Paul O’Marra has been practicing law since 1992 He currently holds the following positions:
President of the Peel Criminal Lawyers’ Association (PCLA)
Member of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association (CLA)
Member of Peel Law Association (PLA)Organization: O’Marra & Elliott, Barristers & Solicitors
Role: Sole Practitioner
Focus: Criminal Law
Peel Regional Police Association
Halton Regional Police Association
Niagara Regional Police Association
Focus: Assisting police officers designated by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and the Office of the Independent Review Police Director (OIRPD) and under investigation for criminal offences and violations under the Police Services Act (PSA).
As Counsel to the Peel, Halton and Niagara Regional Police Associations, I have had the opportunity to participate in a unique area of legal representation. This experience has provided an understanding and appreciation of the difficulties associated with a police officer’s position. I have acquired an understanding of the potential stress on a police officer and his/her requirement for quick and effective decision making during a high pressure situation. In fulfilling the role, I have also gained an appreciation of the corresponding impact and legal implications that an officer’s behavior can have on an investigation.
Legal Aid Ontario (Brampton)
Role: Per Diem Duty Counsel
My experience in acting as Duty Counsel for Legal Aid continues to provide me with an opportunity to further develop my legal skills. This environment demands quick and effective decision making in situations that often allow for little to no preparation time. The experience also permits me to represent clients that are often uneducated, low income earners and disenfranchised trapped in our legal system. Although this service provides minimal recognition or monetary rewards, I continue to take satisfaction in representing my clients and providing my services.
Legal Aid Ontario (Brampton)Role: Area Committee Member
Acting as an Area Committee Member for Legal Aid Ontario continues to provide experiences whereby I am able to learn and develop both personally and professionally. I have gained an appreciation for an individual’s circumstances and the need for public assistance which has been invaluable for fulfilling my responsibility of ensuring that the allocation of a limited pool of time and money is dedicated to those most deserving of Legal Aid coverage. I am also called upon to determine the merits of criminal appeals.
Legal Aid Ontario (Brampton) Extremely Serious Criminal Matter PanelRole: Counsel on Panel
To provide the necessary skill and experience on extremely serious criminal matters in Peel including charges of murder, sexual assault, and conspiracy to import drugs into Canada.
Canadian Auto WorkersDate: 1992 – 2010
Role: Counsel on Panel
Focus: Providing legal services to CAW members at a subsidized rate
As counsel provided legal services to membership of CAW, I enjoyed the opportunity to met and assist individuals in resolving their legal issues.
The Offices of the Peel, Halton and Dufferin Crown AttomeyDate: 1994 - Present
Role: Per Diem Crown Attorney
Focus: Prosecution of criminal cases including bail hearings and trials
This position has provided the experience to evaluate legal proceedings from both the prosecution’s perspective and the defense. I gained a greater appreciation for the standard of proof and the ability to determine whether it is in the public’s interest to prosecute a case and if there is a reasonable prospect of conviction.
Department of JusticeDate: 1994 - 2001
Role: Standing agent
Focus: Prosecuted offences under the Income Tax Act and Customs Act
This experience provided an appreciation for the magnitude of “white collar” crime. My responsibilities included prosecuting both individuals and corporations for a variety of charges. This provided to be an invaluable experience in understanding the intricacies of corporate tax evasion and fraud.
Family Services of Peel (Mississauga)Date: 1994 - 2001
Role: Advice Duty Counsel
Focus: Family and Criminal Law
This experience provided an opportunity to give direction and guidance to those in need. Acting as a trusted advisor in both family and criminal matters provided an appreciation for the need for true and honest legal counsel for the public. This free consultation service was my first opportunity to truly appreciate the value of “giving something back” to the community.