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Legal Team

Inquiry Legal Team

image MARLYS A. EDWARDH, B.A., LL.B., LL.M., LL.D.
Marlys Edwardh is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and received a Masters degree in law from Boalt Hall, University of California at Berkeley. She is a partner with Ruby & Edwardh in Toronto, Ontario. Since being called to the Bar in 1976, Ms Edwardh has practiced in the fields of criminal, constitutional and administrative law. Ms Edwardh has served as counsel in a number of Royal Commissions, the latest being the Krever Commission regarding the blood system in Canada.

In February 2002 Marlys Edwardh received an honorary doctorate from the Law Society of Upper Canada. In October 2002 she was also awarded the G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Award by the Criminal Lawyers’ Association. She is currently one of the senior counsels representing Mr.Arar at the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar.


image Lorne Waldman, LL.B., LL.M.,
Lorne Waldman graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1977. He was called to the bar in 1979 and since then he has been practicing exclusively in the area of immigration and refugee law. Mr. Waldman has appeared very frequently at all levels of the courts in Canada, including the Federal Court Trial Division and Federal Court of Appeal where he has argued many of the leading cases in immigration and refugee law. He has also appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada where he successfully argued the Pushpanathan appeal before that court in 1998. He was counsel for the Senate of the Republic of Italy when it intervened before the Supreme Court in Burns and Rafay where the Court found that returning a person to possibly face the death penalty violated section seven of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He represented the Canadian Council of Churches when it intervened before the Court in the case of Chieu.

Mr. Waldman has extensive experience in cases related to national security. He is currently one of the senior counsels representing Mr.Arar at the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar.


image Breese Davies, B.A., LL.B.
Breese Davies was called to the bar in 2000 after having clerked at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. She has been practicing criminal law with Ruby & Edwardh since then. Ms Davies has appeared at all levels of court, including the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. She was part of the defence team that successfully argued Burns and Rafay v. United States of America, a case in which the Supreme Court of Canada prevented the extradition of two Canadian citizens to face the death penalty in the United States. Ms Davies has been involved in other Supreme Court cases, including Suresh v. Minister of Immigration, Ruby v. Solicitor General and Odhavji Estate v. Woodhouse.

Ms Davies is the President of the Board of Directors of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Toronto and an assistant Editor of the Canadian Rights Reporter. She is also the co-author of Sentencing, Sixth Edition. She is currently one of the junior counsels representing Mr.Arar at the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar.


image Brena Parnes
Brena Parnes has been an associate at Waldman & Associates since being called to the bar in 2003. She specializes in immigration and refugee law and is currently working on several cases involving national security issues. While attending Osgoode Hall Law School, Ms. Parnes worked for the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies and as a research assistant for various professors, gaining acknowledgment for her contributions in tort and health law casebooks and The 2002 Annotated Indian Act and Aboriginal Constitutional Provisions.

Ms. Parnes spent her articling year at the Superior Court of Justice. She recently co-authored an article with Mr. Justice Archibald entitled Conflicting interests: Wrestling with the Conflict of Interest Doctrine in Canada which is published in the Annual Review of Civil Litigation 2004. She is currently one of the junior counsels representing Mr.Arar at the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar.




Canadian Civil Litigation Team

image Julian Falconer
Julian Falconer's represents Mr. Arar in his lawsuit against the Canadian Government. A senior partner at Falconer Charney LLP, Julian has been practicing law since 1989. His practice has gained prominence in both civil and criminal courts across the province. While the focus of Julian’s practice has been public interest litigation, he maintains a conventional practice involving civil and criminal litigation on behalf of a wide range of clients including families of these who have died in state custody, various professionals (including teachers, lawyers and police officers) and institutional clients.

Julian has authored legal articles and a book on the Coroner’s system. He is a recipient of Pride Magazine’s African Canadian Achievement Award; the Vision of Justice Award by the Black Law Students Association of Canada; and the Urban Alliance Race Relations Medal. Julian was also honoured by the University of Toronto as one of the twentieth century’s 100 most notable graduates for his work on social change in the context of Coroners Inquests.


image Julian Roy
Julian Roy is an associate with the firm Falconer Charney LLP. Julian is a graduate of the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. He was called to the Bar in 1995, and practiced exclusively criminal law before joining FCM in 1999. Since joining the firm, Julian has maintained a diverse litigation practice in the areas of civil, constitutional and criminal law. He acted as acounsel to the African Canadian Legal Clinic before the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Golden and R. v. Williams, and on behalf of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations in R. v. Decovan Brown before the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Julian has also developed significant expertise in the conduct of coroner's inquests. Julian is currently part of the legal team representing Mr. Arar in his lawsuit against the Canadian Government.


image Karen Spector
Karen graduated from Queen's Law School and spent a year as a visiting student at the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia. She recieved her Bachelor of Arts in Honours Philosophy with a Minor in Women's Studies from McGill University. Karen was called to the Bar in 2001 and is a lawyer at the law firm of Falconer Charney Macklin. Karen has appeard in both trial and appellate level courts on both civil and criminal cases. She has also appeard before various administrative tribunals.

Karen is currently working on a number of cases including racial discrimination in employment, prisoners' rights, state abuse and professional discipline. Karen is currently part of the legal team representing Mr. Arar in his lawsuit against the Canadian Government.




US Civil Litigation Team

Maria LaHood
Maria LaHood is an attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), where she specializes in international human rights litigation, seeking to hold government officials and corporations accountable for torture, extrajudicial killings and war crimes.

Before joining CCR, Maria advocated on behalf of affordable housing and civil rights in the California Bay Area; she graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1995.


image Barbara Olshansky
Barbara Olshansky is the Deputy Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and is responsible for CCR’s racial, social and economic justice dockets. Her current work includes the case representing the detainees at Guantánamo argued before the Supreme Court on April 20, 2004; a suit on behalf of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen sent by U.S. officials to be tortured in Syria; class action lawsuits concerning immigrants’ rights; race discrimination in employment, education, the environment, and public health; prisoners’ rights and Native American rights.

Prior to joining the staff at CCR in September of 1995, Barbara was a senior attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund where her responsibilities included litigation, policy analysis, advocacy and lobbying on toxic and solid waste issues, economic development and environmental justice. Barbara also practiced union-side labor and employment discrimination law at the New York City law firm of Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C. She was an adjunct professor at the City College of New York teaching Environmental Law & Policy and Labor Law from 1991 to 1996 and then taught for a year at Queens College Law School. Barbara graduated from Stanford Law School in 1985 and clerked for two years for the Honorable Rose E. Bird, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court.