Areas of Expertise
Professional Regulation/Discipline Proceedings
Michael W. Lacy, B.A., LL.B., is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer practicing in the area of criminal law and administrative disciplinary proceedings. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario and his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. He started his career with the esteemed criminal law firm of Gold & Fuerst and was called to the bar as a lawyer in Ontario in 1997.
Throughout his career he has worked with some of Canada’s leading counsel including being law partners with Eddie Greenspan, one of Canada’s most well-known criminal lawyers, until Eddie passed away in 2014. He joined Brauti Thorning LLP as a partner in 2016.
Michael has practiced at all levels of court in Ontario arguing and has appeared on more than 125 appeals to the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He is a member of the Inmate Appeal Duty Counsel Program providing pro bono services to unrepresented appellants in criminal appeals. He has also argued appeals at the Supreme Court of Canada and appeared as intervention counsel for the Criminal Lawyers’ Association and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. He is an invited advocacy adviser registered with the Supreme Court Advocacy institute where he provides pro bono advice and critique to counsel appearing at the Supreme Court of Canada during mock advocacy sessions. Michael has also appeared as counsel in courts in New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Quebec and Saskatchewan. As a result of the national mobility agreement among provincial law societies, he is authorized to practice law throughout Canada other than in Quebec where a temporary call to the bar is required on a case by case basis.
Michael’s experience includes arguing Police Service Act matters in Ontario, acting as counsel on appeals and judicial review applications, representing peace officers in Special Investigation Unit investigations in Ontario, conducting disciplinary hearings for peace officers, representing peace officers on criminal charges and providing general advice to members of the Toronto Police Association. He has also acted as co-counsel for the Toronto Police Association at a Coroner’s Inquiry and as co-counsel for a Toronto Police Service officer at a coroner’s inquiry.
He has also represented peace officers employed by the Ontario Provincial Police and the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service. Of note, he appeared as counsel for an Ontario Provincial Police officer in a case that was litigated at the Supreme Court of Canada: R. v. Deschamplain 2004 SCC 76 and also as co-counsel on appeal in the matter of R. v. Forcillo 2016 ONCA 606.
Michael frequently participates in continuing legal education programs for defense lawyers, Crown counsel and police organizations. He is a past editor of the Weekly Criminal Bulletins, which he co- edited with Edward L. Greenspan, Q.C. and co-authors a yearly publication with Alan D. Gold entitled “The Practitioner’s Ontario Criminal Practice” and “A practical guide to the Charter: Section 11(b)”; “A practice guide to the Charter: Section 10(b)” together with Alan D. Gold & Laura Metcalfe.
Michael is the immediate Past-President of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, the largest organization of criminal defence lawyers in Canada, representing approximately 1400 members. He is also an instructor at the Osgoode Hall Law School International LLM program in Criminal law (past 3 years) and he has consistently been listed in the criminal lawyers’ category in The Best Lawyers in Canada.
The Practitioner's Ontario Criminal Practice Annotated Rules – Annual publication since 2015
Co-authored "Charter Guarantees to Those Charged with a Criminal Offence" in R. Gilliland, The Charter at Thirty (Canada Law Book)
2002 and 2007 was the Editor of the Weekly Criminal Bulletin.
R. v. Oland 2017 1 SCR 250: Acted for intervener on issue of judicial interim release pending appeal. Webcast of oral argument following counsel for the Appellant can be found here.
Goodwin v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) 2015 SCC 46
Acted for intervener on issue of fairness of administrative penalty regime in drinking and driving context. Webcast of oral argument can be found here.
R. v. Walle 2012 SCC 41
Acted for intervener on "sane and sober" inference instruction where accused had mental deficits
R. v. Deschamplain 2004 SCC 76
Counsel for Appellant on issue surrounding sufficiency of evidence for committal to stand trial
R. v. Asante-Mensah 2003 SCC 38
Counsel for Respondent on issue of lawfulness of citizen's arrest and detention powers
R. v. Sharpe 2001 SCC 2
Co-counsel for intervener on issue of constitutionality of child pornography provisions
R. v. Melnichuk  S.C.J. No. 36
Junior counsel for appellant on permissible scope of reply evidence
R. v. Messer (2013) 405 N.B.R. (2d) 279
Inadequate reasons and flawed approach to reasonable doubt leads to new trial order for police officer
R. v. Charles CACR2518
Appeal against convictions for weapons offence allowed on consent where trial judge drew improper adverse inference
R. v. Grandine 2017 ONCA 138: Trial judge improperly leaving alternative theory of liability with jury on manslaughter conviction
R. v. M.G.T. 2017 ONCA 736: Fresh evidence application and Crown policy of not automatically providing 9-1-1 recording
R. v. Boukhalfa, 2017 ONCA 660: Provocation and admissibility of statement in context of second degree murder conviction
R. v. Saikaley, 2017 ONCA 374: Criminal interest rate convictions set aside and various other legal issues dealt with
R. v. J.N.D., 2017 ONCA 666: Sentence upheld for Aboriginal offender convicted of serious sexual offence
R. v. Wills, 2016 ONCA 965: Sexual offences against children set aside
R. v. Rocchetta 2016 ONCA 577: Sentence reduced on appeal for aggravated assault
R. v. Geroge 2016 ONCA 464: Dangerous offender proceedings
R. v. Labonte 2016 ONCA 426: Convictions for robbery and aggravated assault set aside
Over 100 cases argued at Court of Appeal for Ontario. Those judgements can be found here through a name search “Lacy”: http://www.ontariocourts.ca/decisions/search/en/search.php