The 21 laws of criminal defence: a lawyer’s reflection on a decade of practice.

21 laws of criminal defence: a lawyer’s reflection after ten years of swimming with the sharks.

It’s nearly a decade since I became a criminal defence lawyer. A lot has changed since 2004. There is a drastic shift in ideology towards the prioritization of punishment and vengeance, over rehabilitation and meaningful public protection.  Law and order initiatives have become politicized, inflammatory, and divisive.  Access to justice for the vast majority of Canadians is either […]

How to choose a good lawyer: 9 ways to select the right legal counsel

How to choose a good lawyer: 9 ways to select the right legal counsel.
Choosing a good lawyer is a challenge.  In Ontario alone, there are over 20,000 in private practice to choose from.  It is almost as diverse as choosing what kind of food you want to eat.  Unlike food choices, the decision in selecting a lawyer will likely substantially affect your life.   To add to the challenge, most people […]

Stunt driving in Ontario. A lawyer’s explanation of charges and defences

Stunt Driving and Racing in Ontario: charges, defences, and penalties explained by a defence lawyer.

Over the years, our law firm has successfully defended many individuals charged with “stunt driving”.  In our experience, this has become a very common offence due to the increase in traffic, the intolerance of speed on highways, and the strong policies towards policing and prosecuting such offences in Ontario.  In addition to the frequency of charges, there […]

10 tips for new lawyers starting their practice.

Taking over the world in crisp robes: 10 tips for new lawyers starting their practice.
Being a new lawyer is challenging.  Whether you are working as an associate or starting your own practice, there are things that, looking back, would have been nice to know when I first started down the path of lawyering . In the course of my years as an associate, partner, operating my own firm, and now administering a law […]

Disincentives Towards Innocence: Wrongful Convictions at a Micro-Level

DISINCENTIVES TOWARDS INNOCENCE: A LOOK AT WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS IN THE ONTARIO CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM (Sean Robichaud, 2004)* 

* This is an older paper written many years ago.  However, it is still relevant today and seemed appropriate to post for people to understand some of the issues the justice system faces in wrongful convictions.  SR, 2014. 
Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice – H. L. Mencken
1. Introduction 

In recent years, […]

The impossible task of marketing a criminal law firm or lawyer

I would rather sell space heaters to snowmen: the impossible task of marketing a criminal lawyer’s service.
Over the weekend I went to the Whitewater micro brewery in Beachburg, Ontario.  While enjoying some fine ale with friends, I was impressed with the velocity in popularity that this small new company possesses.  After a few “Farmer’s Daughter”  pints, I started thinking of my own company and practice and wondered why despite our endless efforts, we […]