Before law school, I worked for 16 years with at-risk youth and women in community education and project coordination for several different organizations including Family Services Ottawa, Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, and Immigrant Women Services.
I have been practising family law for 17 years often in high conflict litigation cases. It is my experience that these cases can be settled through a combination of litigation, and negotiation. A parent / step-parent to seven children, my primary focus is on custody and access issues.
About half of the adoptions that I have done are for same-sex couples and I have represented many gay, lesbian and transgender parents in their separations, and with creating their families.
My involvement in the Ottawa legal community includes being co-chair of the Ottawa Family Law Study Group and serving in 2013 as a Trustee on the Board of Directors of the County of Carleton Law Association.
I am an LL.M. (Masters of Laws) Candidate, from Osgoode Hall, with a specialization in Family Law. My thesis is focused on legal parentage issues in Assisted Reproduction family situations.
My annual student internship in family law through the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa provides learning opportunities for about 6 students every year.
Quoted in Law Times, November 5, 2012: “Focus: Parsing the family law effects of transgender recognition“
Originally from Sudbury, Ontario, I have made Ottawa my home for over a decade for university and then to start my career. I received my Juris Doctor (Cum Laude) from the University of Ottawa and my Master of Arts from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in 2012. I was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2014.
Before beginning my legal career, I worked with UNESCO in Bangkok, Thailand, where I researched human rights in the context of HIV/AIDS in Southeast Asia among vulnerable high-risk populations. Following that opportunity, I worked for Citizenship and Immigration Canada for two years, where I focused on health operational policies, quality assurance, and risk management.
In both my academic and professional life, I am a strong supporter of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) rights. I have spoken at international conferences on SOGI Rights and HIV prevention and I have published several articles in peer-reviewed journals. I also run a free LGBT Information Legal Clinic, where I assist individuals with the legal name change and/or sex designation on a birth registration.
When I am not working, I enjoy traveling, especially in Asia, and love learning new languages. I am functionally bilingual, and I have conversational level Spanish and Japanese. I have also completed the annual MS Bike Ride four times so far, where my team cycled from Ottawa to Cornwall and back (about 200km round trip over two days) raising money for Multiple Sclerosis. I am also a member of the Choeur gai d’Ottawa Gay Men's Chorus.
LIMITS OF LIABILITY
The lawyers on the Ottawa Fertility Law website are lawyers practising in an association, with subject-area specialization in reproductive technology law. Each respective lawyer is a sole practitioner of his or her own respective practice. Great Expectations is not a partnership under the Partnerships Act, and liability is not joint and several. Liability is limited solely to each respective lawyer.
STATEMENT OF CONFIDENTIALITY
Following recent jurisprudence on lawyers working in association (Jajj v. 100337 Canada), both lawyers maintain precautions that prevent the sharing – inadvertent or otherwise – of confidential information pertaining to the clients of any particular lawyer:
Each lawyer practices in their own office. There is no partnership, no sharing of files, or law firm as traditionally defined.
Each lawyer has different contact information, different phone numbers, and different e-mail service providers. Each lawyer maintains his/her own conflict-checking system to guarantee client confidentiality.
Neither lawyer shares support staff with the other lawyer.
Each lawyer maintains full client confidentiality as against the other lawyer.
NO LAWYER-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP
Your use of the Ottawa Fertility Law website or your communication with us by e-mail or through the website, does not create a lawyer-client relationship. As such, please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as a lawyer-client relationship has been established. You will be considered a client of either Lisa Sharp or James Anderson only after no conflict of interest has been confirmed and you have consented to retainer Lisa Sharp or James Anderson.
NOT LEGAL ADVICE
This website is for general information only and should not be construed as giving legal advice. You should seek appropriate, qualified legal advice before acting upon any information provided on or though the Ottawa Fertility Law website. Please contact us if you would like to set up an appointment to discuss your matter privately and confidentially with either Lisa Sharp or James Anderson.