Jack E. Pantalone
I was born and raised in Ottawa (Westboro). Other than for my university years, I have lived in Ottawa with my wife and children. I enjoy an active family life, making as much time for fresh air and exercise as I possibly can!
I graduated from the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) with my Bachelor of Laws in 1987.
I have always loved Ottawa, a great city to balance career and family. I knew that I would come back after law school, and returned her to start my own law practice upon being called to the Bar of Ontario in March, 1989.
Although I started out as a generalist (practicing law in several areas), I quickly started to focus and restrict my practice to family law, which includes divorce, custody and access, child and spousal support, property disputes, domestic contracts (such as separation agreements), and variation applications. Essentially, I wanted to narrow the focus of my practice to better serve clients who had specific issues to be addressed. Quite simply, the issues in family law, like other areas of law, have become complex. The only way of keeping current and up to date on each and every aspect of family law, is to restrict my practice to this one area.
At one point in my practice, I joined the panel of the then Office of the Official Guardian (now the Children’s Lawyer’s Office), to represent children in both family law and child protection (Children’s Aid Society) matters. This was a very fulfilling and rewarding part of my practice, and it reinforced to me the importance of resolving family law matters by thinking of your children first. The very first issue that I inquire about, when I first meet clients, is whether the issues relating to the children have been addressed and agreed upon.
I had also, around that time, taken various mediation and conflict-resolution courses and, relatively early on in my practice, I started a mediation practice.
Today, I remain a ‘one man operation’ (with the vital help of an excellent assistant, Lisa Goyette (nee Clark).
My approach has always been and remains to do my utmost to settle family law matters as amicably and respectfully as possible; separated families deserve to remain as intact as possible, sheltering the children from their parents' separation. I therefore have a "settlement first" approach to resolving cases. However, there are times when settlements - at least initially - are not attainable. In such cases, I can draw upon my extensive court experience, both at the trial and appellate levels. I have done many trials relating to both parenting and financial issues.
As in other areas of law, issues in the area of family law are constantly evolving, to reflect changes in societal values and as part of the judicial process of statutory interpretation of applicable legislation. I pride myself on remaining current with these changes.
I am a proponent of mediation, whether I conduct mediation myself, or refer my own clients to other mediators. In fact and with a view to having clients settle their issues in as cost-effective and amicable a manner as possible, I often suggest to clients that they immediately proceed to mediation, rather than retain me to initiate negotiations on their behalf!
In 2010, I re-opened the mediation practice that I had suspended when I had moved to an office which made mediation sessions an impracticality. I missed conducting mediation. Achieving settlement between two people who have a genuine interest in resolving their disputes, is highly rewarding. So, in November, 2008, I moved to my current office, with new space equipped with a large boardroom and “caucusing” rooms.
Please feel free to contact either myself or Lisa me to learn more about our mediation practice, or to arrange for a legal consultation.
Senior Law Clerk
Lisa Goyette graduated from the Law Clerk Program of Algonquin College in 2005 and joined the firm in August 2005. She is an invaluable resource, providing a myriad of law clerk, administrative and accounting duties. Lisa has worked exclusively in the area of family law and has a wealth of experience in dealing with all areas of family law, from a simple divorce to high conflict litigation matters. Her patience and compassion towards every client's particular and unique set of circumstances are reflective in the testimonials we receive from our clients.