When there is a lot riding on your legal case, you want a lawyer who has taken that ride many times before. However, you also want a lawyer who is experienced in life; a lawyer who understands where you are coming from, who grasps the intricacies of your unique situation and takes those into account in his approach to your case.
For more than a quarter century, Vincent Genova has garnered the experience, knowledge and understanding of vast and varied legal spheres. Several media outlets have sought Vincent’s expertise to discuss various legal cases and issues, including Goldhawk Live and CBC Newsworld.
A founding partner of Rochon Genova LLP, Vincent’s specialty is litigation, including catastrophic injuries and personal injuries, class actions, long and short term disability benefit denials, automobile and other insurance law litigation. Since being called to the bar in 1989, he furthered his legal education at Harvard Law School, participating in the Advanced Mediation Workshop in 2004. He had the honour of being appointed as a Deputy Judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Small Claims Division, in 2005 from which he recently retired.
Vincent’s firm Rochon Genova LLP has dealt with major cases that include household names and have made headline news: the Lac-Mégantic train derailment, the CIBC $4 billion securities class action, GM and Toyota defective vehicle lawsuits, several cases of sexual and institutional abuse at residential schools, and the Maple Leaf tainted food scandal.
However, his impressive resume does not mean that Vincent can be pigeonholed; in addition to his passion for the law, he also has numerous other interests and hobbies, one of which is a deep passion for motorcycles. As an avid rider and enthusiast, Vincent understands firsthand the unique
challenges a motorcycle injury can pose, which likely explains why so many individuals who have been injured in motorcycle accidents trust Vincent to represent them.
My Business Magazine asked Vincent Genova about his
work, his passions and his unique outlook on life...
MBM: What cases dovetail most with your passions?
Vincent: I deal a lot with victims of motorcycle accidents. I’m an avid motorcycle enthusiast, I’ve had five different bikes over the years, and I have an appreciation of what goes into riding a bike, and how dangerous it is out there. I think that has given me a greater appreciation and respect for the rules of the road, both as a motorcyclist and when I’m driving my car. I also believe that having a lawyer who rides motorcycles is an advantage to someone who is seeking out a personal injury lawyer after having suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident.
MBM: But you also take on many other cases?
Vincent: I represent all people who suffer from serious injuries, or families of those who have unfortunately died as a result of accidents. In addition to motor vehicle accidents I do a lot of long term disability work as well, representing clients who have been denied disability benefits by insurance
companies, or who have had those benefits unfairly cut off. My clients range from people with serious brain or spinal cord injuries to serious orthopedic injuries, debilitating mental illness and chronic pain.
MBM: What accomplishments are your most treasured?
Vincent: On a non-professional level, my greatest accomplishment has been helping to raise my two fabulous sons with my wife of 25 years. Similarly, despite my parents’ difficult road to a better life in Canada, they raised two sons (me and my brother Louie) who worked hard at school and at
endless part time jobs before starting new chapters in our lives as lawyers. My parents (a barber and a factory worker) guided my moral compass and taught me the value of one’s self worth, regardless of who your parents are and how much money they earn. I’ve instilled those values in my sons, as they have served me well in life.
Professionally, I’m proud of the fact that in 1999, my business partner Joel Rochon and I joined forces and founded Rochon Genova LLP, a premier boutique litigation firm. Joel has evolved into one of the country’s most respected and successful class action lawyers. As well, we have put together a team (or family, as we refer to them) of top notch lawyers who care about the welfare of their clients and work relentlessly in the pursuit of rendering fairness and redress to those who have been wronged. At Rochon Genova LLP, we like to call that “access to justice.”
In 2003, I became a Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation with the Law Society of Upper Canada. It was an honor qualifying for this special designation, and I think it helps people in their decision making when it’s time to pick a qualified lawyer to represent them.
I was also a deputy judge of the Ontario SuperiorCourt of Justice, Small Claims division, beginning in 2005 until just a few years ago when I took on the role of adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School.
In addition to being one of the founding partners of Rochon Genova LLP, I am one of the founding owners of two fabulous Mexican enterprises in Toronto. One is Los Colibris,a specialty high-end “Cocina Mexicana” (Mexican kitchen) on King Street West. It’s one of my favourite dinner spots in the city; the hospitality is always excellent, and the food is fantastic. I’ve yet to be disappointed by a single menu item.The other is the El Caballito Tequila Bar and Patio, which is located downstairs from Los Colibris and which, in my opinion, features some of the best tequila and tacos in the downtown core.
MBM: What did you learn as a judge?
Vincent: It was educational for me.
Being a judge allowed me to use my brain in a different way, to consider both sides of an argument and to come to a decision based on the merits and the credibility of witnesses.I think that overall, my experience as a judge helped to broaden my perspective from a legal standpoint, and also made me appreciate other people’s styles and concerns; it gave me a window into what people were disputing in everyday life that I wasn’t exposed to in my practice.
MBM: Tell me about your teaching at York and what you find most fulfilling?
Vincent: I started teaching at Osgoode Hall Law School in the winter session of 2014. I have been teaching a course called Legal Process, and in particular Civil Procedure, in what is certainly one of the most recognized and best law schools in Canada. It’s an honour to be an adjunct professor there.
Teaching allows me to see who the new lawyers are going to be in this great city and province, and beyond, and how things and people are changing within the profession. It also allows me to stay on top of any changes in the rules of civil procedure and evolving case law. If I can help guide and influence some of the great young minds in my profession, then I consider that to be an accomplishment.
MBM: What is the key to your success as a lawyer?
Vincent: Firstly, I think that one of the keys to my success has been my enthusiasm to help injured people, whether those people are victims of accidents or victims of unfair denial or termination of benefits by insurance
companies. I derive much meaning in my life as a lawyer from helping people pursue their rights. Secondly, it helps that I’m entrepreneurial by nature.
provides me with opportunities to interact and deal with people from different backgrounds all of the time. Having outside interests and ventures also allows me to re-energize for my work at the firm.
In the end, I believe that the diversity of my life experiences, ranging from being a deputy small claims judge and teaching at Osgoode Hall, to riding motorcycles, raising a family, founding restaurants and a law firm, and of course spending more than 25 years as a litigator, has made me a
well-rounded individual. These experiences have given me the ability to relate to people from different walks of life, while simultaneously allowing me to become extremely well- equipped to help those people tackle the legal challenges they may be facing.
Nothing beats experience.
Dave Gordon has penned more than a thousand articles, and more than five hundred editorials, on every topic imaginable. He writes regularly on domestic and international politics, current events, culture, relationship issues, and much more.
He has spent time in the newsrooms of the Toronto Sun, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Baltimore Sun, National Post and eye Weekly.
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