Vanora Simpson is a member of Goldblatt Partners’ criminal law group. After articling with us, she joined the firm on her call to the Bar in 2000.
Vanora’s practice focuses on criminal litigation at the trial and appellate levels. She has a particular interest in the trial-level defence of young people charged with criminal offences and workers facing charges in the context of labour disputes. At the appellate level, her practice includes cases which raise “freedom of expression” issues. Vanora also acts for defendants in quasi-criminal matters which arise in the workplace, Ontario College of Trades matters, and those with international elements, such as extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty cases.
Vanora’s practice also includes professional regulation matters. She acts frequently for teachers, particularly, those facing professional discipline and investigation by the Ontario College of Teachers.
Vanora speaks at seminars for teachers and trade union members regarding their professional responsibilities, coping with criminal allegations, and the consequences of such cases. She also speaks on criminal law subjects at continuing legal education conferences for colleagues in the profession.
Vanora has been actively involved in the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, an organization that advocates for individuals who have been convicted of a serious crime they did not commit. Vanora was part of the committee that coordinates and assists the volunteer review lawyers who assess applications for AIDWYC’s assistance, and also personally conducted many case reviews. She acted for AIDWYC at the Goudge Inquiry (the Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology in Ontario), which examined the injustices wrought by the misconduct of pathologist Charles Smith and how the practice of forensic pediatric pathology may be improved in future.
Vanora is a member of the Ontario Bar Association and Criminal Lawyers’ Association, and a past Board member of the CLA.