FLAGSHIP CASES

Our Flagship Cases

Supreme Court of Canada cases

2018 – February 6 – leave to appeal was granted to argue the issue of Calibration and maintenance records in the context of impaired driving. The trial and provincial appeals were handled by S.K.C. Prithipaul. The Supreme Court of Canada case is being handled by S.M. Smith.


2015 SCC 46 - Counsel for the intervener Criminal Trial Lawyers Association in inquiry into constiutionality of impaired driving legislation in British Columbia. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.


2012 SCC 57 - Counsel for the intervener Criminal Trial Lawyers Association in impaired driving case involving evidence to the contrary. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.


2007 SCC 39 - Impaired driving causing death and driving with blood-alcohol level over the limit – s. 8 Charter - reasonable and probable grounds to arrest and make breath demand – appeal dismissed – unanimous that trial judge erred in statement of law but majority of 5 to 4 hold that totality of judgment reflected correct test. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.


(1981), 62 C.C.C. (2d) 97 (S.C.C.) - Accused acquitted on charge of importing heroin – trial judge acquitting on basis of reasonable doubt concerning accuracy of drug analysis – acquittal upheld against Crown appeal. Counsel: P.B. Gunn.

Alberta cases

2015 ABCA 97 - Right to counsel in a case of screening device refusal - leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal granted - cased to be heard on January 6, 2016. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.


2012 ABCA 189 - Right to counsel, waiver of the right and remedy once a breach of s. 10(b) has been established. Client acquitted on appeal. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.


2006 ABCA 288 - Break and enter - sentence appeal - sentence reduced by one year upon appeal. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.


2005 ABCA 105 - Impaired driving, dangerous driving and driving while over the legal limit – s. 9 Charter - arbitrary detention after samples of breath already provided – Court of Appeal’s previous decision in R. v. Cutforth (1987), 40 C.C.C. (3d) 253 (Alta. C.A.) overturned - accused persons who are arbitrarily detained after providing breath samples may be entitled to Charter relief. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.


2003 ABCA 23 - S. 7 Charter – remedies for late disclosure – trial judge awards costs in three cases where Crown failed to provide timely disclosure – Court of Appeal upholds costs award (our office acted as trial counsel only in this case). Trial counsel: P.B. Gunn.


[1982] A.J. No. 241 (C.A.) (Q.L.) - Driving while over legal limit - facts on which expert bases opinion must be proven. Counsel: P.B. Gunn.


[1981] A.J. No. 698 (C.A.) (Q.L.) - Jurisdiction of court to deal with matter when the information not before the court. Counsel: P.B. Gunn.


2015 CarswellAlta 612 (Q.B.) - Trial Judge's decision to exclude evidence on the basis of an illegal pat-down search is affirmed on appeal. Counsel: S.M. Smith (trial and appellate counsel).


2014 CarswellAlta 2648 (Q.B.) - Calibration and maintencance records for breath-testing instruments such as the Intox EC IR II are relevant and must be disclosed. Counsel: S.M. Smith.


[2014] A.J. No. 405 (Q.B.) (Q.L.) - Stickers on a screening device are relevant and must be disclosed - conviction overturned on appeal. Counsel: S.M. Smith.


2013 A.J. No. 1486 (Q.B.) (Q.L.) – Evidence ought to have been excluded at trial for driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. Conviction overturned on appeal and new trial ordered. Counsel: S.M. Smith.


2013 ABQB 121 – Successful sentence appeal of a joint submission on a case of assault with a weapon. The Learned Trial Judge erred in not considering Gladue factors in the sentencing of an aboriginal offender. Sentence reduced from nine months to 175 days (time served). Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.


2004 ABQB 18 - Conviction for operation of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level exceeding the legal limit overturned on appeal. Learned trial judge erred in evaluation of evidence to the contrary. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.


[2004] A.J. No. 622 (Q.B.) (Q.L.) - S. 8 Charter - calibration and maintenance of screening devices – conviction overturned and acquittal entered - failure to ensure proper calibration and maintenance may result in finding of Charter violation and exclusion of evidence. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.


