The Federation of Ontario Law Association (FOLA)’s 2018 Semi-Annual Plenary is a gathering of the Presidents and Vice Presidents of Ontario’s 47 Law Associations, FOLA’s Executive, some law librarians, and friends of FOLA. 

With an over-arching theme of Mental Health & Wellness in the Law Profession, the conference consists of panel discussions, talks, and presentations related to the issues facing Ontario’s practicing lawyer. 

November Plenary’s Highlights 


Ottawa Lawyer Steve Kelly


Ontario's Attorney General, Hon. Caroline Mulroney


Hosted by Treasurer Malcolm Mercer



Darryl Singer, SINGER Barristers Professional Corporation

Janet Ozembloski, Vice President, Legal Counsel, Medcan

Leah Gardiner, Executive Director & Lead Trainer, Mindfulness Without Borders

Percy G., Barrister & Solicitor

Terry Brandon, Moderator (FOLA SW Regional Chair)



Darryl Singer

Darryl Singer, Head of Commercial and Civil Litigation Practice Group, Diamond & Diamond Lawyers LLP. 

Darryl has spent almost 25 years as a civil litigator and currently serves as Head of Commercial and Civil Litigation Practice Group at Diamond & Diamond Lawyers LLP in Toronto. He divides his practice between plaintiff personal injury cases and a broad-based commercial litigation practice and regularly acts as trial counsel to other law firms for trials, arbitrations and appeals. 

Following 15 years of building up a successful practice and earning the respect of his peers and the judges before whom he appeared, Darryl’s world all came crashing down. First came a divorce. Then came a move to in-house counsel that did not match his expectations. And then depression hit. Darryl turned to narcotics – in an unsuccessful effort to self-medicate. This, in turn, resulted in a 2 ½ yr hard-core Oxycontin addiction that cost him everything: his practice, his financial stability, friends, and reputation. And it almost cost him his kids.

Darryl went from teaching Professional Responsibility and Practice Management at the Bar Admission Course to being hauled before the Law Society Tribunal on discipline charges for breaching the very professional obligations he used to teach!

Thanks to the Law Society’s lawyers’ assistance program in place at the time, Darryl is now coming on 10 years drug- and depression-free and speaks and writes frequently about his story of recovery and redemption.  Darryl is living proof that no matter how far you have fallen, with the right help and the right fortitude, you can climb back to the top of the mountain for a better than ever Second Act.

For more information, check out his personal website at

Janet Ozembloski

Janet Ozembloski, LL.B, B.C.L, VP & Legal Counsel, Medcan

Located in downtown Toronto, Medcan is an executive health clinic, and a leader in assessing clients’ overall well-being. Janet joined Medcan in 2015 where she advises on all legal matters in the medico-legal and corporate context and currently serves as VP and Legal Counsel. She has engaged in the practice of law for over ten years. 

One of Janet’s personal passions is the work Medcan does in the sphere of mental health. Medcan has a team of mental health professionals, from social workers to registered psychologists. Medcan’s Annual Health Assessment now has a mental health component, and both adults and children can access mental health support at the Clinic. 

Prior to joining Medcan, Janet worked with Chubb Insurance where she managed complex litigation across Canada and the U.S.A. in all lines of Specialty Insurance, with a particular focus on Privacy, Employment, Directors and Officers, and Cyber litigation. Prior to joining Chubb, Janet garnered several years of experience in her litigation practice both at a private downtown Toronto firm and in the public sector. 

Janet completed her LL.B. and B.C.L. law degrees at the University of McGill and is a member in good standing of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Leah Gardiner

Leah Gardiner, BSc, PMP, Executive Director & Lead Trainer, Mindfulness Without Borders

(MWB). Leah is responsible for management of program strategy, stakeholder relations, research and day-to-day operations - making her an incredibly valuable part of the MWB team. She is a seasoned facilitator, leading MWB’s professional development programs and Facilitator Certification trainings, globally, including at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. Leah directs MWB’s research projects in Canada and the United States - including the Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychoses (PEPP) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) RCT studies at the London Victoria Hospital, Ontario. In her spare time, you can find Leah reading, wine tasting, lifting weights and enjoying the city with her dog, Stanley. 

About Mindfulness Without Borders

At Mindfulness Without Borders, social and emotional health matters. That’s why we have education programs that cater to the ongoing understanding of our emotional experiences - for people of all ages and walks of life. Through professional development workshops and evidence-based activities, all our content addresses the vital soft skills individuals need to navigate through the stresses of daily life. Our curriculum is backed by research and is informed by world renowned experts such as psychologist Daniel Goleman who specializes in emotional intelligence, neuroscientist Richard Davidson, cognitive psychologist Zindel Segal, and author Peter Block who works as a consultant in organization development, community building and civic engagement.


Learn More:

Percy G.

Percy G., LL.B., Barrister & Solicitor  

Percy  graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1972 and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1974. He practiced law in association with Stuart & Cruickshank in Gravenhurst until 1977 when he began his practice as a sole practitioner in Gravenhurst and continued as a sole practitioner in general practice until this date. Due to problems associated with addiction, Percy was disciplined and suspended for three years. Just prior to suspension, he joined a recovery group and have remained in recovery for 25 years and currently serves Western Ontario in various capacities in the recovery group. 

Terry L. Brandon (Moderator)

Terry Brandon is FOLA's Southwest Regional Representative & Legal Aid Committee Chair and a sole practitioner in Sarnia, Ontario  

Born and raised in Sarnia, Ontario,  Terry returned to her hometown after a 1994 call to the Bar where she has continued to maintain a fast-paced criminal defence practice.

Originally securing an honours Bachelor of Arts degree from Huron College, U.W.O in 1989 with a double major in history and political science:  Terry easily transitioned to the study of law at both Ottawa University and subsequently graduated from Queen’s Law in 1992.  

Terry is well versed in issues of mental health and addictions, through observations made, both from her personal and professional life experiences which now lead her to proudly volunteer as moderator on this “ Mental Health and Wellness panel”.



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