R v Y.Z.
Y.Z. and a co-accused were charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life after an elderly person under their care sustained injuries during an accident and subsequently died. Ms. Ferg was retained and after securing initial disclosure (which included extensive medical documentation) the matter was set for trial. After numerous discussions with the Crown, Ms. Ferg successfully had the charge against her client completely withdrawn. Y.Z. avoided a criminal record and was able to continue working in her field.
R v D.R.
D.R. was convicted of importing approximately 5 lbs of a Schedule 1 substance (Opium) into Canada contrary to section 6(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. After conducting an initial review of the file, Ms. Ferg obtained the disclosure from the original trial and conducted some additional inquiries. After lengthy discussions and negotiations with the Crown, the matter was sent back to the Court of Queen’s Bench for a new trial without the need for a full hearing before the Alberta Court of Appeal.
R v. A.D.
A.D. was charged with possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking and simple possession under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act as well as possession of proceeds of crime under the Criminal Code of Canada after his car was searched during a traffic stop. The drugs alleged to be involved were Alprazolam, Marihuana and Cocaine. Mr. McKay was retained as counsel and the matter was set for trial. Prior to trial, Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg filed an extensive Charter notice alleging numerous violations of A.D.’s rights. The arguments included violations of A.D.’s right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure, insufficient grounds for arrest, as well as a violation of A.D’s right to counsel. The Charter notice also alleged that the police officer who arrested A.D. was abusive in her conduct and violated his section 7 right to life, liberty and security of the person.
The matter proceeded to trial and the parties entered into a voir dire to hear evidence in relation to the Charter motion. After the testimony of the arresting officer, the parties had discussions and the matter was resolved. While the charges he was facing carried a potential for significant jail time, A.D. pled guilty to two counts of simple possession and received a fine.
R v C.D.
After an extensive police investigation involving numerous wiretaps, C.D. and a co-accused were charged with discharging a firearm with the intent to wound, maim or disfigure in relation to a drive-by shooting. The matter was set for a multi-week trial before a jury in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. Prior to trial, Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg had numerous meetings and discussions with Crown counsel. The matter was stayed the last business day before the trial was set to commence.
R v T.P.L.
T.P.L. was charged with second-degree murder after an incident that occurred in the early morning hours at a rural house party. Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg came onto the file after the preliminary inquiry and the matter was scheduled for trial.
In the months leading up to the trial, Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg sought further disclosure from the Crown and litigated two pre-trial motions. In terms of disclosure, the defence was able to obtain a number of important pieces of information in relation to the Crown’s star witness. This information was vital in destabilizing his credibility in cross-examination and casting doubt on what he said happened that night. The second pre-trial motion was an application to have a deceased eye witness’ prior statements introduced into evidence at trial. The version of events contained in this witness’ evidence was critical to the theory of the defence and was one of the only avenues available to corroborate what T.P.L. said happened. Both pre-trial motions were successful.
The trial was held before a judge and jury in superior court. It ran significantly longer than the parties anticipated and over the course of the trial, a number of unexpected legal issues arose. After the close of the Crown’s case, T.P.L. testified in her own defence. The case was left with the jury. After less than 24 hours of deliberation, the jury came back and T.P.L. was fully acquitted. She left court totally exonerated and was able to return home with her family.
R v C.D.
After an extensive police investigation involving numerous wiretaps, C.D. was charged with two counts of committing offences for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization over a period of almost a year and a half. The charges carried a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison each. The matter (which involved 4 other co-accused facing numerous counts of attempted murder) was set for a 6 week judge and jury trial in the Court of Queen’s Bench. Shortly before the proceedings were to commence, Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg were able to resolve the matter. A.B. pled guilty to a single count of drug trafficking and was able to put his criminal charges behind him.
R v D.R.
D.R. was convicted of importing approximately 5 lbs of a Schedule 1 substance (Opium) into Canada contrary to section 6(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Upon being retained for the conduct of the appeal, Ms. Ferg was able to secure D.R.’s judicial release pending the hearing of the appeal.
