Legal Work

Maybe the saddest story of the North?

CamBay Graveyard


Your Honour, this may be the saddest story of the North I have ever told in a Court – or at least one of them.


It a story of abysmal systemic failure the dimensions of which are mind boggling – it is the one of the most Gladue intensive tragedies I have ever related to a Court.


Sam was born to a disabled woman named Suzy Smith in 1986 – he turned 30 in June.

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Another Successful Jury Address

Mad Trapper Tabletop


First some Background:

This was a Facebook trial.  The underage complainant (Suzy) alleged that the accused had forcible intercourse with her within a few feet of the accused’s sleeping girlfriend (Sharon). The accused testified that she consented and that he thought the complainant was close to his age because (amongst other things) of the age she posted on Facebook, the ages of her Facebook friends, and the content she posted on Facebook.  A critical piece of evidence was a Facebook message the complainant sent to the accused’s girlfriend the next day saying that she was sorry for what happened.  The reality is that victims of abuse do apologize for being abused (and do lots of other things that appear to be inconsistent with what they allege happened) but in this case it was just another piece of the puzzle that did not fit.  Names have been changed:


What the Jury Heard:

Members of the Jury – the starting point for all of this is that what Suzy Q. described to you in this Courtroom simply cannot be believed.  Your common sense tells you that this could not have happened the way she tells it.  Who is able to tell you that she said stop 3 times and remembers that she was scared to wake up Sharon but cannot give you details about what actually happened.  She says she has forgotten that.  She says she forgets most of being raped because she was ½ asleep and the rest she forgot because it was so long ago.

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Charter Application; Truth in Sentencing (sic) and dead-time credit – sections 12, 7, 11(e) and (h)

Spring Aurora

After extended deliberations at the conclusion of a trial conducted before a judge and jury, the jury entered an acquittal in relation to one of the charges Patrick Nadli faced.  The jury was not able to reach a conclusion in relation to the most important remaining charge – sex assault cause bodily harm.  The Crown gave notice that it would be seeking another trial to resolve this count and Nadli (who had been waiting in jail for over 2 years) decided to enter a guilty plea.


Nadli was sentenced to 5 years in jail for these reasons – R. v. Nadli, 2014 NWTSC 71 (CanLII).  The remaining question was – what credit should he receive for his pre-sentence custody?

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What does successful jury address look like?

Mountains west of the Delta

My guy (whose name has been changed to protect the innocent) was acquitted of sexual assault after trial by Jury. You can read about the result here.


But why was he acquitted?  What about the case was so weak that he did not even have to testify before the Jury?  The fact that someone said “he did it” doesn’t make it true.


Here are my jury address notes:

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Charter Application – S. 12 Argument re: Notice of Increased Penalty


John Doe has a bunch of prior drinking and driving convictions*.  He also has some serious psychiatric problems in respect of which he seems to be self-medicating with alcohol.  Amongst other things, he is both claustrophobic and agoraphobic.


Unfortunately, while operating his car to fetch a friend whose vehicle had broken down, he gave police grounds to request a screening sample which resulted in a fail.  The samples he provided into the Intox EC/IR ii resulted in 2 readings of 0.110 (the legal limit being 0.08).

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