Oh, dear. Another bug in the butter for Ottawa Crown Dallas Mack‘s favourite prosecutors, Louise Tansey and, er, Dallas Mack, as counsel for accused murderer Adam Picard announced he’d be taking his complaints of unreasonable delay to the Supreme Court..
Big-haired legalist Lawrence Greenspon (Franks passim) will tell it to the Santas even as his client faces a new trial in April for the murder of Fouad Nayel, 28.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Julianne Parfett, readers may recall, freed Picard last November, citing unacceptable trial delays in light of that pesky Jordan decision. The accused had been sitting in pokey since his December 2012 arrest.
Although Parfett, herself a former senior Ottawa Crown, found Picard had gummed up the works for eight months with a game of musical lawyers, and the usual Elgin Street procedural shitshow could be blamed for another 17 months of his legal purgatory, she found the seven months of slowdancing by Dallas and Louise “the most troubling in this case.”
When there was finally room on the docket for pre-trial motions in February 2016, the fun prosecutorial couple just couldn’t find space in their busy schedules any time between then and the beginning of the summer break June 30, further postponing the action until September. The only other option, unthinkably, would would have been to sub in another Crown and break up the dynamic duo.
Even their victory this month in the appeal court, ordering a new trial for Picard, included further scoldings of Dallas and Louise by Justice Paul Rouleau:
“[T]he delay caused here is simply too long. In addition, the fact that the court’s first available dates were eight months away gave ample time for a reassignment of one or both Crowns and time for the new Crowns to prepare the case. Complexity, therefore, did not justify taking the position that the trial could not proceed until the assigned Crowns were available.
“In my view, when, as here, Mr. Picard has been incarcerated for some 29 months awaiting trial, and a trial at month 37 is offered by the court and defence, the Crown cannot, by insisting that both senior Crowns assigned to the case be available, push the start date of the trial to month 44. This is precisely the type of approach that Jordan seeks to remedy.”
The self-regarding twosome, courthouse weasels have noted, are nigh inseparable. Louise, a keen student of Dallas’ prosecutorial oeuvre, can often been seen in the gallery raptly taking in his courthouse preenings whenever her own heavy caseload permits.
Readers might also recall Dallas and Louise, along with zealous Crown crony Julien Lalande, put in countless extra hours leading the charge for President Steve’s beloved victim surcharge fine ($100 per summary offense, $200 per indictable), no matter how indigent, addicted, mentally ill or generally hopeless the offender.
The avenging trio humped legal case books from courtroom to courtroom, loaded for bear against any judge who had doubts about hosing penniless defendants for hundreds of dollars, which largely disappear into government coffers, never seen by soi-disant victims of condition breaches and other pissant infractions.
Given such onerous burdens of public service, it’s hardly surprising the hard-charging inmates of the Crown’s office occasionally feel the need to blow off a little steam.
The legend persists of two overheated Crowns caught in flagrante delicto in Judge Jacqueline Loignon’s courtroom while she presided over a hearing.
The legalists were enjoying a skin flute recital in the privacy of a small room adjoining the back of the courtroom and presumed they couldn’t be seen through the one-way glass.
Alas, the glass was two-way, and from her bench, Justice Jacqueline could observe the entire performance, from cadenza to crescendo.
Thankfully, before the punters in her courtroom could turn around to get a gawk, Loignon dispatched the clerk to instruct the perfervid prosecutors to cease and desist. Ardour in the court!