Defending Calgary, One Page at a Crime

As you might have guessed, the practice of criminal defence in a city the size of Calgary is nowhere near as glamorous or action-packed as television and film would have you believe. Not only does my job require extensive legal research and case analysis, but it also requires hours of writing, filling out, and otherwise handling paperwork.

My work as a defence lawyer has never involved me in a car chase through the Calgary side streets.

Paperwork is a common complaint in many professions, and it's not difficult to understand why. The monotony and seeming unimportance can get to me from time to time, too. But when it comes to criminal defence cases, the careful paper trail kept by all parties is an important part of ensuring justice is being served. It gives defence lawyers, Crown prosecutors, judges, and in some cases journalists a chance to review not only the facts of a case, but the facts of how each case was handled.

Paperwork means oversight and accountability, and without these the criminal justice system and Calgary courts would be too easily corruptible and too woefully ineffective.

So every time the paper slog seems to be doing nothing but slowing me down, I try to remind myself that every crossed "t" and dotted "i" is one step closer to an effective defence—not just for one criminal defence client or one criminal defence lawyer, but for all of my clients and everyone else throughout the greater Calgary area.