Intersection of Family and Criminal Law

 Calgary, Edmonton, LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Intersection of Family and Criminal Law
Jan 232017

Intersection of Family and Criminal Law

Criminal law matters have implications in family law matters, and vice versa: bail conditions may conflict with family orders, affidavit evidence in family proceedings can differ from information of record in criminal proceedings, and emotional social media posts arising from tense family matters can give rise to criminal considerations.

This March 11 (Calgary) and March 18 (Edmonton), join us for Intersection of Family and Criminal Law. Examine the intersection of these two areas of practice, and discover how to proactively consider the implications of each on the other.

About the Program

Join seminar chair Richard W. Rand QC and experienced panelists to discover strategies for managing family law files with criminal law components, and vice versa.

Review topics, including:

  • Preventing the Intersection of Family & Criminal Law,
  • The Criminal Law That Family Law Lawyers Need to Know,
  • Getting the Goods on the Other Side: Social Media as Evidence, and
  • Conversations Between Family & Criminal Lawyers.

In a recent interview, we spoke to program panelist Brian A. Vail QC about the upcoming program. Here’s what he had to say.

I have long said, “listen you criminal and civil lawyers, when you’re acting for a client, you can’t have tunnel vision.” You’ve got to be aware of related proceedings. A lot of criminal lawyers don’t know much about civil law, and vice versa, and they don’t want to. The fact is: your client is facing a multi-front war. They will be facing criminal proceedings on one side, and civil proceedings on the other. So, just as the allies did in WW2, you want to coordinate what you do on one front with what you do on the other.”

Sneak Preview

Brian told us a bit about his discussion topic, Getting the Goods on the Other Side: Social Media as Evidence. Here is a sneak preview of what you can look forward to in the first part of his presentation.

The first part I’ll speak about is social media in litigation, and that’s going to involve a number of things. I’m going to talk about civil law applications – like getting background information on litigants or witnesses, using that information to challenge a witness’s credibility, and how to get at the non-public portions of the subjects social networking site. I’ll talk about how you can use Facebook to serve people and about civil publication bans. I’m also going to talk about the fact that the court can take judicial notice about the facts that are on some websites, ethical issues including document production, and I’ll discuss the destruction of evidence.”

Brian also gave us the inside scoop on the second portion of his presentation.

The second portion of my presentation involves litigation from the criminal into the civil and vice versa. I’m going to talk about the fact that if there is a criminal proceeding that is related to a civil one, you cannot use or disclose the contents of that in any other civil action. You have to indicate “there is a crown disclosure package that I have possession of but I decline to produce or provide it for inspection absent permission of the other side or order of the court. I’ll also discuss how to get at a police file, how to get at the crown disclosure package, and the impact of a criminal verdict on a civil case. I’ll be looking at the Canadian Rights Against Self-Incrimination under the Charter and Evidence Act and the Alberta Evidence Act.”

When we asked Brian why he was excited about this program, he told us he was excited to finally share with all of the attendees, how he has found success as a litigator.

Too many lawyers are too insular when it comes to civil or criminal law. When I do a civil case, I look for every other case that the other litigant has been involved in and often, it is an absolute gold mine. What makes these files interesting to me is that there are four fronts, there is the police and the crown, the job action (maybe dismissal from the employer), civil action from the victims, and professional misconduct proceedings. That makes it fun.”

Register Online

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the interplay between criminal and family law. Register to attend the Intersection of Family and Criminal Law program in Calgary (March 11) or in Edmonton (March 18).

Register on or before February 7, 2017 to take advantage of our Early Bird pricing.

Tough Crimes Book Tour

 LESA Update, News  Comments Off on Tough Crimes Book Tour
Nov 102014

Tough Crimes, a collection of true stories written by Canada’s top criminal lawyers, will be released this week, on November 13!

Authors and editors Christopher D. Evans, QC and Lorene Shyba are taking the book on tour, and the Tough Crimes Book Tour is making three stops here in Alberta:

CALGARY – November 13
5:00 PM to 10:00 PM
The Danish Canadian Club

EDMONTON – November 20
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Audreys Books

LETHBRIDGE – December 6
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Location TBA

At each book launch reception you’ll hear selected readings and have an opportunity to get your own copy of Tough Crimes signed.

Did you miss our September blog, where we interviewed Evans and Shyba about Tough Crimes? Read it now.

Available Soon – Tough Crimes: True Cases by Top Canadian Criminal Lawyers

 LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Available Soon – Tough Crimes: True Cases by Top Canadian Criminal Lawyers
Sep 302014

v2Cover.inddA collection of stories revealing insights from criminal lawyers who have served as the defense or prosecution in some of Canada’s most striking criminal cases, Tough Crimes, will be released in just a few short weeks on November 13. Christopher D. Evans, QC and Lorene Shyba, authors and editors of Tough Crimes, talked to LESA last week about the book.

Evans described the rawness of the stories, saying that “Crown prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers don’t have closure after a trial; they don’t escape unscathed and haunting memories remain with them. … We really encouraged the writers of Tough Crimes to speak from the heart and mind.”

The book’s 21 contributors include the “heavy hitters” of Canadian criminal lawyers, such as, Richard Peck (Air India), Thomas Dalby (Taber school shooting), and John Rosen (Paul Bernardo defense). As Evans explained to LESA, each author contributed “a story or an essay about an actual case that presented personal and ethical challenges that had surprising turns in the results.”

While the experiences these contributors describe resonate with the legal community, Tough Crimes also appeals to the wider-public. For both Evans and Shyba, the ability to connect with a wide audience was one of the things that made working on Tough Crimes so exciting. Shyba identified the beginning of Tough Crimes as the “realization after hearing a couple of these stories that not only would I be interested in this story … but also that [sharing them] just may be cathartic for the lawyers and for our readers.” Evans’ optimism about the book’s widespread appeal rests on the fact that the “collective voice of this book really ends up speaking about the fundamental precepts of our criminal justice system … the presumption of innocence, reasonable doubt, subject matter like that.”

When describing the process of working with the contributors, Shyba admits that it involved “a lot of back and forth … [since] some people can weave a tale and some required gentle nudging into the heart of the darkness.” But in the end, some incredible stories were woven, stories that Shyba describes as “very personal tales about [the lawyers’] feelings and what they were encountering themselves.”

To find out more about Tough Crimes or to preorder the book, head to the publisher’s website.

For a chance to hear Evans speak about his over fifty years experience in criminal law, register for LESA’s 33rd Annual Intensive Advocacy seminar, where you’ll develop a confident, professional courtroom presence and explore all aspects of trial and hearing work in this week-long workshop. Don’t delay, register now as enrollment is limited.