Our Teaching Team
Denise Badley has been practicing law in the Greater Toronto Area for more than 20 years. Specializing in a variety of civil and business-focused cases, Denise will effectively litigate on your behalf, and work alongside you every step of the way. Regardless of the nature of your case, you will get quality advice and representation from a legal professional who always has your best interests at heart.
(Bio taken from denisebadleylaw.ca)
Kat Bellamano has been a dispute resolution practitioner for over 12 years. Most of her work is with families and non-profit organizations and she specializes in high conflict and intercultural situations. She is certified as a Comprehensive Family Mediator by Canada, is on the family and civil rosters of Mediate BC, the Hear the Child and Parenting Coordinator rosters and is a mentor with the Mediate BC Family Mediation Program. Kat received her Certificate in Conflict Analysis and Management and her Certificate in Family Mediation from The Institute of Conflict Analysis and Management with an emphasis on Conflict in Organizations and Group Facilitation Skills. She received her Certificate in Arbitration from the BC Arbitration & Mediation Institute and completed her mediation practicum training with the Provincial Court Registry Court Mediation Practicum Program in Vancouver and Nanaimo. She is also currently studying Social Work at the University of Victoria. (Please visit katbellamano.com for complete bio.)
Paul Brown went into the field of dispute resolution with a vision of helping people through challenging times and difficult transitions in their lives.
Prior to beginning his conflict resolution career, he worked in Child Welfare. This gave him the opportunity to implement Mediation, Triple P (Positive Parenting Program), and Solution Focussed strategies on an almost daily basis.
An Accredited Family Mediator, he received his Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Trent University. In addition to Family Mediation, he facilitates Child Protection Mediator and Family Group (Decision-Making) Coordinator, and is on the Ontario Provincial Roster for both. He also holds the designation of Specialist in Openness Adoption.
He recently published a book on Child Protection Mediation, and is currently writing a book on Family Mediation.
Natalia practices family law and child protection law in Toronto and primarily represents legally aided clients, including cases involving First Nation, Inuit and Métis families. Natalia is an experienced litigator who also has experience advocating for clients outside the courtroom in negotiated and mediated settlements, including acting as parents’ counsel in Indigenous mediation circles at Aboriginal Legal Services on family and child protection files.
Natalia currently sits on the 311 Jarvis Courthouse Indigenous Child Working Committee. In law school, Natalia interned at the Indian Law Resource Center in Washington, DC, during her semester in the Osgoode Aboriginal Intensive Program in Lands, Resources and Governments.
Called to the Ontario Bar in June 2015, Natalia also has a Masters degree (Environmental Studies) and a Bachelor of Arts Double Honours degree (Environmental Studies and International Relations), which included a year of studying at Sorbonne-Paris IV University in Paris, France. On her mother’s side, Natalia is Mayan/Pipil (Aztec). On her father’s side, Natalia is Irish/Scot, whose settler ancestors settled in Nova Scotia in the 1760s and in southwestern Ontario in the 1840s.
Brian is an Accredited Family Mediator and an experienced lawyer practising family and child protection law. He holds degrees in both psychology and law. Brian has experience working with families to find solutions to many issues including finances, parenting disagreements, and visitation schedules with children. During his career, Brian has worked passionately with families as they try to resolve their differences through the use of mediation and alternative dispute resolution, at their most challenging and difficult moments.
Akbar Ebrahim is an Accredited Mediator and a Master Trainer certified by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), London, England in 2013 and accredited Family Mediator certified by the OAFM Ontario in 2014. Akbar was appointed by the His Highness Aga Khan on the Regional Conciliation and Arbitration Board (RCAB) for Ontario as Mediator in 1999. He served as Mediator for 6 years and in 2005 he was appointed Chairperson of the Board for 7 years until 2012.
