Intersection of Family and Criminal Law
Family law cases involving criminal charges or emergency protection orders are complex and require coordination between criminal and family court proceedings, with a focus on the well-being of children and resolving disputes quickly. Let our special guest Russel Schmidt (Kahane Law) guide you through a complicated area of the law when the stakes are high.
Russel grew up in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, and moved to Edmonton in 2010 to for law school. He graduated from the University of Alberta in 2013 and was called to the bar in 2014.
He is based out of the Edmonton office of Kahane Family Law. He practices exclusively in the area of Family Law and concentrates primarily in helping his clients reach out of court solutions to issues such as parenting, child and spousal support, parenting and property. He is an experienced mediator and a registered collaborative family law lawyer.
Russel also understands that sometimes a dispute can be resolved only through court. In the courtroom he is an effective advocate with substantial litigation experience.
He spent the first 4 years of his practice exclusively in Criminal Law, where he represented clients at all levels of court in Alberta, as well as in the BC Supreme Court, Provincial Court of British Columbia and the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan.
He has learned through his litigation experience that the best way for clients to resolve a legal dispute usually is outside the courtroom. He views litigation as a last resort to reach a resolution.
As a result of his experience in both Criminal and Family Law, Russel receives numerous referrals from both the Crown prosecutor’s office and the criminal defence bar. He has considerable experience with Family Law files where one (or both) spouses face criminal charges. Russel prides himself in his ability to resolve these matters without the need for further court involvement.
Russel joined Kahane Law Office (Edmonton) for the opportunity to work with Evan Clarke and build an innovative law practice that delivers high quality legal services. Russel enjoys finding software tools and repurposing them to provide efficient, affordable, creative and valuable solutions to his clients’ family law needs.
Russel spends most of his spare time as a human play structure for his two young daughters.
The key idea of the video is that family law cases involving criminal charges or emergency protection orders are complex and require coordination between criminal and family court proceedings, with a focus on the well-being of children and resolving disputes quickly.
00:00 Russell Schmidt, a lawyer experienced in both criminal and family law, discusses the complexities of family law cases involving criminal charges or emergency protection orders, including the jarring transition from criminal law to family law and the overlap between criminal and family court proceedings.
Kim McDonald, a financial and insurance advisor, joins the hosts to discuss the humorous experience of foreigners encountering freezing temperatures in Alberta and the difference in humidity between Toronto and Alberta.
Russell Schmidt, a lawyer at Kahane Law Office, has experience in both criminal and family law and is well-suited to handle family law cases with a criminal twist, often receiving referrals from colleagues in the criminal bar.
The speaker discusses their transition from criminal law to family law and how they found the collaborative training to be a jarring experience.
When criminal charges or emergency protection orders are involved in family law cases, the process becomes more complex with multiple court appearances and a busier start compared to a typical divorce or separation.
In the courthouse, there are three different types of court running simultaneously - criminal court in one building and family court in another building, with multiple courtrooms for different matters, and there can be overlap between them.
Switched to WebEx during the pandemic, but now back to in-person meetings, which are mostly the same as before.
13:22 Different judges handle different aspects of a case, impacting outcomes and potentially resulting in court orders prohibiting contact between an offending spouse and children; parenting time can be affected by family court proceedings and criminal conditions, such as emergency protection orders and bail hearings.
Different judges may handle different elements of a case, such as criminal charges and parenting time, which can impact the outcome and result in court orders prohibiting contact between the offending spouse and the children.
Parenting time can be affected by both family court proceedings and criminal conditions, such as emergency protection orders and bail hearings.
When an individual charged with a crime is released on certain conditions, such as no contact with their spouse, there is often a dilemma regarding what to do about the children, as prosecutors and the criminal bar generally avoid dealing with family law issues.
Ensure consistency among three tracks and orders to avoid partial compliance and breach, and explain the concept of an EPO.
An emergency protection order can be issued based on allegations of family violence, resulting in no contact with the spouse or children, removal from the family home, and area restrictions.
Emergency protection orders are exceptions to the usual process of hearing from both sides before making a decision, while bail decisions are based on whether the person will attend court, likelihood of committing further offenses, and the public interest.
22:09 Money is not always a major consideration in criminal law, lawyers need to work quickly to resolve financial challenges faced by individuals released from custody, coordination and communication can be challenging in cases involving family and criminal law, lawyers should provide support and resources to clients dealing with fatigue and stress, and provide information on income thresholds and available options while acknowledging the uncertainty of the outcome.
Money is not always a major consideration in criminal law, as the goal is to avoid incarcerating individuals who cannot afford to pay before they are released.
When someone is released from custody after a criminal offense, they may face financial challenges due to the unexpected need for lawyers and the sudden changes in living arrangements, so it is important for lawyers to work quickly to resolve the situation.
Criminal charges take longer to resolve due to bureaucratic processes, but if an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) can be quickly obtained and resolved in a way that both parties can live with, then the focus can shift to the family matters, although complications arise when multiple lawyers are involved and there is a breakdown in communication.
It can be challenging to coordinate communication and financial matters between the respondent and claimant in cases involving family and criminal law, as no contact orders can complicate the process and potentially lead to further criminal offenses.
Clients dealing with family and criminal law cases often experience fatigue and stress, so it is important for lawyers to provide support, inform them about available resources, and help them navigate the legal processes.
Provide information on income thresholds and available options, but acknowledge that the outcome is uncertain and more information is needed before making a decision.
