Scott Cowan


How to Succeed in Life by Thinking like a Criminal

Keep your mouth shut (and your ears open), remember “you have the right to remain silent…..”  

“Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt” – Mark Twain

You are watching TV in the living room and you hear a minor crash in the kitchen.  You enter to see that the sour cream you left on the counter is now upside down on the ground.  Your dog sheepishly sits across the room. If you accuse him of knocking it over, what does he say?   If you scold him, what does he say?   If you promise to be kind and even offer him the floor to lap up, what does he say? Good criminals know to be dogs. No matter how guilty he looks, or how persuasive the evidence is, the dog did nothing with his words to contribute to the case against him. 

If you’re in trouble, seek help from professionals – “… you have the right to an attorney” 

This is of course, the second half of the Miranda warning that everyone can rhyme off by rote.   Whether it’s a second opinion on strategy, or the need to seek help from someone more experienced on an esoteric point, we have never met a lawyer who was not willing to share their wisdom with a colleague, especially a more junior one. 

If you are in a position to speak, answer questions directly.  The Classic Story of Oscar Wilde’s cross-examination 

Many who have studied the art of cross-examination will have come across the transcript of the Trial of Oscar Wilde.   We will take you through this transcript and show how a single betrayal of the rule about “nothing but the truth” led one of the greatest masters of the English language was felled by the most banal of questions.   

Privacy Panel

This session is all about privacy.  Our panelists will discuss some of the craziest privacy-related stories that we have seen in Canadian and international courtrooms.  We will discuss the ethical issues presented by these stories and try and come up with solutions to them that are in compliance with our obligations to the client and court.

About Scott Cowan

Brandon Crawford is a partner at Edelson Foord Law in Ottawa. He regularly appears before trial courts in Ontario and the Ontario Court of Appeal.  Brandon is a graduate of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and Michigan State University College of Law.  He is an instructor in the trial advocacy program at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law.