Quality and Fearlessness
In a review of the book, ‘Counsel for the Defence’ I am described as an a-list member of the defence bar (past and present) from across Canada.
To provide riveting accounts of the trials and tribulations faced by defence counsel, the book assembles a-list members of the defence bar mentioning 17 lawyers including Edward L. Greenspan, Q.C., Brian H. Greenspan, and David M. Cohn, Most of the authors provide detailed personal recollections of particular landmark Canadian criminal cases that posed them great challenges.
I have practiced at every level of Criminal Court in Ontario. I have mentored and advised young criminal lawyers on the law and cross-examination techniques and strategies.
I have lectured and authored for the Criminal Lawyers Continuing Legal Education program. I have spoken at the Advocate Society. I have written and been published in the Criminal Lawyer’s Association Newsletter, For The Defence. I have sat on panel discussions held by the Ontario Bar Association.
I subscribe to the notion that as a defence lawyer I wish to champion my client’s cause and ensure his or her rights are not wrongly invaded from any quarter.
I would describe myself as a fearless advocate for my client.
As defence counsel, I am the only person that is a buffer between the power of the police and government and my client’s rights. Some situations call for an aggressive stance while other situations require quiet strategy. There is more than one way to win a case.
Mr. Justice Moldaver (at the time an Ontario Court of appeal Judge, who in October, 2011 was appointed as a Judge to the Supreme Court of Canada) delivered a speech to the Justice Summit in 2006 blaming criminal defence counsel for clogging the Courts by bringing baseless Charter arguments and in other ways accused defence counsel for the problems with the system.
I responded to his criticism of criminal lawyers in an article published in the Criminal Lawyers association Magazine “For the Defence” . I wrote the attached article in response to Justice Moldaver’s speech.
You Retain Me, Not An Associate Or Partner
Criminal law requires communication between lawyer and client. I look after you personally. I will be present in Court on every significant date in your case, not an associate or partner. You have retained me whether your case in Toronto or elsewhere, not another lawyer in my association.
In 30 years of practice in Toronto and the surrounding areas, you would think one would have seen every case imaginable. However, I believe every case has a life of its own. There are variables in every case that always exist which make experience one of the most important factors. If you can’t think on your feet and turn 180 degrees you are not cut out to be a criminal lawyer. Experience allows that. To use an overworked phrase. “There is no substitute for experience.” The smallest detail in your case will not be overlooked. The disclosure required to be provided to me by the Crown attorney is reviewed and examined from every possible angle. Minor defects in the prosecution case often lead to major wins. Vigorous preparation plays a key role.