A well-rounded litigator who appreciates that cases are won both inside and outside of the courtroom, Jay is both a fearless advocate and expert negotiator. Clients appreciate his ability to know when to push forward and when to settle, resolving cases effectively, efficiently and with his clients’ best interests in mind. Judges have noted that Jay’s presentation in court and thorough submissions “were of great assistance to the court”, and his civility towards his opponent and the court is “a model to be followed by those who appear before our courts".
Jay’s practice focuses primarily on personal injury law, including defence of product liability, occupiers' liability, municipal liability and serious motor vehicle accident claims. He also expertly handles large property loss and environmental claims along with construction, architectural, and engineering claims, as well as professional negligence and life and disability claims.
Jay has developed extensive knowledge in the emerging area of cannabis law. He has acted as defense counsel for cannabis-related claims and has been a presenter on the subject at numerous conferences.
Jay has successfully litigated cases before all levels of court in Ontario. Just 3 days after being called to the bar, he argued his first appeal, won, and in so doing clarified the law on defence medical examinations in personal injury cases (Ceh v. Culver). Only a few months later, Jay went to the Court of Appeal, winning a case that involved interpreting whether two teenagers engaged in horseplay was an intentional act (Mitsios v. Aviva). In 2010, Jay achieved the rare feat of obtaining leave to the Court of Appeal, and won the eventual appeal which upheld the dismissal of an action wrongfully brought against his psychologist client who was a court-appointed expert in a family law matter (Van de Vrande v. Butkowsky).
Jay has been involved in groundbreaking decisions in Ontario and the cases he has argued have been reported in the province and country's most significant law reports such as the Ontario Reports and Dominion Law Reports. He has successfully obtained an order for security for costs against a plaintiff corporation seeking over $50 million in damages and had that claim dismissed when the plaintiff failed to post the security (AGC v. Rizzo). He has successfully dismissed a plaintiff’s claim seeking millions in damages from an explosion on the basis of misnomer (Roni v. Kenworth Trucks). He has won countless summary judgment motions, most recently applying the new summary judgment test in a chain-reaction motor vehicle action where credibility was in issue (Nadeau v. Peters).
Jay is also a regular speaker, presenter and author on topics such as uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage, occupiers’ liability and motion advocacy. He has been called upon by legal publications to comment on legal updates relating to duty to defend applications, damage assessments in motor vehicle cases and significant decisions of Ontario’s Court of Appeal.
Jay was recently elected President of Risk Management Counsel of Canada (RMC), a national association of independent law firms who work together to handle multi-jurisdictional insurance law matters.
Jay is a competitive golfer and played on an NCAA-Division 1 scholarship.