Convicting a defendant in the court of public opinion

Convicting a defendant in the court of public opinion

On behalf of Neuberger & Partners LLP posted in Sexual Assault on Wednesday April 16, 2014.

Canadian law says that anyone accused of a crime will be considered innocent until he or she is proven guilty. Without this rule in place, it might be incredibly common for individuals to be convicted on the nature of the charges alone. The more repulsive, frightening or serious the crime, the harder it would be not to convict the individual. Fortunately for people in Toronto, the rule is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The nature of sex crimes makes them immediately unpopular. There are very few people who are willing to stick up for people who have been charged with sexual assault, which just goes to show that defendants who have had charges dropped or who have been acquitted will likely face a long road in order to rebuild their reputations.

There have been two doctors who have been charged with sexual assault, gang sexual assault and administering a drug with intent to stupefy, charges that could ruin their careers. If they are convicted, they will likely be stripped of their licenses and unable to practice following their punishments. Even if they are acquitted, however, they may find it difficult to find patients to treat, what with the recent sexual assault allegations.

The men stand accused of raping a woman after providing her with a date rape drug. The evidence that is being presented consists of a lack of a date rape drug in the woman’s system and a few flashbacks the woman has had. This is not to say that the woman is lying about being sexually assault, but simply the possibility of an assault having happened is not really enough to convict these men of such serious crimes.

Source: National Post, “Toronto gang sex assault trial hinges on whether doctors drugged alleged victim,” Christie Blatchford, April 14, 2014


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On behalf of Neuberger & Partners LLP posted in COVID-19 on Tuesday March 17, 2020.

At Neuberger and Partners, we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and have implemented safety measures to ensure the safety of our clients and staff. Our priority is and always will be the health, well-being and safety of our staff, clients and colleagues.

We have put in place various measures to prevent and minimize the impact of COVID-19:

  • In addition to standard hand-washing habits, our staff are washing hands before and after every client interaction;
  • All individuals entering our office will be required to use our hand sanitizer to ensure the safety of our other clients and staff;
  • Regular disinfecting of our offices, public areas, meeting rooms and board rooms as well as increasing the frequency of disinfection of higher-traffic surface areas;
  • If a lawyer or client who has a scheduled meeting is feeling unwell, they will be strongly encouraged to stay home;
  • For the time being, we will avoid greeting clients and colleagues with our usual handshakes;
  • We will make every effort to ensure our firm will be stocked up with extra tissue and alcohol-based hand sanitizer; and
  • We will monitor and stay informed from the Government of Canada and World Health Organization for facts as they become available. We will ensure all staff and team members are educated on symptoms and are well informed on prevention and best practices.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Will the firm still run if there are closures?

  • We are committed to assisting our clients. We remain open to assist our clients at this time (following aforementioned standards for health and safety). For clients who wish to communicate with our firm virtually, we have the technology for virtual meetings and are able to respond to the needs of our clients in a manner best to protect our staff and clients’ health.

Are staff and lawyers set up to work virtually?

  • All lawyers and staff are set up to work virtually and continue to assist clients and one another remotely. All lawyers are available via telephone, email and virtual video conferencing.

What is the court situation? How will we deal with court closures?

  • At this time, the Superior Court of Justice is closed from March 17, 2020 to June 1, 2020 – unless a judge orders otherwise.
    If you have a March matter, your matter will be postponed to June 2, 2020.
    April matters will be postponed to June 3, 2020 and May matters will be pushed to June 4, 2020.
  • Similarly, the Ontario Court of Justice will be closed for 10 weeks for all out of custody matters in criminal practice court. In custody matters will still be addressed. It is unclear if out of custody matters such as trials or preliminary hearings will continue since the courts have left this decision to the discretion of the judges. However, Bail courts will remain open for the time being.
  • The Court of Appeal for Ontario has suspended all scheduled appeals until April 3, 2020. But we are still able to file materials and apply for urgent appeals to be heard.
  • We will advise clients by email of their next Court date.

How can payments be made?

  • Payments can be made via e-transfer and visa payments can be made over the phone.

If I have to deliver something to my lawyer, how shall I go about it?

  • For clients who wish to drop off documents but do not wish to come in contact with any one at the firm, you are encouraged to drop them off in our mail slot in front of our office.

We will be open and available for any questions, comments or concerns. Please call (416) 364-3111 for any further information.

Stay safe and healthy,

Joseph Neuberger