The Law Firm of Kalman Samuels, Q.C. & Associates s.e.n.c., was founded in Montreal in 1957 by Kalman Samuels, Q.C.. The firm was joined shortly thereafter by his wife and partner for the next half-a-century, Attorney Stella Samuels. Together, Mister and Mrs. Samuels became a pillar of the legal community in the Province of Quebec and gained prominence across Canada and North America as leaders in private international law. Through the years, well over a hundred attorneys have learned their trade within the walls of this firm, most receiving their initial training as interns working for Mr. and Mrs. Samuels.
The firm has produced numerous luminaries such as the Hon. Joseph R. Nuss, Justice, Court of Appeal of Quebec, the Hon. Paul Mayer, Superiour Court of Quebec, the Hon. Kathleen Weil, Member of the National Assembly (Minister of Justice, inter alia). In fact, it is safe to say that the many of the top family law attorneys in the Province of Quebec were trained by Kalman Samuels, Q.C. & Associates at some point in their careers.
Kalman Samuels, Q.C. himself was mentored by his uncle, the Hon. Harry Batshaw, who was the first Jewish Judge to be appointed to the Superior Court of Quebec. “Uncle Harry”, as he was affectionately referred to within our own walls, was appointed King’s Counsel, and was the Quebec Co-Chairman of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews. His brother, Kalman Samuels’ other uncle, was Manuel G. Batshaw, the founder the Batshaw Youth and Family Centres across Quebec.
With personal role models such as these, it is not surprising that Kalman Samuels, Q.C. became such an accomplished attorney with international recognition. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1973, and went on to hold countless positions of leadership, including but not limited to the posts of Honorary Consul for Yugoslavia in Montreal, Honorary Consul for Serbia in Montreal, Governor the American Association of Justice (AAJ); Fellow of International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Past Governor 2002 2004). American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Certified Fellow), Fondation du Barreau (Trustee), Fondation du Barreau (Governor), Jewish General Hospital Foundation (Trustee), University Club of Montreal (Board), Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (MAAA Board), Vermont Public Television (Director).
The popular saying that “behind every successful man stands a powerful woman” holds true in this case as well. While Kalman Samuels, Q.C. pleaded his cases and chaired his meetings on various boards, his wife, Attorney Stella Samuels, managed the office, took care of the clients, scheduled the meetings and the court dates, maintained the files, organized the staff and mentored the new attorneys all the while handling her own clients and becoming a leading attorney in the areas of estates and successions. Mrs. Samuels herself was one of the first female law students accepted into the faculty at the University of British Columbia, where she helped to pave the way for many future female jurists. To this day, senior attorneys of other law firms still enjoy surprising our junior attorneys after a period of hard negotiations by saying: “Oh, and by the way, please say ‘hello’ to Stella for me.” As it happens, she has personally trained a large number of today’s leaders in Montreal’s legal community.
As a top-name boutique law firm, Kalman Samuels, Q.C. and Associates attracted a large international clientele and was often the “go to” firm for high profile case. As such, the firm represented some of the survivors of the victims of the Air India Flight 182 bombing and Mohawk ironworkers who were injured while helping in wreckage of Twin Towers destroyed on September 11, 2001. The firm has successfully assisted in obtaining the largest monetary settlement in the history of the State of Florida pursuant to a tragic motor vehicle accident. As the board member and governor of several international family law associations, Kalman Samuels, Q.C. was the natural choice for referrals by foreign attorneys for any international family law cases that they may have. This is one of the ways in which the law firm acquired its expertise in the area of international private law, and its nickname as Quebec’s international family law firm.
As with medicine, the practice of law has become more and more specialized over the years. Whereas decades ago, generalist doctors and lawyers would handle everything under the sun, advancement has created a need to focus more. In the 1960’s & 1970’s, our attorneys practiced any and every kind of law that our clients would request. As the years progressed and the law became more complex, it became more and more important to focus on those areas of greatest competency, eventually leading to our current fields of practice, and a reputation as a leading family law firm.
Kalman Samuels, Q.C., passed away regrettably on December 31st, 2011, leaving behind his wife Stella Samuels, four children, nine grandchildren and a legacy as one of Quebec’s best-known jurists. He also left behind a leading law firm with many clients who had important cases that needed to be attended to. Mrs. Samuels selected Attorney Daniel Romano to become a partner, to manage the firm, and to continue the legacy of Kalman Samuels, Q.C.. Attorney Romano had completed his internship under the guidance of Mr. and Mrs. Samuels several years prior and was unquestionably committed to the clientele and to the firm. In the years since, thanks to a carefully selected and closely-knit team of attorneys and support staff, the Firm has maintained the same high standards of client representation, achieved remarkable successes and continues to be one of the most noteworthy firms in Quebec.
