Criminal Defence Law and My Inspiration

Criminal Defence Law and My Inspiration

Sometimes snapshots from the past creep up on us at unexpected times. Sometimes they are bright pictures that make us smile; at other times they remind us of something that made us who we are. I recently had one of those latter snapshots.

Read more
Listening and the Law: The Unspoken Word

Listening and the Law: The Unspoken Word

I was at a great criminal defence lawyers’ conference earlier this month, listening to some of the finest members of my profession offer advice and new techniques to help us better fight for our clients. The information that was shared was excellent and thought-provoking. And, as so happens at these things, some of what was said triggered other ideas, and reminders for me of skills that are important, and sometimes under-utilized.

Read more

The Conference, The Memories and The Inspiration

A few weeks ago I was in Toronto, for a wonderful criminal lawyers’ conference. I learned a great deal, and after the conference I walked past Old City Hall Courthouse. That courthouse has great personal significance for me because it’s really where my career in criminal law began.

Read more

And the Band Played On…

One of my clients went to jail yesterday. It was expected – he understood when he entered his guilty pleas that he would probably be sentenced to jail. But it still came as a dreadful shock, as it invariably does for almost all clients. Somehow he had convinced himself that this sentence he had prepared himself for, would not happen. When it did, his face crumpled in on itself, his body shrank as though he were trying to disappear inside himself. I have seen this many times with clients. It always upsets me.

Read more

Never an easy way out

On the wall in my office is a photograph of Martin Luther King Junior, over the words of one of his quotations: “Our lives begin to end the moment we remain silent about things that matter.” It is a principle I live by – and one I often have to draw to the attention of clients. The criminal justice system can grind slowly.

Read more