D.M. and three of his friends were approached by police. D.M. was the passenger in a car. Police claimed they saw the butt of a handgun, poking out from beneath the driver’s seat. They arrested all of the people in the car. It turned out that the item in question was only a replica handgun, but there was a real gun under the passenger seat. At the preliminary inquiry, cross-examination of the police officers suggested that there was no way D.M. could have known about the gun under his seat. He was discharged at the preliminary inquiry.
G. A. was charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. He was stopped by the police as he was riding his bicycle. Initially, the police said that they thought he was violating his bail and he was arrested. In fact, he was following the terms of his bail at the time. At the police station, the police found an ounce of cocaine hidden on his person. Before the trial MF filed a charter challenge, arguing that the police violated G.A.’s rights by stopping and detaining him unlawfully. At the conclusion of the charter challenge, the judge excluded the cocaine from the evidence and acquitted G.A.
R. v. Q.S. – MF was co-counsel for Q.S. on a charge of second degree murder. It was a very strong case – arguably a case of first degree murder. Shortly before the incident, Q.S. had told a friend, that he was going to “run that [expletive] down”. It was alleged that proceeded to drive down a narrow alleyway and kill the deceased with his car. MF and his co-counsel used the preliminary inquiry to highlight the weaknesses of the Crown’s case, including elements of self-defence and intoxication. After the preliminary inquiry, Q.S. pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter and avoided a life sentence.
C.S. was charged with aggravated assault after DNA hit. It was alleged that C.S. stabbed the complainant in the gut as the complainant tried to get C.S. to leave his home. C. S. was a youth and had no criminal record until he was convicted of a serious offence as an adult. He retained MF. The Crown sought an adult sentence for C.S., and MF represented him in a trial with a judge and jury. Despite the fact that C.S’ DNA was at the scene, the jury acquitted C.S. after MF’s convincing jury address.
Criminal Lawyer Misha Feldmann was co-counsel on murder trial. After conviction, challenged constitutionality of provision providing consecutive periods of parole ineligibility for multiple murders.
K.O.D. was charged production of marijuana after police discovered a small marijuana grow operation in his apartment. Before the trial, Misha Feldmann filed a charter challenge to the police search of the residence and the police behaviour in discovering the (then illegal) grow operation. On the day of trial, the prosecutor withdrew the charges against K.O.D.
D.M. was charged with an attempted carjacking with a firearm. It was alleged that D.M. and his friend set upon a couple who were simply talking in their car in the early morning hours. The occupants of the car drove away when the assailants tried to attack the car. Shortly after the robbery attempt, D.M. was seen by the complainant. He grabbed him and held him for the police. After a trial with a jury, Criminal Defence Attorney Misha Feldmann convinced the jury that it was a case of mistaken identity. D. M. was acquitted, while his co-accused, who was represented by other counsel, was found guilty and sentenced to jail.
N.F. was charged with possession of a prohibited firearm after an argument at a house party. It was alleged that the co-accused threatened to shoot one of the partygoers with a gun that was in the possession of N.F. When police attended at the scene, they found a handgun near the house in N.F.’s bag. N.F. said she took the gun out of the house to prevent the co-accused from acting on his threat. On the day of trial, the co-accused, faced with the prospect of N.F.’s defence of necessity, admitted that it was his gun and pleaded guilty. N.F.’s charge was withdrawn and, with it, the prospect of going to jail.
D.G was charged with aggravated assault and arson after a fight with his roommate. It was alleged that D.G. had assaulted his roommate with a knife and then set the house on fire. Indeed, according to another roommate, D.G. warned him to get out of the house because D.G. had set the house on fire. At trial, the prosecution called an expert from the Fire Marshall’s office to attempt to establish that the fire was started intentionally rather than accidentally. After a trial by judge alone, D.G. was acquitted of all charges.
G. was intoxicated and on his way home from a sporting event. He was not acting as a young man should, and was, at a minimum, being very irritating to other patrons also on their way home on public transit. G was approached by two uniformed transit officers who were concerned about G’s behaviour. G continued to be irritating in his interactions with the transit officers. They tried to remove him from the transit station. Things escalated. At trial, the issue was whether the transit officers were acting lawfully when they initiated contact with Mr. G. After Misha’s cross examination exposed inconsistencies in the evidence of the officers, and inconsistencies between them, the trial judge found that one of the officers had assaulted Mr. G. and that he was acting in self-defence when he reasonably pushed back. G was acquitted.
B.S. was charged in an armed robbery of a hair salon. The robber was wearing a particular jacket and video evidence showed B.S. entering a nearby apartment shortly after the robbery. He was wearing a particular jacket. At trial, Misha cross-examined the security guard from the apartment building. The guard’s evidence was that B.S. was inside the apartment at the time of the robbery. The Crown moved to have the charges withdrawn; the trial judge responded that the accused was entitled to an acquittal.
K. E. was charged with allegedly assaulting his domestic partner. He said he didn’t do it. He was released on bail with a condition not to contact the complainant. She called police claiming that he was calling her non-stop. He said he didn’t do it. At trial, Misha marshalled evidence to show that she was harassing him. He wouldn’t return her calls. Finally she threatened him: if he did not return her calls, she would call the police. She did call the police and K.E. was arrested. After Misha’s cross examination of the complainant, the Crown withdrew the charge.
D.D. was charged with a serious assault against a family member. Upon his arrest, he alleged that police beat him up. He documented the injuries after he was released on bail. The police said that he started fighting with the police and that any injuries he received were accidental. At trial, Misha brought an application to have the charges stayed for police misconduct, a breach of sections 7 and 9 of the Charter. After Misha’s cross examination of the police officers on the pretrial motion, the judge ruled in D.D.’s favour and stayed the charges against him.
L.L. was charged with assaulting his neighbour with a brick. Photographic evidence showed the neighbour had been assaulted and L.L. was arrested at the scene. MF pressed for disclosure and successfully adjourned the trial when the Crown produced it at the last minute. At the trial, Misha successfully argued that the delay in bringing L.L. to trial was unreasonable. The trial judge agreed and the charges against L.L. were stayed by the judge.