Practice Highlights

Richard Halpern is a senior lawyer acting exclusively for injured people in medical negligence cases, with a special focus on infants injured at or around the time of birth.  Richard is known across Canada for his expertise in birth injury cases.  He has more than 30 years of experience representing seriously injured people.

Richard has a detailed understanding of the highly technical medical issues, particularly relating to birth injury cases.  His experience allows him to provide meaningful advice and direction to families considering a medical negligence lawsuit following a review of the medical record.

Richard is known for tackling some of the most complex and challenging medical malpractice cases.  He has lectured and written extensively on matters concerned with obstetrics, the cause of newborn injury, medical malpractice cases more generally, and legal and trial strategies.  He has delivered more than 70 presentations to professional groups in the last decade.  One of his more recent papers is titled “Revisiting Intrapartum Pathways to Neonatal Neurologic Injury – A Lawyer’s View of the Medicine”.

In 2015 Richard was the recipient of the Award for Distinguished Service to the legal profession, conferred by his peers at the Ontario Bar Association.  Richard has been recognized by and listed in Best Lawyers in Canada.  He has been recognized in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.

Richard has acted in hundreds of medical malpractice cases.  He has achieved significant settlements for his clients, many exceeding $10,000,000, though past results are not necessarily indicative of future outcomes.  He has appeared in the Superior Court of Ontario and the Ontario Court of Appeal.  He is also acting in a number of medical malpractice cases in other Canadian Provinces.

Richard is currently a member of the Holland Group, a group that promotes reforms in medical malpractice cases aimed at increasing access to justice and timely and equitably resolution of medical malpractice claims.  The Holland Group is chaired by former Associate Chief Justice of Ontario Coulter Osborne.  Richard is also a member of a bench a bar committee established by the Ontario Court of Justice.  The members of this committee included judges and senior lawyers and the committee meets to look at reforms to improve the administration of justice.

Richard is a past President of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association.  He is a past member of the Judicial Advisory Committee on Judicial Appointments (GTA) appointed by the Federal Minister of Justice.  This committee evaluated candidates for appointment to the Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal.

In addition to his Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) and Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB), Richard earned a Masters Degree in Law (LLM) in Civil Litigation at Osgoode Hall Law School.  He is a member of the Advocates’ Society, the Ontario Trial Lawyers’ Association, the Ontario Bar Association and the American Association of Justice.

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Toronto (1979)
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of Windsor (1982)
  • Masters of Law (Civil Litigation), Osgoode Hall Law School (1998)

Professional Accreditations and Affiliations

  • 2015 LEXPERT Ranked Lawyer
  • 2016 Listed in Best Lawyers Canada
  • Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group of the AAJ
  • The Canadian Bar Association
  • The Advocates’ Society
  • American Association for Justice
  • Past President of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (2007 – 2008)
  • Member of the No-Fault Working Group of the Canadian Bar Association
  • Chair of the Automobile Insurance Working Group of the Ontario Bar Association
  • Member of the American Association for Access to Justice

Additional Information

Richard has been very actively involved in continuing legal education. In the past he has been a seminar leader in civil litigation for the Bar Admission Course. He has delivered presentations for the National Judicial Institute, OTLA, the OBA, the Law Society, Insight, Canadian Institute and other organizations on topics including trial advocacy, medical malpractice litigation, standard of care and causation in obstetrics litigation, auto insurance claims, and physician and hospital liability. Richard was a guest instructor for a number of years at the Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Papers presented to continuing legal education seminars include:

  • Intrapartum Pathways to Neonatal Neurologic Injury
  • Medical Malpractice: Legal Causation and Obstetrics
  • Crossing the Threshold
  • Demonstrative Evidence
  • Post-Operative Care
  • Making Effective Use of Health Care Experts
  • Litigating Auto Insurance Claims
  • Reducing the Risk of Obstetric Malpractice
  • Preventable Adverse Events: Medical Malpractice Litigation and Patient Safety
  • Civil Procedure and Evidence
  • The Plaintiff’s View of Auto Insurance Reform
  • Expert Reports

*Richard Halpern Law Professional Corporation

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  • Milne v. St. Joseph's Health Centre (Obstetrical Medical Negligence - Cerebral Palsy)

    In a judgement released September 25, 2009, Madam Justice Morissette found an obstetrical nurse and obstetrical resident responsible for the cerebral palsy of Jessy Gibson who was asphyxiated due to a delay in performing a Cesarean section. At this time it is one of the most significant infant medical malpractice cases in the country.

  • 2015 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory Rankings

    We are proud to have 14 of our lawyers selected as leading practitioners in their field.

    Each year Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory sends out a survey to all lawyers across the country asking who they would recommend as leaders in their respective field. Thomson, Rogers is proud to announce that 14 of our lawyers have been selected as Leading Practitioners for 2015. Congratulations to: Roger T. Beaman – Repeatedly Recommended in Property Development … Continued
  • Looking for Reform in All the Wrong Places

    I have read the article “Disjointed – A Look at Joint and Several Liability” published in the Q2-2014 MSA Quarterly Outlook Report. The author is the “Insurance Bureau of Canada”, but no single author takes “credit” for the article. The article continues on what I see as a repeating theme[1] from the insurance industry to … Continued
  • New SABS Transition Rules

    Richard Halpern, Personal Injury Lawyer at Thomson, Rogers, discussed the latest round of auto insurance reform, including new regulations affecting car accidents occurring on and after September 1, 2010. The old Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule has been replaced by an entirely new SABS. The transition from old to new is complex. This presentation set out … Continued
  • Unbillable Time

