Session 31: The Voluntariness Voir Dire

On April 17, 2013 Louise Tansey supervised by Deputy Crown Attorney Mark Moors presented on the voluntariness voir dire. The session covered the strategy and evidence required on such a voir dire, making use of varied sources of evidence such as cell block video and 911 calls. 

Impermissible trickery, threats he is prepared to carry out, promises and inducements he is never intending to fulfill all in the confines of an atmosphere of oppression beyond your worst nightmares; your minds will no longer be operating. Your will, will be overborne and you will confess (perhaps even falsely) your deepest more secret MCM worth f*ck-ups to Deputy Moors. 

Voluntariness Presentation

Voluntariness cheat sheet

Session 30: Photo Line-Ups & the OPS Robbery Unit

This special session was held on March 20, 2013. Staff Sgt. Mike Haarbosch and Det. Rob Mills of the Ottawa Police Service Robbery Unit, answered ACA- Rupert's call to come and deliver their excellent presentation on what goes in to the police prep of a photo line-up. Both officers candidly shared their experiences with good and bad photo line-ups, they also welcomed feedback from crowns on the robbery files.

Staff Sgt. Haarbosh kindly provided the powerpoint presented at the session.

Session 28: Section 9(2)- What's Your Point?

On February 13, 2013 Matthew Geigen-Miller and Louise Tansey ably supervised by Assistant Crown Attorney Jason Neubauer.

We all know or can at least read the Milgaard steps and check-lists for recanting witness but this session looks beyond the checklists to the trial strategy of your 9(2).  We ask hard questions about what is the objective of the 9(2) application in your case? What methods will help you to achievd that objective? 

The session was based on a short fact pattern to provide some context to the discussion. A power point presentation was also handed out. 

Fact Pattern

9(2)- What's Your Point? 

Session 27: Monster Mash-Up

This session was held on January 30, 2013. Given the influx of new members this session was intended to cover a variety topics already presented at earlier MCM-sessions. 

Assistant Crown Attorney and original MCM-Group member Fara Rupert presented an excellent demonstration of a witness prep (ideal and less so). Fara was ably aided (and abeted) by Deputy Crown Attorney Mark Moors. The demonstration spurred some excellent debate, one which has been and continues to be of interest at MCM group about what a Crown can, should and should not do in a prep meeting. 

Assistatn Crown Attorney Matthew Geigen-Miller then presented on the use of magic words in impaired and over 80 cases. Matthew's presentation involved real life examples from actual cases and most helpfully what the Crown can do to try to save the day. 

Sh*t Cops Say- No Magic Words Required

Session 26: Fingerprints and Experts

This session was held on January 16, 2013.

In this first session of 2013, Rob Wadden presented an informative session on fingerprint evidence. The purpose of this session was to explain the process of qualifying a fingerprint expert, understanding the scope and limits of fingerprint evidence and discussing the recent trends in the jurisprudence in this area of the law. 

Rob is a member of the Canadian Friction Ridge Working Group. 

Materials were distributed in this session and are available below: 

Fingerprint Powerpoint (to follow shortly)

Fingerprint Handout

Fingerprint Glossary

R v JJ, [2012] OJ No 1125

R v Lepage, [1995] 1 SCR 654

R v Mars, [2006] OJ No 472

R v Rajalinkham, [2005] OJ No 2240


Session 25: Xmas Xtravaganza

On December 19, 2012 MCM-Group gathered to solemnly celebrate x-mas, Quanza and Hanukkah as only MCM-group knows how, by sitting around eating cupcakes and talking about the law, lamenting our inglorious mistakes and revelling in our minor successes. 

Assistant Crown Attorney Matthew Humphreys graciously attended and discussed the use of powerpoint in sentencing submissions. 

As promised xtravaganza worthy snacks and refreshments were provided. 


Session 24: The Law is for Chumps- you need better evidence- Improving Charter Responses with Evidence

On December 5, 2012 MCM-Group co-founder and repeat presenter MGM delivered a seminal MCM session on How to Woodshed (in a good/permissible/legal way) a Charter Response. The session covered the importance of prepping your witnesses, especially police witnesses on the Charter issues. There was some fierce debate on where the line is and should be when it comes to prepping such witnesses. The session was supervised by ACA Cavanagh. 

 Of note this was the session with the longest title so far... 

Although a sample Charter responses were discussed no materials were distributed at this session. 

Session 23: Joint Prosecutions- the Feds & You

On November 28, 2012 recovering Assistant Crwon Attorney tunred Federal Crown Prosecutor Brigid Luke co-chaired a panel discussion along with Assistant Crown Attorney Dallas Mack on the conduct of joint prosecutions. The sesison candidly covered the challenges and benefits of the joint prosecutions from bail to trial. 

Below is a list of topics covered by the enthusiastic panelist. 


