Endorsement for Anita Szigeti by Aaron Dhir

I first met Anita in 2001 when I began practicing in the area of mental health law.  I soon found myself in the very fortunate position of receiving her mentorship.  Anita took me under her wing and is one of the senior counsel who truly taught me how to be a lawyer.  I have consulted with her on cases ranging from the Consent and Capacity Board up to and including the Supreme Court of Canada.  At each step, she has been a source of inspiration and I have been grateful for her guidance and friendship.

Anita is a dilligent lawyer who has an inquiring mind.  She brings a real seriousness of purpose to all of her tasks and is a hardworking practitioner who is dedicated to social justice advocacy.  Anita’s practice is extremely demanding; physically, emotionally and psychologically.  To do it as well as she has requires heightened emotional maturity, compassion, an advanced intellect and a tireless commitment to achieving justice for arguably the most marginalized equality-seeking group.  For me, this quote, from one of her papers, demonstrates her admirable reflective nature:

“[W]hile I am not prone to being an emotional person…I have found that on occasion I have been moved to tears (sometimes during the course of a hearing) by the incredible vulnerability of my clients, and the often surprising and endearing kindness that psychiatric inpatients will show each other within the context of their confinement. It has been my experience that I had learned more in the first few years I practiced in this area about human nature, good and bad, and indeed about myself, than I had been able to glean from the rest of my life experience up to that point…”

It gives me great pleasure to endorse Anita Szigeti’s candidacy for Law Society Bencher.  She will work outside of existing boxes, but, in so doing, will remain sufficiently practical in her approach.  I recommend her for this important position without hesitation.

Aaron A. Dhir, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

About anitaszigeti

• 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
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