Liam_Oconnor.jpgLiam C. O'Connor
B.A., LL.B.
Barrister & Solicitor

Liam C. O'Connor was called to the Bar in 1995 after completing his Law Degree at the University of Windsor in 1993. Prior to this he completed Bachelor Degrees in English (1986) and Political Science (1986), as well as History (1989), all at the University of Calgary.

In just over ten years he has become one of Toronto's most successful trial lawyers. He has completed more than thirty jury trials to verdict that have resulted in no convictions as well as having successfully conducted literally hundreds of Superior Court and Ontario Court of Justice trial defences.

He has not avoided those cases considered difficult, controversial or unpopular. In 2005 he successfully obtained jury acquittals for a young man facing charges that included the attempted murder of a Toronto police officer who was shot at (but thankfully not physically injured) during the course of a drug investigation (R. v. Martin). As well, he made headlines in 2005 while successfully defending a youth charged with committing Hate Crimes for the desecration of a North York cemetery, school and synagogue (R. v. A.P.). In 2003 he traveled to Thunder Bay to secure complete acquittals for a local Hells Angels' Sgt.-at-Arms charged with conspiring to kill two local businessmen (R. v. Manduca).

He has not been afraid to defend some of the country's most despised and feared individuals. He has defended nearly a dozen murder cases as well as so-called gang members and organized crime figures and has represented a number of dangerous offenders including Canada's highest scoring psychopath on the Dr. R. Hare standardized test for psychopathy (R. v. Lee).

His successes in defending those charged with murder have been impressive.

In 1999, after he obtained a statement from the Crown's main witness recanting her earlier testimony in the matter of R. v. Wilson, the charges of Second Degree Murder were withdrawn against Mr. Wilson in Toronto's Superior Court of Justice.

In 2001, Mr. O'Connor obtained a verdict of Not Criminally Responsible for his client who faced a charge of First Degree Murder in the matter of R. v. Antwi.

In 2004 he obtained one of the few known successful directed verdict murder acquittals in the matter of R. v. Wong. Following more than two years in custody Mr. Wong was freed on Mr. O'Connor's motion at the close of the Crown's case and is now involved in a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the police and the Crown's office. Mr. Wong had faced the charge of Second Degree Murder.

The year 2006 saw him obtain a complete jury acquittal in the First Degree Murder jury trial of R. v. Suntharalingam. Of the three parties charged with the crime, the only accused to walk free and escape a conviction and a life penitentiary sentence was Mr. Suntharalingham.

That matter was followed in 2007 with another complete acquittal of a youth charged with Second Degree Murder in the jury trial of R. v. G.T. The youth walked free of all charges after twenty six months in custody awaiting trial.

In June of 2008, Mr. O'Connor travelled to Windsor, Ontario, to successfully defend charges of Second Degree Murder and Attempted Murder in the matter of R. v. Peltier. After more than three years in custody, Mr. Peltier walked free when a jury returned verdicts of not guilty on both charges. This was the second trial for Mr. Peltier on the matter. On the earlier trial where the accused had not used Mr. O'Connor as defence counsel, he had been found guilty of one count and the jury had been unable to reach a verdict on the second count. While serving a penitentiary sentence for the charge for which he was convicted, he successfully appealed the matter and chose Mr. O'Connor as trial counsel for the retrial. It proved to be a wise choice.

Most recently, in March of 2009, he obtained acquittals for double murder allegations arising in the case of R. v. L.D.. After twenty months in custody a jury returned verdicts of not guilty on both charges of murder and a youth walked from the prisoner's dock into the arms of his mother. It was Mr. O'Connor's fourth and fifth consecutive acquittals for murder charges.

Mr. O'Connor has appeared at every level of Ontario Court and made trial appearances in all corners of Ontario. He has been counsel on a number of reported cases dealing with the exclusion of evidence as a result of successful defences that asserted Charter violations of his client's rights. As well, he has been notable in successfully excluding alleged confessions by his clients in matters where the Courts found either significant voluntariness or s. 10(b) Charter violations. He has been particularly successfully in defending those accused of sexual assault and of defending young women accused of knowingly importing narcotics into Canada.

He has been heavily involved with speaking to local high school students and has been a guest speaker for the Law Society of Upper Canada on criminal matters.

 


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