Chris has defended clients in dozens of hotly contested trials. Many of the decisions have been publicly reported in Canada’s leading legal databases, and are available on request. Recent successes include:
R. v. I.K., 2019 (Toronto):
Justice delayed is justice denied. Chris’s client was made to wait more than 21 months to see his day in court - even though Chris made his client’s displeasure with the delay known loud and clear from the outset of the proceedings. Fed up, Chris brought an application to halt the proceedings for unreasonable delay. The application was successful, resulting in charges of possessing two loaded firearms being stayed.
R. v. C.B., 2018 (Brampton):
A good lawyer is not afraid to bring difficult applications. Every person has the right to a speedy trial in this country; the presumption is that the trial be finished in under 30 months. This case was scheduled to end 2 months before the presumption, when most lawyers would say a delay application had no chance of success. (Indeed, Chris was even told that by a judge.) Chris brought an application to stay the proceedings anyway, arguing that the Crown’s misconduct in withholding critical disclosure represented a culture of complacency that required judicial condemnation. His gambit was successful. His client, charged with importing more than 7 kilos of cocaine, walked away with their reputation and freedom intact.
R. v. B.N., 2018 (Toronto):
The war on drugs has failed. Public health professionals and academics recognize that locking up addicts does nothing to deter crime or reduce recidivism. Still, the sentencing range for addicts who sell heroin to feed their habit is crushing. Our Court of Appeal has endorsed 3-4 years imprisonment even for a first offender in these circumstances. In this case, where Chris’s client had sold over an ounce of heroin to an undercover police officer, Chris achieved an unprecedented result. B.N. had been told by his previous lawyer that he would not see the light of day for several years - there was no point going for bail, he should just plead guilty and get started with his multi-year sentence. When Chris came on the case, he secured bail for his client, helped him find a free rehab centre, and helped him secure transitional housing and employment support after he finished rehab. After months of hard work, the sentencing judge agreed with Chris’s submission that his client, who had only spent 4 months in jail before his release on bail, did not deserve to go back. He was given probation instead.
R. v. L.Q., 2018 (Toronto):
Our justice system is far from perfect. Even the best lawyer can lose a case where the judge makes a legal mistake or misunderstands the evidence. That’s why skilled appellate lawyers are necessary to right the wrongs that sometimes happen at trial. In this case, Chris’s client had been convicted at his trial, after having called a witness who said that Chris’s client was innocent. Chris appealed the decision, arguing that the trial judge had no basis to reject the evidence of that witness. The appeal court agreed, overturning the decision.
R. v. V.N., 2018 (Brampton):
The public would be shocked to know how frequently innocent people can become the dupes of sophisticated criminal predators. In this case, Chris’s client was tricked into bringing back more than 8 kilograms of cocaine into Canada. The Crown wanted to imprison her - an upstanding citizen with no criminal record - for a minimum of 8 years. After hours of advice, preparation, and investigation, Chris’s client testified in her trial by jury in the Superior Court of Justice. The jury listened to Chris’s meticulous submissions and believed his client was innocent. She was found not guilty of all charges, and walked out of that courtroom a free woman.
R. v. A.M., 2018 (Toronto):
After what the the judge described as a "surgical" cross-examination of three veteran Toronto police officers, all charges against Chris's client were dismissed. Chris had argued that his client was racially profiled and illegally strip searched, and that police had negligently lost key evidence.
R. v. I.J., 2017 (Milton):
Sometimes winning the trial happens before ever setting foot in a courtroom. A key eyewitness alleged Chris's client was guilty. After carefully reviewing the evidence, Chris was able to point out the flaws in the eyewitness identification and persuade the Crown attorney to withdraw all charges.
R. v. O.I., 2017 (Toronto):
Other times, Crown attorneys won't listen to reason and have to be defeated at trial. Two witnesses testified that Chris's client participated in a robbery; police alleged that when he was arrested four months later, he unlawfully attempted to flee. In the course of a lengthy trial in the Superior Court, Chris showed that the witnesses were mistaken and the officers were not credible. His client was acquitted.
R. v. H.C., 2017 (Hamilton):
Chris's client was charged with production of over 1,000 plants of marijuana, facing a mandatory minimum of 3 years in jail. Chris alleged the police violated his client's right to silence and successfully excluded a confession from evidence. In the face of this loss, the Crown attorney withdrew the charges.
R. v. C.P., 2017 (Toronto):
Chris applied to exclude statements made by his client to a police officer while he was being investigated for impaired driving. In granting the application and excluding the evidence, the trial judge found that this was a serious and flagrant breach of C.P.'s Charter rights and that it demonstrated a systemic issue with police training in Ontario.
R. v. J.M., 2017 (Toronto):
Chris's client was charged with stabbing a young man in downtown Toronto, near Yonge and Dundas Square. But the man was lying about what happened: Chris's client had acted in self-defence. Chris turned down multiple plea offers that got progressively sweeter as the trial approached. His refusal to bend ultimately resulted in all charges being withdrawn before trial.