Defence Lawyers Not In Conflict of Interest
A drug case that’s been before the court for more than a year avoided a major delay when a judge ruled that lawyers representing two suspects would not have to withdraw.
Judge Eric Peterson said Tuesday during a hearing in Lethbridge provincial court he could not find a substantial conflict of interest exists, even though the two lawyers, Robin McIntyre and Andrea Urquhart, work for the same Calgary law firm.
Peterson ruled on the matter after the federal Crown prosecutor applied to have the lawyers removed because of perceived conflict of interest. But Peterson said he was satisfied the public’s confidence in the administration of justice would not be shaken, and the lawyers could continue to represent their clients.
The case stems from a drug busts in January 2015 in which Alberta Law Enforcement Response teams comprising Lethbridge regional police and RCMP officers, swooped down on a home in the 700 block of 13 Street South and reportedly seized 115 grams of cocaine, 400 grams of marijuana and a glass container of hash oil, all worth about $15,000.
Police also found other drug paraphernalia, including scales and score sheets, as well as $4,245 in cash, body armour vests, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a semi-automatic Rugers .22 calibre rifle with a silencer and stock modifications to allow for a high capacity magazine.
Several people were charged in relation to the drug trafficking operation. In addition [names redacted], who are free on bail, [name redacted] was also charged. He is serving a prison term on an unrelated conviction.
The matter for all three men is scheduled to be back in court April 14, when lawyers may schedule a pre-trial conference. The case will likely be adjourned again schedule a preliminary hearing.
Source: Delon Shurtz, Lethbridge Herald