The BEST criminal defence

"With every client and every file I follow a process". 

The starting point for any good legal defence is the process.  Even the best legal argument can fall on deaf ears if the legal process is ignored and it is unlikely that a credible legal defence can be marshalled if one doesn't follow a process.  Just as there is a process to presenting a case in court, there is a process to good preparation.

My process is a kind of analytical paradigm used to evaluate each case from the bottom-up and then from the top-down.  

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"To start the process, I offer a free initial consultation". 

1. Evaluate the problem from your perspective. 

"I will genuinely listen to your side of the story. He will genuinely evaluate the case from your perspective".  

In criminal justice the perspective of the police and Crown often dominates the case. Whether they admit it or not, the reality is, most Crown Prosecutors look at you as a villain and see police as heroes.  Some prosecutors are so resistant to the perspective of the accused that there is little or no point in even communicating with them. Sadly, some members of the judiciary (thankfully not all) see things the same way.

In criminal justice, it is not unusual for the voice of the accused to be drowned-out or distorted by a presumption of criminality. Even some defence lawyers have trouble seeing their clients as anything other than guilty reprobates.  

To effectively defend your case, it is important that your lawyer evaluate the problem from your perspective. This doesn’t mean your lawyer is to be reckless or willfully blind to the evidence; rather, your lawyer should understand that accused people may not only be presumed innocent, but may in fact be innocent. Though evidence might read a certain way, sometimes events in our lives are truly strange and often don't fit into our readily available view of reality. Even if you are not innocent per se there may be a variety of reasonable explanations for why trouble occurred.  

2. Assess the obstacles to successfully defending your case.

"I will evaluate the obstacles to successfully defending your case".

The obstacles to any successful defence are numerous.  As a starting point, you are accused by a State juggernaut responsible for financing the entire prosecution against you. Remember, the State constitutes the police, the Crown, Court administration and is even responsible for appointing and paying the judge that presides over your case.

Disclosure – or the information comprising the case against you – is controlled by the State.  While he Crown disseminates the information, the police are largely responsible for control the information contained in the Crown's disclosure file.  Oftentimes, the police have not investigated aspects of your case capable of exonerating you.  It is not unusual for police to myopically focus the investigation on information and sources capable of supporting conviction.  

As your Calgary defence lawyer, David Chow evaluates every obstacle to successfully defending your case. This includes assessing the quality and completeness of disclosure, the stigma surrounding the charge(s), the policies and protocols underpinning the allegation(s) and the likelihood of successfully resolving your case without a trial.


3. Pursue and Review Disclosure.

"I invest a lot of energy in reviewing disclosure; for knowing the case is critical to any good defence."

In R. v. Stinchcombe the Supreme Court of Canada mandated that the Crown must disclose any and all information in the control of the State that may “potentially” assist you in making full answer and defence.  The Supreme Court even stated that it is a serious breach of professional ethics for the Crown failing to disclose.  

Despite the strong language, Alberta arguably continues to be a disclosure resistant jurisdiction. Though the Crown certainly discloses basic items, it routinely resists disclosure of other materials clearly in the police or State possession.  A dated example of this is in the disclosure of instrument maintenance records in impaired driving cases -- often called Kilpatrick disclosure (named after a case titled: R. v. Kilpatrick).

Obtaining relief for non-disclosure is difficult, if not even impossible.  A review of the jurisprudence highlights an unwillingness on the part of the Courts to remedy breaches of professional ethics relating to non-disclosure in any meaningful way.  

To defend your case, you need the case against you.  Equally important, you need to understand that disclosure is created by the State – the very party who charged you and is thus interested in your conviction.

4. Create a Paradigm for Success

"Every good criminal defence lawyer has a plan".

Crafting your defence is a process.  To successfully defend any case entails a plan for success.  This involves identifying your defences and setting them into motion.

By way of example, in Alberta there is a requirement to file “notice” of your intent to challenge the introduction of evidence into trial as a result of a breach of your Charter rights.  Other defences, such as alibi, require timely notice.

If you don’t have a plan, then you may fail to give notice.  A failure to give notice could mean that you lose an avenue to defend the case.  Other defences such as “alibi” and those pertaining to the use of experts and the introduction of documents require notice.

Not having a plan may also misdirect your defence or perhaps even cause credible defences to be overlooked by the trial judge. A criminal lawyer with a plan will work to focus on the credible defences. Focussing on defences that lack credibility may cause your defence to loose credibility. 

Sometimes – indeed oftentimes – the defence plan is simple.  Regardless of its complexity, knowing the plan is critical to success.

5. Execute

"No strategy works unless it is executed".  

David Chow is a Calgary defence lawyer who will make ever effort to fully and completely execute your defence plan.


"Every lawyer must evaluate each case for conflict".

The practice of criminal defence is changing – sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

Many Calgary criminal lawyers are selling a “team approach”; many are operating in larger defence firms or associations populated by numerous criminal defence lawyers. Notwithstanding that this, on the surface, appears favourable, you should be cautious about representation by lawyers practicing within larger firms due to conflict of interest.

Conflict of interest occurs when your lawyer has acted for a witness, a co-accused or even when another lawyer within your counsel’s firm or organization has acted for a witness, a co-accused or perhaps even a family member or friend of a witness or co-accused.

The Crown and Court no longer easily tolerate conflict scenarios. The result of a retaining a defence lawyer with a conflict of interest is that he or she could be forcibly removed as counsel of record. This will delay the completion of your case and likely result in higher legal fees.

Retainer a lawyer always costs money. It is not in your best interest to double-pay or overpay for your defence.

The benefit of hiring a lawyer who is not associated with others is that the likelihood of conflict is significantly reduced. 

David Chow always makes best efforts to asses each and every case for possible conflict. If a conflict identified, David won't take your case.


"I understand the law can be confusing, even intimidating. It is my role to help you through the process and to do everything possible to protect your best interests.

My Commitment is Defending Your Case

My commitment to you is to work intelligently, creatively, energetically and if necessary, viciously, within the parameters of the law. My objective is to ensure your proper representation against a State juggernaut that has access to virtually unlimited resources.

The best resource to defend your charges is your lawyer. I look forward to helping you with your charges".

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