Quebec attacks on lawyers “shocking,” says Roots Gadhia

Toronto criminal lawyer Roots Gadhia says she’s shocked at the news of a third attack on Quebec criminal defence lawyers.

“For years Quebec has been well ahead of other provinces in prosecuting mega-trials and trials specificifically connected to organized crime,” she notes. “These trials take on lives of their own. In most cases they have a police informant or agents who are paid by the police to infiltrate these organizations. In addition, these cases have always gone hand-in-hand with years of surveillance and wiretaps; some of it quite damning,” says Gadhia.

“The information that is then disseminated to the defence lawyers for the proper representation of their clients is rife with details on double-crossings and outright betrayals, but it boggles my mind that a lawyer would get hurt by this. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Asks Gadhia: “Is this type of retaliation a natural consequence of these types of trials? Should all lawyers be concerned that their clients could exact retribution for a case lost or a witness not cross-examined properly?”

Gadhia has done this type of criminal defence work in Toronto and has “seen nothing but respect by the clients who value what their lawyers are capable of doing for them. These cases involve very serious issues and intricacies in the law. You want somebody defending you who is knowledgeable and backing you. So why would anyone do this to a lawyer who clearly specializes in this area of law, I just don’t know. That being said, however, I don’t know the details behind the attacks and whether they were perpetrated by a disgruntled client, a witness who was embarrassed in court, a disappointed family member.”

Meanwhile, she notes that “Ontario has only recently become involved in these large prosecutions, most of which fizzle out to a select few by the time the matter reaches trial.

“As a defence lawyer I have never worried about my safety with my clients. They respect the work I do for them, and know that I’m perhaps the only one in their corner,” she says.

“I would like to think this type of thing would not happen in Toronto.”

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