You won’t find any real-estate lawyers here. Criminal litigation is serious business, and the stakes for the clients we defend are as high as they come. Your job. Your reputation. Your freedom.


Our clients come to us with the worst kind of problems and we solve them—with creative, focused, determined advocacy.




We defend.

Our firm was founded in Ottawa by a group of hungry young criminal lawyers who believed that every one of our clients deserved a smart, creative, fearless defence.

We still believe that. And we have now matured into the largest criminal-law boutique in Eastern Ontario, and one of the largest specialist criminal-law firms in the country. None of us works alone. Our entire firm stands shoulder-to-shoulder with each client. There is strength in our size.

Our clients.

As we have grown, our lawyers have been sought out by clients from across Ontario, and from all walks of life. We represent executives, civil servants, doctors, pharmacists, high-tech workers, and diplomats. Our clients also include institutions and organizations facing criminal or regulatory issues.

But we also believe quality representation should not only be available to those who can easily afford it. Because of our size, we have the flexibility to accommodate clients who might otherwise struggle to pay for top-flight legal representation. And, in appropriate cases, we accept Legal Aid.

Our cases.

We have what it takes to defend any criminal charge, regulatory infraction, or disciplinary offence. White-collar crime. Drugs. Crimes of violence. Driving offences, including impaired driving. We provide specialized representation at all stages of litigation. We give counsel to individuals and institutional clients about their legal responsibilities. And we represent people who have been charged: obtaining bail, at trial, and on appeal.

Our reach.

We have offices in Ottawa and Cornwall, and we regularly appear in Gatineau and Eastern Ontario, including Brockville, Kingston, L’Orignal, Pembroke, Arnprior, Perth, Smiths Falls, Alexandria, and Morrisburg.

But our reach doesn’t end there. We are often sought out by clients elsewhere, including Toronto, Guelph, Sarnia, Thunder Bay, and beyond.

Our approach.

In our business, there is such a thing as being too nice. We never lose sight of the fact that a prosecution is always personal—someone is trying to take away your reputation, your future, your freedom. We respect our adversaries, but we never forget that we are there to protect our clients, not to make friends.

A custom-crafted defence.

Beware the cookie-cutter defence. Every client is different. Every case is different. We get to know our clients and we spend the time to find out what approach will work them.

And we know the simple things count. We will return your phone calls. We will keep you up-to-date on your case. And we will get to know you and your goals as we craft our strategy and your defence.


Criminal Trials

We are trial lawyers.

In a criminal trial there is no room for mistakes. It’s under that kind of pressure that we do our best work. Judge or jury. Murder trial or impaired driving charge. Cracking open a tough witness or advancing a complicated legal argument. The courtroom is our comfort zone. We believe there are no impossible cases.

Regulatory offences & professional discipline

Protecting your business and your reputation.

Regulatory and disciplinary charges can be costly, humiliating, and can affect your ability to earn a living. We’re used to high-stakes litigation. When your business and your profession are on the line, count on us for creative, fearless advocacy.


It ain’t over till it’s over.

The worst words a criminal defendant can hear from a judge or jury: guilty as charged. We have brought countless clients back from that abyss. Clients convicted of all kinds of offences have put their faith in us to deliver the just result they were denied at trial. Few firms have the experience, and or have had the success, that we have had in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.


Ottawa street checks are the ‘wild west,’ lawyer says

A local criminal defence lawyer believes the police practice of doing street checks in Ottawa is worse than in it is in Toronto. “In Toronto you had the mayor weigh in on it, you had the Toronto police services board actually try to implement some sort of policy... read more


Its Time to Get Smart About Crime

The streets of Old Ottawa South have never been more dangerous. Convicted murders roam free, pedophiles lurk behind every bush, and our children are in constant danger. This is not our parent’s neighbourhood; we live in dark and dangerous times.

Of course none of that is true. The despotic image of dangerous, crime-ridden neighbourhoods only exists in the imagination of the tough-on-crime Conservatives. Given the Harper government’s track record on real issues – say the environment or the economy – the crime narrative is a necessary fiction, an exercise in distraction, which has little to do with increasing public safety.

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The Use of Phallometric Evidence in Canadian Criminal Law

Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry the Law Michael S. Purcell, JD, Jennifer A. Chandler, LLB, LLM and J. Paul Fedoroff, MD Abstract The use of phallometric evidence by Canadian criminal courts has steadily increased since the early 1980s. Phallometry was... read more

Carding, not just a Toronto problem

Carding happens everywhere, not just in Toronto. Police officers routinely ask individuals for identification when they are not suspected of criminal activity. It happens on the street, and it happens to passengers in vehicles. It happens across the country. While it... read more

Bail: the presumption of guilt

The presumption of innocence shouldn’t be banal cliché.  But that is what it is becoming.  In Canada the presumption of innocence is under attack and the right to reasonable bail is the current battleground.  Of the tens of thousands of inmates in Canadian... read more

Crowdfunding constitutional litigation of retroactive pardon limits

In March 2012, the Harper government’s massive crime bill, Bill C-10, became law. This bill severely limited the availability of house arrest, imposed mandatory minimum sentences, required harsher treatment of young offenders, and increased the waiting periods for pardons.

One of our clients was impacted by the retroactive pardon changes. Just before he was eligible under the old rules to apply for a pardon, he was told that he would have to wait another five years.

Abergel Goldstein & Partners is assisting M.C in his plan to challenge the retroactive pardon elegibility changes in Bill C-10.

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Police Overholding

The police power of arrest is a significant intrusion on personal autonomy. When the police place an individual under arrest, by definition liberty is effected. Often arrested individuals are taken into police custody, transported to a police station, and held out of public view in basement cells. At no time in the court process is the power imbalance between the state and the individual more lopsided.

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Abergel Goldstein & Partners LLP
116 Lisgar Street, Suite 200 Ottawa, ON K2P 0C2
Phone: 613-235-9779 URL of Map