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Posts tagged ‘lawyers’

Lori Dubin joins the team at Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers

lawyer portrait

Lori Dubin is now an associate lawyer at Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers. She is recognized for her client-centered approach and efforts to provide practical and efficient advice in order to achieve the best possible results. She has extensive experience in resolving high conflict cases and successfully settles most of her cases prior to trial.

Lori has practiced law for over 15 years. Prior to working in family law, Lori had 11 years of experience as a criminal trial lawyer with a focus on crimes arising out of domestic relationships. During her academic career, Lori was the recipient of several scholarships based on her academic achievement at York University. She achieved magna cum laude in her final year of her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree program in Psychology and Mass Communications.

Lori studied for her LLB at Osgoode Hall Law School, graduated in 2003 and was called to the bar after a year of Articling for a prominent Toronto firm. She’s trained new lawyers at the Law Society of Ontario’s Law Practice Program, acted as an articling principle, adjunct professor at various institutions, and commentator on Court TV Canada. Lori is an active member of the Toronto Lawyers Association and the Toronto Family Law Association. She has served her community on numerous Legal Aid Panels and Pro Bono assignments.

Aside from working, Lori has a very active family and social life. She is a fitness enthusiast and loves dogs, especially her own toy poodle.

Welcome to the team, Lori!



Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers’ First Annual Holiday Toy Drive

Poster for Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers' Toy Drive


Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers are pleased to announce the start of their First Annual Holiday Toy Drive. This year the drive will be supporting Bethesda House located in the Durham Region and A Place Called Home located in The City of Kawartha Lakes.

New, unwrapped gift donations can be made in the Brooklin office for the Bethesda House. They have informed us of the lack of gifts for children 13-17 years of age. Some gift suggestions for them include:

  • Sports equipment
  • Art supplies
  • Games
  • Movie passes and gift cards
  • Purses and backpacks
  • Make-up, lotion, perfume
  • Hats and scarves

The Lindsay office is accepting new, unwrapped gifts to be donated for A Place Called Home. There is no recommended age for donations for this organization.

If you wish to donate to the toy drive this year, it will be running from November 1, 2018 through to December 7, 2018. You may drop by with your donation in the Brooklin or Lindsay office any time between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday to Friday. For further details, feel free to give our office a call at 905-655-6335.

Saving the Golden Goose: How Family Run Businesses can Survive and Thrive after Divorce #FDRevolution

Saving the Golden Goose: How Family Run Businesses can Survive and Thrive after Divorce

We are excited to be invited back to speak at the FDRIO’s 2018 Unconference – Rethink the Future. The conference will be held May 3, 2018 in 
Toronto where attendees vote on what Topics they would like to hear.

Our presentation will explore how a family business can be impacted when a Company ‘founder’ is involved in separation.  We will discuss:

  • When both spouses are principals in the business
  • When a second generation of the family joins the business.
  • The effects on a range of stakeholders such as business partners and other investors.
  • How spouses can cooperate to address the best interests of the children
  • How spouses can agree to cooperate to address the best interests of the family business.
  • Using, a collaborative approach to reduce the impact of separation and divorce on family run businesses.
  • Ensuring that the business remains viable for both spouses, as well as future generations.

The Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO) is a federally-incorporated not-for-profit that seeks to support and enhance the family dispute resolution profession and to increase public awareness about the many FDR options available to them. FDRIO is a self-regulating organization of multidisciplinary professionals who facilitate family dispute resolution by providing information and conflict management services to families.

Click here to learn more about FDRIO’s 2018 Unconference, membership or to register.

We hope to see you there!

Top 10 Traits Lawyers Look For In A Law Clerk

law clerk

Top 10 Traits Lawyers Look For In A Law Clerk

I recently did a lecture for law clerks at a local College. I was asked to speak on what characteristics I look for when hiring a law clerk. Every lawyer and every law firm is different and has their own firm culture. When considering the atmosphere and service we try to promote at our firm I thought the following 10 characteristics were essential to be an effective law clerk. All clerks are different and possess different strengths and weaknesses. Here’s my list, let me know your thoughts and comments. Would there be anything you would add?

1. Disposition

Clerks should have a professional look and dress accordingly. Yes, that means no jeans and you need to wear shoes when at the office. There are days that are casual or when we dress down if we are taking files to storage or cleaning the office. But this is the exception, not the norm.

2. Service

Law clerks need to be service oriented to effective. This includes promptly returning client messages. You may not have an answer or have had an opportunity to speak with the responsible lawyer, but you can simply let the client know you have received and acknowledged the message. This will go a long way in alleviating client stress and angst know that their request is being processed. Law clerks also need to be responsive to the specific inquiry being asked of them.

