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John McLeish

John's practice is devoted to representing individuals and their families who have suffered losses through a serious or catastrophic personal injury or the death of a loved one.

About

John is a founding partner of McLeish Orlando, his practice is devoted to representing individuals and their families who have suffered losses through a serious or catastrophic personal injury or the death of a loved one.

John’s areas of expertise include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, serious orthopaedic injuries, and fatal accidents arising from, motor vehicle collisions, drunk driving, the excessive serving of alcohol by bars and restaurants, unsafe road and highways, pedestrian accidents, cycling accidents, boating accidents, and school negligence cases.

John was chosen by peers as Toronto’s 2013 Lawyer of the Year in Personal Injury Litigation by Best Lawyers in Canada. He is chosen by peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in Canada and the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.   He is a Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Upper Canada and has been elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.  John has recovered the largest personal injury damages award in Canada – an $18.4 million award for a young brain injured girl and her family against a negligent driver, an insurance company and the Ministry of Transportation.

In 2000, the Ontario Trial Lawyers established the  John A. McLeish Award  which is awarded to a person, association or group which has made an outstanding contribution to the goals of a fair trial and access to justice, as an advocate, in legal scholarship, continuing legal education, legal writing, journalism, politics or government.

John is the co-author of four published books on personal injury, wrongful death, and insurance law. Chapters in the book discuss how to properly develop and build a winning case, together with successful settlement techniques, successful mediation techniques, and successful trial techniques.   One of the books deals exclusively with traumatic brain injuries.

In John’s spare time, he likes to work-out, downhill ski, and play golf. He also takes a keen interest in protecting and preserving the environment.

Expertise & News

Honours & Achievements

TESTIMONIALS

After my son suffered a severe brain injury, I hired John McLeish. At the outset John hired the best rehabilitation people to insure my son would reach his full potential. John and his team achieved a much higher settlement for my son than my husband and I ever expected. Today my son can live independently in his community with his financial future secure.

– A Mother Of A Brain Injured Son

My experience working with John McLeish, far exceeded my expectations. McLeish Orlando’s knowledge, skill and attention to detail made the process of my lawsuit far much less traumatic than I expected.  The injury I suffered was life changing.  During a very vulnerable and stressful time in  my life, John’s team of incredibly dedicated staff connected me with the best doctors and health care professionals. The encouragement, the explanation of what was going on at all times, and the continuous communication was very comforting to me.  The final settlement was significantly more than I expected.  It gave me a fresh start and allowed me to live my life.

– Julie Enns – Client

When we hired a lawyer, we did not know what to expect. John and his team kept us totally informed and involved us in all important decisions. My girls continue to receive rehabilitation help from the best health professionals. One of my girls is now in university and other is entering college. My husband and I are very grateful to John and his team.

– Mother Of Two Daughters Who Suffered Serious Personal Injuries

Recent Media

Notable Cases

John has recovered the largest personal injury damages award in Canada – an $18.4 million award for a young brain injured girl and her family against a negligent driver, an insurance company and the Ministry of Transportation.

Professional Affiliations

  • The Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
  • The Advocates’ Society
  • Toronto Lawyers Association
  • Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
  • Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association
  • Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
  • American Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Medico-Legal Society of Toronto
  • Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, Director, 1991 to present
  • Ontario Trial  Lawyers Association, Immediate Past President, 1995-1996
  • Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, President, 1993-1995
  • Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, President Elect, 1992-1993
  • Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, Vice President, 1991-1992
  • Medico-Legal Society of Toronto, Council, 1995-1999
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Governor, 1991-1996
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, State Delegate, 1989-1991

Published Works

  • Accident Benefits Guide. Co-authored by Dale Orlando and Patrick Brown. LexisNexis. January 2016
  • The Oatley McLeish Guide to Scheduling Civil Trials and Other Matters in Ontario Courthouses. October 2013
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Demonstrative Advocacy. Co-authored by Roger G. Oatley.  LexisNexis.  November 2011
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Anatomy and Impairment.  Co-authored with Roger G. Oatley.  LexisNexis.  April 2009
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Brain Injury Litigation.  Co-authored with Roger G. Oatley. LexisNexis Butterworths. December 2005
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Personal Injury Practice in Motor Vehicle Cases.  Co-authored with Roger G. Oatley.  Canada Law Book. 2002