R. v C.F.
C.F. was charged with 9 offences in relation to 5 different sets of charges all of which stemmed from an underlying addiction issues. The charges (some of which were from another jurisdiction) were brought together and dealt with at the same time to achieve the best result for C.F. Ultimately, after negotiation with the Crown, many of the charges were withdrawn of and C.F. did not have to spend any additional time in custody.
R v. G.R.
G.R. was charged with two counts of breaching an Emergency Protection Order and one count of failing to abide by a court order. The charges arose in the context of a domestic dispute and the second charge of breaching the Emergency Protection Order carried a minimum sentence of jail. Ms. Ferg liaised with G.R.’s family law counsel to form a comprehensive strategy to deal with G.R.’s legal issues in both areas of law. Ultimately, Ms. Ferg was able to have all of the criminal charges withdrawn.
R. v. T.R.
T.R. was charged with one count of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm. The allegation was made in the context of a highly contentious custody battle and the very fact of a criminal charge was devastating to T.R. Although the matter was set for trial, Ms. Ferg was able to have the criminal charge withdrawn before the trial date and T.R. was able to move on without having to testify or go through stressful trial proceedings.
R v H.K.
H.K. was facing three separate prosecutions from another jurisdiction all of which stemmed from serious addiction and mental health issues. Since moving to Calgary, H.K. had rebuilt her life and made significant progress in treating and overcoming her issues. Ms. Ferg was able to have all of H.K.’s outstanding matters transferred into Calgary and resolved. While the Crown initially sought a period of custody and a high fine, Ms. Ferg dissuaded the Crown from seeking further custody and no fine was imposed.
R v S.A.
S.A. was charged with impairment by drug after being involved in a serious traffic accident. Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg filed a Charter notice which highlighted critical deficiencies in the Crown’s case. Specifically, Mr. McKay challenged the grounds for arrest and the manner in which the accused was compelled to submit to a drug evaluation. He also argued S.A.’s right to counsel had been breached. After some further discussion with the prosecutor, the case was withdrawn.
R v S.S.
S.S. was charged in two separate drug prosecutions. In the first, S.S. faced drug charges including possession of cocaine and MDMA for the purpose of trafficking. In the second, S.S. was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking in relation to meth, cocaine and heroin as well as production of cocaine. He was also charged with possession of proceeds of crime (in relation to approximately $20,000 in cash) as well as possession of a restricted firearm (a fully automatic assault rifle) and ammunition.
After extensive pre-trial preparation, filing Charter motions and a number of negotiations with Crown counsel, Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg able to resolve all of S.S.’s matters with a plea to a single count of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and a single count of possession of heroin for the purpose of trafficking. All of the charges from the first prosecution were dropped and all of the remaining charges on the second prosecution were withdrawn. S.S. (who had a related record) received a sentence of 3.5 years in custody (which was approximately 6 years lower than the Crown’s initial offer).
R v B.B.
B.B. was charged in relation an alleged credit card “skimming” scheme. The police had physical surveillance evidence, electronic surveillance evidence, video evidence from the scene and obtained a number of warrants. After noticing irregularities in the disclosure, Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg sought additional disclosure from the Crown. When the disclosure was refused, they filed a court application to obtain it.
Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg also filed a Charter motion alleging the police failed to abide by the terms of one of the warrants they had and challenging the search of the residence allegedly associated with the accused. Before the applications could be heard, the Crown sought an adjournment in order to make further disclosure. The adjournment was granted and Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg brought an application for a stay of proceedings based on unreasonable delay. Before this application could be heard, the Crown entered a stay of proceedings.
R v M.M.
M.M. was charged with two counts of assault with a weapon and one count of assault causing bodily harm in relation to a stabbing in the context of a domestic relationship. M.M. suffered from mental health issues and the alleged offence occurred during a time of crisis. Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg became involved in the case shortly after the incident and were able to immediately liaise with M.M.’s family, community workers and medical professionals to get the support and treatment M.M. needed into place. The Court was presented with a comprehensive bail plain within a matter of days and M.M. was released after a contested bail hearing.
