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Friends Who Argue

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Welcome to Friends Who Argue, a podcast for the litigation bar brought to you by The Advocates’ Society and hosted by our Young Advocates' and 10+ Standing Committees. Friends Who Argue features intimate conversations with advocates from across Canada, who will share stories from their journeys as advocates. As litigators, we live in an adversarial world but we all have one thing in common - we are officers of the court who are passionate about the profession of law and advocating for our clients. We hope you find these conversations informative, inspiring and most of all, entertaining.
11 Episodes
Parenting in Law

Parenting in Law


As we begin another school year, Laura Gurr speaks to litigators Tamara Ramsey, Mark Flisfeder and Matt Huys about the challenges of maintaining a litigation practice as a parent - particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic - as well as tips and tricks for being productive while staying sane. We hope you find this candid conversation useful whether you are a litigator who is parenting or not.  Laura Gurr is a partner with Cohen Highley LLP and is a member of its management team. Laura is part of the multi-residential housing group and her practice focuses on condominium law, acting for condominium corporations, property managers, and developers in a broad range of litigation, operational and governance matters. Laura’s practices also include expropriations law, planning and zoning, property tax, and regulatory compliance issues. Laura is mom and step-mom to four children, ages 7 to 14. Tamara Ramsey is a partner in Dale & Lessmann’s Litigation/Dispute Resolution Group. Tamara is a litigator with a diverse litigation practice, who focuses on corporate and commercial disputes, including trade-mark protection, contractual issues, shareholder disputes, estate disputes, complex torts, and termination of employment and consulting relationships. Tamara is mom to an 11-year-old son and stepmom to a 22-year-old stepdaughter. Flisfeder is counsel in our Litigation Group in Toronto. His practice is dedicated to health law and the representation of physicians. Marc has represented clients before all levels of court in Ontario, including the Court of Appeal, as well as before administrative bodies and tribunals. Mark's daughter is eight years old. Huys is a partner with Osler LLP in Calgary, and a member of Osler's National Litigation Department and its energy (oil and gas), environmental, construction, and securities litigation teams. Matthew practices complex, high-stakes corporate litigation, with an emphasis on energy, construction, and securities disputes. Matt became a parent during the pandemic, and his son is now one.
Welcome to Season 2 of Friends Who Argue!In our first episode of Season 2, litigators Cynthia Spry, Elisha Jamieson and Winston Gee discuss the Supreme Court of Canada's decisions in the "good faith" trilogy of recent decisions: David Matthews v. Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited (NS), 2020 SCC 26 ("Matthews"), C.M. Callow Inc. v. Zollinger, 2020 SCC 45 ("Callow"), and Wastech Services v. Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, 2021 SCC 7 ("Wastech"). These cases build upon and clarify the doctrine of good faith contractual performance derived from the Court's landmark judgment in Bhasin v. Hyrnew, 2014 SCC 71.Cynthia Spry is a litigator and partner at Babin Bessner Spry LLP, where she practices in the areas of class actions, shareholder disputes (including claims for oppression remedies), fraud, contractual disputes, insolvency issues, securities, resource litigation, defamation and executive employment law.Elisha C. Jamieson-Davies is a partner at Hicks Morley. She represents both public and private sector clients in a variety of industries, and in many types of litigation including employment disputes, long-term disability claims, commercial disputes, restrictive covenant enforcement, class actions, and judicial reviews/appeals.Winston Gee is an associate at Torys LLP. Winston’s practice focuses on litigation and dispute resolution in a variety of areas, with an emphasis on public and regulatory law, class actions, Indigenous matters, contractual disputes, insurance law, and the energy and infrastructure sectors.  
In this episode of Friends Who Argue, Daniel Baum, Partner in the litigation group at the Montréal office of Langlois chats with Lillian Pan, Q.C., a Partner practicing commercial litigation in the Calgary office of Dentons, about practical tips and tricks for optimizing remote examinations. Daniel Baum is a litigator who acts on a variety of commercial and public law disputes, has experience before all levels of Quebec and federal courts (including the Supreme Court of Canada), who has taught written and oral advocacy at Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Law. Lillian Pan has over 30 years of experience in commercial litigation, and is a leading mentor, speaker and panelist who teaches trial advocacy at the University of Calgary. She is an Advocates Society Board Member and recently moderated Litigating from Home: Remote Examinations, a CPD program now available to members of The Advocates’ Society through the Free Member Resource Library here. Want to read more?  TAS’s Best Practices for Remote Hearings, drafted in partnership with the OBA, FOLA and OTLA, provide helpful guidelines for both virtual examinations and virtual hearings. Read the Best Practices (recently updated in Spring 2021), and see related resources, here.
