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Lawyers working in the public interest

Failure of checks and balances

If you weren't aware of it before, the last few months have given many a new understanding of lawyers working in the public interest. The reality is that working for the public interest is common for tens of thousands lawyers around the world for much or most of their work day. But the Trump administration has brought to the public attention the importance of public interest advocacy. A quick discussion of politics and history are required as a background to this post. We often speak of checks and balances to our system of democracy. The idea is that if you allow too...

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NOTICE to anyone who received an IRP since June 2012

Notice to anyone who received an IRP

If you received an IRP since June 2012, you need to read on and follow our instructions. It's important for you. You may still have a chance to have your Immediate Roadside Prohibition revoked, removed from your license and get some of your money back. Kyla Lee had not one but two major successes last week in our courts. She succeeded at the BC Court of Appeal last Thursday in the Macht decision which addresses a regular problem we see in decisions of the RoadSafetyBC tribunal. In that case the Court agreed that an issue that was the primary thrust of...

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Appeal Court Success for Kyla Lee of Acumen Law

Kyla Lee wins at the BC Court of Appeal

We often joke that that the BC Court of Appeal never saw a driving prohibition that they didn't like. But that changed Friday when the Court released their decision in Macht v. the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. One particular concern we have when it comes to the adjudication of Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) cases by the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles (A.K.A. RoadSafetyBC) is that the adjudicators appear to regularly disregard the thrust of the legal argument if they can rephrase it in a way to suggest that you were not forwarding a certain salient point. For example, you might argue that...

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Updated website

Updated Acumen Website

Welcome to our newly updated website! We've been working hard for the last few months to update and refresh our website to make it easier to read and to ensure that we can have the most accurate up-to-date information particularly on the practice area pages. There have been many dramatic changes to the legal landscape in BC and Canada in the last few years and it can be very hard to keep up. Our blog contains over 500 posts, most of which deal with the IRP scheme. We considered altering or removing some of the posts that are less relevant bearing in...

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End of the line for version 1 IRP legal challenges

In September we told you about how we ended up involved in the appeal of the remedy decision for the first version of the IRP scheme. The original challenge to the first version of the IRP scheme (what some call "IRP 1.0") was advanced by a group of lawyers, us included, and handled by a firm we hired to mount the challenge. They succeeded and the law was struck down. The issue next was whether there was a remedy for the people who were punished while the unconstitutional law was still in place. Many people had grand hopes in class-action lawsuits,...

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Do they care about saving lives or holding power?

About 78 people die each year in BC due to a collision involving a drunk driver. That’s the average you’ll find on ICBC’s website. It’s significant because in most of those cases the deaths are directly linked to the fact that one driver was impaired in their ability to drive. It follows that in most cases the accidents were avoidable. To deal with this problem the BC Government told the courts that this is a crisis and because it’s a crisis they should be permitted to have constitutionally deficient legislation. To that end the BC Government created the Immediate Roadside...

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Drove to Escape an Assault

One of the more disappointing aspects of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition review scheme is that there is no defence available if you drove to escape an assault. In criminal law we have the defence of necessity. So if there was a hunting accident and there was no reasonable option but for you to drive to obtain medical help, you would have a defence to any criminal impaired driving charge under that circumstance. Similarly, if the reason you got behind the wheel was to flee an attacker, you would be able to rely on the defence of necessity as an excuse...

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Impaired by Drugs

Governments across Canada are in a frenzied panic to come up with some better way to deal with drivers who are allegedly impaired by drugs. Suddenly this is a crisis. As though for the first time ever people who drive have discovered recreational drugs. In 2010 it was barely worth mentioning as a problem. In 2016 it threatens the very essence our of society. The war on drugs — what was that about? Oh yeah, what we have here is a war on the elusive driver impaired by drugs. What to do? Won’t somebody think of the children? Yeah. Right. If you’re...

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Hundreds of Roadside Prohibition Revoke

Each year we have hundreds of roadside prohibitions revoked for clients from all around British Columbia, particularly Immediate Roadside Prohibitions and Administrative Driving Prohibitions. So we’re accustomed to succeeding and we keep track of our successes. After all, we are the most successful law firm defending IRPs in the province. [pullquote]We accumulated several years of data now and we continue to remain the most successful IRP lawyers. [/pullquote] Still, every now and again we’re surprised by our own numbers. September 2016 is a good example. Record month When we say hundreds of roadside prohibitions revoked, we’re not kidding. From the start of the day on...

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Presentation to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs

On September 27, 2016, Paul Doroshenko of Acumen Law Corporation presented to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee with respect to a study the Senate is conducting on delays in Canada’s Criminal Justice system. Paul went over time in his oral evidence. The entire presentation was provided in written form. We have reproduced Paul’s entire presentation below. Click here to download the PDF. Delay in Our Justice System Arising from Developments in Impaired Driving Defense Paul Doroshenko, Lawyer, Acumen Law Corporation STANDING SENATE COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS Study on matters pertaining to delays in Canada’s criminal justice system September 27, 2016 Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver Introduction Thank...

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