Vancouver Criminal Defense Lawyer Emmet J. Duncan graduated with an Honours degree in History (B.A. Hons.) from the University of British Columbia. Following that, he obtained his Law Degree (LL.B) from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and then earned his Masters degree in Law (LL.M) from the University of British Columbia.
Throughout his career as a lawyer, Mr. Duncan has focussed on being a courtroom lawyer. His career has been a mixture of private practice and Crown Counsel work. In private practice, Mr. Duncan has represented clients at all levels of court, including the Provincial Court of British Columbia, the British Columbia Supreme Court, the Trial Division of the Federal Court of Canada, the British Columbia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.
As Crown Counsel, Mr. Duncan prosecuted literally hundreds of cases of all levels of seriousness including all sorts of driving offences (including drunk driving / DUI / impaired driving, driving over .08, prohibited driving, driving while disqualified and driving without due care and consideration); property offences including theft, fraud, possession of stolen property and break and enter; and all types of violent offences including all forms of assault (assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm and aggravated assault), robbery, sexual assault, extortion, kidnapping and both First Degree Murder and Second Degree Murder. Mr. Duncan’s experience as Crown counsel and defence counsel has included routine counsel work at both the Provincial Court and the Supreme Court and has included trials before judge alone and before judge and jury.
Mr. Duncan is active in the legal community, and is a member of Canadian Bar Association and the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia. In addition to being a member of the Canadian Bar Association, he was for a number of years on the Executive of the Canadian Bar Association’s Vancouver Criminal Subsection, of which he served as Chair for a year. More recently, Mr. Duncan has increased his involvement in legal education and was the Co-Chair of the recent Conference presented by the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia entitled: The Art of Criminal Law 2013: Issues and Opportunities: http://www.tlabc.org/index.cfm?pg=upcomingprograms, as well as participating as a presenter in a debate with Crown Counsel regarding the latest developments in the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark “Mr. Big” murder investigations caselaw: https://www.tlabc.org/index.cfm?pg=events&evAction=showDetail&eid=23399
Over the years, Mr. Duncan has also, from time to time, provided training to police agencies, including training Burnaby RCMP members on their legal obligations when they arrest individuals and are trying to determine whether to release them on bail or hold them for a hearing before a judge. More recently, he has been a guest instructor at the RCMP’s advanced training course teaching more senior members learning to write search warrants. The focus of that training is to educate police officers on the limits of their power to search and on techniques to ensure they respect the rights of private citizens from unnecessary searches.
Mr. Duncan also volunteers his time with the UBC Faculty of Law’s Criminal Clinic, in which second- and third-year law students become qualified to represent clients in criminal court. Mr. Duncan’s role is to mentor two such students every year and to supervise every aspect of their representation of clients (including trials and sentencing) to help teach those students about the day-to-day practicalities and realities of being a criminal defence lawyer.
Because of Mr. Duncan’s years of experience as a former Crown prosecutor, the Crown Counsel office continues to hire Mr. Duncan at times to conduct prosecutions which have recently included kidnapping, robbery, extortion, stalking, home invasion and sexual assault. His experience and these ongoing opportunities provide Vancouver Criminal Defense Lawyer Emmet J. Duncan with a unique skill set to employ in your defence: he knows how these cases are investigated, built, prosecuted AND defended.