2012 Precedent Setter Award Winner: Colleen Caza

Introducing Colleen Caza, a lawyer who stands out
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on print

Colleen Caza

The Altruist

  • Associate at Goldstein DeBiase Manzocco
  • Called to the bar in 2002
  • Past president of Essex Law Association
  • Legal Assistance of Windsor board member
  • Girl Guides of Canada leader
  • Guest lecturer and former instructor of civil trial advocacy at Windsor Law

One December evening, a few years ago, personal injury lawyer Colleen Caza found herself at a client’s doorstep, anonymously dropping off a basket of Christmas gifts.

Her client had suffered a head injury at work and now his entire family was living off his wife’s minimum-wage job. Caza was worried the family’s daughter — the same age as one of her own — would find nothing under the tree.

This is the kind of compassion Caza, a former youth worker, brings to her job, volunteer time and family life.

Working in Windsor, where one in 10 families lives below the poverty line, Caza always sees people who need help. “A lot of my clients had good jobs and then disability or mental illness intervenes and suddenly they’re lining up at the Sally Ann for sandwiches at lunchtime,” says the 39-year-old.

While president of the Essex Law Association in 2010, she implemented the Windsor Lawyers Feed the Hungry program, where lawyers and their families and friends donate the cost of a meal and serve food at the downtown mission twice a month. Caza still runs the program and has also received a grant from Pepsi to give 40 elementary school students food packages on Friday afternoons to feed their families over the weekend.

Creating dedicated family time for her girls, aged three, six and nine, is a challenge, but she and her husband have a secret weapon: camping. “Every season we go to our trailer in Amherstburg at a Yogi Bear Park,” she says, chuckling. “There are no distractions so we do a better job of spending time with the kids.”