Criminal Trial and Appellate Advocacy
Mr. Crystal’s primary area of practice is criminal law. He is certified as a criminal law specialist by the Law Society of Ontario. He has argued criminal cases at all court levels in Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada.
Mr. Crystal is experienced in bringing faint hope applications under s 745.6 of the Criminal Code. This allows individuals convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment who are not eligible for parole for over 15 years to apply for an early parole after they have served a period of 15 years. Recently, he was successful in moving an application of this nature past the judicial screening phase to be heard by a jury in R v. McPherson, R v. McFarlane and R v. Abram.
Mr. Crystal was recently successful in securing an acquittal in R v. Norton, a case in which his client was accused of assault and sexual offences.
Supreme Court Agency
Mr. Crystal has been involved in cases argued at the Supreme Court of Canada. He was involved in R v. Cody, a case about the Charter right to be tried within a reasonable time. Mr. Cody waited 5 years before he was tried due to a variety of circumstances; this was deemed an unjustified delay by a unanimous Supreme Court and he was released. Most recently, Mr. Crystal was involved in arguing R v. Mills, a case regarding whether an adult has a reasonable expectation of privacy when engaging in social media communications with underage children for sexual purposes.
Mr. Crystal has been active in privacy litigation in both the individual and class-action space. He was co-counsel in the case of Hopkins v. Kay at the Ontario Court of Appeal, which dealt with the issue of privacy rights of patients who had had their personal medical information snooped by hospital employees. He has been involved in a number of other class-action lawsuits revolving around privacy issues in relation to the misuse of medical information.
Mr. Crystal has also been active in civil cases where individuals have sought compensation for sexual abuse. He further has an interest in protecting the privacy rights of individuals who are victims of crime.
Mr. Crystal was successful in obtaining intervenor status for an indigenous group regarding the Energy East Pipeline project and is currently working for indigenous groups on issues relating to First Nations cannabis dispensaries.