Akbar is an experienced mediation trainer and has trained in the following cities:
- Madagascar in 2012
- Gujrat and Mumbai, India in 2014
- Houston, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas, USA in 2014 and 2015
- Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto, Canada in 2014 and 2015
- C.P.D. – 16 hours in Gujrat and in Mumbai, India in 2017
- 40 hours Mediation course including coaching to “Impact to Justice” Program in St. Lucia and Guayana, Caribbean Islands in 2016 – 2017.
- Coached several Riverdale Mediation courses in Toronto, Canada.
Raheena is a lawyer with experience in family and child protection law; and a family law mediator, certified by the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO). She has earned degrees in European and International Law (LL.B.) and Canadian Common Law (LL.M.); and is a School of Psychotherapy and Counselling Psychology accredited mediator. She is also a former roster mediator with St. Stephen’s Community House.
Before Toronto became her home, Raheena studied and worked internationally, including in England, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates, resulting in her keen understanding of intercultural dynamics, and enabling her to serve families with pluralistic perspectives and experiences.
Raheena takes on a variety of voluntary roles within the community. At present, she is serving as the Family Violence Chair for the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario and is a member of the Executive Committee for the Ontario Bar Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section.
Caroline Felstiner is an accredited family mediator, child protection mediator and a registered social worker. Caroline has worked with children and parents in a variety of capacities including as a child protection worker and Roots of Empathy instructor. Caroline also works as a family professional in collaborative family law cases. Caroline’s calm, problem-solving approach ensures that parents’ contributions to their children’s lives are respected and carried forward even after separation or divorce.
Hayley is an Accredited Family Mediator and holds a Ph.D. in Religion, Ethics, and Public Life from Northwestern University (Chicago). She mediates parenting and custody disputes with mediate393, both off- and on-site. She is the principal at Hayley Glaholt Mediation, and her private practice focuses on conflicts brought about by cultural or religious difference.
Hayley is a member of the Ontario Association of Family Mediation (OAFM) and the ADR Institute of Ontario (ADRIO) in good standing. Hayley is also the co-founder and Executive Director of Link Toronto, a non-profit dedicated to educating the public about the link between domestic violence, child abuse, animal abuse, and elder abuse.
Cheryl is certified as a Specialist in Family Law by the Law Society of Upper Canada and has practiced exclusively in the area of family law for more than 30 years. She specializes in negotiating complex agreements encompassing all areas of family law and litigates at all levels of courts in Ontario including the Court of Appeal. Recently, Cheryl and her team appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Cheryl is an accomplished OAFM accredited family mediator and a certified family law arbitrator by the ADR Institute of Ontario. She is also a fellow with the International Academy of Family Lawyers.
Cheryl is the Chair of the Dispute Resolution Officer Committee in Toronto and has worked as a Dispute Resolution Officer at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice since its inception more than 20 years ago. She is a member of the Bench and Bar Committee of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Toronto) and was a director of the Board of the Advocates’ Society. She has served as the Chair of the Ontario Bar Association, Family Law Executive, and a member of the Canadian Bar Association (Federal), Family Law Executive.
Cheryl is a past member of the Panel of the Children’s Lawyer of Ontario, representing children in custody, access and child protection cases. She was a family law instructor for the Bar Admission Course of the Law Society of Upper Canada and is a very frequent lecturer on various topics in family law. Over her years of practice, Cheryl has written numerous articles for the Bar Admission Course, professional journals, periodicals and magazines.
Cheryl is the only family lawyer in Ontario to be awarded the Lexpert Zenith Award. She was certified as a “Best Lawyer in Canada” for family law since 2008. In 2016, Cheryl was awarded the OBA Award for Excellence in Family Law.
Arlene H. Henry, QC
Arelen H. Henry, QC. is a Lawyer, Mediator, Arbitrator, Instructor, and Coach who has been practicing law since 1986, mediating since 1998 and proudly received her Queen’s Counsel designation in 2005.
She has focussed her dispute resolution practice on the restructuring of families resulting from separation and divorce, wills and estate challenges, elder care and management and unwinding of closely-held businesses. Arlene is a multi-accredited civil and family law mediator and is highly skilled in the use of various collaborative interventions, including mediation, facilitated negotiations and med-arbitration.
