Criminal Law

All aspects of criminal procedure and jurisprudence, including related social issues

BARE BONES BRIEFS: “Most positively reviewed” lawyer faces new misconduct allegations | Law firm openly adopts slippery slope | Calling colleague “pathetic human” is professional misconduct | FCA boosts climate litigation | FC certifies “older inmates” class action

By Julius Melnitzer | January 31, 2024 SAMFIRU TO FACE MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS IN ALBERTA Lior Samfiru, the Toronto-based national co-managing partner of employment law boutique Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, a firm that claims to be the “most positively reviewed employment law firm in Canada”, must now contend with allegations of professional misconduct in Alberta in addition […]

Knock at your door: why the police can make themselves at home

By Yasmina Aldohan | September 20, 2023 The Supreme Court of Canada’s 2022 split decision in R. v. Stairs may well have the unfortunate consequence of allowing police responding to a call from a private residence too much latitude in making themselves at home when they get there. Five members of the court ruled that […]

OCA orders new trial for accused whose lawyer ‘conscripted him into assisting his own prosecution’

The Ontario Court of Appeal said counsel’s incompetence was ‘pervasive.’ By Julius Melnitzer | December 31, 2022 The Ontario Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial for an accused whose lawyer, Toronto’s Janice R. Johnson, a 35-year veteran of the criminal bar, “conscripted [him] into assisting his own prosecution.” The OCA’s reasons are damning. […]

OCA expands grounds for reversal of HIV-related non-disclosure sexual assault convictions

Wayne Cunningham says Rubara goes beyond existing scientific consensus By Julius Melnitzer | October 28, 2022 The Ontario Court of Appeal has overturned a six-year-old aggravated sexual assault conviction of a man who did not disclose his HIV-positive status to a sexual partner of three months’ standing. The decision in R. v. Rubara expands on the court’s […]

LSO revokes license of ‘ungovernable’ Hamilton lawyer

Gavin MacKenzie says a penalty for ungovernability other than revocation is hard to justify By Julius Melnitzer | October 24, 2022 In a rare finding, the Law Society Tribunal has revoked the license of Hamilton lawyer Gerald Culliton on the ground that he was “ungovernable.” “Often, ungovernable lawyers are found guilty of other serious professional […]

Trial judge may consider accused’s Indigeneity in criminal records admissibility determination: OCA

Decision dispels controversy about whether Gladue principles apply to trial process By Julius Melnitzer | September 30, 2022 The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that trial judges may consider an accused’s Indigeneity in determining whether their criminal records are admissible in cross-examination. “This is an important and helpful legal precedent on an issue that […]

Female officer’s strip search of male lawful in ‘exigent circumstances’: Ontario Court of Appeal

Michelle Psutka of Scott Fenton Barristers By Julius Melnitzer | September 19, 2022 The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that the strip search of a male accused in the presence of a female officer did not violate the accused’s Charter rights because the search took place in “exigent circumstances.” “The Court of Appeal’s reasons […]

Ontario Court of Appeal catches up with HIV science in voiding decade-old sexual assault conviction

Decision highlights need for broader approach for HIV nondisclosure conviction reviews: Colleen McKeown of Daniel Brown Law LLP. BY Julius Melnitzer | September 6, 2022 Relying on new scientific evidence, the Ontario Court of Appeal has overturned the 2013 aggravated sexual assault conviction of a woman who did not reveal her HIV status to an unprotected […]

Women with pencil on shoulder putting check marks on clipboard list

BARE BONES BRIEFS: OCA reverses heroin trafficker’s conviction after judge delays reasons for 4 years | Woman lawyers working 100 more hours than men | 90% of UK lawyers resisting return to office | EU pushes gig workers’ rights | Top 5 law firm bulletins & webinars

By Julius Melnitzer | December 6, 2021 JUDGE TAKES FOUR YEARS TO DELIVER REASONS AFTER THREE-DAY TRIAL The trial involved only three days of evidence. But Judge Kofi Barnes of the Ontario Superior Court took four years to deliver reasons. And that was some 31 months after Shane Artis appealed his conviction and 10-year sentence […]

Cryptocurrency: the Wild West no more?

By Julius Melnitzer | June 22, 2021 There’s a serious irony in the notion that the cryptocurrency landscape still resembles the Wild West. “I would argue that it never did,” says David Rotfleisch of Toronto-based tax boutique Rotfleisch & Samulovitch P.C. “After all, it’s based on blockchain, which records every single transaction on a ledger […]

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