The law firm of Kalman Samuels, Q.C. and Associates Inc. was incorporated in 2013, and the trade name was simplified to “Kalman Samuels, Attorneys” in 2018. The firm also underwent a major overhaul in its file management systems and accounting systems, becoming one of the most technologically advanced small firms on the market, with a fully digitized data process and a unique, triple-entry bookkeeping method. Regrettably, the Courts and many other law firms still require paper in order to function, so we still print documents on a per-need basis. Since 2015, we have gladly tutored numerous young lawyers from outside of our office and have introduced them to our file management methods and will continue to do so in hopes of raising the quality of small-firm legal practice across the Province.
As we enter the 2020’s, the team at Kalman Samuels looks forward toward many more decades of exemplary service to our clients and to the advancement of Justice in Quebec, in Canada, and internationally.
The Law Firm of Kalman Samuels has produced many recognized leaders in the legal community. The following are four luminaries:
Hon. Kathleen Weil
Member of the National Assembly (2008-2020)
Minister of Justice (2008-2010), inter alia
Hon. Kathleen Weil studied at McGill University and received a bachelor’s degree in history and political sciences in 1978 and a degree in civil and common law in 1982 before doing her internship as an articling student for Kalman Samuels, Q.C. & Assoicates. She was admitted to the Bar of Quebec in 1983. She served as an official with Alliance Quebec, involved in challenging Bill 101 in court, and also lobbying against the Meech Lake Accord.
She was appointed the Minister of Justice in Quebec from 2008 to 2010. In 2010, Weil was appointed as Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities. Following the 2014 provincial election, she was appointed Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness.
She was reelected in the general election held on October 1, 2018 as a Member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. She has held multiple offices, including Vice-Chair of the National Assembly Delegation for Relations with Newfoundland and Labrador since October 22, 2019, official Opposition Critic for the Canadian Francophonie since July 15, 2019, amongst others.
Hon. Joseph R. Nuss
Justice, Court of Appeal of Quebec (1995-2009)
Hon. Joseph R. Nuss was born in Montreal in 1934. He studied at McGill University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in literature, political science and philosophy; he received his bachelor’s in arts in 1955 and he later received his bachelor’s in civil law in 1958. He was one of the early articling students to do his internship with the Law Firm of Kalman Samuels, Q.C. & Associates. Throughout his time at McGill, he was active in the debating society, of which he served as vice-president while Leonard Cohen was president. He received a ‘’Certificat d’Études Supérieures Européennes’’ in 1960 at ‘’Institut universitaire d’études européennes’’ (Torino, Italy). As a practicing lawyer he specialized in litigation, and appeared as counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court and all the Courts of Quebec as well as before federal and provincial administrative tribunals. He was also counsel before a number of Federal Commissions of Inquiry. The Honourable Joseph R. Nuss, Q.C. is a former Justice of the Quebec Court of Appeal, from 1995 to 2009 and heard cases involving commercial and financial matters of significant importance.
Hon. Paul Mayer
Superiour Court of Quebec
Hon. Paul Mayer obtained a Bachelor (honours) of Arts from Trent University in 1979, a Bachelor of Law from McGill University in Montreal in 1983, and a Doctorate in Law and Political Science of Aix-Marseilles in 1985. He was admitted to the Bar of Quebec in 1986 after having begun is career in law working as a student for the Law Firm of Kalman Samuels, Q.C. & Associates. He taught a course on commercial leases at the faculties of law of University of Montreal (1993) and McGill University (1995-1999).
He was recognized as a first-rank practitioner of commercial lease law with the mention “repeatedly recommended” by the Canadian legal directory, l’Expert. He was secretary of the Quebec Real Estate Brokers and Agents Association (OACIQ) from 1991 to 1994. He was also the chairman of the Board of the real estate brokerage indemnity fund from 2005 to 2008. In November 2006, he was appointed the Senior Ministerial Representative of the Federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development with respect to the issue of Nunavut devolution until his appointment to the bench.
He was appointed to the Superior Court on June 18, 2008. He has been appointed as a part-time member of the Specific Claims Tribunal since May 2016 and was re-appointed for a five-year term beginning on May 2018.
Attorney Rim Gtari, Ph.D
Refugee Protection Commissioner of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Attorney Rim Gtari holds a doctorate in civil law from the University of Ottawa (2006) and a master’s degree in political science from UQÀM (1998). She was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 2020. She is the recipient of the Paris Bar Medal (2006), awarded to the best doctoral thesis in the Graduate Studies in Law program at the University of Ottawa.
Attorney Rim Gtari has worked as a law professor at the University of Ottawa and as a lecturer at McGill University, UQÀM and UDEM (2007-2023). She has taught personal and family law, comparative law, immigration law and refugee law.
Her rich academic and professional background in Quebec law, comparative law and political science has allowed her to make rich contributions by publishing several articles in law and by the publication of her book at Presses Universitaires d’Aix-Marseille in 2015 on women’s equality in Tunisia.
Attorney Rim Gtari is often called upon to intervene in conferences and in the media, on issues related to women’s rights in Islamic law.
Attorney Rim Gtari was with Kalman Samuels, QC & Associates from 2021 to 2023, until her appointment as a Refugee Protection Board member of the Immigration and Refugee Board, the largest independent administrative tribunal in Canada. His practice focused primarily on family law, international family law, administrative law, immigration law and refugee law.