Interview with Linda Rothstein, Trailblazer and Recipient of the 2021 Advocates’ Society MedalThis episode of Friends Who Argue features Michelle Alton, Tribunal General Counsel at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal in conversation with Linda Rothstein,  founding partner at litigation boutique Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP,  and Past President of The Advocates’ Society (TAS). Linda Rothstein is one of the leading counsel of her generation and her practice has evolved over her career to embrace important public and private law cases. In honour of her contributions to the profession and TAS, Linda has been named the recipient of the 2021 Advocates’ Society Medal which is the highest expression of esteem which the Society can convey to one of its members. This episode is the first in a series of interviews to celebrate women advocates being produced by the Women in Law working group, part of the 10+ Standing Committee at the Advocates' Society.Linda Rothstein -
Join Jean-Simon Schoenholz of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP as he speaks to Cate Martell (@catemartell) and Janani Shanmuganathan (@_JananiS) about R. v. Chouhan, a recent appeal regarding the constitutionality of abolishing peremptory challenges in jury selection heard by the Supreme Court Canada. Cate Martell ( acted as co-counsel with Jill Presser to intervene on behalf of The Advocates’ Society, and Janani Shanmuganathan, partner at Goddard & Shanmuganathan (, intervened on behalf of the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto.For more information about The Advocates' Society intervention in R. v. Chouhan go to 
In this episode of Friends Who Argue, hear about how business development has changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ian Breneman of Blakes chats with Gillian Hnatiw of Gillian Hnatiw & Co and Luisa Ritacca of Stockwoods LLP about how they have adapted their business development practices, and Reena Lalji, in-house counsel with BMO Financial, who shares her viewpoint from a client’s perspective. Members of The Advocates’ Society have complimentary access to the Business Development for Litigators CPD series through the new member resource library. Visit and log in to see all of the great, new resources available with TAS  membership. 
In Part 2 of this interview, released in honour of Black History Month, Natalia Rodriguez and Joshua Sealy-Harrington continue their important discussion on systemic racism looking at examples in recent jurisprudence, including;R. v. Kokopenace, 2015 SCC 28, in which the Court declined to consider the disproportionate effects of the jury roll system on racialized and marginalized CanadiansFraser v. Canada, a recent Supreme Court of Canada decision that provides some helpful language in addressing systemic barriersR. v. Chouhan, a Supreme Court of Canada decision on pre-emptory challengesThey also discuss why there is so little s. 15 jurisprudence relating to race at the highest levels of our courtsNatalia Rodriguez Joshua Sealy-Harrington
In Part 1 of this two-part interview, released in honour of Black History Month,  please join Natalia Rodriguez for an engaging and meaningful conversation with Joshua Sealy-Harrington, author, academic and advocate, about Critical Race Theory and systemic racism viewed through the lens of historical jurisprudence. They also discuss racism in policing, the criminal justice system, and the free market, and why the absence of “race-talk” in the case law has the effect of maintaining racial barriers. Natalia Rodriguez Sealy-Harrington
In this episode, we talk to TAS award recipient Omar Ha-Redeye about civility in the legal profession, his ever-evolving career in law, teaching at Ryerson during the pandemic, his advice to junior lawyers, and that time he ruptured an eardrum… 
Join Cynthia Spry of Babin Bessner Spry LLP, as she interviews Kate Robertson of Markson Law, and Michael Bookman, also of Babin Bessner Spry LLP, regarding the recent decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Reference re: the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, 2020 SCC 17.In the Reference, the Court split two ways in three sets of reasons on the question of whether Parliament had validly exercised its criminal law power in enacting prohibitions on the taking and disclosure of genetic tests as a condition of obtaining access to goods, services and contracts.Mr. Bookman and Ms. Robertson offer their insight into the decision - Mr. Bookman who acted as counsel to an intervenor in the Reference at the Supreme Court of Canada, and Ms. Robertson who consults on constitutional law matters relating to human rights and technology as a Fellow at The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto.
Welcome to Friends Who Argue! In our first episode, Laura Gurr of Cohen Highly LLP in London sits down with  Erin Durant of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Ottawa about the early days of her career, her mentors and what impact she sees COVID-19 has had on access to justice. 
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