Celebrity Trials Underscore the Power of an Effective Defence Strategy

September 18, 2014

If the events in the news lately have taught us anything, it’s that with the proper defence  is possible for the accused to overcome the odds, no matter how great, to secure a fair trial with a positive outcome. “Celebrity” trials are unique for many reasons, not the least of which being that they’re among the only occasions in which the judge and jury may already be aware of a first-time accused’s reputation- and perhaps even the details of the case- before the trial has even begun. But a worthy Criminal Defence Lawyer is always up to the challenge of defending their clients’ rights, regardless of the circumstances. The cases of Oscar Pistorius, Justin Bieber, and Ray Rice can now be held as examples of the ways in which securing effective legal representation is the key to favourable results for the accused, even in the most high-profile cases. Let’s take a brief look at how each case was influenced by the strategic choices of the defence:

Oscar Pistorius
South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, was charged with a schedule six pre-meditated murder offence for the shooting death of his girlfriend- a charge that could lead to up to 25 years in jail. But instead, Pistorius was found guilty of a much lesser charge (akin to Canada’s Manslaughter, sentence pending) on the basis of the defence’s compelling evidence that Pistorius fired under the belief that he was protecting himself from an intruder.

Justin Bieber
Earlier this month, the Crown decided to withdraw Assault charges laid against the Canadian pop star after he allegedly struck a limo driver outside a nightclub in Toronto. Bieber’s Criminal Defence Lawyer was able to secure this result for his client after convincing the Prosecution that it would be unable to prove that Bieber was indeed the individual in his entourage that struck the limo driver.

Ray Rice
Despite being charged with aggravated assault (caught on surveillance video for what many believe to be a black-and-white crime against his now-wife), Ray Rice received a lenient outcome consisting of counseling with no further legal action. Mr. Rice’s case represents the coalescence of a number factors which were beneficial to his case, but it took a good defence lawyer to recognize those opportunities and utilize them to deliver a win for his client.

While I’ve been involved in a number of high-profile cases myself, most of my practice is dedicated to bringing cutting-edge, gold-standard defence strategies to regular people who want to keep their reputations intact, get rid of the charges, and move on with their lives. You don’t have to be a celebrity to get a top-grade defence…or incredible results.

It’s my belief that 95% of cases are won by outworking the other side. I pride myself on my dedication to knowing all the angles through extensive case preparation, and crafting compelling defence strategies that secure the best possible outcomes for my clients, regardless of the circumstances. Does it seem like the odds are stacked against your case? Don’t lose hope. And don’t wait to secure representation from a skilled Criminal Defence Lawyer in Toronto. Reach out to my office online at macdonald@criminaltriallawyers.ca, or by telephone at (416) 459-3352 to learn more about my practice, or to set up a consultation.

Have you ever kept up to date on a trial in the news and been surprised by an outcome in the defendant’s favour? Did you feel it was justified?


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