Law Times

September 26, 2016

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Page 2 September 26, 2016 • Law timeS Shot lawyer released from hospital BY JENNIFER BROWN Law Times C riminal defence law- yer Randall Barrs, shot Tuesday near his To- ronto office in the An- nex district, has been released from hospital. Anthony Moustacalis of the Criminal Lawyers' Association says Barrs suffered a "few bullet wounds to his leg" but was ex- pected to recover. "I was pleased to hear he is basically fine, has been released and doesn't require any further treatment," says Moustacalis. The 66-year old lawyer was shot by a gunman in the drive- way of his office on Bedford Road. Moments later, the shoot- er was shot by a plainclothes Halton Region police officer who was on surveillance in the same area. Grayson Delong, the man al- leged to have shot Barrs, now fac- es charges including attempted murder and disguise with intent to commit an indictable offence as well as weapons charges. Ac- cording to the Toronto Star, it is not known if Delong is known to Barrs. The Special Investigations Unit is investigating the shooting involving Halton police. Toronto police are in charge of the investi- gation into the shooting of Barrs. Barrs' criminal law practice is said to include those with drug and weapons offences, impaired driving charges and matters at the License Appeal Tribunal around Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario disci- pline matters. Moustacalis says it's rare for lawyers in Canada to fall victim to such incidents. A husband and wife who were lawyers were murdered in Hamilton about 20 years ago in their home. In 1978, family lawyer Frederick Gans was shot and killed by a former client's husband. "It's usually family lawyers who receive threats," says Mous- tacalis. "Those situations lead to a lot of tension and they tend to blame the lawyers more." David Hyde, a security con- sultant in Toronto who has done assessments for large law firms, has researched violence against people in several professions including lawyers. He has also done surveys with law firm em- ployees ranging from lawyers to paralegals and receptionists. "Research indicates violence and threats to lawyers is under- reported and, predominantly, people don't know what they should do to better secure them- selves. Only in about one in four cases after a violent incident oc- curred would the lawyer actually make a change to their security," Hyde says. Hyde has also found that about 50 per cent of lawyers he has interviewed have dealt with verbal or written threats, harass- ment and/or violence by another party, and about 45 to 50 per cent of those incidents have hap- pened in their law office. "When I ask what had been reported, very often it hadn't even been reported to the firm," says Hyde. "I did some interviews and anonymous surveys that showed a high percentage of those who received threats or harassment hadn't informed the firm let alone the police and, in some cases, the threats clearly crossed the line to criminal behaviour." 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Check out for insight from our regular online columnists Monica Goyal discusses the latest gadgets and trends in legal technology in Bits & Bytes From trade deals to foreign investment, Patrick Gervais keeps you up to date on business issues in Trade Matters Darcy Merkur brings a plaintiff-side perspective on insurance matters in Personal Injury Law

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