What is your election, Jury or Judge Alone? In Canada, all criminal charges are classified into three categories:  a) summary conviction offences, b) indictable offences, or c) hybrid offences.   Pure summary conviction offences are those that are considered less serious, whereas pure indictable offences are those considered the most serious under Canadian criminal law.  Hybrid offences are…

Why Does Procedure Matter? Back in the fall of 1987, when I was in my first year of law school, I came across legal reports dealing with Practice and Procedure in Civil Courts. I remember looking through the cases and thought to myself, this is the most boring subject I’ve ever seen. Why would anyone…

New Window of Opportunity for Challenging Immigration Decisions March 23, 2020 By Hans John Kalina On December 19, 2019 the Supreme Court of Canada released the decision in Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65. The “Vavilov” decision changes the way Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) will be required to…

Respecting and Maintaining Professionalism as a Lawyer True, we build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures. There is little of all that we do which the eye can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men and women’s…

Legal Fees Explained By Hans John Kalina Let’s talk about legal fees. The topic of legal fees is very often misunderstood by our clients.  First and foremost, clients need to acknowledge that the lawyer is a business person.  Legal services are the product and the lawyer’s livelihood is entirely dependent on the client’s payment for…

Anatomy of a Criminal Proceeding by Hans John Kalina What exactly does a lawyer do to assist their client in a criminal proceeding?  It’s a question that is often asked and poorly understood.  American television programs promote the myth of a lawyer walking into a prosecutor’s office, throwing down a file and yelling to advance…

The Role of Defence Counsel in a Criminal Proceeding  By Hans John Kalina What is the role of defence counsel in a criminal proceeding?  While this may seem like a question with an obvious answer, closer examination, reveals that it is not. There are two opposing views on the subject.  One view is that defence…

Crossing Borders – Proceed with Caution Issues at the border with our southern neighbour are very much in the news. It is not surprising that some people see traveling to or from the USA as frought with trepidation and concern. What can you expect at the port of entry, whether by land, air or sea?…

When is a Search Warrant Valid? In R. v. Gabaret, 2017 ONCA 139 , released yesterday, the Court of Appeal for Ontario reiterated the preconditions for a valid search warrant. By way of background, in order for the police to obtain a search warrant, the officer must swear an affidavit titled as an “information to…

Today the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in R. v. McKenzie, 2017 ONCA 128, ruling that immigration consequences do not warrant a significant departure from the appropriate range of sentences.

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