Red Deer gets new Defence Lawyers Association

  • Apr. 29, 2015 2:50 p.m.

A new Red Deer Criminal Defence Lawyers Association has been established – the first of its kind in the City. There are similar organizations in Edmonton and Calgary that have been around for many years.

President Jason Snider said the purpose of the Association is allow local defence lawyers to have a unified voice on various issues.

“There have been a lot of changes in the court system in the past while and there are a lot of changes in how the court dockets are run, issues with disclosure and all types of different things,” said Snider. “It just seemed to be the time that defence lawyers needed to have more of a unified voice to try and address the issues and help the court system as a whole while still respecting the rights of the people who are subject to the system whether they are defendants or witnesses alike.”

After a town hall in January, where a number of defence lawyers attended, Snider said the decision was made to go ahead and form the Red Deer Criminal Defence Lawyers Association.

“It was time – defence lawyer voices just don’t seem to be heard around the table because there wasn’t a unified voice. When the judges have been going through the new Court Case Management System over the last couple of years, they haven’t had someone to really turn to from the defence bar. They’ve been really doing it on an ad-hoc basis. With the space crunch Red Deer is also facing, there have been some procedural changes to the court system to try and address the capacity issues that the court system is having. They needed the input with the practitioners that are dealing with system from day-to-day.”

He added one of the mandates adopted by the Calgary and Edmonton Associations and what the Red Deer Association is looking at doing as well is providing feedback to the media and public on issues when they arise.

“There is from time to time for lawyers who work in the system to provide some input to the media or otherwise about what is happening in the court system. There is an educational component in that we want to help the general public understand why the system functions the way it does.”

Currently there are 22 members of the Association and Snider said he hopes the membership will continue to grow.

“The members of the Association are of course quite positive of the start (of the Association). As other lawyers in the area that practice criminal law realize the Association exists, I’ve been getting universal uptake. I haven’t had any person yet who practices criminal law who said they are not interested in joining,” said Snider. “Some of the lawyers that are a little further afield have also been joining the Association.”

Just Posted

Thurber Raiders snatch season opener from the Lacombe Rams

Red Deer game saw 44-8 win for the Raiders

Snowfall warning in effect for Red Deer

Around 10 to 15 centimetres expected

Red Deer RCMP arrest man in stolen vehicle after collisions

Man arrested after the stolen truck he was driving collided with several vehicles

City council responding to social and safety issues

Mayor Tara Veer releases statement on City’s ongoing social and safety challenges

WATCH: Grey Cup was in Red Deer to support military families

Money raised will go towards the Military Family Resource Centre

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only seven of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Canada to boost support for riskier forms of renewable energy: minister

A $30-million contribution to a $117-million tidal project hopes to harness the immense power of the Bay of Fundy

Browns beat streak, win first NFL game in 635 days

Baker Mayfield erased any doubts about why the Browns selected him with the No. 1 overall pick

Most Read