Charles Lugosi

2015 Bencher Election

Charles Lugosi is a candidate for Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada. 

There is a drop down menu on the left margin of this home page that is called, Bencher Election.  His answers to various questionnaires are disclosed on the Bencher page.

Here is the final version of his Statement, which amends the one filed with the Law Society (and cannot be changed because the deadline has passed):

"I am concerned about: the needs of sole practitioners; issues pertaining to civility; the negative impact a 13% HST tax has on access to legal services for individuals; the inadequate resources provided by Legal Aid to enable full answer and defense in criminal cases; and the budget cuts in rural libraries, including the recent elimination of free remote access to Lexis computer assisted legal research from the Toolkit of Legal Resources upon which sole practitioners heavily depend; and the loss of articling jobs in rural Ontario where there is need for young lawyers.

I would like to: establish bench/bar functions and conferences; decentralize CLE seminars throughout the province; and provide mentorship to sole practitioners.  I would like to reinstate free remote access to a full Toolkit of Legal Resources.  I would to begin a debate as to whether gowning for court should be abolished in all trials. I would like to see legal expenses in criminal, family and immigration law matters be made tax deductible for individuals, to improve access to justice; cases be called with priority given to senior counsel, as determined by date of call to the Bar; live television broadcasts of trials and appeals; and a weekly TV show hosted by the Law Society, updating the public on the latest cases that advance the law. A Practice Advisor should be available in person on a drop in basis.  I would like to see that all future appointments for Justice of the Peace have a law degree, and have practiced law in Ontario courts for 8 of the last 10 years. 

I believe in a strong independent self-regulating bar that is integral to the rule of law. I am open-minded on all current issues and willing to embrace new ideas and discard any of my ideas if I am persuaded a better idea is presented.  I will listen to you if you take the time to contact me. My commitment to you is to strengthen the practice of law as a profession, put client interests first, promote legal ethics and inspire public confidence in our profession."

In Central South, which includes Brantford, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and Hamilton, Charles is the only Brantford lawyer running for Bencher. Diversity of representation is important, so please consider this when you vote.

History of Firm

In July of 2012, Charles Lugosi returned to his hometown, Brantford, Ontario, Canada to resume the practice of law as a sole practitioner under the name, Lugosi Law Firm.  Charles also maintains a law office in Chelsea Michigan to serve clients in the United States.  Since April 3, 2014, Charles practices in association with Kathy Tomaszewski, an Ontario lawyer, who also maintains a sole and independent practice.

Kathy and Charles both attended the University of Western Ontario law school.  Charles graduated in 1979 and Kathy in 1980. Kathy was the gold medalist, graduating from law school, with the highest academic average cumulatively attained over three years of law school studies. 

Kathy clerked in the Supreme Court of Canada, for the late Chief Justice of Canada, Bora Laskin from 1980-1981, and then attended Harvard Law School, earning her Masters of Law, graduating in 1982.  Kathy was then invited to join the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario as a full-time professor of law, where, for the next 10 years, she taught a variety of subjects, including constitutional law, corporate law, securities regulations, commercial law, and secured transactions.  Kathy resigned her tenured position in 1992, while still serving as an adjudicator for the Ontario Human Rights Commission, to be a full-time mom. Since 2007, Kathy has provided professional services to individuals with learning and developmental challenges. 

Kathy was admitted to practice law in Ontario in 1984.  Charles was admitted to practice law in Ontario in 1981 and admitted to practice law in British Columbia in 1982.

Charles joined the American Trial Lawyers Association in 1981 and began practicing criminal law in 1983 as a prosecutor and soon assisted on major kidnapping and murder cases.  By 1988 Charles owned his own litigation practice in Victoria BC and starting in 1988 was included in Who's Who in Canada. In 1990 Charles began a province wide law murder defense practice and defended numerous defendants in Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Prince George, Penticton, Cranbrook, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Terrace, Smithers, and Fort St. John, obtaining acquittals, reduced verdicts, or dismissals in 89% of 35 homicide and sexual assault cases defended from 1990-2000.  Charles became a prominent criminal lawyer throughout British Columbia and achieved a national reputation as an appellate attorney when he narrowly won the Feeney case in the Supreme Court of Canada.  