Programs Chaired and Co-Chaired

  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Motor Vehicle Litigation. The Law Society of Upper Canada. Co-chaired with Roger Oatley. March 31 and April 1, 2016
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Motor Vehicle Litigation.  The Law Society of Upper Canada. Co-chaired with Roger Oatley. March 26 and 27, 2015
  • Practical Strategies for Experts: The Shifting Landscape. PIA Law. Co-chaired with Richard Halpern and James Vigmond. October 23, 2014
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Motor Vehicle Litigation.  The Law Society of Upper Canada.  Co-chaired with Roger Oatley.  March 26 and 27, 2014
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Motor Vehicle Litigation.  The Law Society of Upper Canada.    Co-chaired with Roger Oatley. April 18 and 19, 2013
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Motor Vehicle Litigation.  The Law Society of Upper Canada.    Co-chaired with Roger Oatley. January 11, 2012
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Motor Vehicle Litigation.  The Law Society of Upper Canada.    Co-chaired with Roger Oatley. January 10, 2011
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Motor Vehicle Litigation.  The Law Society of Upper Canada.  Co-chaired with Roger Oatley.  March 5, 2010
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Demonstrative Evidence.  Part II:  Its Use in All Phases of Litigation.  The Law Society of Upper Canada.  Co-chaired with Roger Oatley.  December 3, 2009
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Demonstrative Evidence.  Part I: The Foundation.  The Law Society of Upper Canada.  Co-chaired with Roger Oatley.  November 5, 2009
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Motor Vehicle Litigation. Part Two  – Accident Benefits and Practice Trends. The Law Society of Upper Canada. Co-chaired with Roger Oatley.  November 21, 2008
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Motor Vehicle Litigation. Part One  – Tort Law Update. The Law Society of Upper Canada. Co-chaired with Roger Oatley.  November 10, 2008
  • The Road to Trial: Successful Trial Strategies. Ontario Trial Lawyers Association. Co-chaired with Dale Orlando and Pat Brown. October 30 & 31, 2008
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Anatomy for Lawyers – The Central Nervous System, Amputations, the Senses and Burns. The Law Society of Upper Canada. Co-chaired with Roger Oatley.  November 8, 2007
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Proof of Personal Injury Damages – Injuries to Joints. The Law Society of Upper Canada. Co-chaired with Roger Oatley. May 17, 2007
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Personal Injury Practice. The Law Society of Upper Canada. Co-chaired with Roger Oatley. May 10, 2006
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Brain Injury Litigation. The Law Society of Upper Canada. Co-chaired with Roger Oatley. November 2004 to February  2005
  • Practical Strategies for Health Professionals: Making the Best of Bill 198. Sheraton Centre. Co-chaired with Dale Orlando, Roger Oatley & Jim Vigmond. June 4, 2004
  • The Oatley McLeish Guide to Personal Injury Practice. Vancouver, B.C. Co-chaired with Roger Oatley. February 6, 2004
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Personal Injury Practice. The Law Society of Upper Canada. Co-chaired with Roger Oatley. November 2003 to January 2004
  • Practical Strategies for Health Professionals. Sheraton Centre. Co-chaired with Roger Oatley. September 4, 2003
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Personal Injury Practice.  The Law Society of Upper Canada.  Co-chaired with Roger Oatley.  November 2002 to January  2003
  • Practical Strategies for Health Professionals.  Sheraton Centre.  Co-chaired with Roger Oatley.  April 26, 2002
  • The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Personal Injury Practice.  The Law Society of Upper Canada.  Co-chaired with Roger Oatley.  October 2000 to November 2001 
  • Strategic Use of Demonstrative Evidence in Civil Cases. The Law Society of Upper Canada. Co-chaired with David E. Wires. December 5, 1996
  • Winning Strategies in Proving Future Economic Losses. Ontario Trial Lawyers Association. Co-chaired with Barbara Legate. October 25 & 26, 1996
  • Ontario Birth Trauma Litigation Program. Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and Birth Trauma Litigation Section of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. June 21 and 22, 1996
  • Winning Medical Negligence Cases. The Canadian Institute. October 13, 1995

