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Sabsay Lawyers: Issues of the day

Is Self-Defence a Crime?

If you meet the requirements of self-defence, then it is not necessarily a crime. However, the criteria for self-defence can be a complicated area of the law to navigate, leaving many people to wonder if, having defended themselves physically or with a weapon, they will be charged with a crime.

There are laws in place to protect individuals who do defend themselves from harm the only way they can in a dangerous scenario. But there are also criteria that must be proven to prevent others from taking advantage of self-defence to avoid further penalties.

Turning life to TV drama: Talking "Street Legal"

Roselyn Kelada-Sedra chatting with Steve Lund and Bruce Smith

Remember that discussion about legal drama and growing up with lawyers between us and the showrunner and the lead actor of "Street Legal"? Sabsay Lawyers associate, Roselyn Kelada-Sedra, moderated the opening of the 2019 FOLA spring conference ( A chat with actor Steve Lund and showrunner Bruce Smith revealed the origins of the reboot of "Street Legal" and the season 1 focus on the opioid crisis. 

White Collar Crime and Trust

White collar crime can have a huge impact on the reputation of a business. Instances of fraud, bribery, and other types of corporate crimes can hurt the future of a company once the news breaks and loyal customers, vendors and trading partners hear about the situation.

This not only effects the success of the business, but also the job security of all employees involved if the business goes under. A recent story on summarizes a similar situation in Canada’s west end.

Rules of Evidence: Charter protections

Honoured to accept the acknowledgement of our team by author Nick Kaschuk! "24(2) - Exclusion of Evidence under the Charter" gives practical guidelines as to how the law should be applied. The 2nd Edition, released by LexisNexis, is the only criminal law book that deals exclusively with Charter s 24(2), taking an in-depth look at jurisprudence. What an honour to play a part, however, small, in the gargantuan task of writing this book. 

Unpacking the Evidence

Good lawyers have to understand what they're looking at in context. We achieved a withdrawal of criminal charges by unpacking the significance of the evidence against our client, and it meant the opposite of what the police suggested. An undercover police officer tried to entice our client into committing criminal offences by posing as a teenage girl online, and he was then charged with seven serious criminal offences - several of which require intending to commit an actual offence with the person he believed he was communicating with. When an undercover officer is attempting to entrap a man, and he still does not follow through and commit any actual offence (or even meeting), the intent is simply not there. Yet the police tried over and over to get our client to do something he actually had no intention of doing. We went through that evidence and explaining its significance in context of the communications our client had with the undercover officer. By articulating that context to the Crown, we were able to get all charges withdrawn. And our client gets to move on with his life. 

Proactive Lawyering: Protecting our Clients

When someone is accused of a crime, that person's life changes overnight. Whether defendants did anything wrong or not, their lives become subject to the scrutiny of the Crown as soon as the police charge, "assault" or anything like it. To go through the court process is not only costly financially, it costs emotional strain on both the defendant and the defendant's entire support network. When there are children involved, they have to go through the trauma of not knowing if their parent is safe, not knowing if their parent is telling the truth, not knowing if they're going to see their parent go to jail.

Netflix announces new production hub in Toronto

Creative professionals often face obstacles on the road to success. As such, these individuals need to regularly think about their future and ways to protect themselves as they navigate the industry and creative opportunities.

This can be a timely reminder, considering popular streaming service Netflix recently announced it will be setting up a production hub in Toronto. The move is expected to bring more acting and directorial jobs for content creators.

Acquittal Won: No one can be convicted without proof beyond a reasonable doubt

We are glad to have won our client an acquittal on the basis of a pillar of Canada's criminal judicial system: the Crown must prove that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. No matter what the crime or what the potential sentence, nothing short of this standard will do to deprive a person of their liberty according to the tenets of the Canadian system. In a case of sexual assault and sexual interference, we were able to advocate for our client by putting the evidence to this standard.

Cannabis Legalization And First-Time Users

Will cannabis legalization increase the number of first-time drug-impaired driving offenders? Health Canada's second annual survey of cannabis users showed 60 per cent of respondents know consuming marijuana affects a person’s driving ability. In 2017’s survey, only 50 per cent of respondents admitted consuming marijuana affected the user’s ability to drive.

Despite this, the 2018 Health Canada survey reveals 43 per cent of cannabis users drive within two hours of using cannabis. Men are more than twice as likely as women to do this. Nearly half of the respondents who drove after using marijuana did so within 30 days of completing the survey. Three in ten respondents said they had driven within two hours of consuming cannabis within the last year, and a third did so over a year ago.

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