Friday, July 17, 2015

Is there a parallel between Atticus Finch and Guido Amsel's difficulty finding a lawyer?

Good Day Readers:

This interesting comparison was drawn recently by a veteran CyberSmokeBlog reader/researcher but first a delightful video that explains To Kill A Mockingbird starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch

In the movie Atticus Finch a lawyer in a predominately white small southern American town defends a black man in a case he knew he'd surely lose.

There has been a lot of talk about Guido's Amsel's difficulty finding local representation so much so there's speculation he will have to go out of province. So much remains unknown. Rumour has it he's been approached by local counsel but turned them down in favour of an out of province attorney?

The best update available to date comes from the Winnipeg Sun's Dean Pritchard who was able to identify "a friend of the court" who spoke on behalf of Mr. Amsel but refused to self-identify and, in fact, was seen running from reporters after court.

BTW, to add to the intrigue, Harper Lee who wrote TKAM in 1961 with sales of over 40 million has written a sequel. Irony of ironies, To Set A Watchman was written more than 20-years ago. Needlessly to say copies are flying off the shelves.
Clare L. Pieuk
Legal representation still a question in Winnipeg law office bombing

Dean Pritchard
Friday,July 17, 2015
Guido Amsel, 49 appeared briefly in court on Thursday. (Winnipeg Police Service Handout)

Accused letter bomber Guido Amsel is seeking a lawyer from another province.

Amsel, 49, appeared in Winnipeg court Thursday via video link.

Lawyer Steven Keesic, acting as a "friend of the court," said he has spoken to a number of out of province lawyers about taking the case. Keesic said none of the lawyers wished to be identified until a decision is made to go on record for the accused.

"I will be monitoring the situation and once counsel of record from another province, whoever that might be, decides to go on the record, I will come in and advise court of that ... if he or she chooses," Keesic said.

Amsel was arrested two weeks ago after explosives were sent to his ex-wife's workplace and two law firms connected to legal battles between the former couple. Two bombs were detonated safely, but one exploded and caused severe injuries to lawyer Maria Mitousis.

Amsel has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, one count of aggravated assault, and several explosives offences.

Amsel may be having a tough time finding a local lawyer to take his case for a few reasons, said Jay Prober, one of Winnipeg's most high-profile criminal lawyers. Many lawyers would have a conflict of interest, Prober said, if they had worked with Mitousis, or are friends with her, or have helped a fundraising campaign that has raised $81,000 for her recovery. Some lawyers may also be concerned about personal safety, he said, but a more widespread feeling is that the crimes Amsel is accused of are an attack on the legal system. "It's a colleague," Prober said Thursday. "And to me, and perhaps most criminal defence lawyers, that is a roadblock." Keesic said Amsel has been provided with a police disclosure package and has reviewed it.

"He is aware of some of the allegations at this point in time and the full series of charges that is before the courts," Keesic said.

In an unusual move that appeared to highlight safety concerns arising from the bombing, Keesic requested Judge Brent Stewart impose a publication ban on the hearing, arguing it was justified in cases that could put the accused, a witness, or a justice system participant at risk.

Stewart rejected the request, saying it would be more appropriate at a bail application where sensitive information is before the court.

"I think it's really premature at this stage," Stewart said. "We're not doing anything more than putting this into a holding pattern ... I can't see any prejudice to yourself or anyone else in the justice system assisting this gentleman getting counsel."

Amsel's next court date is July 31.

With Canadian Press files


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