She sits on several Boards and numerous committees within the dispute resolution community and is actively involved in the development of new resolution disciplines in family law within BC, including non-evaluative child interviews, med-arbitration, arbitration, parenting coordination and family violence screening.
Arlene has worked with aboriginal First Nations since 1991, developing custom lands policies; drafting laws for self-governing nations; and assisting with the final effective date implementation of each of the Tsawwassen First Nation and the Maa-nulth First Nations Treaties.
Although Arlene’s private practice is based in Metro Vancouver, she serves all areas of BC and many areas of Canada. When she isn’t helping her clients, she is likely found in a classroom teaching various dispute resolution disciplines or volunteering in her community.
Michael B. Kleinman
Michael Kleinman was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1994, after completing B.A. (Hons.) in 1988, and B.C.L., LL.B. degrees in 1992, all from McGill University.
Proficient in English and French, Michael Kleinman is a member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario, Ontario Bar Association, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and ADR Institute of Ontario.
Michael Kleinman articled and practised with Epstein, Cole LLP, 1992-1998; practised in association with Gregory W. Cooper, 1998-2010; and, was a principal of Kleinman Gordon | Family Law from 2010 to 2020.
Appointed a Dispute Resolution Officer (D.R.O.) of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Toronto, since 2012.
Co-chair of the Law Society of Ontario’s Six Minute Family Law Lawyer program, since 2018.
Frequent presenter at Continuing Professional Development programs including Law Society of Ontario’s Six Minute Family Law Lawyer; Osgoode Professional Development’s Annual Recent Developments and Complex Issues in Child and Spousal Support:Law Society of Ontario’s Advanced Issues in Spousal Support (Co-Chair, 2016); Law Society of Ontario’s Advanced Issues in Domestic Contracts in Family Law (Panelist, 2017).
Practice restricted to Family Law advocacy, mediation and arbitration.
Cindy Holovac Leithead
Cindy Holovac Leithead is an Accredited Family Mediator, a Child Protection Mediator on the Ontario Roster, and a Parenting Coordinator who also provides Circle Mediation and Counseling. Cindy draws on 25 years of experience supporting individuals from diverse backgrounds dealing with difficulties or disputes in or outside of the justice system.
Nilufa Husein received her B.A in Psychology from York University in 1992 and her Law Degree from the University of Ottawa in 1995. Prior to law school, Nilufa worked for Victim Services of Peel in the Domestic Violence Unit. After law school, she Articled with the Ministry of the Attorney General, Office of the Children’s Lawyer from 1995-1996, and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1997. Nilufa commenced work as a sole practitioner shortly after her Call in the areas of family and child welfare laws, often representing low income persons and women from abusive relationships to put forth their claims before the Family Courts. In 2003, she joined the legal department at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic as a staff family lawyer and worked there until 2016, after which she briefly joined a large firm, Miller Thomson, for approximately one year from 2016 to 2017.
In 2017 Nilufa commenced her own private practice in North York, Ontario working primarily in the areas of family law and often advocating for victims of domestic violence in family court. She is a Member of the Area Committee, Legal Aid Ontario and on Legal Aid’s Domestic violence, Certificate and Duty counsel panels.
Lindsay is an Accredited Family Mediator with degrees from the University of London, King’s College (LL.M), University of Leeds (LL.B) and University of Western Ontario (BA). She lived in Montreal, Vancouver, the UK, and Asia before making Toronto her home. Prior to her mediation career, Lindsay’s diverse professional background included the investment business, intellectual property law and the not-for-profit sector.
Lindsay has also undertaken many volunteer roles within her children’s schools and community associations. Together, this has culminated in a broad, open and unique perspective in her role as a mediator. She encourages self-determination, honours being heard, and facilitates participation and dialogue through non-judgment.
