The 4th Annual Mental Disorder and the Law Conference: “Back to the Future: Refreshers on Basics to Ensure Successes Ahead”

Date: February 23, 2019

4th Annual Mental Disorder and Criminal justice Conference  program to be held on February 23, 2019  has been accredited for:

  • This program contains 1 hour and 5 minutes of Professionalism Content. 
  • This program contains 40 minutes of EDI Professionalism Content. 
  • This program is eligible for up to 3 hours, 5 minutes of Substantive hours.


Saturday, February 23, 2019, 9:30 to 4 p.m. (IN PERSON AND LIVE WEBCAST OPTION)

For individuals attending in person – FCP Gallery, First Canadian Place, 100 King Street West, Toronto. Venue details and directions located further down below. Food and beverages will be provided.

For individuals participating via live webcast, webcast details will be sent to the email provided when registering at least 48 hours prior to event start date.

Agenda and Topics:

  • 9:30 – 10:00 a.m.  Check-In and Networking
  • 10:00 – 10:05 a.m.  Opening Remarks – Webcast begins
  • 10:05 – 10:25 a.m.  “NCR or Just High”– Concurrent Disorders vs. Self-Induced Intoxication: What’s become of Bouchard-Lebraun?
  • Daniel Brandes, Crown Counsel (Toronto)
  • Cassandra DeMelo, Defence Lawyer (London)
  • The Honourable Vincenzo Rondinelli (Toronto)
  • 10:25 – 10:50 a.m.  “Unfit to be Tried”: How do we Treat Accused Found Unfit by Mental Health Courts

  • Mary Murphy, Defence Lawyer (Toronto)
  • Derek Pallandi, Psychiatrist (Toronto)
  • The Honourable Patrice Band (Toronto)
  • Carla Whillier
  • 10:50 – 11:10 a.m.  “Reviewing the Review Board” – Emerging Guidance from the Court of Appeal
  • Michael Davies, Defence Lawyer (Ottawa)
  • Marie Dufort, Crown Attorney’s Office (Ottawa)
  • 11:10 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.  “The 6 Minute Mental Disorder Lawyer – Emerging Topics”
  • Allison Pyper, Defence Lawyer (Toronto) – IMMIGRATION and MENTAL HEALTH
  • Shaunna Kelly, Defence Lawyer (Toronto) – INDIGENOUS CLIENTS and MENTAL HEALTH
  • Meaghan McMahon, Defence Lawyer (Ottawa) – On OFFICER ANONYMITY at INQUESTS
  • Anthony Balka, Defence Lawyer (Toronto) – VICTIM PARTICIPATION at Review Board hearings
  • Christel Francis, Defence Lawyer (Newmarket) – INTERPROVINCIAL and INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS of Review Board clients
  • 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.  LUNCH BREAK
  • 12:30 – 12:45 p.m.  Short Clip of the Film “NCR” by John Kastner

  • 12:45 – 1:15 p.m.  Keynote Address – “NCR: One Man’s Unique Perspective on what the Designation Really Means”
  • Andy Bouvier, Public Member of the Ontario Review Board and father of the victim in “NCR”
  • 1:15 – 2:00 p.m.  “NCR – Basics and Updates – Procedure on NCR cases”
  • Dr. Gary Chaimowitz (Hamilton)
  • The Honourable John McMahon (Toronto)
  • Keli Mersereau, Defence Lawyer (St. Thomas)
  • Moderator: Jill Presser, Presser Barristers (Toronto)
  • 2:00 – 2:15 p.m.  Smoking Bans in Psychiatric Facilities – Let them Smoke so You can Let them Out
  • Anita Szigeti, Defence Lawyer (Toronto)
  • 2:15 – 2:30 p.m.  BREAK
  • 2:30 – 3:10 p.m.  “Whose Friend Are you Anyway?” -The Role of Amicus in Mental Disorder Proceedings
  • Dean Embry Defence Lawyer (Toronto)
  • The Honourable Joseph DiLuca (Newmarket)
  • Erin Dann, Defence Lawyer (Toronto)
  • Anita Nathan, Defence Lawyer (Toronto)
  • 3:10 – 3:40 p.m.  “It’s not speculation, it’s my clinical opinion”: Cross-examining Psychiatrists as Experts
  • Kelley Bryan, (Toronto)
  • Dr. Mark Pearce, Forensic Psychiatrist (Whitby)
  • Thomas Whillier, Lawyer (Toronto)
  • The Honourable Daniel Moore, (Toronto)
  • 3:40 – 3:55 p.m.  How to get Paid and What is Funded: Mental Health Matters & Appeals  – Legal Aid Update
  • A.J. Grant-Nicholson, LAO Policy Counsel
  • Darcy DesLauriers, LAO Policy Counsel
  • Jordan Weisz, Defence Lawyer (Toronto)
  • 3:55 – 4:00 p.m.  Closing Remarks

