Three of the best in Family Law.

John T. SyrtashJohn Tibor Syrtash B.A. (Hon.) LL.B.

John practises in the areas of family law and civil litigation. He is counsel to the law firm of Garfin Zeidenberg LLP, Toronto, Canada. Mr. Syrtash is a senior trial lawyer and also conducts a family law mediation and arbitration practice at the firm.

A former adjunct Professor of Law at the Union Institute (Ohio), John is the author of Religion and Culture in Family Law, Butterworth's, 1992. He is currently completing the second edition. He is a regular columnist on family law in both the Canadian Jewish News and B'nai Brith's "Tribune" for almost two decades, as well at Ontario’s The Lawyers Weekly. John also edits and publishes the Syrtash Family Law Netletter on Quicklaw and has created Canada's national "Spousal Support Database" in partnership with the Quebec government and others, as part of his Nationwide Family Law Research Service (

John's dedication and hard work led to the "Get" legislation, amendments to Canada's Divorce Act and Ontario's Family Law Act, designed to help spouses obtain a religious divorce.  Most recently, John presented this Canadian model to the Israeli rabbinical courts, the Prime Minister's Office and their Justice Ministry officials, explaining how the Canadian innovations helped lower the number of agunot among Canadian Jews.  Details are contained in this article from the Jerusalem Post entitled "Canada to the Rescue of Israel's agunot".

An award-winning, dedicated and tenacious advocate with training in advanced mediation, John is devoted to assisting his clients in obtaining excellent results. John has also been retained by the Department of Justice for the Government of Canada to provide recommendations on amendments to Canada's spousal and child support laws. He is also a featured speaker across Canada on family law issues. This includes a number of Law Schools conferences and Canada's bi-annual National Family Law Program sponsored by the Canadian Bar Association/[Canadian]Federation of Law Societies, for whom he has presented published researched papers on a broad spectrum of topics for other family law lawyers. He also writes for the National Post, Sun Media (24 Hours) and has appeared on C.B.C., C.T.V. and, Global to comment on family law matters.

Phone:  (416) 642-5410
Fax:  (416) 512-9992


Marlene KazmanMarlene Kazman B.Sc., LL.B.

Marlene is a senior associate at Garfin Zeidenberg LLP. She practices litigation with particular emphasis on matrimonial law. Marlene handles the full spectrum of family law matters including separation and other domestic agreements, divorce proceedings, property division and contested custody disputes. Marlene attends regularly at family law court case conferences, motions, and at mediations. Marlene has successfully resolved numerous matrimonial disputes on behalf of her clients.

Marlene has been a frequent contributor to the National Credit News providing articles on various subjects related to litigation, collection and debt enforcement. Marlene has also lectured at the Cannexus National Career Development Conference in Ottawa, in January, 2013.


  • University of Western Ontario (LL.B., 1991)
  • University of Toronto (B.Sc. (Honours), 1986)


  • Canadian Bar Association — Ontario
  • Woman’s Law Association of Ontario

Telephone:  (416) 642-5416

Rodica DavidCounsel Rodica David, Q.C. (Ret.)

Rodica David Q.C joined Garfin Zeidenberg as counsel on October 1, 2014. She is now retired. Rodica is a pioneer among female barristers and forged the way for the many women lawyers that followed her. She graduated from University of Toronto, Faculty of Law in 1968 and was called to the Bar in 1970. In 1982 she was appointed Queen’s Counsel. She is formerly the principal of the boutique family law firm of David Barristers Professional Corporation which she established in 1973.

Her accomplishments include being an original member of the Williston committee that revised the Rules resulting in the present Rules of Civil Procedure, a former director of the Advocates Society and chair of its Family Law Committee, a former member of the executive of the Ontario Bar Association and of the Family Law Section of that association, an instructor in the Bar Admission Course both in Family Law and advanced Family Law, a Dispute Resolution Officer in the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, and a co-chair of the University of Toronto Tribunal. She has published extensively in the field of family law. She has participated in hundreds of continuing education programs for the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Advocates Society, and numerous other legal and community groups. She is able to converse in French and Romanian.

Telephone: 416 923 7407 ext 227

Garfin Zeidenberg LLP

Book - Religion and Culture in Canadian Family Law

“Religion & Culture in Canadian Family Law”
by J. Syrtash
Published by Butterworths in 1992, this is the only book of its kind in Canada by critically acclaimed author John T. Syrtash. It received rave reviews at the time and is only available at public and law libraries across the country.

Nothing on this website should be relied upon as legal advice. All information on this website is general in nature and neither Garfin Zeidenberg LLP nor John T. Syrtash shall be held legally liable in the event that any party relies on any information recited herein to their detriment. All readers are strongly advised to seek the counsel of a highly experienced family law lawyer in their jurisdiction before taking any steps in respect of their questions or problems.