This week’s guest on Killer Cross Examination takes us on a journey into the life of a Canadian criminal defense attorney, and ultimately what that experience has meant for him. Joseph Neuberger is our guest. Neuberger is one of Ontario’s most prominent and well-known criminal defense lawyers. Prior to the podcast, I knew little about Neuberger and the Canadian criminal justice system. I know much more about both now.
Jury Trials: Neuberger discusses the value of jury trials and shares his envy for the American justice system where jury trials are a guarantee. Did you know that in Canada, jury trials are not a guarantee in other type of case other than a murder case? Simply put, jury trials do not exist in other than murder cases. This concept was so foreign to me that I had a hard time processing it when Neuberger shared as much during the podcast.
Voir Dire: One of my favorite parts of a jury trial is voir dire, the part of a jury trial where we lawyers question prospective jurors and root out those with a bias or a preconceived notion. Canada has eliminated peremptory challenges and voir dire. No voir dire? We lawyers cannot put questions to jurors and feel them out about their views and opinions on issues that are relevant to the case? Neuberger was envious that the practice is still so robust and vibrant in the US and he shared his longing for it to return to Canada. .
Cross Examination: We take cross examination and our independence from the judiciary for granted. Were a judge to insist on reviewing and approving a lawyer’s cross examination material here in the United States, lawyers and civil libertarians everyone would balk. But in Canada, their rules and constitution are different – not only are you not guaranteed the right to a jury trial for most offenses but your lawyers must submit their cross examination to the court for review ahead of time. Neuberger explains the impact on all of this and his practice and it is fascinating.
Violence and Assault Cases: Neuberger discuses domestic violence, sexual assault, divorce and allegations in the midst of contentious divorce cases, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, false allegations and he shares his opinion on the frequency on false allegations – and make no mistake about it, Neuberger has an opinion. Be warned — he is not afraid to share it.
Joesph Neuberger, welcome to the podcast.