Our People

José Bento Rodrigues


José Bento Rodrigues is a litigator. He appears before the Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Court of Justice, Ontario Court of Appeal, and the Tax Court of Canada. He provides direct, practical and measured advice to his clients.

In court, he establishes credibility through preparation, thoroughness and a commanding knowledge of the law. He litigates complex cases with many moving parts that require a steady hand.

José Bento Rodrigues formerly articled at the Department of Justice and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Ottawa Law Review. While in law school he completed internships at the Tax Court of Canada, Ontario Court of Justice and at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.


LL.B., University of Ottawa
B.A., York University


The Advocates’ Society
Family Lawyers Association of Ontario
Canada Tax Foundation

michael paiva

Michael Paiva


Michael Paiva is a partner of the firm servicing clients from its Toronto and Waterloo Region offices. He is a fearless, dedicated and passionate lawyer focusing on commercial and municipal matters, including expropriation and construction matters.  He has successfully appeared before the Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Municipal Board and the Ontario Court of Appeal. Michael also provides integrated business law services with a focus on preventing litigation.

Michael employs a pragmatic and results-oriented approach to all matters and always considers his clients’ business operations. He delivers responsive and thorough service, leaving no stone unturned and making no compromises in advancing his clients’ interests.

Prior to forming Rodrigues Paiva LLP, Michael was an associate lawyer at one of Canada’s largest law firms.

Throughout law school, Michael worked as a property law course tutor, legal research assistant, advanced dispute resolution teaching assistant, and assistant editor of the Ottawa Law Review.  Prior to law school, he successfully defended his Master’s thesis on Canada-US trade in the Mulroney-Reagan era. His research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). He also obtained his Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts.


J.D., University of Ottawa
M.A., University of Waterloo
B.Ed., University of Western Ontario
B.A. (Hons.), University of Waterloo


Ontario Expropriation Association

Matthew Schleifer

Associate Lawyer

Matthew is an associate lawyer at Rodrigues Paiva LLP practicing family law.

Prior to joining the firm, Matthew worked as Duty Counsel in Simcoe County specializing in Family and Criminal Law, providing advice to clients bringing motions in Superior Court, conducting case conferences, and contested bail hearings. Matthew has developed his skills in arguing motions and advocating for clients in conferences and trials.

Matthew Received his J.D. from Robson Hall and was called to the bar in Ontario in 2016. While at Robson Hall, he completed course work in both French and English and competed in the Laskin Moot, an annual national bilingual moot court competition in Canadian administrative and constitutional law. He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accountancy from Concordia University.

He is a member of the Law Society of Ontario.


J.D., Robson Hall
B.Comm, Concordia University

Gwen Croser

Associate Lawyer

Gwen is an Associate Lawyer focusing on municipal and commercial matters. She has a client-first approach and provides clients with timely and accessible advice. Her role is to push matters forward and to guide clients through the legal process while providing strategic and informed advice. 

Before joining the firm Gwen completed her articling term at a large Crown Corporation and has many years of experience providing clients from the horse racing industry with accounting and taxation advice and services. Gwen has led educational seminars on the economics of racehorse ownership for several years at racetracks throughout Ontario.

Gwen received her Juris Doctor from Western in 2016 and prior to that earned her Honours Bachelor of Arts with Distinction from the University of Guelph. As a law student she received the Ontario Expropriation Association Bursary in 2016 for the best essay submitted in an open competition. In addition to finishing as a finalist in the Lenczner Slaght Advocacy Competition at Western, she received the Marion Mackenzie Award for Excellence in History at the University of Guelph.


J.D., Western University
B.A. (Hons.), University of Guelph


Law Society of Ontario, Ontario Bar Association, Ontario Expropriation Association

Kristen Tannas

Associate Lawyer

Kristen is an associate lawyer practicing family law. Kristen graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 2019. Before joining Rodrigues Paiva LLP, Kristen articled with the Family Responsibility Office, where she litigated support enforcement matters before the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice.