3. Empathy

Clerks will be working on more than one file and more than one client. But clients want to feel like they are the “only” client and feel let down if they are not being responding to promptly or their concerns are not being addressed. Clerks need to be empathic to these needs and concerns even if they are not legal in nature.

4. Accuracy

Accuracy and correctness are a must for a successful law clerk. When a task or document is sent to lawyer for review the clerk should ensure that he or she gets it right the first time. If the lawyer needs to review the document multiple times it may prove easier for the lawyer to simply produce the document him/herself. If this occurs with some frequency the law clerk will likely be looking for a new job.

5. Anticipation

Effective law clerks need to anticipate what the lawyer will require to complete the task or provide instructions. Checking court dates or providing background information, memos or documents when the lawyer is presented with the information or message helps streamline the workflow and improve efficiencies.

6. Team Work

Law clerks will need to work with multiple type “A’ personalities including other clerks and supervising lawyers. To do this effectively clerks need to learn how to work as a team, accept delegation and learn to say no if they are too busy or unable to complete assigned tasks.

7. Independence

Law clerks need to understand that it is not the lawyer’s and other clerk’s job to hold their hand. Lawyers are able to delegate task and are required to ensure their clerks are properly supervised and can handle the tasks being asked of them. Similarly law clerks need to work independently and learn to say no if the task is beyond their ability or if they cannot complete the task in a reasonable timeframe due to other work or responsibilities. To be effective clerks need to learn how to prioritize their workload.

8. Flexibility

Law clerks need to be flexible in the tasks they are asked to complete and hours they are required to work. Often times with deadlines or trial work clerks may be asked to stay late or work extra hours on a weekend. Clerks may also be asked to work remotely, at different offices or fill in for reception or other staff members who may be sick, on holidays or mat leave. Flexibility is an essential trait of an effective law clerk.

9. Timeliness

Clerks need to show up on time be reliable. A 9 am start doesn’t not mean showing up at the office at 9:05, having a bowl of cereal and not being ready to work until 9:20. Similarly when it comes to documents, court rules and client expectations require documents and tasks to completed when promised or required by the rules of the court.

10. Reliability

Effective clerks do not ‘stick their head in the sand’ and ignore problem files. Effective clerks meet the task head on, get the job done and ask for assistance when required. If you make a mistake own up to it and take responsibility. Do not blame others when something goes wrong. The lawyer will appreciate your honesty and give you the resources or assistance you need to get the task done right the first time and on time.

Family Matters Season 2 Trailer is Out

Family Matters Season 2 Trailer is Out

In its second season Family Matters with Justice Harvey Brownstone, is the only TV show ever hosted by an actual sitting judge. Justice Brownstone is the author of the bestseller: Tug of War: a Judge’s Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court. He is considered the ‘face and voice of the Canadian justice system;’ and is likely the most recognizable judge in the country.

Family Matters focuses on the relationship between modern family issues and the justice system, covering topics such as Internet dating, spousal and child support, addictions, parenting, social media, bullying, domestic violence, same-sex marriage/parenting, adoption, child protection, and infidelity. Justice Brownstone interviews social workers, lawyers, mediators, judges, psychologists, and everyday people to inform and entertain viewers on topics usually not discussed in a sophisticated, intelligent manner on TV.

To learn more visit Family Matters online.

I’m Off to the 2012 ABA Techshow in Chicago Tomorrow

I’m flying out tomorrow on Air Canada to go to this year’s ABA Techshow in Chicago.

I am lucky enough to also be presenting and speaking at the conference with Britt Lorish and David Bilinsky.

In addition to blogging I also plan to live tweet this conference @familyllb.

If you have any questions about the show or my tweets please send me a message and I will try to get you some more information.




Wednesday’s Video Clip: What is a Retainer Agreement?



Russell talks about retainer agreements. These agreements set out the scope of services provided by your lawyer and defines the contractual relationship between you and your lawyer.

We hope you find our video informative.

To learn more about child support visit our website at or join us on Facebook at



LinkedIn Ontario Divorce Lawyers

LinkedIn Ontario Divorce Lawyers

Ontario Divorce Lawyers is for lawyers and family law professionals practicing family law in Ontario, Canada.

Our goal is to provide a forum for professionals to exchange ideas, information and insight into practicing family law in Ontario and helping our clients with Divorce and related issues.

If you are a Ontario Divorce Lawyer or family law professional please consider joining our Professional Group on LinkedIn.