36:37 Legal aid coverage for respondents in family law cases is unclear, while applicants can be assigned a lawyer; finding a criminal lawyer can be done through Google, word of mouth, or gathering information from the reman center, with different payment structures for defense and family law lawyers.
Applicants in family law cases can be assigned a lawyer from legal aid, but it is unclear if respondents can still get a roster lawyer, and if legal aid is now more restrictive in what they cover.
Legal aid offers services through staff lawyers and a roster of private practice lawyers who take on legal aid files at a reduced rate.
To find a good criminal lawyer, you can do a Google search, ask for recommendations through word of mouth, look for numbers posted on walls in certain situations, gather information from the reman center, and have business cards on hand.
Defense lawyers in criminal law typically charge a flat fee for services such as bail hearings and trials, while family law lawyers often charge an hourly rate, resulting in different payment structures for clients.
The speaker provides referrals for defense lawyers, mentioning experienced lawyers like Kenteski and Kent Harriet, as well as up-and-coming lawyers like Evan McIntyre and Curtis Steves, who are skilled in bail hearings.
The speaker mentions that due to financial constraints, they will hire a new lawyer and delete a certain part of the show.
46:10 Criminal law involves exciting stories and deals with guns, drugs, and challenging situations, while family law deals with ongoing matters; trials in criminal law often result in guilty pleas, different types of prisons exist, being acquitted in criminal court doesn't invalidate allegations in family court, and family violence can be confirmed if likely to have occurred.
Criminal law presents exciting and interesting stories involving guns, drugs, and challenging situations, requiring lawyers to delve into a world they wouldn't typically encounter, unlike family law which deals with ongoing matters.
Trials in criminal law often result in guilty pleas, with the crown making deals based on the strength of their case, and while trials can be dramatic, they are not always like what is portrayed on TV.
There are different types of prisons, such as provincial and federal, with different security designations, and it can be advantageous to serve a sentence in a federal institution rather than a provincial one.
Different standards are used in family and criminal law, and being acquitted or having charges dropped in criminal court does not automatically mean that the allegations are invalid in family court.
Being found not guilty in criminal court does not automatically erase concerns in family court regarding parenting time, as the family court judge will still consider the best interests of the children and any suspicions that may exist.
Family Violence can be confirmed if it is likely to have occurred, but there is no clear standard in family law.
55:16 Judges prioritize the well-being of children and aim to establish a relationship between both parents while addressing safety concerns, conflict management, and financial matters in family and criminal law cases, with the goal of quickly resolving disputes and shifting focus towards parenting and division of responsibilities.
If a client is found not guilty of assault in front of children, they should still approach the situation as if the judge suspects their guilt, and if convicted of assaulting a former partner, they may still have restricted parenting time but are still considered a parent.
Judges prioritize the well-being of children and aim to establish a relationship between both parents, while also addressing safety concerns and managing conflict through effective communication and financial management.
A plan to manage conflict in family and criminal law cases can include implementing a mutual restraining order to reduce legal fees and court appearances, while also minimizing the risk of different judge interpretations.
The goal is to quickly address the uncertainty and calm things down in a family dispute involving criminal charges, allowing the focus to shift towards parenting, division of responsibilities, and letting the criminal matter play out, while acknowledging the challenges and potential burnout in the field of criminal law.
Being a lawyer in the intersection of family and criminal law is challenging due to the emotional toll, dealing with indigenous clients and the effects of colonialism, managing a business, facing bad decisions, and the thankless nature of the job.
Burnout is a common issue for Crown prosecutors in rural areas who have to handle a large number of cases in challenging conditions, but their role is crucial in ensuring a fair legal process and protecting individual freedoms.
01:10:37 Defense lawyers ensure government accountability and prevent police misconduct by ensuring the high standard of proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt, while lawyers specializing in both criminal and family law are valuable in navigating cases involving family violence and resolving criminal charges.
Defense lawyers ensure that the government meets the high standard of proving a person's guilt beyond reasonable doubt, preventing state oppression and police misconduct.
The handoff between police and a criminal lawyer involves limited coordination, with the police conducting their own investigations and the crown prosecutor often only reviewing the file on the court date.
The speaker discusses the inefficiencies in the legal system, particularly in relation to police officers' frustrations with lawyers and prosecutors, and highlights the importance of following rules to ensure evidence is legally obtained, while also mentioning that the guest, Russ, specializes in the intersection of criminal and family law.
Understanding both criminal and family law is valuable for lawyers dealing with cases involving family violence, as it allows them to effectively navigate the legal process and provide necessary information to their clients.
Kim's husband jokingly suggests rescuing her from her 23rd floor office using a ladder or grappling hook, but she assures him that the firefighters downstairs will take care of any emergencies.
Criminal defense lawyers and crown prosecutors in the criminal justice system have a surprisingly collegial relationship, while the family bar lacks the same level of collegiality, but being able to manage and resolve cases involving criminal charges and violence is where lawyers bring the most value to their clients.
01:28:29 This YouTube video provides general information about family and criminal law, but it is not legal advice and viewers should consult a qualified professional for their individual situations.
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The video provides general information about family and criminal law, but it is not intended as legal advice and does not create a lawyer-client relationship; viewers should seek advice from a qualified professional for their individual situations, and the speakers and guests are not responsible for any errors or damages resulting from the video's content.
Kim McDonald, a financial advisor with Raymond James, provides information and opinions on securities and insurance products, recommending clients seek independent tax advice.