Matilda Kissi is a Senior Family Law Clerk with over 15 years of experience in both and Child Welfare and Family Law, including as a former Family Court Clerk in the Ontario Court of Justice. She is a trained mediator and a member of FDRIO and AFCC-O. She is well versed in the Family Law Rules and Child and Youth Family Service Act. Her expertise lies in assisting clients navigate the difficult and often emotional experience separation and divorce.
Anthony Lawerence utilizes conflict resolution models and advanced communication techniques in providing family mediation services. Anthony is committed to helping separating families work toward finding an equitable solution. He ensures that clients feel safe, both mentally and physically in the mediation services that he provides. Anthony has worked with high conflict families, including those who have experienced domestic violence, and power imbalances.
Anthony is committed to being genuine and empathic, to being confidential, to offering flexible services and to actively listen to his clients. He has worked with those who are from different multicultural and socioeconomic backgrounds and understands how systems of oppression can result in inequalities for certain groups of people.
Anthony values cultural diversity and believes that everyone has the right to access high quality services. Anthony recognizes that stigma related to mediation and counselling makes it challenging for some people to feel comfortable accessing services. Anthony believes that choosing to prioritize yourself and gain even more control over your situation is therefore a strength. It is important to Anthony that clients not only find solutions, but that they also feel validated and understood.
Hilary Linton is a Toronto lawyer, an accredited family mediator, an experienced family arbitrator and an alternative dispute resolution trainer. She created Riverdale Mediation in 2000 and has built her private practice as a well-respected family mediator and arbitrator. She is recognized in Canada and recognized internationally for her skillful training, her extensive knowledge in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), her extensive experience and her energized and effective teaching style.
Sonia has a masters in psychology and is in the process of completing an Indigenous social work degree magna cum laude from Laurentian University in April 2021. She is a member of the CPA and the OCSWSSW. She focuses on culturally specific interventions, addressing intersectional violence and oppression, healing, social determinants of health and their impact on marginalized and racialized communities.
Ken Nathens is the founding and managing partner of Nathens, Siegel, a Toronto law firm dedicated exclusively to the practice of family law. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1994. Ken holds both a Civil Law degree and a Common Law degree from McGill University where he graduated in 1992 with Upper Class Honours.
Ken has experience in all areas of family law, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and court litigation. He has been certified to represent clients in collaborative negotiation since 2002. He has extensive litigation experience and has been involved in trials relating to such issues as child custody, the mobility rights of parents, imputing income under the Child Support Guidelines, and the rights of adoptive parents under child welfare legislation.
He has recently appeared before the Ontario Court of Appeal arguing on behalf of clients in relation to property and financial disclosure issues. Ken has written extensively on family law issues, including articles published in Divorce Magazine dealing with such issues as the Potential Perils of Collaborative Family Law and vacations in the family law context.
He has offered frequent lectures on family law issues for members and staff of the Ontario Federation of Labour. In 2010, Ken was certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in the practice of family law.
He was also appointed a Dispute Resolution Officer of the Ontario Superior Court (Family Division) in Newmarket where he assists litigants to narrow or resolve issues in the early stages of court proceedings.
Jared Norton is an experienced mediation trainer and speaker. Jared is the co-facilitator of both the Basic and Advanced Parenting Coordination courses, and is also the facilitator of the Family Relations Course. Jared has been a facilitator and speaker for other Riverdale Mediation courses on topics pertaining to parenting plans, family dynamics, mental health issues, and the voice of the child in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
Jared is an experienced mediation trainer internationally as well and played an important role of the Access to Justice in the Caribbean sponsored by the University of the West Indies and the Federal Government of Canada, part of Riverdale Mediation’s International and Civil Mediation Training program. He has also been a contributing consultant and trainer on the topic of Parenting Coordination for Family Law in Partnership in the United Kingdom.
He also serves as a clinical investigator with the Office of the Children’s Lawyer.
