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Chris Sewrattan Re-appointed to the Licence Appeal Tribunal

Proud to announce that the Ontario government has re-appointed Chris Sewrattan to the Licence Appeal Tribunal. Chris Sewrattan has adjudicated cases at the Tribunal for the past two years. During this time, he has written over 40 reported decisions.

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Brave New World: The Tulloch Report and Police Misconduct

Chris Sewrattan recently wrote an article for For The Defence, a publication written for and widely read by criminal defence lawyers. In the article, Mr. Sewrattan examines the recently released Tulloch Report; specifically, how the police complaints process can assist defence lawyers in litigation. The article is available in print and online through WestLaw Canada.

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Sewrattan Law Award

Congratulations to Shivani Ramoutar, the recipient of the 2017 Sewrattan Law Award! The Sewrattan Law Award is given to the graduating student at West Hill Collegiate Institute with the highest mark in Grade 12 Law. Shivani demonstrated a keen interest in the law class and was an exceptional advocate at the 2017 OJEN Mock Trial Tournament.

Lakehead University law school

Welcome Reyam!

We are proud to welcome Reyam Zager to the lawfirm. Reyam is a third year law student at Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law completing her four-month practice placement at the office.

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Appointment to the Ontario Parole Board

I am happy to announce that the Attorney General of Ontario has appointed me to the Ontario Parole Board. As described on the Parole Board’s website:

The Ontario Parole Board (OPB) promotes public safety by deciding on the return of offenders to the community through supervised conditional release. As an independent quasi-judicial administrative tribunal, the OPB has the sole authority in Ontario to:

  • grant parole
  • deny parole
  • cancel parole before release
  • revoke parole

Public safety is the guiding principle underlying all conditional release decision-making, and the OPB is also committed to the rights of victims and the fair and individualized risk assessment of each offender.

I am excited to start this new opportunity. I will serve on the Parole Board on a part-time basis and continue to practice as a criminal defence lawyer full-time.

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R. v. Antic, 2017 SCC 27: The stakes are too high for anything less

R. v. Antic, 2017 SCC 27: The stakes are too high for anything less

The Supreme Court of Canada recently released R. v. Antic, 2017 SCC 27. The decision is poised to be a game changer for the law of bail in Canada. I was counsel for the Criminal Lawyers’ Association in this case along with John Norris. We asked the Supreme Court to tell bail courts that the default position for an accused person is their unconditional release, and beyond that the accused person should be released on the least restrictive conditions unless it is necessary to deny them bail. The Supreme Court accepted this submission.

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Different judges, different results: R. v. Harley Davidson

In 2014 I represented a Barrie man named Harley Davidson (yes, that’s his real name) on charges relating to the production of marijuana. I said that the police had no right to enter Mr. Davidson’s home, which is where the marijuana was found. The trial judge said that I was wrong. The Court of Appeal for Ontario said that I was right (R. v. Davidson, 2017 ONCA 257). In this blog post, I discuss the Court of Appeal’s recent analysis.

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Looking into the Future? The No Contest Plea

The latin “nolo contendere” translates to “I am unwilling to contest”. An accused who enters a plea of nolo contendere (also referred to as a “no contest plea” or “nolo plea”) declares to the court that he or she does not contest the charges against him or her.

Are you a law nerd who likes reading? Because in this blog post I discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the no contest plea by looking at the American plea bargaining system. At the end of the post, I explain briefly why a no contest plea cannot exist under the current state of Canadian law.

Since the blog post is lengthy, it is attached for download here.

Youth Criminal

What is a youth record?

What is a youth record? Does it go away when you turn 18? How do you make it “go away”? In this blog post I tackle the many frequently asked questions about youth records.

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Driving During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is here. There are a couple of things you can count on: Christmas trees, people complaining about the term “happy holidays”, and, even more regrettably, drinking and driving. The police will be out in full force during late December to catch impaired drivers.

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