Jonathan M. Pyzer

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Jonathan M. Pyzer
Criminal Defence Lawyer (B.A., L.L.B)

Jonathan is a highly skilled and sought-after criminal defence lawyer who represents clients charged with criminal offences all over the Province of Ontario. He is a member in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada, Criminal Lawyers’ Association and Toronto Lawyers Association.

Legal Career and Expertise

Jonathan is sworn in and enrolled as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Ontario Court of Appeal for Ontario and of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Mr. Pyzer has successfully represented clients at every level of trial court in the province of Ontario, attempting to achieve the most favourable outcome possible. His experience and excellence are apparent in every case he defends.

Since being called to the bar, Jonathan has restricted his practice to criminal and quasi-criminal defence work and has represented clients charged with all types of offences including murder, manslaughter, all classes of assault including domestic assault, sexual assault, robbery, assault with a weapon, assault cause bodily harm, aggravated assault, DUI, impaired driving, Over 80, theft, fraud, sexual charges including sexual assault, human trafficking, child luring, possession of child pornography, drug charges including, drug possession, drug trafficking, and importing etc. human trafficking. 

In addition, Jonathan represents and counsels persons who are under investigation by the police, witnesses as well as victims of crime as well as doctors, nurses, teachers and other professionals before their disciplinary boards.

Legal Qualifications

Jonathan received his B.A. from McGill University where he graduated with distinction. He received Certificates in Peace and Conflict Resolution and Journalism from the American University in Washington, D.C. He obtained his LL.B. at the University of Western Ontario.

Jonathan began his career in criminal law while still in law school when he worked at Miller & Associates in West Los Angeles. Working in one of North America’s busiest and most violent jurisdictions, Jonathan learned a great deal about criminal law and developed his passion for defending those being prosecuted for criminal offences by the state.

Client Representation

After graduating from law school, Jonathan completed his articles in criminal law while articling for Lerner, Marzel and Associates. While articling, Jonathan worked on a number of cases and specifically was counted on to research and draft Charter Applications on behalf of clients. From the start of his legal career, Jonathan became passionate about defending individual rights and freedoms. Shortly after commencing his articles, Jonathan’s duties expanded from supporting the firm’s criminal practice to heading up the firm's Landlord and Tenant litigation division. Jonathan was asked to stay on with the firm once he completed his articles but decided to head off on his own and pursue his passion for practicing criminal law.

In 2002, Jonathan Pyzer and Ian Kostman joined forces to form Kostman & Pyzer, Barristers. Under Mr. Kostman's tutelage, Jonathan became an effective trial advocate in the trenches of Ontario’s trial courts. Between 2002 and 2016 Kostman & Pyzer practiced criminal law in the Criminal Law Chambers at 559 College Street, practising in association with some of the most accomplished lawyers in Canada. In September 2018, Kostman & Pyzer, Barristers relocated to to work in association with Wolf Kimelman at 1396 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite 100, Toronto, Ontario, M6C 2E4.

Defence Strategy

As a skilled and dedicated criminal defence lawyer and trial advocate, Mr. Pyzer aggressively pursues every viable legal defence on behalf of each client. On any given week Jonathan is known to put in 70—100 hours of time, or more, working on client files and trial preparation. He truly cares about each and every client he acts for. Jonathan prides himself in representing the interests of his clients as if he was representing his own brother or another family member. 

Jonathan understands how important each case is to each one of his clients whether they are concerned about a criminal record and the loss of employment, citizenship eligibility, or travelling to the United States or other foreign countries; Jonathan brings his strong work ethic and tireless dedication to each case.

Jonathan believes that each client’s defence begins with the basic principle that the accused is presumed innocent, and does not have to prove a thing. It is the prosecution who bears the onus of establishing the accused’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Even in cases where the evidence points to the accused as the person who committed the crime, the defence strategy shifts to ensuring that any evidence sought to be introduced by the Crown Attorney’s office passes Constitutional muster. 

Jonathan relentlessly represents his clients to ensure any illegally obtained evidence collected by the police is properly excluded from evidence at trial. Finally, no stone is left unturned by Jonathan in assisting his clients in making a full answer and defence to the allegations they are facing.

Trial Litigation

Jonathan has become a tested trial litigant over the years, having successfully defended hundreds of cases at all levels of trial courts representing clients on all charges under the Criminal Code of Canada. 

Jonathan has become an outspoken proponent of the rights and freedoms enshrined in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and has argued numerous applications on behalf of clients over the years to ensure their Charter-protected rights and freedoms are protected. 

Examples of such applications include:

  • s.7 – life, liberty and security of the person;
  • s.8 unreasonable search and seizure;
  • s.9 arbitrary arrest and detention;
  • s.10 the right to counsel and the right to silence;
  • s.11 – the right to be tried within a reasonable time;
  • s.12 – the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment,

as well as other protections afforded by the Charter of Rights.

Academic and Legal Contributions

Jonathan is one of only a handful of lawyers in Canada to have successfully argued a racial profiling case since the passage of the Charter in 1982. In the Ontario Superior Court decision of R. v. Ferguson-Cadore and O’Grady, the Trial Judge excluded a quantity of crack cocaine, powdered cocaine, marijuana and oxytocin seized by the Durham Regional Police from the accused’s trial of a well-known Canadian basketball player and his girlfriend. 

Following an application by the defence to exclude the seized drugs from the accused’s trial, the judge found that the arresting officer had no lawful authority to stop the vehicle. “The police officer’s initial suspicions and concerns for the safety of the young white female were based on the fact that she was seen in the company of a black male, there was really nothing more to it than that.” 

He found that the officer “took advantage of the arbitrary detention to unlawfully search the vehicle” and ruled that the stop represented “very serious' ' violations of the Charter. The judge found as fact that the police had racially profiled the accused driver, arbitrarily and illegally detained the accused, searched their persons and vehicle without lawful authority and breached their right to consult with a lawyer in a timely manner. All of the drugs were ruled inadmissible at the accused’s trial and the charges were ultimately dismissed.

Jonathan Pyzer possesses a strong academic gift in combination with a profound sense of justice. He worked tirelessly for more than fifteen years defending individual civil liberties against the state. He dedicates himself to the defence of his clients and leaves no stone turn unturned. He is a fighter and a winner!

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Jasmine Mann

Jasmine Mann is a graduate of the Dual Juris Doctor program at University of Windsor Faculty of Law and University of Detroit Mercy School of Law (UDM). During her time at UDM, she worked at the criminal law clinic, which provided her exposure to misdemeanor related cases. During the first year of law school, Jasmine worked at Keran Sangha Professional Corporation in Brampton. After graduating, Jasmine articled and worked as an associate at the Law Office of Patricia Brown where she gained valuable hands-on experience in defending criminal charges.
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Ian Kostman

Was called to the Ontario Bar in 1983 and successfully practiced criminal law until he retired at the end of 2017. Ian appeared in courts of all levels in the Province, from the Ontario Court of Justice to the Ontario Court of Appeal. What drove Ian and made him an outstanding trial advocate for his clients was his passion for justice and for real justice to be done. He was an aggressive defender of his clients and a tireless worker. Ian’s work ethic benefited his clients in even the most difficult cases.
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