Criminal defence attorney Cassandra DeMelo founded DeMelo Law as a means of ensuring that all individuals across London and Southwestern Ontario are represented fairly before the courts. Learn more about the firm below, or contact us to get started immediately.

About Cassandra

She/Her

Founding Lawyer

Cassandra DeMelo is a native of London, Ontario, who is fluent in both Portuguese and Spanish. After receiving her undergraduate degree at Ryerson University in Criminal Justice, she returned to her hometown for law school. She received her Juris Doctor from Western University. She thanks the Legal Aid clinic at Western, Community Legal Services, for the fantastic training she was given by them as a student.

After law school, she articled with Lerners LLP. Since being admitted to the Ontario Bar in 2013, she has practiced exclusively in criminal law – a life-long aspiration for her. Cassandra is honoured to be serving her hometown as a criminal defence attorney.

Cassandra recently finished her Masters of Law at Western University on the issue of mental health and bail hearings. She is currently a PhD student at Western Law, focusing on drug reform. She is also the President of the London Criminal Lawyers’ Association, and Vice President for the Criminal Lawyers’ Association. She is on various committees around London, including St. Joseph’s Hospice.

When Cassandra isn’t practicing law, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Josh, who also owns his own business as a Personal Trainer. She is an avid dancer, loves to travel the world, and enjoys spending time with her large Portuguese family.

About Katie

She/Her

Senior Associate Lawyer

Katie Heathcote is a native of Windsor, Ontario. She studied Criminology, Sociology, and French at the University of Windsor, graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Arts. Katie earned a Canadian law degree at the University of Windsor and an American law degree at the University of Detroit Mercy in 2017. In law school, Katie focused her studies in criminal law and volunteered at the Community Legal Aid Clinic where she honed in on her criminal advocacy skills.

Katie worked as an articling student at a well-known criminal defence firm in Windsor and was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in June of 2018. Since this time, she has worked as an associate lawyer at DeMelo Law.

Katie is the London Regional Director of the provincial Criminal Lawyers’ Association and the Social Director of the London Criminal Lawyers’ Association.  Katie also sits on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of London and Area, is a member of the Governance Committee for that organization and is a dedicated mentor.

Outside of practising law, Katie enjoys cooking, travelling, spending time with friends, family and her dog, Checky.

About Katie

She/Her

Senior Associate Lawyer

Katie Heathcote is a native of Windsor, Ontario. She studied Criminology, Sociology, and French at the University of Windsor, graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Arts. Katie earned a Canadian law degree at the University of Windsor and an American law degree at the University of Detroit Mercy in 2017. In law school, Katie focused her studies in criminal law and volunteered at the Community Legal Aid Clinic where she honed in on her criminal advocacy skills.

Katie worked as an articling student at a well-known criminal defence firm in Windsor and was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in June of 2018. Since this time, she has worked as an associate lawyer at DeMelo Law.

Katie is the London Regional Direction of the provincial Criminal Lawyers’ Association and the Social Director of the London Criminal Lawyers’ Association.  Katie also sits on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of London and Area, is a member of the Governance Committee for that organization and is a dedicated mentor.

Outside of practising law, Katie enjoys cooking, travelling, spending time with friends, family and her dog, Checky.

About Alex

She/Her

Senior Associate Lawyer

Alexandra Cardella is a native of Windsor, Ontario. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in English and Political Science, then attended at Dalhousie University’s Rowe School of Business where she graduated with a Bachelor of Management. Alex received her Juris Doctor from Western University, where she focused her studies on Criminal Law and volunteered her time at the Community Legal Services clinic.

Alex completed her articles at a prominent criminal defence law firm in Windsor and continued with that firm as an associate lawyer after her call to the bar in June of 2018. In February of 2022, Alex joined the DeMelo Law team.

In her free time Alex enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and taking road trips with a good playlist or podcast. She also enjoys staying active and will be participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer this summer.

About Zoë

She/Her

Associate Lawyer

Zoë Busuttil has been living in London, Ontario, for the last year. Zoë grew up in Ottawa, Ontario and is fluent in French.

Zoë received her Juris Doctor from Queen’s University, where she was the recipient of the Bayne Sellar Ertel Carter Award for academic excellence in criminal law courses.

During law school, Zoë was heavily involved with the Queen’s Prison Law Clinic (QPLC). While at QPLC, she won multiple trials in Disciplinary Court, and successfully represented clients before the Parole Board of Canada.

Along with serving individual clients, Zoë was involved in QPLC’s strategic litigation. She conducted research for QPLC’s intervention at the Supreme Court of Canada in Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65. She also assisted with Judicial Reviews in the Federal Court and complaints before the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Before law school, she was a competitive soccer player. Outside of practicing law, Zoë enjoys staying active by running and hiking the many trails throughout Southwestern Ontario.

About Julianna

She/Her

Associate Lawyer

Julianna Schiller grew up in London, Ontario. She majored in Criminology at the University of Windsor with a double minor in Psychology and Economics, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 2018. During her undergrad she began pursuing her passion for criminal law by volunteering for the John Howard Society. She returned home to attend law school at Western University, receiving her Juris Doctor in 2021. Throughout law school she focused mainly on criminal law and spent two years working and volunteering at the Community Legal Services clinic on campus where she was able to further work on her criminal advocacy skills.

Julianna has aimed to be a criminal defence lawyer since high school and is very excited to hold this role with DeMelo Law.

In her free time Julianna enjoys hiking, kickboxing, and spending time with her cat Edgar, and is an avid music fan who loves to catch local indie shows whenever she can.

About Tayzia

She/Her

Articling Student 2022/2023

Tayzia Collesso made London her home after she completed her undergraduate degree at Western University in 2017. She graduated with an Honours Specialization in Psychology and will be entering into her third year at Western Law this fall. Thus far, Tayzia has dedicated her legal studies to the field of criminal law and has been involved with both the Community Legal Services clinic and the Ontario Court of Justice Placement program. She is also the VP of Communications for the Black Law Students’ Association – Western Chapter.

During her free time, Tayzia enjoys playing soccer, going to the beach and spending time with her friends and family in Guelph.

About Aiden

He/Him

Office Manager & Paralegal

Aiden Ross is a newcomer to London. He studied Criminal Justice and Public Policy at the University of Guelph and went on to Conestoga College where he took the Paralegal Program. He has previously worked for defence counsel in Kitchener, Ontario where he discovered his passion for criminal law.

When he’s not in the office, Aiden enjoys, reading, hiking, and playing board games.

About Haley

She/Her

Office Assistant

Haley Moir calls London, Ontario home. She studied Public Relations at Conestoga College in 2012 but decided to pursue a diploma in Paralegal studies, as she has always been passionate about Criminal and Social Justice. She graduated the program with distinction and is thrilled to be working in the industry.

Outside of work, Haley enjoys spending time with her two young boys, snowboarding and traveling.

Fair Representation in the Courts

Cassandra has a reputation for fighting vigorously for her clients, and for recognizing that a criminal charge does not define an individual.

Community Legal Involvement

Cassandra has worked tirelessly with the Community Legal Services clinic at Western University, as both a student and Review Counsel.

You hope to never need the advice of a criminal defence lawyer. But if you do, you will be glad you called us.