The Ethics of Police Law: Schaeffer/Wood and Other Ethical Issues

November 20, 2014 11:15am

William Smart, Q.C.
Hunter Litigation Chambers

Brad Smith

Bradford Smith Law Corp.

Michael Tammen
Michael Tammen Law Corporation

  • Implications of Schaeffer at the SCC
    • The public vs. private interests of officers when it comes to obtaining legal advice
    • Subsequent developments at Ontario’s Divisional Court
    • The response of law societies in various provinces
  • Joint retainers and the duty of candour
    • When candour can lead to collusion or its appearance
    • Conflicts between the ethical duty of lawyers and the public/ statutory duty of officers
    • Cost implications for unions
  • Can a lawyer represent the chief and an officer in for example an appeal proceeding?
  • Can in-house counsel represent the chief sometimes and members sometimes? On different occasions?
  • What about defending police officers and challenging a force as part of a criminal defence?
  • The role of counsel for subject officers in IIO and similar investigations
    • Balancing protecting the client’s individual interest vs. public duty
  • The role of counsel when attending at interviews with police officers
  • The role of in-house counsel
    • When a chief of police or oversight agency is not satisfying disclosure obligations
    • Advising on inherent conflicts of interest, such as a chief investigating alleged misconduct for which the force may have vicarious liability