Jared Norton is a registered social worker in addition to being an accredited family mediator. He has extensive training in conflict resolution and numerous clinical interventions. He has provided assessment services, including Section 34 YCJA assessments for youth in contact with the legal system, assessments for The Arson Prevention Program for Children (TAPP-C), as well as mental health and addiction related assessments for families, children, and individuals.
Historically, Jared has facilitated and contributed to mental health and addictions related trainings with the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, the Distress Centre of Toronto, and Frontenac Youth Services. He has also been a panel member and speaker at various courses and professional conferences including the OAFM and ADRIC.
Jared graduated from the University of Toronto (2010) with a Master of Social Work, specializing in Children, Youth, and Families. He has Bachelors Degrees in Social Work from York Univeristy (2009) and Psychology (1999), respectively.
Angela is an Accredited Family Mediator, registered Social Worker, and Researcher. She is the Principal Mediator at Reach Mediation Inc. Angela is pursuing a doctoral program in Public Health specializing in Health and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Toronto. She focuses her practice and research on parents who struggle with conflict during and after separation/divorce, the impact of mental health on well-being, and experience of mediation services.
Avagene is a family law lawyer, certified family mediator and notary public. She has practised exclusively in family law since her 2005 call to the Bar.
Fluently bilingual, Avagene holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in French (Honours) as well as a French Business Certificate issued by the Chambre of Commerce and Industry of Paris.
Avagene’s extensive mediation experience includes working as an on-site mediatior in Toronto’s family courts. She is also a trainer and coach in the Riverdale Mediation Family Mediation training program.
Avagene is the founder of Skervin Law, a family law firm in Mississauga, Ontario. She promotes the resolution of family law issues including decision-making responsibility, parenting time, support and property, through a variety of alternate dispute resolution processes. She is also a member of the Ontario Family Law Limited Scope Services Project and a Dispute Resolution Officer with the Superior Court of Justice, Kitchener.
Avagene’s volunteer work in the field of family dispute resolution includes serving on the Board of Directors for Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO), being co-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for FDRIO and co-chairing FDRIO’s 2022 Conference, “Widening the Scope of FDR”.
Avagene has shared her expertise in family law by presenting on “The Intersection of the Pandemic and Family Law Cases, A Financial and Legal Review” at the Chartered Business Valuators Institute (CBV) in 2021 among other presentations.
Clayton R. Spencer
Clayton practices exclusively in the area of Family Law. Mr. Spencer was called to the bar in 1998, and has provided Family Law services to the residents of Durham Region since that time. Mr. Spencer provides a broad range of Family Law services, including divorce, custody and access, child and spousal support, property division, child protection, and collaborative services. Mr. Spencer is also a trained arbitrator, and his arbitration servicesare available to help you resolve your Family Law disputes.
Mr. Spencer obtained his Level II Collaborative Team training in 2007. Mr. Spencer strongly believes that the collaborative process produces better results and more cost-efficient outcomes for those who are separating from their spouses than traditional litigation. Mr. Spencer encourages the use of alternate dispute resolution, where appropriate.
Mr. Spencer is also an experienced Family Court litigator. Mr. Spencer is respected by his peers, and was appointed a Family Court Dispute Resolution Officer when that program was introduced to Durham Region in 2011.
Shmuel Stern is a family law lawyer and founder of DisclosureClinic.ca, an online limited scope practice assisting people to compile their family law financial disclosure. He is a past Chair of the OBA Child and Youth Law section and recently completed an LLM in Family Law. You can follow his Ontario family law caselaw Twitter feed @corollaryrelief.
Nicole Stewart Kamanga
Nicole is an experienced family lawyer and accredited family mediator with private mediation and family law practice. She is a Panel Lawyer with the Office of the Children’s Lawyer representing children and youth in family and child protection matters. Nicole also has five years’ experience as a Children’s Advocate in a women’s shelter. Nicole is also a Mediation Coach.
Borzou is a family lawyer and Accredited Family Mediator with the Ontario Association of Family Mediation (OAFM) and the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO). His academic background includes a B.A. in Psychology from York University and a law degree from Osgoode Hall.