In 2000, Charles took a leave of absence and attended the University of Pennsylvania where he earned three graduate degrees, including two in law (a masters degree and a doctorate in juridical science (equivalent of a PhD), and worked with one of Philadelphia's best lawyers, leading criminal appellate attorney, former professor Peter Goldberger, Esq., whose practice focuses on white collar crime. Charles then became a law professor, teaching first at Western's law school in London, Ontario and then at ABA accredited law schools in Florida and Michigan.  Charles taught criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional law, the Rule of Law (in the context of international law), jurisprudence, property law (including land claims, environmental law, and real estate), tort law (including negligence, libel, slander, nuisance, trespass) healthcare law, and bioethics.  Charles' publications about enemy combatants, criminal law, habeas corpus, constitutional law, and the rule of law were of valuable assistance to appellate counsel in the United States who used Charles' arguments before the United States Supreme Court in the cases of Hamdi and Hamdan.

In 2007, Charles created the winning legal arguments used by Harvey Strosberg QC to defeat the attempt by lawyers for prosecutors and the police to stop a civil law suit that claimed a wrongful murder conviction of James Driskell resulted from negligent omission to disclose evidence.  Judge Greenberg agreed with Charles' analysis that there is no statutory or common law immunity for the tort claims against prosecutors and the police, and that it was up to the trial judge after hearing all the evidence, to decide whether a cause of action in negligence lies against Crown attorneys. The defendants avoided trial and settled Driskell's claims for millions of dollars.  

Charles decided to join the Michigan Bar while a visiting law professor at the Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, and involved some of his students in a volunteer appeal project which resulted in the freeing of Julie Baumer, a factually innocent person from prison. On November 20, 2009, Judge James Biernat Jr. granted the petition filed on behalf of Julie Baumer and ordered a new trial. Charles was joined in this appeal by other attorneys, including prominent Macomb County former prosecutor and defense attorney Carl J. Marlinga.  On October 15, 2010 Carl Marlinga's able representation of Julie Baumer, with the assistance of Dave Moran and law students from the Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan, successfully obtained an acquittal of all charges at Julie Baumer's retrial. A key part of the retrial was the reading in of irrefutable medical evidence done previously by Charles at the prior proceeding. 

On March 26, 2013 the United States Supreme Court in Florida v. Jardines accepted the legal argument Charles created in an Amicus Brief he authored on behalf of the Rutherford Institute.  The Court ruled that in the absence of a search warrant, a police officer commits trespass at the front door of a private residence when a trained police dog is used as an investigative tool to detect any potentially criminal activity inside that home, thereby committing an unconstitutional search, contrary to the Fourth Amendment. Like his victory in the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Feeney, another search case involving state intrusion into a private residence, this too was a narrow 5:4 victory in the U.S. Supreme Court. 

On March 27, 2013 the United States Supreme Court in Millbrook v. United States accepted the legal argument Charles advanced in an Amicus Brief he authored on behalf of the Rutherford Institute. The Court agreed with Charles that prison guards are not immune from intentional torts, such as sexual assault, forced upon helpless prisoners.  In reaching this decision, the Court overruled lower courts that misinterpreted the text of the relevant section of the Federal Torts Claim Act, and adopted Charles' interpretation of the law. The decision was unanimous.

Charles' credentials authorize him to practice in British Columbia, Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada and enable him to be authorized to practice in every Canadian province except Quebec. Charles is authorized to practice in Michigan state and its federal courts, Washington state, the Sixth and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.  Charles is a former member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and the Federal Bar Association.  

Charles and Kathy work together as counsel to help individuals in the areas of criminal law, immigration matters, civil litigation, administrative law, family law and constitutional cases in Canada. Assisting the firm is Dr. Nikolay Kovalev, Ph.D. (law), LL.M. B.A.(law), a criminology professor, who is articling under the supervision of Charles. 

Please call 1-519-761-7000 to schedule an initial consultation at a discounted rate.  Charles does house calls, for people with limited mobility.







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