Criminal law, Quebec, Quebec Superior Court, Rulings
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Failure to protect solicitor-client privilege leads to acquittal of alleged Mafiosi

Two alleged Montreal Mafia leaders were acquitted of gangsterism and drug trafficking charges after Quebec Superior Court excluded wiretap evidence gathered by a joint police task force because they failed to put in place sufficient measures to prevent the interception of conversations between lawyers and clients.

In a ruling that will almost “certainly” be used by Quebec police forces as a wiretap procedural guideline, Quebec Superior Court Justice Éric Downs provides guidance on electronic surveillance, castigates police for failing to do enough to protect solicitor-client privilege, and warns that it would be imprudent to view his ruling as an inducement to consider law firm as safe havens to conspire and plan crimes, according to criminal lawyers.

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This story was originally published in The Lawyer’s Daily.

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