Crown Attorneys' Offices
- Location: Multiple locations throughout the province
- Lawyers: Varies from 1 to 100
- Articling Students: Varies per office
- Summer Law Students: Varies per office
- Types of Law: Criminal
Who we are
The Crown Attorneys’ offices are responsible for prosecuting the vast majority of criminal offences in the Province of Ontario, from summary conviction offences in the Ontario Court of Justice to the most serious indictable offences in the Superior Court of Justice. Prosecutions occur throughout the province, from locations as remote as fly-in First Nations communities where proceedings are held in churches and school gymnasiums, to the country’s busiest courthouses in downtown Toronto.
Assistant Crown Attorneys attend court on a daily basis and have carriage of prosecutions ranging from minor thefts all the way up to first-degree murders. The Crown Attorneys’ offices are also responsible for summary conviction appeals.
The job of an Assistant Crown Attorney is varied, exciting, and extremely fast-paced; and requires counsel to think on their feet as well as exercise sound discretion in the best interest of the public.
What we do
Assistant Crown Attorneys are responsible for all stages of a prosecution, including:
- Providing legal advice to police as they investigate criminal offences
- Conducting bail hearings
- Screening charges to determine the appropriate method of proceeding and the possible outcome
- Engaging in plea discussions with accused persons and defence counsel
- Conducting trials in front of judges sitting alone and in front of juries
- Making submissions as to the appropriate penalty after a finding of guilt or a guilty plea
- Conducting summary conviction appeals.
Our major cases
Crown Attorneys’ offices around the province prosecute many high-profile major cases, including the following that have received widespread media attention:
- R v MT & DB (Rengel murder)
- R v DeJesus (Lisa Posluns murder)
- R v Roy (Allison Parrott murder)
- R v McKenzie (OC Transpo murder)
- R v Riley et al (Pathfinder)
- R v Cameron, McDowell, Parish, and Saleh (Arson murder)
- R v Myers (Ardeth Wood murder)
- R v Davis (Jennifer Teague murder)
- R v Ranger & Kinkead (Ottey murders)
- R v Kimberley and Clancy (Carolyn Warrick murder)
- R v Snow (Blackburn murders)
What students do
Articling students with the Crown Attorneys’ offices are given a significant amount of responsibility including:
- Assisting with major cases such as homicides
- Legal research on a wide variety of issues
- Drafting motions, applications and facta.
When assisting with trials, students frequently participate in witness interviews and attend Superior Court on a daily basis. No matter what their level of involvement, students are encouraged to attend court on the day in question to see how their work plays out in the courtroom atmosphere.
In addition to legal research and assisting with larger prosecutions, students are given the opportunity to develop their own advocacy skills by appearing regularly in Provincial Offences court where, after being trained by provincial prosecutors, they are given the opportunity to run a trial list on their own. There are also opportunities to conduct summary conviction trials and guilty pleas in the Ontario Court of Justice.
Summer law students are provided with a similar experience as articling students, ranging from legal research and drafting facta to assisting with serious prosecutions. Many summer law students return to the Crown Attorneys’ offices for articling.
Why choose us
If you desire a career in litigation, this is the career for you. Crown Attorneys are in court more than any other lawyer in the practice of law.
At the Crown Attorneys offices, students are provided with the best possible training to enable them to embark on rewarding careers in the field of criminal law. Having observed and assisted with all stages of the trial process, and having honed their advocacy skills by conducting prosecutions of their own, students are well-suited to handling their own cases in the future, whether they are interested in pursuing careers as prosecutors or as defence counsel.
The lawyers in the Crown Attorneys’ offices are collegial, patient and dedicated to student development. Students are encouraged to engage with counsel in legal discussions about matters they have assisted with or observed, and counsel are always ready and willing to answer questions.
Many students who article with the Crown Attorneys’ office are re-hired as Assistant Crown Attorneys, and are able to immediately embark on a fast-paced and challenging career in the public service. Additionally, a number former counsel and students are now members of the judiciary, including:
- Madame Justice Louise Charron - Supreme Court of Canada
- Mr. Justice John McMahon - Ontario Superior Court of Justice
- Mr. Justice Robert Clarke - Ontario Superior Court of Justice
- Madame Justice Linda Templeton – Ontario Superior Court of Justice
- Mr. Justice Alfred O'Marra – Ontario Superior Court of Justice
Barrie Crown Attorney’s Office
Cornwall Crown Attorney’s Office
Durham (Oshawa) Crown Attorney’s Office
Etobicoke Crown Attorney’s Office
Halton (Milton) Crown Attorney’s Office
Hamilton Crown Attorney’s Office
Kingston Crown Attorney’s Office
Kitchener Crown Attorney’s Office
London Crown Attorney’s Office
Newmarket Crown Attorney’s Office
North York Crown Attorney’s Office
Ottawa Crown Attorney’s Office
Peel (Brampton) Crown Attorney’s Office
Scarborough Crown Attorney’s Office
Toronto Crown Attorney’s Office
Windsor Crown Attorney’s Office