Michael Lacoste-Méthot v. Her Majesty the Queen

(Quebec) (Criminal) (By Leave)


Criminal law - Courts, Jurisdiction - Criminal law – Courts – Jurisdiction – Motion to disqualify lawyer from acting – Applicant’s lawyer disqualified from acting for him because of conflict of interest – Lawyer filing writ of certiorari in superior court – Whether writ of certiorari proper procedure for challenging disqualification order – Whether standard of review applicable to judge’s order disqualifying lawyer is correctness – Whether applicant’s lawyer should have been disqualified in this case – R. v. Druken, [1998] 1 S.C.R. 978 – R. v. Cunningham, [2010] 1 S.C.R. 331, 2010 SCC 10.


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The applicant is charged with conspiracy to traffic in certain controlled substances. Approximately eight months after the applicant’s counsel first appeared on his behalf, the Crown successfully brought a motion to have her removed as counsel on the basis of a conflict of interest. The applicant’s counsel challenged that decision by way of writ of certiorari in the Superior Court of Quebec, and the Crown responded by way of motion to dismiss. The court granted the Crown’s motion, finding that counsel’s challenge did not relate to the jurisdiction of the provincial court, nor did the decision disclose errors of law on the face of the record. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.