I am proud to be a partner at Barr Picard Knisely Barrister & Solicitors, which is one of Edmonton's leading multi-service law firms, and to have successfully defended a wide variety of clients against a wide variety of charges--many serious, many less serious, and everything in between.
More than that, I am proud to have helped hundreds of people get through what is more often than not one of the most difficult times they will every have the misfortune to experience. As much as I have been able to help them come to a good conclusion, they have helped me become who I am today, and for that I am truly truly truly grateful.
I graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta in 2008, and was admitted to the Law Society of Alberta in 2009. My practice is entirely centred on defending individuals against criminal, quasi-criminal, and regulatory charges. I have appeared regularly before both the Provincial Court of Alberta and the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, and have successfully argued appeals against both sentence and conviction at the Alberta Court of Appeal. I am well known and respected by all levels of Court, and have a close relationship with Crown Counsel as well as by other members of the Criminal Defence Bar.
Back in the day, I received a B.A.H. (and the University medal as top graduating student), and M.A. in English literature from Acadia University. This was followed by eight years spent in South Korea as a university professor and program administrator, freelance journalist, and regular CBC News columnist writing on Korean issues.
Although I have defended clients in all manner of criminal cases, both at the trial and appellate levels, and has even acted as amicus curiae (friend of the court) on two lengthy and complicated murder matters, I have always been guided by a single over-riding principle: that my duty as members of the criminal defence bar is to make sure that all of us, no matter who we are, where we come from, what we do, or what our struggles have been--and no matter what situation we may find ourselves in and how isolated we may feel--everyone receives the full and proper protection the law has to offer. This is what our system offers, and this is what I strive to guarantee--no more, and no less.
Because this really is true: no matter what our achievements or failures may or may not be, we as a nation will be judged by the way we treat our most vulnerable citizens.
Or perhaps more aptly, as section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms puts it: we all have the right to life, liberty and security of the person, and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.
And just as the Charter promises this, I will work to protect it.
More information can be found at DEREKANDERSONLAW.COM.