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  • Mental Health Issues Continue to be Misunderstood in Criminal Law | Adam Goodman Law Office
    be years in a secure mental facility until discharged by the Ontario Review Board For minor offences such a result ends up being many times more restrictive than simply being found guilty of the offence and serving a sentence What about those who don t fit into these extreme categories Many courts offer fantastic resources and mental health diversion programs but access to these programs often require the issue to be identified the person willing to work with the program staff and a defence lawyer who understands the issue and is able to bring it to the forefront In order to enter a diversion program a Crown Attorney must agree to such a form of disposition Unfortunately many Crowns do not understand mental health issues and how they may lead to the commission of criminal offences they would prefer a conviction and sentence over a program that would get someone help and not result in a criminal conviction that would have lifelong implications I would like to see better education programs directed towards Crown Attorneys to better screen and understand these issues This is not to say that this is a systemic problem in the Crown s office There are many wonderful Crowns out there who really do get it The defence bar also needs to take some responsibility It is our job to learn about the issues faced by our clients and properly advocate for them within the confines of the system and in some cases try and make changes to the way the system functions as a whole This blog post was written by Toronto Criminal Lawyer Adam Goodman Adam can be reached at 416 477 6793 or by email at adam aglaw ca Posted on January 30 2014 by Adam Goodman in Criminal Law Legal Subscribe Subscribe

    Original URL path: http://www.aglaw.ca/mental-health-issues-continue-misunderstood-criminal-law/ (2014-05-04)
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  • Mental Health Issues Continue to be Misunderstood in Criminal Law | Adam Goodman Law Office
    mental facility until discharged by the Ontario Review Board For minor offences such a result ends up being many times more restrictive than simply being found guilty of the offence and serving a sentence What about those who don t fit into these extreme categories Many courts offer fantastic resources and mental health diversion programs but access to these programs often require the issue to be identified the person willing to work with the program staff and a defence lawyer who understands the issue and is able to bring it to the forefront In order to enter a diversion program a Crown Attorney must agree to such a form of disposition Unfortunately many Crowns do not understand mental health issues and how they may lead to the commission of criminal offences they would prefer a conviction and sentence over a program that would get someone help and not result in a criminal conviction that would have lifelong implications I would like to see better education programs directed towards Crown Attorneys to better screen and understand these issues This is not to say that this is a systemic problem in the Crown s office There are many wonderful Crowns out there who really do get it The defence bar also needs to take some responsibility It is our job to learn about the issues faced by our clients and properly advocate for them within the confines of the system and in some cases try and make changes to the way the system functions as a whole This blog post was written by Toronto Criminal Lawyer Adam Goodman Adam can be reached at 416 477 6793 or by email at adam aglaw ca Posted on January 30 2014 by Adam Goodman in Criminal Law Legal Subscribe Subscribe to our e mail newsletter

    Original URL path: http://www.aglaw.ca/disclosure-institutional-delays-revisited/ (2014-05-04)
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  • The Constitutionality of Victim Fine Surcharges Revisited | Adam Goodman Law Office
    the art of sentencing a limitation on both the discretion and the independence of the sentencing judge After discussing some of the rationales behind monetary penalties and compensation generally Justice Freeman delved into the meat of the judgment He starts by explaining that the victim fine surcharge is not a tax as defined in the 1932 case of Lower Mainland Dairy Commission v Crystal Dairy A tax proper would be Enforceable by law Compulsory Imposed by a public authority and For public purposes The victim fine surcharge as it existed in 1992 met most of these criteria except importantly that it was not compulsory it allowed under s 729 9 2 of the Criminal Code for judges to waive it where undue hardship could be shown He concludes then that it is not structurally a tax but a unique penalty in the nature of a general kind of restitution While this is an important part of Justice Freeman s decision he also provides us with some important commentary that is still very relevant In setting out the distinction between the surcharge and a tax Justice Freeman mentions that because of its indivisible connection with criminal law interests he would characterize the surcharge as a valid exercise of the federal criminal law making power even if it were structurally indistinguishable from a tax my emphasis added Further with regard to the division of powers argument Justice Freeman concluded that this was not a delegation of power but of administrative functions related to victims of crime which are properly a federal concern As such there is also no conflict with provincial powers The Present Context Taking Justice Freeman s decision as a whole then some of the more recent developments related to the victim fine surcharge are somewhat concerning I should preface this discussion though by reiterating that I have not seen Justice Hunter s decision personally so I am forced to rely on quotations that the Ottawa Citizen seems to have pulled from it which may unfortunately lack context According to the Citizen Justice Hunter s takeaway from the Crowell decision seems to have been that the only reason the surcharge passed constitutional muster was because it wasn t compulsory and therefore not a tax According to the article the recent changes to the surcharge discussed by Adam earlier make it a tax as opposed to a punishment The Citizen s summary of the case doesn t seem to address all of Justice Freeman s points in Crowell however especially given that Justice Freeman explicitly says that even if it were a tax he would still find the surcharge to be a valid exercise of the federal government s criminal law power I imagine that the actual decision from Justice Hunter has some more nuance that is as yet unavailable publicly especially with regard to the other arguments presented by counsel in Crowell that haven t really been addressed in the Citizen s article In any event it ll be interesting

