Annual Report 2013/2014

  • July 15, 2014

Criminal Justice - Nanaimo
Submitted by Section Co-Chair, Kelly Bradshaw

Summary of Meetings

Number of Meetings Held: 6

October 16, 2013
Guest Speaker: Sergeant Diane Cockle, BA, MA, PhD, National Forensic Identification Support Services, RCMP
Meeting Title/Topic: Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Presentation
Synopsis: Sgt. Cockle gave an interactive power point presentation on the science of bloodstain pattern analysis, including a discussion of case files. Sgt. Cockle described the science, including the types of bloodstain classifications of gravity, force related patterns and transfers. Sgt. Cockle explained how the analysis can be used in crime scene investigations, including the determination of directionality of force, the type of mechanism used, area of origin, positions and sequences.

November 20, 2013
Guest Speaker: Nancy Merrill, Merrill, Long & Co., Bencher, Law Society of B.C.
Meeting Title/Topic: Top 10 Complaints against Criminal Lawyers
Synopsis: Law Society Bencher, Nancy Merrill, Bencher, discussed the top 10 Law Society complaints made against criminal lawyers, which include poor communication, conflict of interest and delay. Participants discussed potential examples of each type of complaint, as well as making suggestions to prevent complaints from occurring. Participants also discussed the BC Court of Appeal Practice Directive on Ineffective Assistance of Trial Counsel, including the ethical issues involved.

December 16, 2013
Guest Speaker: John Weller
Meeting Title/Topic: Discussion on the Use and Benefits of Polygraphs in Criminal Law
Synopsis: Mr. Weller discussed the process involved in conducting polygraph tests, including the four types of questions that are asked as part of the test: irrelevant, relevant, comparison and semantic. He also explained how a person can defeat the polygraph, such as by moving around too much, or as a result of certain medications.

March 19, 2014
Guest Speaker: The Honourable Judge Saunderson, Provincial Court of B.C.
Meeting Title/Topic: Courtroom Conduct: A View from the Bench
Synopsis: The Honourable Judge Saunderson gave a presentation about his view of appropriate courtroom conduct, including such things as appropriate dress for lawyers and clients and proper interaction between counsels. The Honourable Judge Saunderson and defense lawyer Al McGarvey provided commentary on these topics from their experiences, and offered practical advice to the participants.

May 27, 2014
Guest Speaker: Joel Hughes, Edgewood Treatment Centre
Meeting Title/Topic: Mental Health and Addiction
Synopsis: Mr. Hughes gave a presentation about the services offered by Edgewood Treatment Centre in Nanaimo. He discussed the typical 8 week residential program, available after-care programs and the cost.

June 13, 2014
Guest Speaker: Corporal Norm Smith, RCMP, Nanaimo Detachment
Meeting Title/Topic: Impaired Driving By Alcohol or Drugs: Evaluation Procedures
Synopsis: Cpl. Smith and other RCMP members discussed immediate roadside prohibitions, impaired and over 80 charges, and drug impaired driving. Topics included police discretion, driver penalties, use of approved screening devices and the Intoxilyzer machine. Participants were free to consume alcohol and provide breath samples and perform standard field sobriety tests.

Comments and Observations of the Chair

Our executive worked hard to offer a wide-range of meeting topics to the Section members, and we are hoping to continue this next year. We have had impressive guest speakers at our meetings, and we plan to continue this trend next year. We would like to increase the attendance at our meetings, and this will be our focus for the 2015/2015 Section year.