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Malicious Prosecutor

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Malicious Prosecutor last won the day on October 28

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  1. Well... On the one hand I did say "most". I do not speak from personal experience, but rather from speaking with a small handful of people with combined law enforcement / law degree experience. It may well be that for some people it winds up being a powerful and positive combination. On the other hand it kind of sounds like you're agreeing with me in many situations (even if not all)? But anyways - to the OP - you can't assume that law enforcement will take you in with open arms just because you have a law degree. Maybe they will, maybe they won't.
  2. So @mazzystar please no offense is intended, but you're kind of all over the map here. You maybe want to do an MBA and do management consulting, but that doesn't really mesh with wanting to effect social change. You also mention working in law enforcement, which doesn't particularly mesh with doing an MBA. Of course as a Crown I deal with a lot of enforcement agencies. Primarily police of course, but I've dealt with Fish & Wildlife, Commercial Vehicles, CBSA, railway cops, Corrections, Sheriffs... you name it. ANd I've had a lot of really positive interactions with those officers. But I do want you to know - I don't think a law degree is going to be highly valued in most enforcement agencies. That's different from saying a law degree wouldn't be useful in doing law enforcement - I think it would be. But based on conversations with people that had law degrees and worked in law enforcement, I don't think their superiors valued that particular combination. Also of course law enforcement is incredibly hierarchical! There are ranks, uniforms, the whole nine yards. Law enforcement is however a very rewarding career in terms of being able to make a difference to real people. It also has good if not stellar pay, good benefits, and for police in particular you're able to retire quite early and still pursue other interests. So, You're so all over I don't know that I can give you any general advice about what to do, whether to continue or drop out, or what path to pursue if you do. But I thought I would pass on this information about law enforcement careers.
  3. Disclaimer: I'm not an IP lawyer. But yeah, that's the concern. Now a phrase, or some particular wording, is probably okay, but the whole entire document? Also, does the firm own the copyright to your own work product? I don't think so, but again I'm no expert.
  4. @ReasonableStout your situation is far more likely to generate hostility and bad feelings. Not that you're doing anything wrong - but your senior lawyer may well see it as you're taking "his" clients, and taking money out of "his" firm . So about those clients: you probably already know this, but you don't take them automatically. It is the client's choice whether they want to stay with you, or stay with the firm. Your Law Society will have some rules on this, and you should consult with them. Another potential issue is ownership of any precedents / forms. I think you would want to have your own landing spot almost complete before you tell your boss - have any office space rented, any financing in place, that kind of thing. Take copies of any files and any work product you think you're entitled to beforehand. Then go in and say "it's not you, it's me", that going on your own is something you want to try, have had an amazing experience here, that kind of thing. Try and stress you don't intend to compete for residential real estate / estate planning for the immediate future, would like to be able to refer your family law clients to the firm for their other legal work. Be prepared for these scenarios though: 1. It goes very badly. You're told to clear out immediately, your personal effects will be boxed up and sent to you. That's why you want to have everything ready to go. ;or 2. They beg and plead with you to stay. They offer to adjust the fee split. You should have some idea what you might do. If anyone who has gone through this personally chimes in you should listen to them, not me - I've never set up my own shop. But I've been around the periphery of people leaving firms. And I know that in small towns / small firms, it can all be a lot more personally felt than in the city.
  5. Amicus is fairly rare. You have to have someone with serious charges who is refusing a lawyer. Most people, if they have the option to have a lawyer, will take it. The reason someone will be a self-rep is typically because they don't qualify for legal aid: either because of financial reasons, or because they aren't at risk of jail (at least here). One situation that isn't too unusual is counsel being appointed for cross. Accused proposes to represent themselves, but Crown for various reasons thinks it is inappropriate for the complainant to be questioned directly by the Accused. So counsel for cross-examination is appointed - to ask questions on behalf of the Accused.
  6. Things are all backed up because of the recent budget, and before that the election. At first there was a hiring freeze right after the election - and we had a hiring process that was almost completed! So we finally got that sorted out, then came along the budget uncertainty. We do have approval to fill empty positions - not every department is that lucky, so decisions will be made. I absolutely would send a polite email to the HR person listed in your competition and ask the status of the competition, although it sounds like you already did that. Don't worry - soon they'll be calling and asking if you can start next week. It's just the way government works.
  7. 1. Speaking as someone who has run his share of self-rep trials, there certainly isn't a 100% plea rate. 2. It should also be pointed out that an awful lot of people represented by counsel also plead out on the day of trial. I really couldn't speak to percentages though.
  8. It's not that its necessarily a bad idea. It's just that you mostly talk about your boyfriend, and not yourself. Can I assume you're from Calgary as well? Do you want to go to U of C? Are you not enjoying U of A? What do you want to do?
  9. I don't think taking a different job is going to burn bridges in and of itself. It's something that happens. Your firm may be happy you're leaving, they may be pissed - but they're not going to long-term hold it against you. What you do want to do is make sure you give them plenty of notice so they can find new homes for your files, and so that you can be sure to note up all of your own files. I've quit law jobs three times. Once was going from private practice to government. My firm seemed oddly happy for me - I think it might have been the right time for me to leave that firm (which was why I was looking in the first place). Second time they were neutral about it - that office tended to not keep people long-term, so no one was surprised I was leaving. Third time was going to a different level of government. When I told my boss the response was "well shit", but other than making me an offer to try and get me to stay they were just fine about it. No junior is indispensable. They will be okay with you leaving as long as you do so in a professional manner. Edit: It helps that it sounds like you aren't trying to take files with you. That gets pricklier if you are, but I have no real experience in doing so.
