Michael Wilchesky is an associate with the firm specializing in civil litigation. His practice focuses on civil sexual and institutional abuse and misconduct claims, Aboriginal rights litigation, securities litigation, employment law and commercial litigation.
Prior to joining Rochon Genova, Michael practiced at an international law firm in New York primarily in the areas of corporate finance, securities and commercial law, working with clients on initial public offerings, financial filings, mergers and acquisitions and strategic global investment/expansion strategies. Michael subsequently worked at a boutique law firm in Toronto in the areas of construction law, employment law, and commercial litigation, where he represented clients at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Appeal, as well as at various tribunals, including the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the Real Estate Council of Ontario and the License Appeal Tribunal.
Since joining the firm, Michael has enjoyed working in a broad range of practice areas, including civil sexual assault litigation, Aboriginal rights, securities litigation, commercial law, bankruptcy and estates litigation. In those capacities, he has appeared on numerous motions, trials and appeals at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Divisional Court, the Federal Court and the Small Claims Court. He has also represented victims of abuse perpetrated at Indian Residential Schools, through the Independent Assessment Process ("IAP").
In 2012, Michael acted as second chair in a yearlong Aboriginal rights and historical flooding trial, which featured the calling of elders, other members of the First Nation community and experts, and was conducted as an electronic (paperless) fashion. He co-authored an article, published in The Litigator (June, 2013), entitled "E-Trials by fire: GAME ON!", which described the experience. Michael was also recently published in the September, 2014 edition of The Litigator, for his article entitled "Ontario Disability Support Plan, Ontario Words and Other Systems", which includes a discussion on structured settlements, claw backs for clients on social assistance and other welfare benefits, and other considerations when entering into settlement discussions. Michael was also the co-author (together with Susan Vella) of "Defence Strategies in Sexual Assault Claims: What Was Old is New Again", published in the September, 2015 edition of The Litigator. Michael is also the author of a Legal Practice and Procedure blog, designed to help young, new, and even more experienced, lawyers navigate through the complex practice and procedure encountered in civil litigation.
In 2015, Michael worked with Susan Vella, practice group leader of the sexual abuse civil litigation team, to obtain an important appellate decision (E.A. et al. v. Haroun, 2015 ONSC 5623, leave to appeal refused by 2016 ONSC 39 (Div. Ct.)) allowing 2 sisters who alleged they were sexually abused by their common uncle (but at different times, and not in each other’s presence) to proceed with their claims in a single action. The Court agreed that by proceeding in this manner, the claims will be litigated as efficiently as possible, and the plaintiffs (and other witnesses) will be shielded from the pain and stress of unnecessary repetitions of testimony.
Michael has applied his corporate, securities and commercial experience towards some of the firm's major cases in securities litigation, providing ongoing assistance and support throughout the process. By applying his unique perspective and broad range of experience, Michael is able to provide a unique paradigm through which to approach and manage these types of cases.
Michael obtained his Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario in 2005 and his LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2008. While attending law school, Michael worked as a division leader for the Community & Legal Aid Services Programme in the Youth & Education and Employment Law divisions where he represented clients at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the Toronto Small Claims Court, and the Ontario criminal courts.
Michael was called to the New York State Bar in March of 2009 and to the Ontario Bar in February of 2010.
Community Involvement & Interests
Michael has always placed a strong emphasis on volunteering in the community in various capacities. Since his call to the bar, Michael has applied his legal skills and training by volunteering as duty counsel at the Toronto Small Claims Court, as a coach and judge for student mock trial competitions, and as a lawyer for the Law Society's free Lawyer Referral Service.
In his spare time, Michael plays a variety of sports. His favourites include tennis, basketball, and golf. Michael also enjoys travelling and learning about other cultures and he tries to take advantage of these opportunities whenever they arise.
Areas of Practice
- Civil sexual and institutional abuse
- New York, 2009
- Ontario, 2010
- Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- LL.B. - 2008
- Honors: With Honours
- University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
- B.A. - 2005
- Honors: With Honours
- Major: Psychology
- "E-Trials by fire: GAME ON!" , The Litigator, June, 2013
- Ontario Disability Support Plan, Ontario Words and Other Systems , The Litigator, September, 2014
- Defence Strategies in Sexual Assault Claims: What Was Old is New Again , The Litigator, September, 2015
- Your First Civil Trial (YLD) - Speaker, Ontario Bar Association, 2014
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Canadian Bar Association
- The Advocate's Society
Pro Bono Activities
- Duty Counsel at the Small Claims Court, 2009 - 2011
- Lawyer Referral Service, 2009 - 2011