After M.M.’s release was secured, counsel continued to work with the doctors and other professionals involved to help M.M. navigate the court process. Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg had a number of discussions with the Crown regarding the appropriate resolution of the matter. While crimes of domestic crimes of violence are typically not eligible for diversion programs, after negotiations, the Crown ultimately consented to referring the case to the Mental Health Diversion program. The program was successfully completed and the charges were withdrawn.
R v A.R.
A.R. was charged with impaired driving and driving with a blood alcohol level over .08 after being stopped at Calgary Police Checkstop. Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg filed a Charter notice alleging a breach of A.R.’s right to counsel and the matter was stayed by the Crown prior to trial.
R v M.K.
M.K. was charged with 5 counts in relation to a purported attempted fraud: fraudulent personation, uttering a forged document, uttering a forged document knowing it had been made without lawful authority and two counts of possession of identity documents. The Crown proceeded by Indictment and Ms. Ferg set the matter for trial. Prior to trial, Ms. Ferg filed an extensive Charter notice attacking the legality of M.K.’s arrest and alleging numerous breaches of M.K.’s right to counsel. Upon receipt of the Charter notice and a review of the evidentiary deficiencies of the case, the Crown brought the matter forward from the trial date and withdrew all of the charges.
R v G.G.
G.G. was charged with assault after a “Road Rage” incident escalated and the police were called. G.G. retained Ms. Ferg shortly after being charged. Ms. Ferg was able to conduct negotiations with Crown counsel and the matter was withdrawn prior to trial dates being set.
R v A.B.
After a major drug investigation in Saskatchewan, A.B. was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and marijuana, directing a criminal organization, possession of proceeds of crime and a number of weapons related offences. Mr. McKay was immediately retained for the purposes of securing his release and to defend A.B. on the merits.
The police investigation involved approximately 22 warrants to seize various items, 2 authorizations to intercept private communications (wiretap orders) and numerous police and civilian witnesses. Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg ran a preliminary inquiry during which a number of key police witnesses were cross-examined. At the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry, the Crown decided that they would not proceed on the conspiracy to traffic in marijuana charge and the various weapons charges. Shortly thereafter, the Crown also decided not to proceed on the criminal organization charges.
The first pre-trial motion was conducted over two weeks and involved challenging the legality of 7 searches. These searches were critical as they formed the foundation for the later wiretaps and numerous production orders. All of these searches were ruled illegal as they breached A.B.’s section 8 Charter rights. As a result of the successful motion, the Crown agreed to withdraw all of the remaining serious charges and the matter was resolved.
R v O.V.
O.V. was charged with various offences related to child pornography found on his computer. This case involved complex and nuanced technical and legal issues. The technical aspects included expert evidence on computer forensic analysis, peer-to-peer programs, computer memory and specialized software. Legally, the case involved numerous search and privacy issues.
Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg represented O.V. at preliminary inquiry and trial. At trial, O.V. was found not guilty of accessing and trafficking in child pornography but guilty of possession. This conviction was appealed and a 3-member panel of the Alberta Court of Appeal unanimously agreed that O.V. should not have been convicted. The conviction was quashed and the Court entered an acquittal. The Crown was not pleased with this outcome and has appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.
R v S.D.
S.D. was charged with impaired driving and refusing to provide a breath sample after being found unconscious in the driver’s seat of a vehicle. Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg filed an extensive Charter notice alleging the police lacked the proper grounds for arrest and used excessive force in dealing with S.D. They also argued a breach of the S.D.’s right to counsel. The matter was stayed prior to trial.
R. v. H.L.
Mr. McKay and Ms. Ferg were retained to represent H.L. who was charged with numerous counts of fraud, extortion and criminal harassment. This 4-week trial involved an Alberta precedent setting decision as it relates to seizure of banking records from financial institutions. In addition, it involved issues surrounding the complex interplay between historical financial records and the professional affiliations of the client.
Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results and all litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts and circumstances of each individual case.