Jonathan David Meer v. Her Majesty the Queen
(Alberta) (Criminal) (As of Right)
Canadian charter (Criminal) - Evidence, Assessment.
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Criminal law - Trial - Ineffective assistance of counsel - Whether there was a miscarriage of justice occasioned by the ineffective and incompetent assistance of the appellant’s trial counsel.
The appellant was convicted of arson, extortion and obstruction of justice, as well as of conspiracy to commit arson, extortion, obstruction of justice and assault. He appealed his conviction, arguing, among other things, that he did not receive a fair trial because his trial counsel was incompetent. A majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. Berger J.A., dissenting, would have allowed the appeal, set aside the convictions and ordered a new trial. In his view, the appellant’s trial counsel was not adequately prepared for trial, was oblivious to the real prospect that certain trial issues would emerge and was ignorant of the applicable and well-established law pertaining to those issues. Berger J.A. concluded that trial counsel’s “woeful” incompetence pertained to critical aspects of the trial such that the appellant was denied effective representation.
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