Practice Areas

While we are pleased to assist individuals with wide-ranging legal issues, Ms. Smith focuses her practice in these specialized areas:

Appeals: Appeals are won by the defence less often than the original trial which is why choosing the right lawyer for trial or sentencing is so important but when things go wrong you need an even better lawyer. To succeed as the appealing party, the accused’s lawyer must determine what errors occurred at the trial level and demonstrate to a higher court that the client is entitled to relief in the form of a new trial, an acquittal, or lesser sentence. Appellate work is one of the most critical areas of legal practice and the one Kate is most passionate about. It is often the last shot a client will have to prove their innocence. Her approach to appeals is to evaluate every aspect of the trial record to ensure that the client gets the access to justice that they deserve.

Drug Possession & Trafficking: Often individuals make the mistake of hiring a criminal lawyer lacking familiarity, knowledge, and experience defending federal drug charges. The stakes and consequences of many drug convictions can be lengthy periods of incarceration and significant fines. It is vital that individuals accused of serious drug crimes use the utmost prudence when choosing the right lawyer to represent them.

Bail: Securing a client’s release is one of the most important steps in defending them and has a significant impact on bargaining power and their ability to defend their case. Where a client is charged with serious crimes, many of which create an onus on the individual to justify their release, it is important to hire a lawyer that will devote the time and resources to analyze the available information and craft a bail plan that will secure release on favorable terms.

Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence: We have the expertise to defend high stakes cases for individuals wrongfully accused of serious sexual offences or domestic violence. Having acted for tens of clients wrongfully accused of the most serious forms of violence, Kate has the unique ability to delicately manage and aggressively defend her clients and their reputation. She has obtained numerous acquittals and stays of proceedings for clients on charges of sexual assault, sexual interference, procuring sexual services, and other stigmatizing offences, giving them their life back.

Impaired Driving & Refusing Breath Testing: Impaired driving offences can have significant long-term repercussions for drivers including consequences to a person’s immigration status. The defence of these charges requires skillful navigation of a complex and constantly changing legal framework usually requiring the exclusion of evidence to be successful.

Criminal Inadmissibility Hearings: We prevent the removal from Canada of foreign nationals accused of being associated with organized crime or guilty of seriously criminality. While an immigration lawyer is the right choice for most issues related to a person’s immigration status, criminal admissibility hearings require the skillset possessed by a criminal defence lawyer who is adept at cross-examination and defending these types of allegations.

Money Laundering & Possession of the Proceeds of Crime: Proceeds of crime offences can attract significant sentences and fines. The more complex the case, the more specialized skill is required. We have the right team and access to the resources required to properly defend these types of financial crimes.

Tax Defence: We can defend or assist your tax lawyer with the defence and reduction of reassessments based on imputed income said to be the proceeds of criminal activity such as drug trafficking. These type of reassessments often rely upon evidence from the criminal proceeding that if left unchallenged can result in reassessments based on incorrect assumptions concerning income and profit.

Leave to Appeal & Appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada: Appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada are granted sparingly and are governed by a unique set of rules and procedures. If this is your last opportunity to appeal, it’s essential that you use a lawyer and a firm with experience before the Supreme Court, familiarity with the process, and excellent legal drafting ability. You must file a notice of your intention to appeal within 30 days of the judgment. If that deadline is approaching, please call us immediately to be given a priority appointment.

Extradition: A person may be extradited from Canada only if the alleged criminal conduct in question, and for which the extradition is requested, is recognized as criminal by both countries. There are three phases to the extradition process. While much of the process occurs behind closed doors, the individual has the opportunity to resist their extradition during the judicial phase. The individual sought may also appeal the decision of the extradition judge and/or apply for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to the Court of Appeal in the province where the extradition hearing took place. If the Court of Appeal upholds the decisions of the extradition judge and the Minister, the individual may then seek leave to appeal either or both decisions to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Regulatory Offences: We act on behalf of individuals or corporations charged with breaches of provincial or federal regulations.