Lerner Law

Criminal Trial and Appeal Lawyers

Criminal Code’s definition of “human being”: Daniel Lerner’s interview with CBC and a legal explanation

A tragic case has taken place in Montreal the other day, but it has led to an interesting legal issue.

A man stabs his pregnant spouse. The baby is delivered alive by C-section. A few hours later, the baby dies. The man is charged with murder of the baby.

Is that correct? Is it murder? CBC’s Mark Gollom asked me that very question. You can read my interview on the subject here.

You can also read below for a breakdown of why in Canadian criminal law it is murder – but why, if the baby had been stillborn, it would not.

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Daniel Lerner interviewed by CTV about the Garland appeal

I was interviewed today by CTV regarding the Douglas Garland appeal. From what I can tell, this is will be the first time an appeal court has the opportunity to address the new consecutive parole ineligibility periods for multiple-murders. Garland is now tied with Bourque for the longest sentence ever in Canada (and Bourque chose not to appeal).

The full interview is below.

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Switching between defence and Crown – interview with Law Times

When I trace a path through my career as a criminal lawyer, it is interesting to see how many times I have moved from being a defence lawyer to a Crown and back again. I’m not alone in that: the criminal bar in Ontario is made of many lawyers who have switched sides, sometimes on more than one occasion. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I believe that it is one of the qualities that makes the Ontario criminal bar so respected in the profession and by the courts. We understand the other side, can discuss issues to work them out, and have knowledge about how the other side will approach a given case – because many of us have been on the other side.
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New SCC Justice

Justice Malcolm Rowe of the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal was nominated yesterday to the Supreme Court of Canada. He will be filling the seat left by Justice Cromwell who retired last month. His nomination is part of a new process created by the federal government to create more transparency and objectivity to the Supreme Court appointment process.

I explained to CTV News yesterday about the appointment and process.

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Beer can toss at Jays’ game and police decision to publish picture

Recently at a Blue Jays’ playoff game in Toronto, a fan threw a beer can at the field, missing a player from the opposing team. Toronto Police quickly released a picture of the suspect to the public who they wanted to identify.

Was that the right decision by the police? I, as well as a number of other lawyer were asked our opinion by CBC’s Mark Gollom here.

Freddie Gray in Baltimore: Daniel Lerner’s latest interview with CTV

I was interviewed today by CTV about the latest acquittal in the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore.

For those unfamiliar with the case, this was the tragic case of a young black man who’s neck was broken while handcuffed and in leg irons in the back of a police transport vehicle. The police did not use any seatbelts. Six Baltimore police officers were charged in relation to his death. A jury trial for one officer resulted in a hung jury in late 2015. There are other jury trials scheduled for the summer. Today, one officer who elected for a judge-alone trial, was acquitted. The judge found that the arrest that led to him being placed in the transport van was lawful, and the specific officer did not do anything that led to Freddie Gray’s death.

See my full interview with CTV here.

Elbowgate: was it really as assault? Interview with CBC’s Mark Gollom

During a bit of a dustup last week in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau grabbed an opposition MP’s arm without that person’s consent. His elbow also hit another opposition MP in the chest by accident. The opposition has made a lot of commotion about the whole incident, and the Prime Minister has made numerous apologies about his behaviour. This will probably all die down very soon. However, some opposition MPs have described the Prime Minister’s behaviour as a criminal assault.

Was it, though?

As I explained to CBC’s Mark Gollom in this interview, the answer may be more complicated than you would think.

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Daniel Lerner explains the Ghomeshi peace bond (interview on May 9, 2016)

While I was away, Jian Ghomeshi’s trial was resolved in favour of a peace bond. This is not an uncommon resolution, and is something I try to negotiate for many of my clients who facing similar charges (especially minor domestic-related charges).

However, not everyone understands what a peace bond is, or what it means for a person who enters into it. I explained some of this to CBC two weeks ago – in print, radio, and TV.

To read the print article, click here.