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I have been practicing since October of 1990. For 30 years, I have been defending people accused of stuff. I am a very results-oriented practitioner. I put everything I have into every case. Read my story, and you'll see why.
I was a courier, a pizza driver and a street racer. I got a lot of tickets when I was a teenager. I was lucky enough to have a lawyer take me under his wing and train me. He said to me, "You're in traffic court so much. You should learn the Act and take on clients". And so began the process of learning. Being lawyer-trained helped, but it could not give me the experience necessary for success. I would spend the next three years getting beaten.
It was between years 3 and 5. I started to see my skill set to develop. I learned which prosecutors were reasonable, which ones were good trial advocates, and understanding what you can never learn in a classroom. People. Honing the craft to examine and cross-examine witnesses, learn how to persuade, and maintain the energy to see a case as best you can right to the end. These things can only be realized, not taught. Luckily, I realized it many years ago.
It's because of my start that I am empathetic to my clients. I have needed defending. So I understand what you, as a prospective client, need from me: nothing but my best. I promise to do that in every case I take on.
In my journey of defending people, the following roles have added not only to my skill set but also the Paralegal profession:
- Founded the Ontario Provincial Offences Advocacy Group - To help raise the bar in the profession
- Mock Judge for The Paralegal Cup, The Osgoode Cup Moot and the Lion's Cup Moot.
- I am the President of the Federation of Ontario Paralegals
- I was a Director for the Ontario Paralegal Association and had the following positions
- Vice President
- Board Liasion - Education Committee
- Board Liasion - Law Society & Government Relations Committee
- Chair - Education Committee
- Chair Law Society & Government Relations Committee
Teaching the Profession
I started Practical CPD to teach the profession. I put on about 6-7 programs for lawyers and paralegals a year. My teaching focus is always on practical content and advocacy. How to present a case, examine a witness, make opening and closing arguments. I do this because it keeps me sharp, I get to help people, and I keep my ear to the ground in what is happening in the profession. I also invite clients to take my programs. Not everyone will hire me, and any help I can give matters.
When time permits, I teach paralegal license candidates a prep course for sitting their license exam. It is vital to teaching best practices early on.
Occasionally, I help police by giving talks or going to the police college to assist in doing Mock trials. I even appeared to answer questions about how to collect and provide evidence in a Youtube video.
I take on many mentees. I mentor newbies because it's essential to give back and lead by example and raise the profession's bar.
What I do in my Practice
I say I defend people accused of stuff, but if I had to tell you what types of cases I do, they are serious traffic tickets, summary criminal cases, discipline cases, LAT Hearings & Parole Hearings. I focus on trials and Appeals, basically arguing an issue, not always resolving it. Everything I do is related.
The traffic tickets I defend are generally serious. I will do any traffic ticket that someone retains me for, but I try to give my clients value. There are some types of cases or scenarios where it might not make sense to hire someone. When I say serious traffic tickets, I mean Stunt Driving, Careless Driving, Drive suspended Accidents, CCell Phone (Hand-Held/Distracted Driving) cases, and cases where there are some injuries, significant penalties or complexities. I will also do Speeding, Stop Signs, Seatbelts and others. Talk to me to make sure it's right for you. I prefer to help you by explaining the process and providing you with free resources than charging money for something you won't get value. I want long-standing clients who refer their family and friends, not one time clients who feel they killed an ant with a hammer.
If you, a prospective client, have been charged with a criminal offence, I can defend you on any criminal charge within the permitted scope of practice of a licensed paralegal.
By discipline cases, I mean cases where a regulated professional has a complaint or a conduct hearing before their regulator's tribunal. I just happened to do the first-ever case before the Law Society Tribunal where a paralegal represented both sides.
If you, a prospective client, have your car impounded or your license suspended for medical reasons or an ADLS suspension, I might be able to launch a LAT Appeal. To do that, though, talk to me to discuss what happened. Let us be sure we take the correct steps.
If you or a loved one is in jail, they might be eligible for parole. Again, talk to me to see what options there are. I might be able to get them home for you.
My clients are prosecutors, jurists, police, court clerks and all of their families. I am honoured to have demonstrated my skillset in a courtroom long enough that people like my clients feel confident in trusting my ability to defend them. If given a chance, I will defend you or your family member/friend with the same zealous advocacy and effort I put into all of my cases.
I have defended and argued some notable cases. Some are seminal; some are historical. If you want to see some samples of my work, you can look (and click) in the following cases:
R.v JH - Careless Driving Appeal
R. v. PH - Careless Driving Trial
DF v Law Society of Upper Canada - Good Character Hearing
JB v Law Society of Upper Canada - Good Character Hearing
Law Society of Ontario v CP - Interlocutory Suspension Application
In the Media
Over the years, I have been in the media. To see some of the articles and media, I have been in, see the following:
Tornto Star, November 16, 2020 - May require a subscription
I am currently a meber of the Ontario Bar Association, The Toronto Lawyers Association, Innocence Canada, Ontario Provincial Offences Advocacy Group, CPD Legal and sit as the president of the Federation of Ontario Paralegals.
- Metro College, Paralegal Diploma
- The University of London, LL.B. (Hons)
It is my hope to complete my NCA requirements and become a lawyer sometime in 2022. I am doing this to expand my skillset, education and scope of practice. More importantly, I am striving to improve to serve you, my prospective clients better.On August 20, 2020, I was appointed a Notary Public by Douglas Downey, Attorney General of Ontariio.
If you have any questions or want to discuss your case, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 925-2400.
"I Defend People Accused of Stuff!"
- Frank Alfano, LLB (Hons), Paralegal