer, but Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita says proper legal representation is a must. Read more

Segregation strips people of their humanity: Zita

The call from civil rights organizations for a complete ban on the segregation of inmates who are mentally ill and for indigenous offenders is a good step toward ending a practice that has known harmful effects, Toronto criminal lawyer Jessica Zita tells Read more