Accused murderer continues legal battle over lawyer pay rates in St. John’s

Rosie
Rosie Mullaley
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Justice sets trial date for November 2014 for Trevor Pardy

A man accused of gunning down his girlfriend in 2011 says he will appeal a judge’s decision that ruled his lawyer of choice must be paid at legal aid rates, not at private lawyer rates.

Trevor Pardy is pictured in Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John's today. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

Trevor Pardy, charged with first-degree murder, made his intentions known to Justice Wayne Dymond this morning when his case was called at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John's.

"I intend to appeal,” said Pardy, who represented himself during proceedings.

St. John's defence lawyer Bob Buckingham had represented Pardy in October in a four-day hearing held at Newfoundland Supreme Court to argue the merits of an application Pardy had filed.

Pardy had applied to have the Attorney General cover the cost of his private counsel at a rate of pay above what the Legal Aid Commission allows.

Legal Aid has already approved funding for Pardy to cover the cost of private counsel at legal aid rates, or to supply a legal aid staff lawyer. Pardy argued the legal aid rate of $60 per hour is too low to obtain an experienced lawyer to represent him.

But in a decision handed down last month, Justice James Adams disagreed and denied the application. Adams said there are a number of legal aid staff lawyers with sufficient experience and expertise who are available and willing to represent Pardy.

Pardy wants Buckingham to represent him. Buckingham, however, refuses to do it at legal aid rates.

Pardy has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder in the shooting death of Triffie Wadman, his former girlfriend, who was killed Oct. 1, 2011, in St. John's. He was at that time and has been in custody ever since.

His trial had been set to start this month, but was delayed due to the lawyer issues.

Despite the pending appeal, Dymond said it was best to set a new date for a trial.

He and Crown prosecutor Iain Hollett agreed to schedule the trial to begin Nov. 4, 2014. Jury selection will be held the day before.

"That's 11 months away," the judge said. "It should give you plenty of time (to resolve solicitor issues) ...”

"Whatever counsel represents you has to be ready for November."

rgillingham@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelyCourt

 

 

Organizations: Legal Aid Commission

Geographic location: St. John's

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Recent comments

  • John
    December 03, 2013 - 08:44

    Whatever happened to innocent til proven guilty. Regardless of personal feeling this is the premise of the judicial system and the client is entitled to the best defence possible. He should not be prejudiced by the crown wanting to restrict the choice of legal counsel. You would think with the number of high profile cases over the last few years people would be more cautious. Better to have your tax dollars pay for a good defence now than millions of dollars in a wrongful conviction settlement years down the road.

  • Dawn Wride
    December 02, 2013 - 22:21

    You have got to be kidding! Another mockery of the Newfounbdland Judicial system. Give him one of two choices - a lawyer from legal aid or no lawyer at all. This guy is playing the system -and is being allowed to do so. Please - is there no one in the legal system with two clues to rub together. I thought enough damage had been done to Newfoundland's reputation with the Bagley case. This is just more of the same - giving those accused far too many rights.

  • Dawn Wride
    December 02, 2013 - 22:21

    You have got to be kidding! Another mockery of the Newfounbdland Judicial system. Give him one of two choices - a lawyer from legal aid or no lawyer at all. This guy is playing the system -and is being allowed to do so. Please - is there no one in the legal system with two clues to rub together. I thought enough damage had been done to Newfoundland's reputation with the Bagley case. This is just more of the same - giving those accused far too many rights.

  • Fred
    December 02, 2013 - 15:43

    How much longer are honest, law abiding, tax paying citizens going to have to watch this and other charades play out in our legal system? We have this guy who wants only the best that MY money can buy to defend him and then there's Pynn who needs an out of province lawyer to come in and be the crown prosecutor because every other crown lawyer in our system would be in a conflict of interest......definitely time for a review of our legal system!!

  • Ken Collis
    December 02, 2013 - 10:55

    Criminal lawyers should be public servants, every one of them, just like judges. There should be no such thing as the best defence money can buy.

  • Me
    December 02, 2013 - 10:26

    The circus is in town .... again. The justice system needs to take a loooong look at itself.

  • Don
    December 02, 2013 - 09:49

    This is nuts. . All the Legal Aid lawyers are officers of the court and are qualified to defend people. This guy is just staling and cost the taxpayer a fortune.