    Original URL path: http://www.aglaw.ca/constitutionality-victim-fine-surcharges-revisited/ (2014-05-04)
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  • Back to School: Post-Secondary Discipline | Adam Goodman Law Office - Page 866178176
    as future employment possibilities Penalties for non academic offences may include suspension fines expulsion etc Often the first step for those accused of an academic offence is an informal meeting with the Dean or administrator of the student s faculty or program For less serious offences or cases where there is an explanation for the concern this meeting might end the matter Student s should exercise caution at this meeting While a student may feel their best option is to fully admit their wrongdoing in the hopes that the institution will exercise leniency an admission of guilt may harm the student s chances of being successful at a hearing and not prevent more severe consequences A formal hearing before an institution s academic non academic disciplinary tribunal or committee individual faculties may also have their own committees may commence The procedure for this hearing will be governed by institutional regulations and should be before an impartial arbiter At the hearing the institution will present its evidence and the student will have an opportunity to respond In cases where the student is found to have engaged in the alleged conduct the next step will be to determine an appropriate penalty There may be grounds of appeal for a student unhappy with the decision through internal institutional procedures Following all internal procedures judicial review may be possible It is not uncommon to hire a lawyer for assistance with these procedures A lawyer will be able to properly review institutional policies and procedures discuss the evidence with the individual accused of an offence negotiate with university college officials and provide representation at both informal meetings and formal hearings Posted on September 21 2010 by Adam Goodman in Education Academic Law Legal Subscribe Subscribe to our e mail newsletter to receive updates Related Posts

    Original URL path: http://www.aglaw.ca/post-secondary-discipline/866178176/ (2014-05-04)
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  • The Overrepresentation of First Nations and Blacks in the Criminal Justice System | Adam Goodman Law Office
    on population averages white Canadians are under represented whereby natives and blacks are over represented These conclusions based on statistics obtained by Owusu Bempah are accurate for both adults and youth It is explained that the statistics also show that non white Canadians are held in pre trial detention more often than white Canadians Those held in pre trial detention are then more likely to plead guilty be found guilty at trial and or receive a harsher sentence after a plea or trial I agree with this conclusion As much as we d like to think that being in pre trial detention should not affect the ultimate result of the case my observations suggest otherwise Often times it is possible to plead out a lot quicker then it is to wait for a trial Similarly sentencing deals are often much lower for those who are out of custody than for those who are in custody Several reasons for this problem are explored One reason is the historical marginalization of both native and black populations There are of course historical factors that have contributed to the current situation such as those highlighted by the Idle No More movement broken treaty promises residential schools and the system of reserves and those often reserved for discussion during Black History Month including often forgotten slavery in some of the territories that would become Canada and legalized segregation for example Another reason is that both these groups tend to have a much higher rate of poverty than white Canadians It is a well known fact that there is a clear link between poverty and crime While poverty does affect the commission of crime another reality for the poor is that they do not have the same access to legal counsel as those who can afford to hire a lawyer I would assume this has an affect on the overall statistics as well Owusu Bempah concludes by making three suggestions to help solve this problem Education By making school more relevant and engaging and offering different types of programs such as co operative education and volunteer opportunities those from communities where crime has become a problem will pave the way to success Acknowledge and come to terms with the difficult parts of our nation s history Owusu Bempah is quite clear that our country was founded on beliefs about racial superiority and inferiority and that it is necessary to understand how the remnants of these ideas continue to influence our society Encourage aboriginal and black Canadians to take a leadership role in identifying and solving the problems facing their communities There are various examples given by Owusu Bempah one being recent public action surrounding racial profiling and police carding practices which have become somewhat commonplace in certain Toronto neighbourhoods The ideas presented in the article seem quite simple but also make a lot of sense Unfortunately the federal government seems to be more focused on new sentencing legislation and often Crown Attorneys offices seem to be

