Our system of Justice in Ontario stems from the British common law system of Stare Decisis (Latin for previously decided cases). Not many people enjoy reading case law. But having the right case law to reference in your defence, could prove to be the determining and deciding factor.
Why is case law important?
Previously decided cases can “bind” lower courts to follow their previous decisions. So if you were facing a careless driving charge in Newmarket, Ontario, or in any other Court, you or your representative may want to research case law decisions focused on careless driving.
These previously decided case may or may not help you with your defence. But it’s important to research and review them for similarities.
Plus, there are case law decisions, that cover disclosure, charter right violations, officer’s evidence, hearsay evidence, and the list goes on. So case law can certainly assist with preparing a strong defence, if the case law is properly researched, interpreted and applied.
Having a representative with education in law, or a Paralegal program is an asset, as they will have been taken classes dedicated to legal research.
Can I do my own case law research?
Yes you absolutely can. However, understanding the content and referencing & applying it in Court is a different story.
I have witnessed others trying to present case law but they were at a disadvantage as they lacked the proper legal training. While it is admirable that unrepresented individuals try to do it themselves, their application of case law rarely succeeds, as they will often choose the wrong case law or misinterpret the case law they use when presenting a defence.
While doing some research on your own is fine, consider this, if your plumbing pipes in your kitchen were to burst, would you try and fix the problem yourself? Or would you hire an experienced and qualified plumber?
When it comes to your driving licence and record, you may be much better served by retaining someone trained and experienced to answer the charges and competently present appropriate and focused defence(s).
Making case law ?
Not all legal representatives ( Paralegals ) will have successfully presented defences for their Clients that led to Case Law, in the Justice’s ruling. Some representatives may be concerned at the risk of creating an adverse case law decision, against future defence arguments.
It is advisable, if you are considering launching an Appeal, against a conviction, that you seriously consider retaining someone who has the prior experience of defending Clients that led to the creation of case law before.
Experience, and a proven track record are two important factors when considering who to retain. In an Appeal setting, if you are thinking of going it alone ( which we do not recommend ) just keep in mind, that you will be arguing before a Judge, who will have had a minimum service of at least 10 years as a lawyer before becoming a Judge. Whether you are appearing before a Justice of the Peace or before a Judge to answer to charges or for an Appeal hearing, you are always better off, if you put forward the best defence you can. That’s where Lighthouse Legal Services can help……
Why Hire You?
It’s important to hire someone you can TRUST, and feel comfortable that they have your best interests in mind at all times.
Choosing the right Paralegal, one who is experienced, dedicated and hard-working is a good start. You may also want to ask around, and retain someone who others have retained previously and can recommend. Personal experiences and recommendations may be the best deciding factor.
There are many individuals and companies to choose from. Lighthouse Legal Services likes to pride itself on exemplary personalised customer service.
Brian Morris is the owner of Lighthouse Legal Services. As a licensed Paralegal, he has successfully defended thousands of Clients. Brian is extremely dedicated and works hard to provide the best defence possible for all of his Clients.
Some of his clients Trial decisions and successful outcomes have led to the Courts creating case law, for Careless Driving.
Brian put forward arguments and evidence that was ultimately relied upon by the Court to define what a “Driver” is in Ontario. He has also successfully appealed amber light convictions.
If you are wondering who to hire, to help you to Appeal a conviction. Hiring a Paralegal who understands Appeal strategies is an important consideration,
Not knowing or utilizing the correct strategy can make a huge difference. Brian has the proven experience to know what cases to take forward to Appeal, and which cases to turn away.
An equally important consideration to bear in mind, is Brian’s honesty and ethical approach. He only accepts those Clients he genuinely feels he can successfully help.
If after speaking with you, Brian determines that your appeal is in his opinion, frivolous and /or without merit and is unlikely to be successful, he will tell you. And he may determine not to let you hire him.
However, if he considers that you do have sufficient grounds to go forward with an Appeal, he will do all he can to help you succeed.
Brian is always happy to consult with you if you are unsure as to whether or not you have sufficient grounds to proceed.
Contact us at Lighthouse Legal Services
*Initial consultations at Lighthouse Legal Services are always free.