In his law practice, B. Tabrizi Law, Borzou specializes in the negotiation of all family law-related issues with a strong focus on out-of-court settlement. He was called to the Bar in 2015, and he has also practiced as an accredited family mediator since then.
Borzou also practices as a mediator with Toronto Family Mediation Services (mediate393 inc.) which includes work as an onsite mediator at the Toronto Ontario Courts of Justice and the Toronto Superior Court of Justice. He is a mediation coach for York University’s Certificate in Family Mediation program.
Regina Thompson has 20 year’s experience as a Mediator and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Professional. She holds a Master of Laws – LLM in ADR. She was a staff Mediator for the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) and conducted statutory analyses over the course of 12 years. Regina is founder and principal of 7122985 Canada Inc. O/A Strategic Intervention Services Associates – a full-service ADR Consultancy. Regina has expertise in mainstreaming culture and human rights perspectives into Dispute Resolution service provision. Using multiple lens approaches she has conducted thousands of mediations and provided diversity and human rights training in the areas of human rights, family and child protection to mainstream organizations, immigrant, Native and Aboriginal communities. Regina founded International Compass Mediation Training and Advisory Services headquartered in Accra, Ghana, West Africa.
Her international experience includes the design of a culturally-appropriate mediation system for the Uganda Human Rights Commission and delivered training to its staff. Regina has presented on Conflict and Culture at the 2014 Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) AGM in Cincinnati, Ohio. In April 2016, Regina designed and offered culturally-appropriate basic mediation training to 50 members of professional and community associations in Accra, Ghana.
Regina is a sought-after Presenter and Guest Faculty. She has presented on Conflict and Culture at the 8th Annual Ethnic and Pluralism Graduate Research Conference, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and at successive OAFM pre-AGM Conferences and at ADRIO events. Regina presented on Culture and Conflict as Guest-Faculty for the Osgoode LLM (ADR) class in 2015 and has been invited back as Guest-Faculty for 2016. On successive occasions, Regina has also presented to ADR and Paralegal graduating classes at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Durham College, and at a number of Humber College locations. (for complete bio, please visit willowtreemediation.ca)
Victoria is an experienced family law lawyer and an accredited mediator. Victoria mediates all family law issues including parenting, property division, support and all related issues. Victoria brings both her compassion and comprehensive knowledge of Family Law to each mediation, and strives to facilitate a solution-focused, respectful discourse.
Mina Vaish is an accredited family mediator and is Principal Mediator and Managing Director of York Mediation. She is an onsite family court mediator at the Newmarket Superior Court of Justice (Family Branch) and a presenter for the Mandatory Information Program (MIP) for applicants and respondents in York Region. She is a roster mediator at the court-connected mediation rosters of Blue Hills (York Region) and mediate393 (Toronto). She is an affiliate mediator with Markham Psychologists and is a partner with the JIBC for the marketing of mediation training courses in Ontario.
Kayla Viau earned her Honours B.A. with a major in Aboriginal Studies and a minor in Psychology from the University of Ottawa. Kayla received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Ottawa in 2015. Following her call to the Bar of Ontario in June 2016, she completed a Master of Education at the University of Toronto. Most recently, Kayla completed her post-graduate certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution at Humber College.
Kayla is a member of the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario and a family mediation intern with Riverdale Mediation. As a student-at-law, Kayla worked primarily in the areas of family and child protection law.
Kayla is Cree and is a member of Taykwa Tagamou Nation, located in Treaty 9 territory.
Daniella is a collaborative family lawyer, accredited family mediator and founder of Daniella Wald Family Law Resolutions in Toronto. Daniella is committed to helping families resolve their parenting and financial issues out of court and to increase awareness of and access to family dispute resolution process options. Daniella sits on the Board of Directors of Collaborative Practice Toronto and speaks on FDR topics in various mediation, law school, and professional development courses.