• Called to the Bar (1992) • U of T Law grad (1990) • Sole practitioner (8 years) • Partner in small law firm (Hiltz Szigeti) since 2002 • Mom to two astonishing kids, Scarlett (8) and Sebastian (5) • (Founding) Chair of Mental Health Legal Committee for nine years (1997 to 2006) • Counsel to clients with serious mental health issues before administrative tribunals and on appeals • Former Chair, current member of LAO’s mental health law advisory committee • Educator, lecturer, widely published author (including text book on consent and capacity law) • Fifteen years’ experience as counsel to almost exclusively legally aided clients • Frequently appointed amicus curiae • Fearless advocate • Not entirely humourless
• Admission au Barreau en 1992 • Graduée de la faculté de droit de l’Université de Toronto en 1990 • Exerce le droit en pratique privée pendant 8 ans • Associée du cabinet d’avocats (Hiltz Szigeti) depuis 2002 • Mère de deux enfants fantastiques, Scarlett (8 ans) et Sebastian (5 ans) • Présidente fondatrice du Comité légal sur la santé mentale pendant 9 ans (1997 à 2006) • Prestation de conseils juridiques à des clients atteints de troubles mentaux sérieux avant leurs comparutions aux tribunaux administratifs et appels. • Ancienne présidente et membre actuel du comité consultatif du droit de la santé mentale de l’Aide juridique Ontario • Conférencière et auteure publiée à maintes reprises (entre autre un manuel scolaire sur le consentement et la capacité) • Quinze ans d’expérience en tant que conseillère pour une clientèle presque exclusivement de l’aide juridique. • Nommée amicus curiae à maintes reprises • Avocate courageuse • Non complètement dépourvue de sens de l’humour.
Highlights of Professional Achievements Profile
ANITA SZIGETI is a partner in the Toronto law firm of HILTZ SZIGETI LLP. In 2004, the firm received a national award for outstanding legal advocacy in the area of mental health. Ms. Szigeti and her partner, D’Arcy Hiltz, are co-authors of the annually updated publication “A Guide to Consent and Capacity Law in Ontario”.
Ms. Szigeti graduated from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law (1990), and was admitted to the Ontario Bar (1992). For ten years (1997—2007), she was the Chair of the Mental Health Legal Committee, an organization of lawyers who represent persons with mental health issues. She was a former Chair and continues as a member of the Mental Health Law and Policy Advisory Committee to Legal Aid Ontario. Ms. Szigeti was Amicus Curiae in the Starson case in the Supreme Court of Canada, and co-counsel to intervener groups in many of the leading cases in relation to NCR accused heard in the SCC on appeal from Review Board hearings. She was involved in founding the Amicus Curiae program for mentally disordered accused in the Court of Appeal for Ontario, where she appears frequently as counsel or Amicus Curiae to mentally disordered accused.
Ms. Szigeti has practised mental health law exclusively since 1995 and in the process has represented thousands of individuals with serious mental health issues before the Consent and Capacity Board and the Ontario Review Board as well as on appeals from both tribunals.
She has also been counsel on a number of high-profile Inquests where mental disorder laws were canvassed within the scope of the proceedings and recommendations for legislative change were made by Coroners’ Juries. In these proceedings, she most often represents public interest interveners. She has participated in education events for Inquest Coroners and counsel who appear at Inquests.
Ms. Szigeti is a frequent lecturer on issues of mental health and the law. In addition to providing education to Crown counsel, physicians, other mental health care providers and their counsel, to individuals with mental health issues and their advocates, including the defence bar, she has for many years taught mental health law to families of persons with mental health issues. She is also widely published on a range of topics related to mental health and the law, including a recent academic article on the operation of Sex Offender Registries and their effect on mentally disordered not criminally responsible accused. She also publishes on ethical and practice issues.
Ms. Szigeti is currently working as co-author on two further text books covering all aspects of mental health law, including civil and forensic legal issues in mental disorder arising in jurisdictions across the country. She hopes to have these books out in 2011 (Lexis Nexis publications.)
Ms. Szigeti is a proud member of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association since November of 2009.