Guarantee you'll be acquitted or receive a particular sentence.
While a lawyer can assess your trial prospects, the verdict
is determined only by the trier of fact, that is, the judge
Your sentence is determined by the judge. While your lawyer
and the Crown Attorney may agree on an appropriate sentence
and present it to the court as a joint submission, the judge
may decide it is too light. If this occurs, the judge may
"jump" the joint submission and impose a more severe
Your lawyer and Crown counsel may be able to meet with a
judge in chambers prior to plea to determine whether the judge
will go along with a proposed plea bargain. Or a judge may
indicate in a pretrial that he or she will go along with a
Plea-bargain or permit you to plead guilty before conducting
the level of investigation expected in preparation for trial.
A lawyer should first determine if a guilty plea is warranted.
This determination depends, among other things, on whether
the Crown can prove the charge by admissible evidence.
Book two trials in different courts on the same day.
By scheduling two cases for trial in different courts on
a given date, a defence counsel risks leaving one client without
a lawyer. In addition the court, the Crown and witnesses may
be inconvenienced. If intentional, "double-booking"
may be contempt of court.
Fail to keep you informed of developments in the case and
reasons for crucial decisions.
Fail to obtain a copy of the information early on in your
A lawyer should obtain a copy of the information (charging
document) before trial or preliminary hearing to understand
the parameters of your charge and scan for defects that could
benefit your case.
Discusses your case with friends, family or other clients.
A lawyer has a duty of confidentiality. He or she should
never reveal any information about a client to anyone, unless
authorized by the client or required by law. The obligation
continues indefinitely, even after the lawyer has stopped
acting for the client.
The obligation extends to information a lawyer receives in
a consultation before the lawyer has been retained. A lawyer
should not even disclose having been consulted or retained
by a particular person unless required by the nature of the