    Briefly Speaking

  • Auto Insurance – Restoring the Balance

    Claims Canada

  • Automobile Insurance Review Faces Rough Road

    The Toronto Star

  • Consumer Groups Call for Changes to Insurance Rules; Say Firms Profiting on the Backs of Consumers

    Brockville Recorder and Times

  • Walker’s slip-and-fall a lawyer’s pick-me-up

    The Globe and Mail |by Kirk Makin (quoting Richard Halpern and Stacey Stevens) |February 15, 2008

    For pedestrians staggering through an icy winter, it may be the worst of times. But for lawyers who sue on behalf of those who take injurious tumbles, business is brisk. The field is known as “slip-and-fall” litigation. Icy patches of sidewalk and craggy snow banks translate into lawsuits against municipalities or homeowners whose careless ways … Continued
  • Birth Trauma Litigation Complex, Controversial

    The Lawyers Weekly | April 29, 2016

    Every year a number of newborns, small but significant in absolute terms, suffer avoidable brain injury during labour and delivery caused by poor obstetrical care. The losses are serious, with many suffering profound disability from cerebral palsy. Many have winnable cases, yet few are pursued. More is needed to overcome the medical and legal obstacles … Continued
  • Major Accident Benefits Changes Come into Effect on June 1st, 2016

    Accident Benefits Summary Charts (for accident on or after June 1, 2016)

    To help those in Ontario understand the major automobile insurance changes and the new reduced accident benefits limits, Thomson, Rogers has prepared two useful accident benefits summary charts. The first chart: Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule Summary (for accidents on or after June 1, 2016) highlights the accident benefits available for each of the three categories of … Continued
  • Revisiting Intrapartum Pathways to Neonatal Neurologic Injury – A Lawyer’s View of the Medicine

    January 19, 2015

    Impaired oxygenation (hypoxia-ischemia) to the fetal brain during labour and delivery (intrapartum) is an important cause of neurologic injury in the newborn.  Determining whether neurologic injuries in affected babies may have been preventable by different intrapartum management of care begins by understanding the causal pathways to newborn neurologic injury.  There are many variables to be … Continued
  • Intrapartum Pathways to Neonatal Neurologic Injury – A Lawyer’s View

    OTLA Medical Malpractice Conference | January 29, 2014

    Newborn neurological injury due to trauma occurring in and around birth (peripartum) is often profoundly disabling. For affected infants and their families these injuries can be life-altering, resulting in unfathomable burdens. This paper explores the possible intrapartum pathways to neonatal neurologic injury and how some of the science and literature impact on the representation of … Continued
  • The Obstacles in Connecting Birth Trauma to Neurologic Injury & Building the Foundation of your Birth Trauma Case based on the Fetal Monitor Tracing

    The Birth Trauma Conference

  • Expert Evidence in Personal Injury Law – Panel Discussion

    Osgoode Certificate in Personal Injury Law & Practice

  • Newborn Neurological Injury and Litigation: Medical Legal Challenges to Causation

    Presented at the SickKids Brain Injury in Children conference on July 12, 2011.

  • Managing Risks in Maternity Care

    The Osgoode Certificate in Clinical Risk, Negligence and Claims Management in Health Care

  • Auto Insurance Reform 2010

    Navigating the New SABS: Practical Solutions Conference

  • The New Accident Benefits Schedule Transition Provisions

    Prepared by Richard C. Halpern of Thomson, Rogers© 2010

    The latest round of auto insurance reform will see new regulations affecting car accidents occurring on and after September 1, 2010.  The old SABS is being replaced by an entirely new SABS.   The transition from old to new will be complex.  This paper will set out some, but not all, of the transition rules and … Continued
  • Birth Trauma and the Duty of Care

    Presented at the OTLA 2010 Spring Conference on May 27 & 28, 2010 in Toronto

    Until the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Paxton v. Ramji all parties to a negligence claim arising out of birth trauma would have assumed that physicians and nurses owe a duty of care to a fetus subsequently born alive. They would have proceeded to address whether the standard of care had been breached, whether causation … Continued
  • Automobile Insurance: Beyond the New Brunswick Border

    Presented at the Canadian Bar Association - New Brunswick Branch

  • Ontario Proposed Auto Insurance Reforms (2010)

    Darcy Merkur & Richard Halpern, Ontario Proposed Auto Insurance Reforms (2010), presented at the Canadian Academy of Psychologists in Disability Assessment (CAPDA) Forum on the changes to Ontario auto insurance on January 8, 2010.

  • Preserving Access to Justice: Resisting the Push to Restrict Tort Rights

    Atlantic Provinces Trial Laywers Association Conference - Insurance Wars: Litigate to Win

  • Timing of Asphyxial Injury and Birth Trauma

    Obstetric Malpractice cases involving asphyxiated newborns present unique challenges to Plaintiffs’ counsel.  Standard of care experts will review the intrapartum clinical information to determine the time that delivery should have taken place in the absence of a breach of the standard of care.   Paper: Timing of Asphyxial Injury and Birth Trauma
  • Timing of Asphyxial and Birth Trauma

    Ontario Trial Lawyers Association - Advanced Medical Malpractice CLE

  • Overview of Proposed Auto Insurance Reform 2009

    Back to School Conference with Thomson, Rogers and the Toronto ABI Network

  • Medical Malpractice Damages Guardianship Issues

    Insight Information's Medical Malpractice and Liability Conference

  • Shoulder Dystocia

    University of Toronto's 4th Annual Obstetrical Malpractice: A Survival Guide for 2008 Conference

  • Hanke v. Resurfice “But For Is Back”

    Advocates' Society: Tricks of the Trade 2008 - Practical Strategies for Winning Jury Trials Conference