Canadian Court Rules Accused Have Right to Google for Attorney

If you’ve been on the fence about creating an attorney website and starting an online marketing campaign, some recent news from Canada might help you make a decision. An Alberta court has ruled that accused persons held by the police can seek their legal counsel online as a part of exercising their right to counsel. In other words, you have the legal right to Google for an attorney in Canada! 

In the case that led to the decision, 19-year-old Christopher McKay had a difficult time seeking legal counsel when he was detained after a DUI charge. McKay was given access to a telephone book and an 800-number to find a lawyer. McKay attempted to call the 800-number, was unsuccessful, and believed he had already used his “one phone call.” McKay said that he had not thought of using directory assistance, and he said that he would instead normally look for that kind of information via Google.

Provincial Court of Alberta Judge Heather Lamoureux, the judge who presided over McKay’s case, acknowledged that the younger generation increasingly sees smartphones and Internet access as essential information sources. The judge even illustrated the effectiveness of the Internet by doing a quick Google search for “Calgary criminal defense lawyer,” which almost instantly provided many relevant results. Judge Lamoureux ultimately stated that “… detainees must have the same opportunities to access the Internet to find a lawyer as they do to access the telephone book to find a lawyer.”

More and more, the trend is toward treating access to the Internet as a right and a valuable information resource. If you haven’t created a website for your law firm yet, you’re already missing out on new contacts and clients. Get started today by giving our friendly attorney website design team a call at 1-888-886-0939.

Tom Foster
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