Theodore L. Mariash
I was called to the Bar on June 19, 2008, and have been in court almost every single day for the past 12 years. I graduated with my juris doctor from the University of Manitoba in 2007. Prior to law school, my undergraduate studies were completed at the I.H. Asper School of Business with a double-major in accounting and finance. Happily for me, I realized at the last second accounting would not suit my talents. I wrote the LSAT on 6 days notice and gained entry to law school on my first application shortly thereafter.
I believe there is no substitute for hard work to ensure I am fully-prepared for anything which may come out during a trial. The law is so broad that it takes significant commitment to research and professional development to be a top lawyer engaging in best practices. Most of my clientele have had other lawyers in their past. I have been told often by my clients that I am the best lawyer they’ve ever had. It is for that reason that I command a significant degree of client loyalty and satisfaction.
I believe there is no substitute for courtroom experience of which my time spent in court can only be described as extensive. I am literally always present. I have appeared before the Manitoba Court of Appeal on 19 occasions. My first appeal, R. v. Draper, 2010 MBCA 35, was successfully argued with judgment delivered on March 31, 2010. I am proud that I contributed to defining the laws of consecutive sentencing and range of sentences for robberies as well as expanding legal protections for individuals diagnosed with FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder).
I have conducted approximately 45 trials before the Court of Queen’s Bench, although I have prepared for many more which ultimately resulted in an favourable plea bargain for my client. Of those trials, 10 of them have been before a jury. I have represented approximately 50 clients charged with murder, manslaughter, or other offense causing death. I have represented approximately 220 clients charged with sexual offenses, with half of those cases being allegations against children (sexual interference primarily). I have represented persons charged with every possible weapons and firearms offense in law, literally too many times to give an accurate count, other than to say several dozen per year. I have represented clients on exceptionally serious crimes such as home invasion robberies, human trafficking, kidnapping, explosives trafficking, narcotics trafficking and production, impaired driving causing death and/or bodily harm, and attempted murder. In total, I have run approximately 250 trials over my career and prepared for approximately 1250 more.
I have represented well over 1000 clients charged with domestic violence, such as assault, uttering threats, or breaching a protection order. I have set aside protection orders and peace bonds.
I have conducted well over 1000 contested bail applications, both in the Provincial Court of Manitoba and the Court of Queen’s Bench.
I have conducted well over 2000 sentencings during my career.
I have resorted to the use of prerogative writs to assist my clients, doing cases in the areas of certiorari, mandamus, and habeas corpus. I have challenged mandatory minimum sentences and will continue to do so as I believe mandatory minimum sentences to result in unjust sentences.
I typically work 60 hours a week. I have missed a grand total of 1.5 days of court time due to illness over the course of my career. The longest continuous amount of time I have ever been away from the courthouse during my entire career is 11 days.
In sum, I have appeared in every level of court in Manitoba on virtually ever crime before every judge at all levels of court (other than the most recent appointments to the Bench).
I believe in being transparent and open, both personally and professionally. I have nothing to hide and I feel like my clients trust me better for telling them the truth of their situation. I believe there are too many unscrupulous lawyers out there who gain clients by patently misrepresenting either their level of experience or expertise in law or both. The other side of this mercurial coin is the lawyer who falsely advises their client they have nothing to worry about when, in fact, there is much to be concerned with and a lot of evidence to neutralize. Stony Mountain Institute is full of former clients who believed the charlatans false assertion of great skill and ability.
My hope is to ensure that I am never regarded as such a lawyer. Further, my goal in practice is to ensure that none of my clients are wrongfully convicted.
I have continuously fought for greater protections in law for indigenous offenders, to expand the true scope of section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code of Canada. I have fought to educate the judiciary on the history of racism perpetuated under the pretenses of the Indian Act and the resulting harm which befell the various First Nations of Canada. Until enough judges and politicians understand that the tools they use to measure risk punish those who have been multi-generationally victimized by the Indian Act and instead reward those people who intentionally live a life of crime, I will refuse to let this subject go. I am pleased that the Prime Minister referred to the systemic abuses against indigenous people as genocide. Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide lists “Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group”, “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”, and “Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” as genocide.
I continue to advocate about the conditions found on many Reserves throughout Manitoba to this day. The idea that some Reserves don’t even have plumbing with clean water is such a monstrous affront to how Canada advertises itself to the rest of the world.
I have always been entrusted to run organizations. I was the president of the United Way’s Youth Connections Council between 1999-2001. I was elected Senator to the University of Manitoba Senate between 2002-2003. I was the treasurer and member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for the John Howard Society of Manitoba between 2006-2015. I have been co-commissioner for the Bar Association Baseball League since 2016. All of this is in addition to running my own law firm since February 18, 2013.
On the personal side of things, I primarily occupy my free-time learning. I eschew social media as a giant waste of time; I have learned the history of a great many subjects using free resources such as Wikipedia and supplemented by being a voracious reader of scientifically valid peer-reviewed literature.
I believe it is important to support local business and charities. It is not enough to say kind words; I donate my time and money. When I donate money, I attempt to do so anonymously. Those lists published every December about donations are nauseating and defeat the altruistic purpose.
I have a love of art, history, and strategy. History is replete with tales of fantastic truth which is too often forgotten. I have found remembering the past has made me formidable in understanding when old tricks played by politicians begin to pollute the lives of the citizenry of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and/or Canada. I find it one of the funniest things when real life mimics history and/or art, yet no one else is aware of the significance or how we are repeating the mistakes of our past.
My heroes in life are typically not commonly known or remembered people, with one notable exception (Winston Churchill). My inspiration in life is to emulate Generalissimo Alexander Suvarov. He is the only undefeated general in history, having gone 63-0 in major conflicts, typically defeating armies 2-5 times larger than his own. He would stand with his soldiers in the heart of a battle because he knew that’s where his army was most vulnerable. He was seriously wounded 6 times and never once wavered in his commitment to holding the front line. He eschewed gaudy tradition in favour of lethal effectiveness. He abhorred nepotism and the pompous elite but always had an open mind for people of talent, of skill, of intelligence. My other idols include Raoul Wallenberg, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Jay Gould, and Arminius.
I try to live my life by the Latin maxim audentes Fortuna iuvat: “Fortune favours the bold”.
I’ve been told by many people I have a great courtroom/radio voice. It is the lowest a human voice can go, also known as basso profundo. I know this is not a typical lawyers about page as those typically put me to sleep. But I am not a typical lawyer. As you can probably infer from reading this essay about myself, I am not afraid to speak out against the injustices we have not yet solved to this day. I do not kneel. I will not be silenced. My voice will be heard.
“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.”