About us


John 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 (www.spousalsupport.com).

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) 886-0359
Fax:  (416) 512-9992
E-mail:  jsyrtash@gzlegal.com

Melissa Stamkos, J.D.

Melissa was born in Toronto and grew up in the City of Markham. Prior to her legal studies, she graduated with an honors degree in Business Administration from York University. She thereafter attended the University Of Detroit Mercy School Of Law in Detroit, Michigan, where she graduated in 2010 with a Juris Doctor degree.

While at the University of Detroit Mercy, Melissa served as the Executive Editor of the Law Review, and was notably selected for publication on two occasions. Melissa has always had a particular passion for Sports and the Arts. She grew up playing and coaching competitive soccer for the Unionville Milliken Soccer Club and she was also a member of the York University Varsity Women’s Soccer Team. After graduating from law school, Melissa spent considerable time travelling and working in Los Angeles, as a member of the management team for a Canadian pop recording artist.

Melissa became a member of the New York State Bar in 2011 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2012. She is currently an active member of both the Young Lawyers and Sports & Entertainment Sections of the American Bar Association, and is also a member of the Macedonian Canadian Lawyers Association in Ontario.  Melissa currently practices in the areas of Civil and Commercial Litigation, Landlord and Tenant Disputes, and Wills and Estates.  As a lawyer licensed to practice in both Canada and the United States, Melissa aspires to broaden her experience in cross-border transactions and international law.

Practice Areas:

  • Civil & Commercial Litigation
  • Landlord & Tenant Disputes
  • Wills & Estates

Marlene 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
E-mail:  kazman@gzlegal.com


Ailin He, LL.B., MSc

Ailin practices in the areas of family law and litigation. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2020 and joined Garfin Zeidenberg LLP as an associate after training with the firm. She grew up in Toronto and attended Branksome Hall. After graduating, she enrolled in the University of Warwick where she earned her Bachelor of Laws degree. During law school, she interned at two international law firms in Hong Kong where she assisted clients with their Initial Public Offering transactions. She also holds a Master of Science from the London School of Economics. 

Outside of the office, Ailin devotes her time to volunteering with the Community Family Services of Ontario offering legal assistance to the Chinese community. She also enjoys playing squash, exploring history, and spending time with her cats.

Practice Areas:

  • Civil & Commercial Litigation
  • Family Law

Ailin is able to offer legal services in both English and Mandarin.

 Telephone: (416) 642-5424                                                                                                                                                                               Fax: (416) 512-9992                                                                                                                                                                                         E-mail: ailinh@gzlegal.com

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