  10. A Crown needs to do more work to get a file ready to go to trial than a defence lawyer. That was my point. Defence lawyers have to do a bunch of other work that Crowns don't. I can't say who works harder on any given day when you factor in all that other stuff.
  11. Looking at this post, again, this paragraph (while true) is perhaps uncharitable. Defence have all kinds of other work to do that as Crowns we don't have to worry about. We don't have to worry about collecting our bills (or filing with legal aid). We don't have rent to pay, trust accounts to keep track of. We don't have to worry about having enough money to pay ourselves at the end of the month, or make sure the copier is still working. There is much more legal work at the Crown's office. Crown needs to do much more ahead of a trial to get ready. But that doesn't mean that being a defence lawyer is easier - just different.
  12. Okay, a few different points. 1. I think @CrownyCrown37 main complaint was just the sheer number of hours he/she is working. But I can't speak for them. 2. The workload between defence and Crown is just not comparable. And I have done defence work. The sheer number of files is part of it - the number of days in court. But our role in court is quite different. Last year I ran a murder prelim against a senior defence counsel who, our records showed, had never picked up disclosure. He did a serviceable job because he relied on the Crown to present all of the evidence for him at the prelim. As defence you only need to kick down one element, one detail, of the charge in order to get an acquittal. As Crown we have to prove every element. 3. I don't get why you think we wouldn't identify with complainants pretty regularly. Sure the sex assaults, the homicides, can be very tough. But lots of day-to-day crimes affect real people in meaningful ways. About a month ago I was talking with the complainant on an identity theft case. He was a recent immigrant, and his ID was used to open multiple bank accounts and credit requests. His credit is shot, he has multiple creditors hounding him for money he never borrowed, and has been mostly unsuccessful in getting these things off his credit report. It came to the point he is considering returning to his home country. I really felt for the guy - and that was a 'mere' property offence. 4. Come on, the result at the end of the trial is sometimes not the "correct" result. It's been years but I'm still choked up that a judge would reject the evidence from a half dozen witnesses who testified they saw the white accused stomp on the head of a prone aboriginal man, and instead prefer the evidence of the Accused because (I think) he was a clean-cut young white male, and the witnesses were all either intoxicated or minorities (or both). I mean he didn't even say there was just a doubt - he adopted the evidence of the obviously self-interested Accused over 6 other witnesses (5 of whom were independent and didn't know either party)!
  13. Are we micromanaged? In some ways. There are lots of rules and policies in place. For example abut what sentences we can or can not ask for. How to present certain evidence. How and when to speak with victims of crime. But if I go "I do not think I have a RLOC", and can explain why, I've never been anything but supportive. I've never experienced 'taking matters to trial where I didn't believe in the merits of the offence'. @KingLouis is an interesting fellow, but has a very large chip on his shoulder about his role as defence counsel.
  14. No. For starters of course, "higher ups" don't have the time to review endless numbers of files in order to decide whether our prosecutorial test has been met (that a case has a reasonable likelihood of conviction, and is in the public interest). The system has to rely on the individual Crown prosecutors being able to make that decision on whether to proceed with a file or not. In practice, that is actually a lot scarier than merely just being told what to do. If you have instructions on a case you can never be faulted for just following those instructions (insert, of course, an exception for illegal or unethical orders). Instead you have to trust your own judgment, and risk being called to the carpet if something goes wrong. I will always remember hearing over a weekend that a murder-suicide had happened in a small town where I was almost always the prosecutor. All weekend I worried "please let me not have consented to the killer's bail". On Monday I confirmed that no - the killer had not been before the courts. But that's exactly the kind of situation where your judgment will be questioned. In all my experience, only once have I been "ordered" to take a case to trial. I file crossed my desk after a fellow prosecutor left the office. A fellow had been charged with breaching his Conditional Sentence Order. A breach of a CSO is not actually a new trial: Crown can rely simply on witness statements. So the Crown at first instance filed some witness statements that said the Accused was drunk, in contravention of his "no drinking" condition. At his hearing, the Accused took the stand and was adamant that he had not been drinking - he in fact offered to blow into an instrument to prove to police that he hadn't been drinking! At the hearing, the judge believed the Accused and dismissed the breach allegation. This infuriated the local police. They pull up cell block video from the night in question which in fact proved that police had attempted to get the Accused to blow into an instrument, but that he refused. Accused was charged with perjury. My former colleague wrote a memo saying the charge was fine, and the file transferred to me. I wrote a second memo saying that the first memo, while correct as far as it went, didn't consider the issue of issue estoppel - that because the issue of the Accused's intoxication had already been litigated, we couldn't now charge him with perjury for lying about being drunk. My supervisors disagreed - they felt the perjury wasn't for being drunk, but rather about whether he offered to provide a sample. They thanked me very graciously for my memo, and re-assigned the file again. When it came close to the perjury trial date however, there was a scheduling conflict - I was the only available Crown. I was asked if I would re-consider running the trial. Ultimately I relented. It wasn't that there was any doubt on the evidence about what happened - we had the court transcript, and the cell block video was of excellent quality. It was just a legal analysis of whether the doctrine of issue estoppel applied. Since I thought it did apply, but that it was a completely absurd result (and hence it really shouldn't apply), I ran the trial. Accused of course was acquitted, trial judge ruling the issue estoppel applied. But that's the closest I ever came to being forced to run a trial. And really it wasn't being forced, because I was given the option, and never felt like my opinion wasn't being valued.
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