About John Schuman
John is a Certified Specialist in Family Law. He is a respected family lawyer, education lawyer and children’s rights lawyer. John is the partner managing the Family Law Group at Devry Smith Frank LLP, a 50 lawyer full service firm located in Toronto near Lawrence and the Don Valley Parkway and near Highway 401. (A location chosen because it is easy to access from downtown and the “905 area” and has lots of free parking.) John has earned the respect of his clients, judges, mediators and arbitrators for his sensible approach to resolving family law issues, his concern for children, and his understanding of complex financial matters. At paragraph 71 of a court decision, click here, Justice Sherr wrote “Mr. Schuman’s conduct in this case is an example of what lawyers are supposed to do in difficult cases.”
The mainstream media has recognized John’s expertise and turns to him when it needs a top lawyer in the areas of family law and children’s rights. John has appeared on: CBC/Radio Canada, the Ward and Al Show on Canada Talk Radio, Family Matters with Justice Brownstone (also see this page), DivorceSource Radio, Real Estate 101, and To Your Success. John is also the host of the Ontario Family Law Podcast.
John received his Honours B.A. from Queens University in 1994. He obtained his EMCA (paramedic designation) in 1995. John attended Law School at the University of Windsor, graduating in 1998. He then went on to complete his LL.M. in child and family law in 1999. John’s thesis on questioning child witnesses was published that same year and remains a frequently cited authority on the proper way to obtain the evidence of children.
As a Certified Specialist in Family Law, John has been recognized by the Law Society of Upper Canada and other lawyers as one of the top lawyers in his field. For more on what the Certified Specialist (C.S.) designation means, check out the Law Society’s Webpage.
John has always practised in the areas of family law and children’s rights. He articled at a prominent Toronto litigation firm. After John was called to the bar in 2001, he practised at a firm known for its work in children’s legal issues and family law. He was also counsel for a children’s aid society before joining a prominent Toronto family law litigation boutique. He joined Devry Smith & Frank in 2009, where he practices mostly in the area of family law, but also heads up the Education Law group, advocating on behalf of children.
John has litigated before every level of court in Ontario, several tribunals and the Supreme Court of Canada. Several of John’s cases have been reported in law reports. John’s cases involving children’s rights have been reported in the national media. John has earned the respect of the judges, mediators and arbitrators before whom he appears.
John has trained as both a family mediator and arbitrator to assist families in resolving their matters in a less adversarial way. This website has more information about Family Mediation and Arbitration. John is also trained as a Collaborative Lawyer. That does not just mean that John knows how to negotiate a sensible settlement. It also means that John knows how to use Collaborative Practice, which is another way to resolve family disputes without having a big fight or “wrecking the kids.”
John has published articles in referred legal journals on the questioning of child witnesses, allegations of abuse when parents have separated, and the rights of children to direct their own medical treatment. John is also the editor of the “Child in the Courtroom” chapter of Wilson on Children and the Law. He is the co-author of the child protection chapter in the leading text, Evidence in Family Law. John is also the author of the DSF Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law.
John sits on the “Systemic Legal Issues Working Group” at the Hospital for Sick Children and assists with the Family Legal Health Program at that hospital. He also works with the Child Advocacy Project of Pro Bono Law Ontario.
John is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Collaborative Practice Toronto, The International Collaborative Professionals Academy, the Ontario Bar Association and the Ontario Paramedic Association. Outside of the practice of law, John maintains his certification as a paramedic. In addition, he is an avid swimmer, paddler and cyclist and retains an interest in pre-hospital emergency care.