Annual Report 2020/2021

  • August 17, 2021

Summary of Meetings: Criminal Justice - Vancouver

Number of Meetings Held:7

September 16, 2020
Registration Count: 18
Guest Speaker: Justice Ker, British Columbia Supreme Court, Jeremy Hermanson, BC Prosecution Service, and Matthew Nathanson, Criminal Defense Counsel
Meeting Title/Topic: Advocacy in the Time of COVID
Synopsis: 2020 has brought with it profound changes to court system, including to the ways counsel appear in court. This panel discussion focused on how to effectively advocate in the COVID era. Our panelists, all of whom have participated in significant criminal court matters during the pandemic, discussed everything from practice tips to the pitfalls of advocacy in the time of COVID.

October 21, 2020
Registration Count: 154
Guest Speaker: Judge Bahen: Rebecca McConchie : Jennifer Horneland:
Meeting Title/Topic: The ABCs of Bail in 2020
Synopsis: We joined this month for an update on all things bail! Our three engaging panelists gave us the low down on how Zora, Myers and Antic are being interpreted and applied in both provincial and supreme courts.
Judge Bahen shared with us his perspective from the bench and his do’s and don’ts for counsel. Jennifer Horneland of the BC Prosecution Service is responsible for the bulk of the s. 525 reviews conducted in Vancouver and provided the perspective of the Crown. Rebecca McConchie provided her take on how the law is being applied at bail hearings and provide practical tips for counsel.

November 18, 2020
Registration Count: 27
Guest Speaker: Justice Susan Griffin, British Columbia Court of Appeal John Caldwell, BC Prosecution Service, Criminal Appeals Brent Anderson, Johnson Doyle Nelson & Anderson
Meeting Title/Topic: The How To's of Criminal Appeals
Synopsis: For many at the criminal bar, appellate advocacy remains one of the most intimidating aspects of our practices. Our three panelists de-mystified criminal appeals and, provided us with their insights into everything from how to bring an appeal, to drafting written argument, and the do's and don'ts that apply when advocating before BC's highest court.

February 17, 2021
Registration Count: 18
Guest Speaker: Judge Dhillon, BC Provincial Court Chantelle Coulson, DTCV Prosecutor Debra Carpentier, DTCV Duty Counsel
Meeting Title/Topic: Drug Treatment Court of Vancouver: A Primer
Synopsis: Overview of the Drug Treatment Court of Vancouver. DTCV is in its 20th year of operation this year out of BC Provincial Court at 222 Main Street.

March 17, 2021
Registration Count: 47
Guest Speaker: Gregory Del Bigio, Q.C., Defence Counsel, Thorsteinssons Gerry Sair, Public Prosecution Service of Canada Michael Gismondi, Peck & Company
Meeting Title/Topic: Claims of Solicitor-Client Privilege on Seized Devices
Synopsis: What steps should be taken if devices have been seized that contain solicitor-client communications? Reviewed the mechanics of making a claim of solicitor-client privilege following a seizure and before charges have been laid.
Greg addressed the obligations of defence counsel in asserting claims of SCP after seizures and the mechanics of the review. Gerry provided the Crown perspective on how SCP claims are addressed by Crown, the type of information from defence that would assist the Crown in their consideration of procedure, and the mechanics of the review. Michael, who has experience as an appointed referee, addressed forms of order, the unique dynamics of the role of referee and his approach to liaising between Crown and Defence.

April 21, 2021
Registration Count: 54
Guest Speaker: Joven Narwal, Narwal Litigation LLP, Adjunct Professor at UBC Law Vicki Williams, Michael Klein Law Corporation Kevin Westell, Pender Litigation, Bencher
Meeting Title/Topic: Coping with Cooperators: A Unique Species of Vetrovec Witness and their Role in the Justice System
Synopsis: Cooperators are a unique species of Vetrovec witness – they may be actively recruited as part of an investigation, and accordingly, they play an integral role in shaping the investigation and eventual prosecution. Or, they may be offered an opportunity to collaborate after charges have been laid. In exchange, they are promised lenience, money, and other benefits.
In this talk, Joven Narwal, Vicki Williams, and Kevin Westell offered their insights into the cooperating witness, including the recruitment process, what disclosure to seek and how to obtain it. Members of the Federal and Provincial Crown also offered their perspectives.

May 26, 2021
Registration Count: 48
Guest Speaker: Mary Ainslie, QC, Acting Chair, BC Prosecution Service’s Post-Conviction Review Committee; Tamara Levy, Allard Law's Innocence Project; Tom Arbogast, lead counsel on a number of the Innocence Projects files; and Tony Paisana, Peck and Co. & Allard Law's Innocence Project.
Meeting Title/Topic: Wrongful Convictions: Prevention and Reversals
Synopsis: Four of the top counsel in this country, Mary Ainslie, QC, Acting Chair of the BC Prosecution Service’s Post-Conviction Review Committee, Tamara Levy from Allard Law's Innocence Project, Tom Arbogast who amongst other things has been and is lead counsel on a number of the Innocence Projects files and Tony Paisana from Peck and Co who has spent his career working with the Innocence Project discussed a variety of topics of great concern for Judges, Crown and Defence.