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Lawyers who speak out

We are lawyers who speak out

At Acumen Law Corporation we’re lawyers who take a stand. We feel that lawyers have an obligation to be engaged in important debates about the law in our society, that lawyers should be prepared to explain the legal system to the public and to defend the process of our courts. Lawyers in general have become an almost non-existent voice in politics over the past decade. In our mind this bodes poorly for our society. For reasons that are too numerous to mention, lawyers have censored themselves and we think that’s wrong.[pullquote]The lawyers in our office are willing to speak out...

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Your BC driver’s license back lickety-split

The window of escape is now

Since the Richardson decision came out, we've been going through old cases and filing Petitions to appeal IRPs that should have been revoked by the OSMV at the original hearing. The good news is that if you're currently prohibited from driving, we're going to get your BC driver's license back to you lickety-split. The reason is that we're filing the appeals quickly, serving them at something close to light speed, and the consent orders for the first batch are on their way. That means it's only a matter of days until our clients are back on the road. This applies to...

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Now is the time to appeal your IRP review decision

Time to appeal your IRP

As we explained in the last blog post, many people who disputed an Immediate Roadside Prohibition and lost at the tribunal level are now in a good position to succeed because of recent BC Supreme Court rulings. Now is the time to appeal your IRP review decision because the rulings will apply to many, perhaps most, of the decisions made by the OSMV going as far back as 2010. If you're successful, it means the IRP comes off your record and the BC Government will write you a cheque. Here's how we're doing it: Getting started: How we appeal your IRP...

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What this big IRP Court decision means to you

Happy about the Big IRP Court decision

The court decision from last Friday was the really big IRP news that we'd been waiting for since last summer. We think it's the most important Supreme Court IRP decision so far because it has the greatest chance of relieving the greatest number of people from their IRP. Now it's time to explain what this big IRP court decision means to you. In the Wilson case, the court ruled that in order for an officer to issue a "Warn" IRP, (i.e. 3, 7 or 30 days on the basis of a "Warn" blow on an ASD) the officer had to have...

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Really Big IRP News – Wilson is the Law

Big IRP News

Thousands of people will be affected by this. Today at 9:00 a.m. the BC Supreme Court rendered its decision in Wendy Richardson v. The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, confirming that the decision in Wilson v. The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles is the law with respect to 90-day IRPs issued on the basis of an ASD Fail. This is really big news. What this means is that IRPs issued by a police officer who did not have the correct opinion properly expressed must be revoked by the tribunal upon review. This has now been confirmed as having been a ground for review of...

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Look at the evidence, then decide

Look at the evidence - make your own decision

The BC Supreme Court decision in Kenyon v. the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles has people in the BC Government all upset. In that particularly insightful decision, the BC Supreme Court Justice says a lot of smart things including that, in his opinion, the adjudicators at the OSMV are "attempting to rationalize desired results." He notes a disturbing pattern. He says that normally the Courts need to give tribunals a high degree of deference. But then he says that the deference is "misplaced" with the OSMV tribunal because of the nature of the tribunal, and because of this disturbing pattern. The...

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A good decision

Good IRP judicial review decision

"It must be recognized that the scheme the Superintendent administers is meant to deter drinking and driving by the imposition of serious penalties on those who do not meet the standard set by the legislation. Within constitutional limits, it is the duty of courts to vindicate such legislation. If, however, the legislation supplements the imposition of penalties with the terrors of arbitrary state processes and foregone reviews, it is the duty of the courts to rigorously address those deficiencies and not to shield them." (Kenyon v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles), 2014 BCSC 168) As lawyers dealing with the IRP...

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Murray fallout – check your IRP disclosure

Murray fallout

As we reported January 24, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the application for leave to appeal the decision of the BC Court of Appeal in Murray. It's been interesting to see how things are playing out. The Murray fallout is significant, which tells us a little about why the BC Government was willing to spend big money (taxpayers' money) to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of Canada. If you received an IRP at any point after June 15, 2012, you should check your IRP disclosure. You may be the lucky beneficiary of our work in the...

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Imperfect police

The police make mistakes

We are often stunned by the disclosure we obtain from Freedom of Information requests. We find horrible things like police concocting evidence to substantiate IRPs, Government employees doing things absolutely contrary to the law and almost every day we see evidence of incompetency across the board. Lawyers like ourselves who are in court practically every day become accustomed to police incompetence. We're not intolerant. We expect imperfect police officers because nobody is perfect. We're humans too. There are some really wonderful police officers in BC. Unfortunately, there are also some really imperfect police officers out there and every day there are...

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The first IRP case at the Supreme Court of Canada

Supreme Court of Canada

On Thursday, January 23, 2014, the decision was rendered in the first IRP case at the Supreme Court of Canada. We're celebrating the decision and the quality of our work and contribution to the case. Followers of our blog may recall that back in August 2013, the BC Court of Appeal confirmed an earlier decision regarding the requirement of the police to submit a sworn report in connection with an IRP. Of course, the first version of the IRP scheme was found unconstitutional with respect to Fail IRPs. The second version was introduced to address the Charter violations of the first...

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