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Excellence in Advocacy


The work of a criminal law defence lawyer is both challenging and complicated. To achieve success for you, a criminal law defence specialist must possess a deep understanding of criminal law and a reputation for skill and courage in the courtroom. For over twenty years, Patrick Ducharme has been providing effective, informed, creative, and successful legal representation to his clients in a wide range of difficult and high profile cases.

Patrick's innovative courtroom techniques and strategies have long been recognized by his colleagues in the profession. In February of 1990, the Law Society of Upper Canada, recognized Patrick with the prestigious designation of Criminal Law Specialist, an honour given only to those who have displayed excellence over many years. Patrick was also appointed to a committee to determine what other lawyers in the province deserved to be recognized similarly. The Honourable Allan Rock, presently Canada's Minister of Justice and Attorney General, honoured Patrick by selecting him to sit on the Criminal Law Specialist Committee.

In his own practice, Patrick has had an interesting and varied career, serving as lead defence counsel in cases involving alleged single and multiple murders, conspiracy to commit murder, and narcotics. Although he does most of his work in Windsor, he often takes difficult and complicated cases across the province. He has even been granted the special privilege of appearing for and making presentations on behalf of clients in Ohio, Florida, California and Michigan.

In two of the largest narcotics cases in Canadian history, Patrick was one of the lead defence lawyers. These two cases are chronicled in the book "Merchants of Misery" by Victor Malarek. Patrick has also acted as a consultant to the National Hockey League in preparing and presenting a comprehensive alcohol and drug program, described in Mark Zwolinski's book "The John Kordic Story".

Organizations such as the Canadian Bar Association, the Advocates Society of Ontario, the Criminal Lawyers Association of Canada, and the Criminal Lawyers Association of Essex County continue to ask Patrick to demonstrate his advocacy skills and techniques. At an international conference in New York, Patrick presented a lecture on demonstrative evidence with other leading lawyers from Ontario, including Edward Greenspan and Austin Cooper. Patrick has also published scholarly articles on such subjects as impaired driving, gun legislation, environmental law, and the defences of drunkenness and insanity.

While he continues to specialize in the defence of individuals charged with criminal offences, Patrick has also responded to a growing demand for his services from corporations seeking advice or representation in the fields of environmental or occupational health and safety law. Increasingly, modern businesses nee the services of a skilled advocate when they are subjected to these charges under these and other regulatory statutes.

Believing that the best approach to defending against offences charged under regulatory laws is to be pro active, Patrick lectures passionately on the need for corporations to create and maintain clean, safe, and healthy workplaces. In the event a company is charged, Patrick's comprehensive knowledge of the legislation and proven courtroom experience provide invaluable protection for individuals and corporations with much to lose.

Patrick represented successfully one of the largest accounting firms in the world in relation to a host of charges brought by Revenue Canada. He has also acted as a consultant to lawyers defending similar cases throughout Canada. Patrick is one of several litigation lawyers in the fifteen-member law firm, Ducharme Fox, in Windsor, Ontario.

Patrick is supported by a knowledgeable and dedicated staff, most notable of whom is Craig Houle, a trial lawyer of considerable experience with a reputation for excellence. The team also includes gifted law students. Having taught at the University of Windsor Law School since 1980 in the areas of Criminal Trial Advocacy, Criminal Procedures, and Evidence, Patrick is in a unique position to identify the best students and help them develop their talents to the fullest extent. In this way, Patrick remains very much involved in and committed to education and professional growth.

For Patrick, supporting the community in which he lives is of great importance. In the past he has held positions on the Board of Directors for New Beginnings and the Brentwood Recovery home. He has also been a member of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce since 1988 and currently serves as a counsel and advisor to the Capital Theatre of Windsor.

Wide-ranging, extensive experience and a commitment to winning are Patrick Ducharme's strengths. With more than twenty years of experience successfully representing clients, in some of the highest profile cases, he remains enthusiastic about his business. It is his life. It is his love.

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