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Thursday, September 21, 2023 @ 10:26 AM

B.C. Court of Appeal: Death of woman with Down syndrome warrants harsher sentence | Kate McInnes

On the morning of Oct. 13, 2018, emergency services were called to Astrid Dahl’s Port Coquitlam residence. Inside, they found the body of 54-year-old Florence (Flo) Girard. At her death, Flo weighed just 51 pounds; the medical examiner who performed her autopsy described her appearance as “emaciated” and “almost skeletal.” The cause of death was severe malnutrition, which was explained to the court as a slow, preventable process that may occur over the course of several months and can be treated with timely medical attention. ... [read more]

Thursday, September 21, 2023 @ 10:10 AM

Ontario Court of Appeal reviews standard for assessing ineffective counsel Finger

Most criminal law practitioners work diligently to secure the best possible outcome for the client. Sometimes, client expectations are not met. It is increasingly common to see disgruntled clients refusing to accept personal responsibility and putting the blame for an unfortunate outcome on their trial counsel. ... [read more]

Thursday, September 21, 2023 @ 8:58 AM

Heinen Hutchinson Robitaille hires associate

Henein Hutchison Robitaille LLP welcomed Taylor Wormington to its criminal litigation team. ... [read more]

Wednesday, September 20, 2023 @ 2:02 PM

Appeal Court offers roadmap for dealing with stereotypical reasoning Stereotype

A review of many Court of Appeal decisions in sexual assault cases recently shows a surprising similarity in the grounds advanced for appeal. These oft-repeated grounds include (1) a reliance by the judge on myths and stereotypes in assessing the credibility of an appellant’s evidence, (2) improper assessment of reasonable doubt due to uneven scrutiny of the witnesses’ evidence; and (3) ineffective assistance of counsel. ... [read more]

Wednesday, September 20, 2023 @ 1:15 PM

Acquittal highlights need for police to learn about immunity at drug overdose scenes: lawyer Pierre Hawkins, The John Howard Society of Saskatchewan.

Police forces need to educate officers on “Good Samaritan” laws, which protect people seeking help for those experiencing drug overdoses from being arrested for carrying illegal narcotics, themselves, say lawyers behind the acquittal of a man in Saskatchewan. ... [read more]

Wednesday, September 20, 2023 @ 10:15 AM

New judge appointed to Ontario Court of Justice

The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General announced the appointment of Justice Terry Peter Waltenbury to the Ontario Court of Justice, effective Sept. 28. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 @ 1:41 PM

Trans Mountain decision tests mens rea in political arena Pickets

Whenever we read a crime novel or watch a television program of this genre, the underlying question to be answered is, “Whodunnit?” The print or visual media rarely focus on a much more important question, “Why did the crime occur?” ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 @ 1:33 PM

Elimination of Alberta prosecutors’ triage protocol raising concerns Graham Johnson

The organization representing Crown attorneys in Alberta is raising alarm bells about recent changes to a triage protocol which emphasized a focus on serious and violent crimes, saying it has the potential to increase stress on the criminal justice system. ... [read more]

Monday, September 18, 2023 @ 11:25 AM

Citing problematic jury instructions, Ontario’s top court orders new trial for men convicted of sexual assault John Rosen

Nearly three years ago, two young men were convicted of one count each of sexual assault against a female complainant based on events that occurred at a party in a hotel room. But in a ruling released on Sept. 11, the Ontario Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for the men identified as U.K. and R.P. in the decision as a result of problematic instructions the trial judge provided to the jury. ... [read more]

Monday, September 18, 2023 @ 11:17 AM

Nunavut lawyer leading mental health support service draws from experience John MacLean, Nunavut Lawyers Assistance Program.

Nunavut lawyer John MacLean is intimately familiar with the unique challenges of living and working in the territory. Having been practising there for 13 years now, he knows about the depression, the anxiety and the burnout that can result from feelings of isolation; job stress; long hours; and the departure of valued colleagues. But the 42-year-old is at the fore in doing something about it. ... [read more]