While in law school, Kristen volunteered with Downtown Legal Services, the Family Law Project and the Tax Advocacy Project, where she assisted clients while gaining experience in litigation, negotiation and legal research.

Before attending law school, Kristen obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics from Queen’s University.


J.D., University of Toronto
Hons B.A. (economics), Queen’s University

Dominika Parker

Law Clerk

Dominika Parker is a law clerk at Rodrigues Paiva LLP. Her area of specialty is family law, including divorce, custody and access, property, support and domestic contracts.

Prior to working at Rodrigues Paiva LLP, Ms. Parker worked at the Superior Court of Justice (family law) in Toronto and was a law clerk to a family lawyer at a prestigious Toronto law firm.

Since Ms. Parker’s entire career has been spent working in the field of family law, she has gained a deep understanding of family law rules and court procedures. Her extensive knowledge and experience ensure that the client files run smoothly and efficiently from start to finish.

Ms. Parker is involved in all aspects of a client and file management, including preparation of financial statements, disclosure briefs, drafting and filing of court pleadings and the day-to-day interaction with clients.

Ms. Parker speaks English and Polish.


B.A. (Hons) Law and Society, York University
Court and Tribunal Agent, Humber College


Kaitlyn Gillen

Licensed Paralegal & Law Clerk

Kaitlyn Gillen is a paralegal and law clerk at Rodrigues Paiva LLP, assisting with the firm’s commercial, municipal and business matters out of the Kitchener office.

Kaitlyn is a graduate of the Paralegal program at Conestoga College, where she was awarded the Silver Medal for completing the program with the second highest average in her class.

Prior to her paralegal studies, Kaitlyn also studied Criminal Justice and Public Policy at the University of Guelph.

Ms. Gillen is involved in all aspects of client and file management, including preparation of disclosure briefs, drafting and filing of court pleadings and the day-to-day interactions with clients.


B.A. (Hons) Criminal Justice and Public Policy, University of Guelph
Paralegal, Conestoga College

Elaine Mamak

Legal Administrative Assistant

Elaine Mamak joined Rodrigues Paiva LLP in 2015. She provides ongoing support for the firm’s clients and lawyers, and oversees general day-to-day office management. Ms. Mamak ensures that the firm’s offices are running smoothly and efficiently.

Prior to joining Rodrigues Paiva LLP, Ms. Mamak gained 11 years of experience as Human Resources specialist.

Ms. Mamak speaks English and Portuguese.


B.A. Psychology, Catholic University of Minas Gerais
M.B.A., Una University

Karoline de Carvalho

Legal Assistant

Karoline de Carvalho joined Rodrigues Paiva LLP in January 2018. She is responsible for the administrative duties of the firm and is instrumental in overseeing the firm’s day-to-day affairs, including scheduling appointments, following up with clients, and the organization of documents.  She takes pride in her role and loves dealing with clients to assist them in the best way possible.

Prior to joining Rodrigues Paiva LLP, Ms. Carvalho worked as an administrative assistant. She formerly attended university in Brazil and looks forward to furthering her education in 2019.

Ms. Carvalho is fluent in English and Portuguese.

Sara Barbosa

Legal Administrative Assistant

Sara Barbosa is a legal administrative assistant at Rodrigues Paiva LLP.  She provides ongoing support to the firm’s clients and lawyers, and oversees general day-to-day office management. Ms. Barbosa ensures that the firm’s offices are running smoothly and efficiently.

Ms. Barbosa has a passion for time and task management. She empowers the Rodrigues Paiva LLP team by keep their days flowing softly and as stress-free as possible, and ensures that client communications are clear and effective.

Prior to joining the firm Ms. Barbosa studied Informatics and has a strong background in hardware and software computer technologies and systems.


Seneca College, Executive Assistant Certificate (pending)