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Home2019-04-18T15:21:45+00:00

Toronto Criminal Lawyers

We are Toronto criminal lawyers who regularly litigate and win complex criminal trials and appeals involving charges of murder, manslaughter, firearms and drug offences, and sexual assault. We have conducted hundreds of contested trials–including more than 50 jury cases–as well as more than 100 appeals. Our clients rely on our legal skills to expose the truth and defend their rights.  And we understand our clients cannot afford to lose. That is why we litigate fearlessly and have the results to show for it.*

In February 2018, Mr. Gorham and Ms. Vandebeek defended a client before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice who was charged with second degree murder. This client maintained his innocence and explained that he was acting in self-defence. At the beginning of March 2018, the jury returned a verdict of “not guilty” of second degree murder.

Mr. Gorham represented a client charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking cocaine.  In this case, the police executed a search warrant on his client’s car and discovered two ounces of crack cocaine as well a heroin in spray can with a false bottom. Mr. Gorham presented at trial that another person was driving the car regularly. The trial judge found it to be a plausible theory that the other person left the cocaine concealed in the car.  For that reason he found the defendant not guilty of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

Mr. Gorham represented a client who had been convicted of sexually assault and sentence to a year in custody.  On appeal, he argued that the trial judge misapprehended the evidence and applied an uneven level of scrutiny to the accused’s evidence at trial compared with the complainant’s evidence. In January 2019, the Summary Conviction Appeal Judge, in Brampton, Ontario, overturned the conviction for sexual assault and ordered a new trial.  * In April 2019, the prosecution stayed the charges against the accused.

Mr. Gorham represented a client charged with sexual assault in the Ontario Court of Justice.  The prosecution alleged that the accused sexually assaulted the complainant on three different occasions, groping her on the first two and forcing sexual intercourse on the final occasion. The accused testified that he never touched the complainant inappropriately and, in fact, she initiated unwanted sexual activity with him.  In December 2018, Mr. Gorham’s client was found not guilty of sexual assault by a Toronto area judge.

Ms. Vandebeek represented a client who had been convicted of fentanyl trafficking related offences upon which the trial judge imposed a five year sentence of imprisonment.  On appeal, Ms. Vandebeek argued for a new trial on the fentanyl convictions because the trial judge erred in convicting the accused.  In December 2018, the Ontario Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and ordered a new trial.

Mr. Gorham represented a client who had been convicted of trafficking cocaine, methamphetamine, and hashish and had been sentenced to six years imprisonment.  On appeal, he argued that the trial judge erred by permitting the prosecution to introduce unreliable evidence relating to the police investigation. In November 2018, the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and ordered a new trial on the charges of trafficking cocaine, methamphetamine, and hashish.

Mr. Gorham represented a client charged with a home invasion robbery where the victim was beaten in the face with a bat.  The defence cross-examined the prosecution’s main witness to expose his motive to fabricate the defendant’s involvement as well as significant flaws in the witness’s evidence. The defendant testified that he was not involved in the robbery.  In October 2018, the trial judge found Mr. Gorham’s client not guilty of robbery and wearing a mask while committing the indictable offence of robbery.

Mr. Gorham and Ms. Vandebeek represented a client who had been convicted of second degree murder for his involvement in a shooting during a botched drug robbery.  On appeal, they argued that the trial judge improperly admitted expert evidence and provided the jury with flawed instructions relating to the identity of the murderer.  In September 2018, the Ontario Court of Appeal granted the appeal and ordered a new trial for murder. * Two months later, the accused was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.  *He received a time-served sentence and walked out of the custody box.

(416) 410-4814 | info@gvlaw.ca

Nathan Gorham, BA, LLB, LLM, SJD (Candidate)

Mr. Gorham graduated from law school with the highest overall ranking in criminal law. He later obtained his Master of Laws from the University of Toronto, where he continues to research miscarriages of justice as a doctoral candidate. In 2010, he helped found the largest criminal law firm in Canada, Rusonik, O’Connor, Robbins, Ross, Gorham & Angelini LLP. A member of the both the Ontario and New Brunswick bars, Mr. Gorham regularly defends clients charged with or appealing against convictions for serious criminal offences such as murder, attempted murder, firearms offences, drugs offences and others.  He also teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of New Brunswick, Faculty of Law . His writing has been published in peer-reviewed journals and national newspapers. Along with his partner Ms. Vandebeek, Mr. Gorham co-authored the book Prosecuting and Defending Drug Offences (2019). He regularly speaks at academic and professional conferences.

(416) 410-4814 | gorham@gvlaw.ca 

Breana Vandebeek, BA, MA, JD

Ms. Vandebeek regularly acts on complex criminal appeals, many of which involved important constitutional issues or convictions for murder, firearms or drug offences, and sexual assault.  She has argued over 70 appeals before the Ontario Court of Appeal, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada. She co-authored the book Prosecuting and Defending Drug Offences, Emond Publishing (2019), and assisted with publication,  of a Criminal Appeals Practitioner’s Handbook, also for Emond Publishing.  Ms. Vandebeek is a member of the Pro bono Inmate Appeal Program at the Court of Appeal for Ontario. She has also represented the Criminal Lawyers Association as an intervenor before the Supreme Court of Canada. Ms. Vandebeek graduated from Queen’s University Law School and she also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University as well as a Master of Arts degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resources from the University of Toronto.

(647) 973-5402 | breana@gvlaw.ca 

Publications

Toronto criminal trial and appeal lawyers, Nathan Gorham and Breana Vandebeek, co-authored the forthcoming book Prosecuting and Defending Drug Offence Cases: A Practitioner’s Handbook, Emond Publishing (2019).  Additionally, Mr. Gorham’s research has been published various articles in peer-reviewed journals and national newspapers. In those publications, Mr. Gorham examined principles relating to the following legal issues: Defence cross-examination in sexual assault trialsExclusion of Evidence in Drug Prosecutions;  Investigation detention in drug prosecutions; Legislative changes for firearm (gun) offences; Police dishonesty in drug prosecutions.

Toronto Criminal Lawyers, Nathan Gorham and Breana Vandebeek, co-authored on the book on prosecuting and defending drug crimes.

Media

Toronto Criminal Lawyer, Nathan Gorham, speaks with the news media outside of the courthouse in Fredericton, New Brunswick

Toronto criminal lawyer, Nathan Gorham, provides expert commentary on television and in national newspapers. He has addressed issues relating to major murder prosecutions, police corruption in drug prosecutions, the defence of sexual assault cases, as well as firearms legislation.

Mr. Gorham also speaks regularly at professional and academic conferences regarding criminal trial and appeal issues. Recently, he has lectured on the following areas of criminal law: the professional responsibility of defence lawyers in sexual assault trials; the detention of innocent people in the bail system; as well as the constitutional disclosure principles in major drug and firearms prosecutions.

Television Analysis

Newsprint commentary

*Past results reflect a lawyer’s experience but do not necessarily predict future success because trials and appeals are decided on the specific facts of the case.