Papers & Presentations

  • Examination of an Expert Witness – The Experts on Experts: Building a Winning Case at Trial.  Ontario Bar Association.  Toronto, Ont. June 6, 2013
  • Handling the Mild to Severe Brain Injury Case – Working with the Medical Expert. Anatomy of a Personal Injury Case. Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association. Edmonton, AB. March 13, 2013
  • Handling the Mild to Severe Brain Injury Case – Working with the Medical Expert. Anatomy of a Personal Injury Case. Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association. Calgary, AB. March 11, 2013
  • Handling the Mild to Severe Brain Injury Case.  Personal Injury: Tricks of the Trade. The Canadian Bar  Association. Wu Conference Centre. Fredericton, N.B. October 19, 2012
  • Primafact – Quick and Easy Document Imaging and Retrieval. Co-authored with Roger Oatley. The Oatley-McLeish Guide to  Motor Vehicle Litigation.  The Law Society of Upper Canada.  January 11,  2012
  • Orderly Development and Control of a Personal Injury File Through Technology and Simple Systems.  Co-authored with Roger Oatley. The Oatley-McLeish Guide to  Motor Vehicle Litigation.  The Law Society of Upper Canada.  January 11,  2012
  • Cross-examination Techniques You Must Know. Trial Strategy Program.  Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia. Fairmont Waterfront Hotel.  Vancouver, B. C. October 28, 2011.
  • Bullet Proof Strategies for Proving Future Loss of Income. Trial Strategy Program.  Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia. Fairmont Waterfront Hotel.  Vancouver, B. C. October 28, 2011.
  • The Loss of an Interdependent Relationship.  Co-authored with Sal Shaw.  The Canadian Bar Association. 2011 National Health Law Summit.  Critical Issues in Health Law.  Montreal.  May 26, 2011
  • Cross-examination Techniques That Work.  The Oatley-McLeish Guide to Motor Vehicle Litigation.  The Law Society of Upper Canada.  January 10,          2011
  • The Power of Lay Witnesses. New Lawyers’ Division – Ontario Trial Lawyers Association.  Jury Trial Practice from A to Verdict.  Metropolitan Hotel.  September 24, 2010
  • Opening and Closing to a Jury.  Young Lawyers’ Division.  OBA Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Ontario Bar Association.  March 12, 2010
  • Use of Demonstrative Evidence at Trial. The 35th Annual OBA Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Ontario Bar Association. Royal York Hotel. February 16, 2010

For papers and presentations prior to 2010 please e-mail jmcleish@mcleishorlando.com

Community Involvement

  • Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, Wheelchair Relay Participant
  • Brain Injury Society of Toronto -5K Run, Participant
  • Lawyers Feed the Hungry
  • Annual McLeish Orlando Turkey Drive supporting the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank

Bar Admissions

Ontario

Education

  • Dalhousie University, Faculty of Law, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    • Bachelor of Laws
  • University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
    • Bachelor of Arts (Honours Economics)
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One Queen Street East. Suite 1620, Box 76, Toronto, ON M5C 2W5

McLeish Orlando

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About McLeish Orlando

McLeish Orlando is a Toronto personal injury law firm representing people who have been seriously injured and family members who have lost a loved one through the negligence of others. McLeish Orlando is a recognized leader within wrongful death and personal injury law. We represent people who have suffered brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and serious orthopaedic injuries. We strive for a fair settlement and the best possible results for our clients.

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