Registration Fees:
You will be asked to select “in person” or “live webcast” when registering.

  • CLA Full/Observer/LAMDA Member called in or before 2015: $125+HST
  • CLA Full/Observer/LAMDA Member called in 2016 and after: $100+HST
  • CLA Articling Student Member/LAMDA Student member: $80+HST
  • CLA Student Member: $60+HST
  • Non-Member Practicing Lawyer: $230+HST
  • Non-Member Articling Students, Students, law clerks and paralegals: $130+HST


  • Register online by going to https://members.criminallawyers.ca/event-3154822. The system is secure and will auto-generate a receipt. Visa, Amex and Mastercard are accepted.
  • If not able to register online, please call the CLA office during business hours with credit card information to register over the phone. Call 416-214-9875.

Live Webcast Details: For those that select the live webcast option, details on how to access the live webcast will be shared to the email address used for registering 48 hours in advance of the eventPlease be sure to check your “spam/junk” folders for the link as they often land there.There are no refunds if you are not able to locate the link. DO NOT SHARE THE LINK as it is only being sent to paid registrants. Only paid registrants can claim the CPD.

Webcast recording: Pending the quality of the recording, a recording of the presentation will available for purchase by members and non-members at a later date. Details on how to purchase will be shared once available.

Venue for in person attendees: 

  • We recommend entering via the doors on Adelaide Street West. The space is located on street level.
  • Please note bathrooms are located in the nearby food court.

Generously Sponsored by




Carroll & Wallace Barristers



Sponsorship Opportunities

 As we plan for our upcoming events in 2019, we would like to extend an invitation to you and your organization to partner with us in supporting the continuing education and development of our valued members.

As a not-for-profit association, the contributions from organizations like yourselves, is critical to the success of these events and similar future events. As such, we have two conference sponsorship opportunities available:

  1. Our Mental Health Conference (February 23, 2019 in Toronto) will provide our members an opportunity to discuss mental health issues and policies as they relate to the law. Attendance is expected to exceed 100 members in-person and at least 50-75 via live webcast.
  2. Our Women in Criminal Law Conference (April 6, 2019 in Collingwood) is a forum for our female member base to discuss female-centric issues and policies. It also offers an opportunity for networking with the Social gathering the evening before the main conference. With attendance expected to exceed 100, this is a great opportunity to support a very focused group of individuals.

Click here to view Sponsorship Package that outlines in more detail how you can become a partner. If you choose to sponsor both of these great events, there are customized opportunities that we would be happy to discuss further with you. If you have any questions, please direct them to [email protected].

We hope that you see value in supporting these great initiatives and the benefits to your organization through partnership with the Criminal Lawyers’ Association.

Cancellation Deadline:

Cancellations will be accepted in writing if received by 12 noon (ET) on or before February 15. Cancellations are to be sent to [email protected]. A $12 admin fee will apply. No refunds will be accepted on or after February 15. The substitution of registrants is not accepted unless emailed to [email protected] 36 hours prior to the event start time. The sharing of registrations is not permitted. The CLA reserves the right to alter or cancel, without prior notice, any of the arrangements relating directly or indirectly to an event, for any circumstances beyond the CLA’s reasonable control. If CLA cancels the event, registrants will be offered a full refund. Should circumstances arise that result in the postponement of an event, registrants will have the option to either receive a full refund or transfer registration to the same event at the new, future date. In the case of inclement weather, unless otherwise notified by CLA, the event will still take place. When an event proceeds as planned, there will be no refunds should attendees not be able to attend as a result of weather. The CLA will also not be liable to refund registration fees should the event be impacted by a transit strike, strike lock-out, accident, civil disturbance or any other cause whatsoever beyond their control.