Archives

02
Jul

Blow up 2020 to start over in 2021

I once had a boss task me with reinventing a litigation procedure that had gone stale. Blowing up the system to find a (hopefully) better way to do something. Every legal nerd’s dream. This pandemic is the bomb that reset the legal system. There’s no going back to the administration we once occupied. How it...
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08
May

Workin’ for your quarantini

The pandemic has sentenced everyone to an indefinite term of house arrest. Lawyers — especially trial lawyers — fit within one lifestyle extreme or another: Team Sloth; e.g., Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny, mixed with the drinking finesse of Denny Crane from Boston Legal versus Team Crazy; as in, Hollywood divorce queen Laura Dern...
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08
May

How to sentence during pandemic

Generally, people don’t sign up to go to jail. Sentencing is not an optional exercise. Society has made peace with the basic punishments of prison life: deprivation of liberty, personal security, goods, privacy. COVID-19 has skipped the line. The virus has added to the list of punishments without going through the proper channels (i.e. the...
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02
Apr

COVIDIOTs could be deterred by Emergencies Act

One might be intoxicated if they were to drink every time a reporter asked Prime Minister Trudeau whether he will try to invoke the Emergencies Act, R.S.C., 1985, c.22 (4th Supp.). As cases grow each day and the death toll climbs, we are becomingly justifiably anxious. We grasp at what we can control when trying...
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12
Feb

Despite horrors, Aboriginal overincarceration surmountable problem

At only five per cent of the population in Canada, Aboriginal people now represent 30 per cent of federally sentenced inmates. This is a five percent bump from the last available data. It doesn’t require a statistician to determine that it’s only getting worse. I woke up the day after the late-January release of a...
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19
Nov

‘Pill Mill’ manslaughter case could impact Canadian response to opioid crisis

We are at the S-O-S stage of the fentanyl and opioid crisis. Predictably, our first response was to blame the addicts, throwing them in jail for as long as possible. Shockingly, the crisis didn’t go away. A wider net was cast. Prescribing doctors in the U.S. were next. On Oct. 24, the New York Court...
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11
Oct

Without a warrant: Police use popular family tree genealogy sites to solve murder cases

Collect evidence now, ask questions later. That is the approach of police and FBI in the U.S. using GEDmatch, a DNA data collection site that combines results from the popular 23andMe and Ancestry sites. The site was praised for helping solve the mystery of the Golden State serial killer. Before any courts can weigh in,...
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31
Aug

Laurelly Dale: Trials and marathons both require hard work and preparation

Laurelly Dale, 36, is a criminal defence lawyer with Dale Law Professional Corp. in Toronto and Kenora, Ont. In being one-quarter Metis, she has an interest in working with First Nations bands. Ms. Dale is a semi-elite runner using training time to prepare for court and for two more marathons for The Abbott Six Star...
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30
Aug

A personal view of MMIWG: 15 of my First Nations clients are dead

The final report of the Missing Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) national inquiry, published June 3, 2019, evokes mixed feelings. Do I believe that it is a genocide? No. Labelling it as such implies that there is a single villain. They are the forgotten people. Neglected and vulnerable to crimes of violence. I have been a...
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