[2004] A.J. No. 319 (Q.B.) - Cyanide spill on part of nickel plating company – provincial regulatory offences – appropriate sentence – successful defence of Crown appeal of sentence. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.


2003 ABQB 242 – Screening device was not calibrated and maintained properly. Conviction for driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit was overturned on appeal and a new trial was ordered. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.

[2002] A.J. No. 1285 (Q.B.) (Q.L.) - Driving while over legal limit - s. 8 Charter - reasonable and probable grounds - conviction overturned and acquittal entered. Counsel: P.B. Gunn.

2015 CarswellAlta 1030 (Prov. Ct.) - Illegal pat down search results in exclusion of evidence of a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. Counsel: S.M. Smith.

2015 CarswellAlta 1939 (Prov. Ct.) - Illegal pat down search results in exclusion of evidence of a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. Counsel: S.M. Smith.

2015 CarswellAlta 1784 (Prov. Ct.) - Accused stopped on suspicion he was in possession of stolen iPad. Subsequent search revealed methamphetamines. The search was illegal and evidence of the drugs found was excluded at trial. Counsel: S.M. Smith.

2015 CarswellAlta 1461 (Prov. Ct.) - Accused arrested on outstanding warrants. Subsequent search of pockets and backpack revealed methamphetamine, break-in tools and bear spray. The searches of the pockets and backpack were illegal and evidence of the items found was excluded at trial. Counsel: S.M. Smith.

2014 CarswellAlta 2649 (Prov. Ct.) - Breath samples not taken as soon as practicable and right to counsel breach results in exclusion of evidence. Counsel: S.M. Smith.

2013 ABPC 179 – Samples were taken outside two hours – acquittal on over .08 charge. Counsel: V. Eichhorn.

2011 ABPC 53 and 2011 ABPC 54 - Charges of public mischief and mischief - acquittal on public mischief as no evidence of nature of complaint made to police, successful strip search argument resulted in reduced sentence on mischief. Counsel: V. Eichhorn.

2015 ABPC 39, Client was acquitted of exposing himself in a women’s washroom at McDonald’s. Counsel: S.M. Smith.

***First reported decision of the firm in Alberta: [1975] A.J. No. 412 (Sup. Ct.) – Acquittal on appeal for theft of gloves. Counsel: P.B. Gunn.

Cases in French

2013 ABPC 156 - Trial within a reasonable time and no reasonable grounds as officer did not know the time of driving - acquitted. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.


2012 ABPC 225 - Disclosure of police disciplinary records – charges were ultimately stayed against the accused (that means proceedings went no further and there was no conviction). Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.

Cases in other jurisdictions

2013 NWTTC 2, 2012 NWTTC 11, and 2012 NWTTC 9 - Various rulings on procedural and substantive issues leading to acquittals on all charges including: dangerous driving, theft of motor vehicle and other offences. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.


2011 NWTTC 4 - Drive while disqualified - acquittal as there was no operation of a motor vehicle on public property. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.

2007 S.K.C.A. 32 - Care or control while impaired and with excessive blood-alcohol – acquittals reversed and conviction entered - meaning of care or control – trial judge can properly consider evidence of accused’s purpose or intention in deciding whether offence proven. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.

2009 SKCA 65 - Impaired causing death - conviction overturned on appeal. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul.

2007 BCPC 170 - Contamination of screening device test result - acquittal at trial and appeal dismissed for want of prosecution. Counsel: S.K.C. Prithipaul and other.

[2003] N.W.T.J. No. 1 (S.C.) (Q.L.) - Driving while impaired – conviction at trial - appeal allowed and acquittal entered - unreasonable verdicts. Counsel: P.B. Gunn.

[1997] CarswellSask 257 (Q.B.) - Driving while over legal limit - acquittal at trial – Crown appeal - costs awarded to defense on frivolous appeal by Crown. Counsel: P.B. Gunn.

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