A Celebrated Criminal Lawyer
Gregory Leslie is an experienced criminal defence lawyer who has been practicing exclusively in the area of criminal law for over 20 years. Based in Toronto, Mr. Leslie represent individuals charged with all criminal offences. Gregory Leslie is a highly respected Criminal Lawyer who represents a broad clientele. He completed his legal studies at The University of Ottawa and was called to the Bar in 1993. He has lived and breathed criminal law for over 20 years, representing clients charged with everything from mischief to murder. Mr. Leslie accepts legal aid cases.
Why clients trust Gregory W. Leslie LL.B
- Greg brings with him over 22 years of experience in criminal law.
- He wins 3/4 of his hardest cases and works diligently to defend his clients rights.
- He is available 24/7 and is reachable by telephone & collect call anytime and anywhere.
- A vigorous defender of your rights, Greg ensures you are never detained, incarcerated or held against your rights.
Holly case defence lawyer enters spotlight ; Greg Leslie lived in Regent Park Friend of slain Emanuel Jaques[Ontario Edition]
Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont.
|Date:||Jul 11, 2003|
|Text Word Count:||964|
“One hell of a lawyer”
Greg Leslie knew his life would never be the same almost from the moment he got the call from the man accused of killing 10-year-old Holly Jones. It was easily going to be the biggest case of his 10-year career as a defence lawyer.
The media spotlight was turned on him almost immediately after it was learned last week he had been chosen by the accused killer, Michael Briere. But even quicker were the whispers in the corridors of the courthouses in Toronto, the comments preceded with a sideways glance, a clearing of the throat, followed by the rhetorical question:
“Was Gregory Wayne Leslie up to the task?”
Could the 37-year-old bachelor - the kid from Regent Park who overcame a physical disability and the murder of his friend, shoeshine boy Emanuel Jaques, to build a thriving law practice- crank it up a notch and take on the crown in what would surely be the biggest murder trial in the city since the Paul Bernardo case eight years ago?
When the question was posed to him yesterday, Leslie just smiled, and handled it with the class that has made him one of the best- liked lawyers around his home base at Old City Hall.
Although Leslie won't talk about it, it's suspected he got "the call" because his name is so well known, not only by colleagues but by staff, not to mention the rounders, at the historic Queen St. W. courthouse.
"I think I'm an excellent lawyer,"
he said, moments before stepping into his BMW.
"I don't back down from anybody and I'm very effective at what I do ... This will obviously be the biggest challenge of my life,"
continued the man who was afflicted with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 2. Then there was an awkward pause, before he finished answering the question that has been on the minds of many people after it was announced he would defend the 35-year-old computer software developer on a first-degree murder charge.
"I think you will see that as this case moves through the system that later on I will not play as large a role in the defence as I am doing now, I might be playing second or even third fiddle. "I recognize my strengths, but I also recognize my weaknesses. I can't do this case alone. It's just too big."
Colleagues have no doubt about his abilities.
Said lawyer Aston Hall:
"He's a man with physical challenges and despite that he's one hell of a lawyer. He might not be as well known in the media and his public profile might not be as high, but in the criminal bar we all know who he is."
It's anticipated on Monday prosecutors will begin delivering the first of what could be as many as 100 banker's boxes of evidence, compiled by the Holly Jones task force, to Leslie's downtown Toronto law office.
Leslie said he has started building a defence team that will include at least one more, likely two, experienced lawyers to work with him on the case, which probably won't go to trial until mid- 2005. His team won't be finalized until Aug. 6, Briere's next court appearance, he said.
The prosecution's team will be led by veteran crown attorney Hank Goody, an experienced, no-nonsense trial lawyer who doesn't say much to the media.
The size of the defence team, including support staff, will depend on how much money the legal aid fund is willing to spend to defend Briere. In one recent murder trial, the legal aid tab for just one of the veteran defence lawyers was $172,000.
The lawyer who is, at least for now, in the forefront of the Holly Jones murder case at one time wanted to be a doctor.
"I was in the hospital so often because of my condition and I was treated by so many different doctors over the years I thought, 'Why not become one yourself?'"
Over the years, he has had both hips replaced and both knees. He admits to being constantly in pain, mostly sore, aching joints."It's there, always," he said about the pain, but is quick to add: "It doesn't affect me at all. It's just a part of my life that I have learned to live with."
Like many Toronto lawyers, he "works the circuit," driving between the six Toronto courthouses and several outside the city, such as Brampton, defending his clients. He has at least 15 major cases on the go, including a murder trial in Hamilton.
Growing up in Regent Park, the downtown public housing complex that has its share of crime problems, Leslie said he saw firsthand what life was like on both sides of the law. He was 11 when Emanuel Jaques was brutally murdered, a slaying in 1977 that wounded the city as deeply as the killing of Holly in May. Leslie recalls being traumatized by his friend's slaying but doesn't remember much more.
"I think I just blocked things out of my mind, like some kind of self-defence mechanism."
Friends describe him as tenacious and determined, the kind of person who wouldn't be slowed down by any disability. Law, he said, seemed an obvious career choice given where he grew up, seeing others he knew dying, many from drug overdoses.
"I know from my upbringing that people make mistakes, I see my job as making sure they get treated fairly in the justice system."
With files from Betsy Powell
Caption: Tony Bock/toronto star Toronto lawyer Greg Leslie will be representing Michael Briere on a charge of firstdegree murder in the death of 10-year-old Holly Jones, the biggest case of Leslie's 10-year career as a defence lawyer.
Credit: Toronto Star
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.