Addario Law Group’s Megan Savard is featured in a March 25th article in the Toronto Star on how the courts and defence lawyers are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Megan is a director of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association. Megan has been helping to coordinate the dozens of CLA volunteers assisting in courthouses across the province as the criminal justice system responds to major disruptions caused by the crisis.
The article notes that Megan “worked with police and prosecutors in Scarborough to develop a protocol to help maintain the rights of men and women accused of crimes while also containing the spread of COVID-19 by limiting unnecessary human contact, such as from transporting the accused to court.”
Megan told the Star that, in light of the pandemic, defence lawyers and CLA volunteers are “trying to ensure that low-risk and non-violent people are released, and maybe erring a little bit more on the side of release in those grey area cases.” The threat to public safety from COVID-19 has changed the usual considerations for bail. As Megan notes, courts considering the “public interest” factor in bail hearings will recognize that the public will understand the desire to keep people out of jails, which are a high-risk environment for an outbreak.