    Original URL path: http://www.aglaw.ca/overrepresentation-nations-blacks-criminal-justice-system/ (2014-05-04)
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  • Panel of MPs Selected to Replace Justice Deschamps | Adam Goodman Law Office
    the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister from a list of three unranked candidates to be provided to the Prime Minister s office by a committee of five MPs The committee includes Conservative MPs MPs Jacques Gourde Kerry Lynne Findlay and Greg Rickford New Democrat MP Francoise Boivin and Liberal MP Stephane Dion Once the candidate is selected they will appear before a parliamentary committee as part of a public hearing The appointment will be Harper s fifth Justices Marshall Rothstein Thomas Cromwell Michael Moldaver Andromache Karakatsanis There will be at least two more vacancies prior to the next federal election in October of 2015 as both Justices Morris Fish and Louis Lebel will reach mandatory retirement age This process is not constitutionally mandated and there is little if anything that can be done to block an appointment This blog post was written by Toronto Criminal Lawyer Adam Goodman Adam can be reached at 416 477 6793 or by email at adam aglaw ca Posted on August 13 2012 by Adam Goodman in Criminal Law Legal Politics Subscribe Subscribe to our e mail newsletter to receive updates Related Posts Mental Health Issues Continue to be Misunderstood in Criminal Law Disclosure and Institutional Delays Revisited The Constitutionality of Victim Fine Surcharges Revisited A Shoplifting Primer Some Thoughts on the Rob Ford Story The Curative Proviso The Need to Object Drugs in Car not Enough to Infer Knowledge of Possession on Driver No comments yet Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply Name Required Mail will not be published Required Website Ask us your most important question about Criminal Law Services Name Phone Email Question Read Top Rated Reviews On Adam Goodman Law Office I met Adam during the course of the G 20 weekend in Toronto where

    Original URL path: http://www.aglaw.ca/panel-mps-selected-replace-justice-deschamps/ (2014-05-04)
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  • Reflections on Prorogation as Michaelle Jean leaves office | Adam Goodman Law Office
    scholar the whole situation while not necessarily good for Canada was interesting to watch both for entertainment and as an academic exercise One well known convention of our constitution is that a government cannot govern unless they have the confidence of the House of Commons The term itself is somewhat blurry Is it not the role of the Opposition to question government Is this opposition not in and of itself non confidence For the purposes of determining the authority of a government to govern the word confidence means that the House of Commons is permitting the passage of legislation that the government views as crucial to their mandate This would include the throne speech spending motions and certain major bills introduced by a Minister of the government If one of these bills is defeated then the government loses all authority to govern It then becomes the responsibility of the Prime Minister to inform the Governor General as such At this point writs will be issued for an election or a new party may be given the opportunity to gain the confidence of the House The question that Her Excellency faced today was whether the only way for the House to show its lack of confidence in the government is through the mechanism I described above the defeat of a motion of confidence Clearly it was determined that short of the Prime Minister coming to this conclusion on his own it would be difficult to make such a determination This was not much of an issue I highly doubt any Governor General would make this determination on their own Her Excellency also needed to determine whether it was appropriate to prorogue Parliament a move which would serve to end the weeks old session of Parliament stop all legislation and start again with a new throne speech in January It s a similar idea to dissolution except there is no election MPs stay in office the government retains full executive authority although there was talk this time around of limiting this authority in a manner similar to dissolution the Speaker stays in office etc It s typical for a Parliament to have 2 3 sessions before an election is called Here we will be starting the second session within four months of the previous election In my mind Her Excellency was correct in proroguing the House of Commons While she is the head of state it is common practice that she takes her advice from the Prime Minister It should not be her role to question the government on their reasons for prorogation The question then becomes whether the Prime Minister was justified in making this request In my mind he was not Quite simply a government needs to have the confidence of the House of Commons to govern That is our system The arguments made by the Conservative Party relating to the right of the coalition to form a government without having campaigned on such a plan making a deal with

    Original URL path: http://www.aglaw.ca/reflections-prorogation/ (2014-05-04)
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  • Adam Goodman Law Office Forum
    directly All forum postings are public and are not subject to solicitor client confidentially User Name Password Remember me on this computer New User Register Now Forgot Password Forgot Password E mail Sign Up NOTE All information you post on this forum can be seen publicly so do not post any personal information or any information you are not comfortable with being publicly viewable Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only Should you require legal advice you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly All forum postings are public and are not subject to solicitor client confidentially Personal Information E mail Note A password will be e mailed to you for future reference Password note password should be minimum of 5 characters long Full Name Other Information Your Web Site Phone Number Twitter URL Facebook URL Verification Code Enter Verification Code Enter the text as you see in the image Enter black colored text Only Name Phone Email Question Latest Questions Tag Cloud academic and arrests assault battery break charges conflict criminal domestic drug DUI education entery expulsion federal felony fines fraud humiliation intoxication investment jail law laws legal misdemeanor narcotics

    Original URL path: http://www.aglaw.ca/forum/?ptype=login&action=lostpassword (2014-05-04)
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