Joanna Harris practices primarily in family law. She is located in Miller Thomson's Vaughan office and regularly meets with clients in our Toronto office. Joanna offers her clients the skills and knowledge necessary to resolve the legal issues related to separation, divorce, custody and access, spousal and child support, equalization of property, as well as international family law issues (including Hague Convention matters).
When child related matters are involved, Joanna’s approach is child focused and every reasonable attempt is made towards resolving contentious issues without protracted litigation.
Joanna has experience working on matters that involve the complex intersection of family law and business, including working closely with valuators and accountants. Joanna also has experience working on high conflict custody and access cases, including cases involving court appointed assessors.
Joanna has authored and co-authored several book chapters and articles, particularly on the issue of children’s evidence. Prior to joining Miller Thomson, Joanna was a judicial clerk at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto and practiced family law in Toronto at two leading firms.
Professional achievements & leadership
- Recipient, David Sabbath Award in Children’s Law, 2005, for attaining the highest standing in Children’s Law
- Recipient, Lang Michener Award in Contracts Law, 2003, for attaining the highest standing in Contracts Law
- Alfred Mamo and Joanna Harris, “Children’s Evidence” in Harold Niman and Anita Volikis eds. Evidence in Family Law (Toronto: Canada Law Books, 2010).
- George Karahotzitis, Patrick Schmidt, and Joanna Harris, “Exclusionary Issues” in Harold Niman and Anita Volikis eds. Evidence in Family Law (Toronto: Canada Law Books, 2010).
- “Cannabis and Family Law”, Canadian Family Law Matters 376, February 2019
- “Emmerson v. Emmerson: Financial Misrepresentation Creates a Spousal Support Obligation”, 33.6 Money and Family Law p. 45, June 2018
- Nicholas Bala and Joanna Harris, “Parental Relocation: Applying the Best Interests of the Child Test in Ontario”, 22.2 Canadian Journal of Family Law 127, 2006
- Nicholas Bala, Victoria Talwar and Joanna Harris, “The Voice of Children in Canadian Family Law Cases”, 24.3 Canadian Family Law Quarterly 221, 2005
- Alfred Mamo and Joanna Harris, “Children’s Evidence” (Paper presented at the 2011 OBA Institute of Continuing Legal Education: Family Law Boot Camp, Toronto, February 4, 2011).
- Patrick Schmidt and Joanna Harris, “Expert Reports” (Paper presented at the Law Society of Upper Canada: 3rd Annual Family Law Summit, Toronto, June 11, 2009).
- George Karahotzitis and Joanna Harris, “Family Law Rules: Bad Faith and Interim Disbursements” (Paper presented at the Law Society of Upper Canada, Continuing Legal Education: Family Law Now: Offers to Settle and Costs, Toronto, May 22, 2008).
- Nicholas Bala and Joanna Harris, “The Law of Parental Relocation in Ontario: Challenges in Applying the Best Interests of the Child Test” (Paper presented at the Ontario Bar Association, Family Law Program, Toronto, April 27, 2005).
- Nicholas Bala and Joanna Harris, “The Voice of Children In Canadian Family Law Cases” (Paper presented at the National Judicial Institute: Family Law Program, Vancouver, February 9, 2005).
- Nicholas Bala and Joanna Harris, “Judicial Control of Collaborative Family Law Separation Agreements: Good Faith, Non-Disclosure, Miglin, the Guidelines & Best Interests” (Paper presented at the Law Society of Upper Canada, Continuing Legal Education: Collaborative Family Law Practice, Toronto, November 12, 2004).
- Volunteer, Pro Bono Law Ontario’s Legal Medical Partnership for children at Holland Bloorview Kid’s Rehabilitation Hospital
- Ontario Bar Association
- Canadian Bar Association
- York Regional Law Association
- The Advocates’ Society
Bar admissions & education
- LL.M., Osgoode Hall, 2010
- Judicial Clerk to the Justices of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Toronto, Ontario, 2006
- Ontario Bar, 2006
- LL.B., Queen’s University, Faculty of Law, 2005
- B.A., Nipissing University, 2002