Alayna Dueck (BA (Hons), MA, JD)
Alayna is a Toronto lawyer who practices in criminal law exclusively. She is passionate about defending her clients’ rights. Alayna ensures that each of her clients are jealously represented in the criminal justice system. She is tirelessly dedicated to holding every prosecution up to the high standards outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Alayna discovered her passion for the law while working as an assistant in family and civil litigation at a boutique firm in downtown Toronto. This passion pushed her to complete her law degree at the University of Toronto. While in law school, Alayna volunteered her time at the student legal clinic where she assisted clients who were charged with criminal offences but could not afford a lawyer and did not qualify for Legal Aid. She advocated for her clients in court and assisted with file reviews and trials. This was an invaluable experience that ignited her interest in becoming a criminal defence lawyer. During law school, Alayna’s passion for helping those in need also motivated her to volunteer at a weekly breakfast drop-in for street-involved women.
After law school, Alayna successfully completed her articles at Caramanna, Friedberg LLP, a busy downtown Toronto criminal defence firm, where she assisted on a wide array of cases that included charges such as sexual assault, robbery, and 2nd degree murder. Alayna thrives in a fast-paced, high stakes work setting where she can use her drive and keen sense of written and oral advocacy to put together the best possible defence for each client.
Alayna’s care and compassion for each and every one of her clients is evident from the first day she touches the file. She works tirelessly to ensure that her clients’ needs are met, and that no stone is left unturned in their defence. She advocates whole-heartedly and vigorously for her clients, regardless of the charges they are facing.
After being called to the bar in Ontario, Alayna joined Kostman & Pyzer, Barristers as an associate in Criminal Defence. In this capacity, she tenaciously represents clients who are charged with any criminal offence. Alayna firmly believes in the principles of the criminal justice system: the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial, and the right to counsel. In her work as a defence lawyer, Alayna works tirelessly to uphold these rights for every client.
Alayna’s particular area of interest is in youth criminal court matters. While articling, Alayna assisted one of the partners at the firm in preparing for a complex murder trial with a youth accused. She is very alive to particularities of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, having taken a course in law school dedicated to the subject.
Philosophy of Practice
Alayna believes that the best defence is preparation. From the day of arrest, right up to the day a matter resolves, Alayna always thinks a few steps ahead in order to be prepared for anything that comes up. Criminal proceedings can be unpredictable, so the best way to avoid being caught off guard is to know every file inside and out. This includes understanding the background of every client, doing exhaustive legal research, and gaining intimate familiarity with the evidence.
With every new client, Alayna tries to get as clear a picture as possible about what brought them to her door. Background, present circumstances, and future goals all play an important part in the disposition of criminal charges. As an example, a client may have a background involving substance abuse with successful treatment. Then they lapse, are charged with a related crime, and brought to court. Knowing the client’s mental state at the time of the offence, as well as their future plans to maintain sobriety will be very helpful in reaching a fair resolution of the matter, regardless of whether they intend to plead guilty or make a defence at trial.
When preparing a case, Alayna ensures that she is up to date on all the relevant legal concepts and recent decisions. Using a variety of legal research tools, Alayna attacks legal questions with tenacity and enthusiasm. She enjoys plumbing the depths regarding a point of law until she is satisfied that she understands it fully and can confidently argue it in court.
To ensure that no facet of the case goes unexamined, Alayna uses her attention to detail and organization to process all of the evidence in a file. Kostman & Pyzer, Barristers, maintains a paperless office so that there is access to an entire file at a moment’s notice. Using the most current technology, Alayna is able to thoroughly review all disclosure in a case and organize all the materials in the most efficient way.
Alayna feels that Criminal Defence is her true calling. She approaches every case with passion and vigour, fighting for the best results in every situation. Alayna zealously represents her clients’ interests no matter the charges; all the way to trial if needed.
Alayna is a member of the Criminal Lawyers Association, and the Toronto Lawyers Association.