Estate Litigation. Appellate Advocacy.
Debra Stephens (Deb) was called to the Bar in 1982. She began her career at Mills and Mills, a full-service firm where she remained for 18 years, having articled there and then become a partner. While she initially was involved in all aspects of civil litigation, over the years she concentrated in the areas of estate, trust, capacity and family law litigation. In 1998, upon joining Schnurr Kirsh Stephens, (a leading boutique estate litigation firm) she narrowed her focus to estates, trusts and capacity issues, maintaining her litigation practice, but expanding it to include estate planning, administration and mediation.
In 2008, Deb was appointed The Children’s Lawyer for the Province of Ontario, a branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General which is responsible for providing legal services and clinical services for children in all aspects of estate, tort and family law proceedings.
Deb returned to private practice in late 2010 and joined Goddard Gamage Stephens, a firm also specializing exclusively in the estate, trust, elder law and capacity fields.
In April of 2017, Deb joined WEL Partners continuing her practice as counsel, mentoring younger lawyers, and expanding her mediation services. In addition she is often asked by counsel and the Court to act as an estate trustee during litigation, neutral trustee or estate trustee, or as counsel for same to assist in the administration of estates while litigation is pending.
In May of 2019, Deb headed back downtown to join Tupman & Bloom LLP, a new and rising firm to act as their counsel and mentor. She continues to practice exclusively in the estate, trust and capacity field, in litigation, administration and mediation.
Deb has been an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Law School teaching estates and trust law, has taught the Estate Law Clerk programme at Humber College, and has lectured on estates, trusts and guardianship issues at Osgoode Hall Law School.
Deb is a frequent writer and lecturer and has chaired programmes for the Law Society of Ontario, the Canadian and Ontario Bar Association, CALU, regional estate planning councils, the University of Toronto Law School, Family Law progammes, and other professional and community organizations. These articles and lecturers cover her primary area of practice but also include insurance, family law and tax related topics.
Debra can be reached by calling the firm's main telephone number or her direct line at 647-264-3730, or via email at email@example.com.