Joint Prosecutions-discussion points

Session 22: Prepping Child Witnesses

On October 17, 2012 Assistant Crown Attorney Lia Bramwell spoke to MCM-Group about the unique challenges that child witnesses pose. The importance of trial preparation was discussed as well as how to go about prepping a child witness. Other resources such as victim witness support and the child friendly equipment were discussed. 

Lia provided a helpful index of cases on assessing the evidence of children which will be posted shortly. 

Session 19: The Rule in Browne v Dunn

This session focussed on the rule in Browne v Dunn and how it impacts on the Crown's case and the role of the Crown. 

This session included the following topics: 

1. the scope of the rule

2. effecto of the rule

3. remedies for breaching the rule

4. obligations of the Crown


This session was held on August 29th, 2012 and presented by Julian Daller with Mike Boyce supervising. 

The Rule in Browne v Dunn- presentation

The Rule in Browne v Dunn- cheat sheet

Session 17 & 18: Crossing at Bail (it's wrong to let him out; it's right to keep him in)

This session was an introduction to cross-examination. Bail courts provide crowns with a terrific opportunity to try out various cross-examination techniques. 

This two-part session was practical and case based. MCM-Group members were assigned various roles and provided with materials including excerpts from a transcript of an actual bail hearing conducted by an MCM-Group member. The tasks were as follows:

1. cross-examining the accused on his criminal record

2. cross-examining the accused on his history of treatment

3. cross-examining the accused on his employment

4. cross-examining the surety on her knowledge of the accused's history

5. cross-examining the surety on the release plan

The actual transcript of each cross was provided as a learning guide following the exercise. 

The second of this two-part session addressed the following: 

1. from theme to questions: how to build a line of cross

2. panning for gold: how to execute a probing search for a breakaway while working the edges

A simulated cross by a senior crown was presented as part of the session. 


Session 17 was held on August 8th, 2012 and Session 18 was held on August 15th, 2012. Both these sessions were presented by Matthew Geigen-Miller and Louise Tansey with James Cavanagh supervising. 

Materials cannot be posted as some are subject to a publication ban. 



Session 16: Re-Examination

This session focusses on the art, strategy and law of re-examination. 

This session was motivated by my personal fury at being (improperly) objected to by defence and shut down by judges for what I believed to be fair and proper re-ex. Now instead of sulking and stomping your foot (about re-ex at least) following this session it is hoped that you will be able to articulate and defend your re-ex. 

Topics will include: the rule, the judicial misstatement of the rule, overview of the jurisprudence and discussion on personal experiences and strategy (just because you can ask it, doesn't mean that you should)

This session was held on Wednesday July 25th, 2012 and presented by Louise Tansey with James Cavanagh supervising. 

Statement of the Law on Re-Examination

Session 15: Who Got Da 4-1-1?

This session focusses on the one thing almost everyone overlooks: the information. 

The trial offers many opportunities to f**k up, but few so shameful as a technicality arising from the information. Lurking within our trial lists is a veritable minefield of technical defects that give defence lawyers what they love the most – the chance to avoid a trial on the merits. There are, unfortunately, too many examples to fit into one hour, but this session will canvas some common hazards and issues encountered by the rookie crown, such as:

  • the information that was sworn out of time or never sworn
  • faulty crown election
  • common errors in charge wording
  • repairing the information: re-lay or amend?
  • mid-trial applications to amend
  • incorrect charges at the bail hearing

This session was held on July 11th, 2012 and presented by Matthew Geigen-Miller with Stephen Donoghue supervising.

Who Got Da 4-1-1? Presentation


Session 13: Calling the List

This session focusses on the factors prosecutors must consider when prioritizing their trial list. The objective of this meeting is to learn to think critically about what criteria should be taken in to consideration and how to balance the factors. Crowns will be asked apply the factors discussed to sample trial lists (these exercises and the corresponding worksheets can be accessed by clicking on the link below).

Trial preperation of files that are likely to be transferred out of your courtroom is a secondary focus of this session. Crowns will be encouraged to prepare a summary sheet so that the colleague recieving the file will have a concise overview of the case. Please click on the link below to access a sample trial summary sheet.

This session was held on May 29, 2012 and was presented by Matthew Geigen-Miller, Louise Tansey and supervised by James Cavanagh.

Calling the List Exercises & Worksheets

Sample Trial Summary Sheet

Trial Prep Template

Session 12: Gunz 'n' Gangz

The purpose of this session is to familiarize Crowns with the Guns and Gangs unit of the Ottawa Police Service. The session was lead by two senior officers in the unit. The presentation on gangs involves an overview of the definition of a gang and the make-up of Ottawa based gangs. Gang history, symbols and activities are also addressed.

The guns presentation focusses on criminal code definitions and their practical applications. A variety of firearms were on hand (disabled, safetied and unloaded!) so Crowns could touch and examine the weapons.

Guns and Gangs Presentation

Video: Accidental Discharge

Video: Gun with Drum Mag