Martin hit target?

BRAMPTON -- A contract on the life of then finance minister Paul Martin was being shopped around Toronto's underworld in 2003, a former police informant testified yesterday.

Two contracts, worth up to $300,000, were offered, said accused cocaine trafficker Vincent Brown at an abuse of process hearing.

Brown has applied to have his drug charges dropped because he claims the RCMP broke its word after he came forward with information about the assassination plan.

Ontario man on trial for Facebook comments

NEWMARKET, Ont. — Postings on the social networking website Facebook should be compared to diary entries and not be used to form the basis of criminal charges, the lawyer for a man accused of making threats online is arguing.

The 26-year-old Toronto-area man is on trial on two counts of “knowingly” causing a nurse and employees at the York Region Children’s Aid Society to receive “a threat to cause death or seriously bodily harm,” as a result of what he posted on Facebook last fall.

Sam Goldstein: Diefenbaker for the defence

As I have detailed on these pages, our first prime minister, John A. Macdonald, honed his famous oratorical skills in the courtroom when he began his career as a criminal lawyer (John A. Macdonald at the [other] bar, Jan. 11). He was well on his way to becoming a real-life Atticus Finch until he took over the commercial practice of a leading Kingston lawyer upon the man’s sudden death. After that, Macdonald used his lawyering skills only to triumph in the court of public opinion. Criminal law was Sir John A.’s profession, but politics was his vocation.

Not so for our 13th prime minister. John G. Diefenbaker saw criminal law as both his profession and his vocation. And one cannot understand the man’s political career without understanding what made him tick as a lawyer. From The Bill of Rights to his decision to commute Steven Truscott’s death sentence to life, his actions as prime minister from 1957-1963 were rooted in his early career as a criminal lawyer.

Night of Mixemong killing a blank, says accused man’s lawyer

BARRIE – Jessy Herlichka has no memory of the beating he inflicted on Andrew Mixemong that ultimately led to his death, according to one of his lawyers.

In the opening statement of Herlichka’s defence, Sam Goldstein, one of the Midland man’s two lawyers, said the accused will testify he had consumed alcohol, Percocet and a drug “something like” OxyContin on July 6, 2012, the day of the incident.

He has no memory of what happened from about 4 p.m. to the next day,” Goldstein told a Barrie court March 13.

Former employee details inner workings of telemarketing shop

KINGSTON - A former employee of the telemarketing operation run by 47-year-old Penny Kidd and her 29-year-old son, Joshua, estimated Friday that his earnings as a supervisor at the Kingston site -- at 10% of the room’s take -- ranged from $800 to $1,500 a week. But he told Justice Allan Letourneau he’d been paid a 30% commission on his sales when he worked the phones.

Tyler Samson, 24, testifying at the fraud and proceeds of crime trial of the Kidds, insisted that their telemarketers were told not to use words like volunteer, charity, non-profit or tax-receipt in their sales pitches.

He admitted “sometimes when you get in the heat of the moment it does slip out.” But he claimed those working under under his direction were disciplined for padding their pitches with that type of false claim and fired if they persisted.

Printing plant rep testifies at fraud trial

A representative of Performance Printing in Smith Falls testified at the fraud trial of mother and son, Penny and Joshua Kidd, Thursday, that his company produced multiple printings over four years for a business the pair are alleged to have owned and operated.

But the magazine numbers - about 500 - according to Kevin Burns, the printing company’s customer service manager, only amounted to $10,671.72 worth of work between 2008 and 2011.

Burns said “our records show we printed everything under one account, Community Drug Awareness [Independent Publication],” although the titles produced included both that commercial entity’s Let’s Talk magazine and Child Safety Alert’s Safe and Sound, plus an additional $1,134.69 run of 10,000 folded fliers for now defunct Citizen Telecom Inc., which operated out of Penny Kidd’s home.

Court defends '21st-century mobile castles': U.S. ruling protects cellphone privacy and 'bodes well' for Canada

Police in the U.S. must have a warrant before they search an arrested person’s cellphone, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a decision observers say “bodes well” for a forthcoming ruling on digital search and seizure from Canada’s top court.

The unanimous ruling, heralded as a huge win for 21st-century privacy rights, acknowledges the contents of a cellphone need far more privacy protection than the U.S. law currently provides, says the lawyer who is fighting this same battle before the Supreme Court of Canada.

“Given the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court on search and seizure is dealing with these similar issues we’re dealing with and has similar thinking about privacy that we deal with, I think it bodes well that the Canadian courts will see digital devices as our 21st-century mobile castles,” said Sam Goldstein, a Toronto criminal lawyer who argued the case before Canada’s top court in May.

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