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.

In my second year of law school I was very fortunate to be part of the Criminal Intensive Program. I was conducting real criminal trials – and learning from the very best in my profession. It was at Old City Hall that I won my first trial – a communicating for the purposes of prostitution.

Years later I can still remember the crazy exhilaration, as I stood at one of the ancient payphones in the lobby and called pretty much everyone I knew. It was there, in that moment, that I knew with absolute certainty that criminal defence law was what I wanted to do.

It was a passion that has stayed with me to this day. Over more than 17 years as a lawyer, I have learned that not every trial ends in an acquittal, not every story has a happy ending. But I also learned that when you work hard, care deeply about the principles of defence law, and never stop fighting for your clients you can get great and sometimes unexpected wins. It is the fire in my belly that I bring to every case.

When I take on a case I still have that same enthusiasm, commitment and desire to win that I had as a student nearly 20 years ago. And now it is enhanced by years of trial experience, years of fighting – and sometimes winning – tough cases. I cannot imagine ever losing that love for what I do.

And when I walk past Old City Hall, I can still see my younger self, thrilled that my profession chose me.

Ruth Roberts, Criminal Defence Lawyer

Bonn Law, Trenton/Belleville, ON