Lawyers’ rates in brain-injured baby case expected to be settled soon

Rosie Mullaley
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Lawyers for a man accused of shaking his infant daughter should know by next month whether they’ll be paid more than Legal Aid rates.
When the case of Colin James Matchim was called in Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s Wednesday, the Crown was represented by another prosecutor.

Colin James Matchim, who had been found guilty of causing his daughter brain damage, had his conviction overturned Monday in Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s.

Frances Knickle told Justice Maureen Dunn that she would be taking over the case, replacing Phil LeFeuvre, who prosecuted Matchim in his first trial in 2011.

When Dunn asked about the status of the defence lawyers’ rates, Knickle said that the issue should be resolved by the next court appearance, May 1.

Matchim had been convicted in 2011 of aggravated assault for causing his infant daughter’s brain injury by shaking her in 2009.

However, before sentencing, Matchim’s new lawyers — Erin Breen and Bob Simmonds —  applied to have the case reopened and new medical evidence introduced. Following a hearing — which saw experts from around the world offer their opinions on shaken baby syndrome — a mistrial was declared.

The Crown indicated it would proceed with a second trial.

Breen and Simmonds said they again want to represent Matchim, but only if they can be paid more than Legal Aid rates. The defence lawyers filed an application requesting that the attorney general pay their firm — Bob Simmonds + Partners — private-lawyer rates to represent Matchim.

Twitter: @TelyCourt

Organizations: Simmonds + Partners

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