“A HUGE thanks for hosting the annual tournament. I cannot find the words to express our appreciation for your ongoing commitment to this event. We can only imagine the collective time and energy of the many people involved to make it all happen. The tournament is well organized, well managed and really so much fun!”
Jason Ward Founding Lawyer (retired)
Jason founded (2003) and co-owns WARDS LAWYERSPC, a full-service firm in the City of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario.
In 2021, Jason was designated as and appointed a Certified Specialist – Civil Litigation, by the Law Society of Ontario.
In early 2022, after more than twenty years, Jason retired from WARDS LAWYERSPC to pursue other interests and opportunities.
He practiced civil litigation generally, particularly family law, estate disputes and employment law. Jason initially articled with Siskinds (London), before practicing commercial litigation at (the former) Ogilvy Renault, Toronto.
After running in the 2003 Ontario provincial general election (Liberal candidate), he and his family relocated from Toronto to Lindsay, Ontario, his hometown, where he started his own law firm. Shortly afterwards, his wife, Karissa, left her position as a business lawyer at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, Toronto, to join Jason to build their own firm together, which today is one of the largest firms in Central Ontario.
Jason and Karissa, who have three teenage children, are dedicated to their community. Both have been awarded the Business Leader of the Year Award by the Chamber of Commerce. Karissa has also been honoured as the Extraordinary Woman of the Year in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Their law firm has been annually recognized locally as the favourite law firm in the area for more than a decade.
Both Jason and Karissa have served on local boards and offered advisory services to local non-profit and charitable organizations. They are passionate about youth mental health, too. Their firm has, among other things, run a huge, month-long Hallowe’en event in their community, known as “Haunt Your Home”, attracting millions of visitors from all over the world to the contest Website. They also present the largest kids’ road hockey tournament in Ontario, if not beyond, raising money and awareness for youth mental health. In addition, they passionately donate and actively participate in many, effective youth mental health awareness initiatives in their area.
Jason has been actively involved with children in the community, not only his own, including as a coach for many years for minor hockey, soccer and lacrosse. He has also sponsored many young athletes in their athletic-related goals.
Professionally, since becoming a lawyer in 2000, Jason has appeared and argued trials and cases in all the Ontario Courts, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the (former) Ontario Municipal Board and other tribunals and administrative bodies. He has also represented the Public Guardian and Trustee, including being appointed by the Superior Court as “section 3 counsel”, representing incapable and vulnerable people. Jason has also been a faculty speaker for continuing legal education for Ontario lawyers, including most recently at the Law Society of Ontario’s Six-Minute Estates Lawyer and the “Step-by-Step Guide to Bringing a Motion” conference.
He often published legal articles, blogs and, recently, his new book entitled, “Resolving Grave Disputes – The Law of Dead Bodies in Ontario” was published by Amazon, Kindle, CanLII and by a nationally prominent legal journal, the Estates Trusts & Pensions Journal. He has also published other legal articles recently, such as, “Bringing a Motion in the Central East Region”, supporting continuing professional development for lawyers in Ontario.
More about Jason
BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS
“Resolving Grave Disputes – The Law of Dead Bodies in Ontario”, published on Amazon.ca and Kindle.ca, June, 2020. Also published by Canada’s Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal, November, 2019 and by CanLII.ca (2018 CanLIIDocs 157)
“Bringing a Motion in the Central East Region”, a professional development conference for lawyers, A Step-by-Step Guide to Bringing a Motion, for the Law Society of Ontario in April, 2019
“Child Representation”, Chapter 13 in in J. McLeod’s, Child Custody Law and Practice (Toronto: Thomson Canada Limited, 1999 Updates), focusing on important issues when representing children in family law litigation and disputes
Certified Mediator – Jason is a qualified and accredited mediator, having an Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate from the University of Windsor Law School, where he also trained in using principled negotiation, developed at Harvard, including practical skills and techniques needed to resolve disputes effectively and to manage conflict constructively.
Certified Collaborative Lawyer – Jason has also been a fully trained and certified collaborative family law lawyer.
Appointed Section 3 Counsel – Jason was also a designated “section 3” counsel (under Ontario’s Substitute Decisions Act), often appointed by the Superior Court of Justice, through the Ontario Public Guardian and Trustee, to represent incapable individuals embroiled in capacity-related and other litigation.
COMMUNITY AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Certified Specialist – Civil Litigation
Favourite Lawyer, City of Kawartha Lakes – Readers’ Choice Awards, Kawartha Lakes This Week
Employer of the Year, City of Kawartha Lakes
Favourite Law Firm, City of Kawartha Lakes – Readers’ Choice Awards, Kawartha Lakes This Week
Best Law Firm, City of Kawartha Lakes – Readers’ Choice Awards, Kawartha Lakes This Week
Best Legal Services, City of Kawartha Lakes – Readers’ Choice Awards, Kawartha Lakes This Week
Best Family Law Lawyer and Best Family Law Firm, City of Kawartha Lakes – Readers’ Choice Awards, Kawartha Lakes This Week
Best Employment Lawyer, City of Kawartha Lakes – Readers’ Choice Awards, Kawartha Lakes This Week
Community Leadership Award, Lindsay, Ontario
Business Leader of the Year, City of Kawartha Lakes
Jason is also married to the Business Leader of the Year (2015) and the Extraordinary Woman of the Year (2016) – Karissa
Coach of the Year, Minor Hockey
King v. Couperthwaite, 2008 ONCA 890 (CanLII), a Court of Appeal family law case in which Jason represented a common law spouse to receive a portion of the other party’s assets and income
Mowry v. Groome, 2016 ONSC 7850 (CanLII), in which Jason successfully represents the grandchild beneficiaries of an estate to recover more than $500,000 against the estate trustee for his negligence and mismanagement of the estate
Handley v. DTE Industries Limited, 2017 ONSC 4349 (CanLII), a commercial dispute, in which Jason represented a corporation involved in a fuel oil spill
Lewis v. Lewis, 2019 ONCA 690 (CanLII), a Court of Appeal case, in which Jason was appointed as, and assisted to expand the role of, “section 3” counsel acting for an incapable person in a Court proceeding
Campbell, Doolin and Cooper v. Winn, 2019 ONSC 697, Court File Number 47/15, in which Jason represented a common law widow to recover a substantial portion of the deceased’s estate by a dependent’s relief claim, which required an eight-day trial and extensive litigation