Robert F. Goddard, Barrister & Solicitor – over 25 years of front-line advocacy, including criminal law, correctional law, and mental health law. Experienced. Dedicated. Effective.

If you need representation for:

Criminal Charges
Criminal Appeals

Parole Hearings
Mental Health Law

Contact Us Today

Criminal Charges

I am proud to be a criminal defence lawyer. When the police decide to charge someone, it is vital that there be a counterbalance to the power of the state. Standing with the accused, and fighting for his or her rights, is an extremely important part of the rule of law.

Being charged with an offence is very stressful, and the legal system is complex. I always take time to carefully explain essential matters to my clients, and answer any questions that they have. My discussions with clients are candid and confidential, guaranteeing that we understand each other to the greatest extent possible.

Regardless of the circumstances, my clients can trust that I will give them my best advice on how to defend themselves, whether it is with a trial, or, if appropriate, a resolution of the charges.

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Criminal Appeals

The right to appeal a negative decision is critical. Criminal trials are populated by people, and people make mistakes.

I have extensive experience arguing appeals against conviction at the Court of Appeal for Ontario, and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (known as Summary Conviction Appeals).

Appeals require a careful review and analysis of the trial transcript, well-crafted written submissions, and persuasive courtroom advocacy. I tackle each of these aspects with thoroughness, rigour and passion.

Even if guilt is not contested, the sentence imposed must be fair. I have successfully argued many appeals against sentence, allowing my clients to get on with their lives as soon as possible.

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Parole Hearings

I have assisted hundreds of inmates at hearings before the Parole Board of Canada (starting when I was a law student, in 1988).

Parole proceedings are significantly different for trials. That is why I thoroughly prepare my clients for this specialized type of hearing, ensuring that they make a good impression on the Board. At the hearing, I am my client’s watchdog, insisting that that the process be fair. At the conclusion of the hearing, with my submission, I make sure that the Board understands that my client has learned from past mistakes, and is ready to begin a new and better life.

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Mental Health Law

When a psychiatrist says that a patient must take medication they don’t want, or must be held in a hospital against their will, there are ways to challenge this. The Mental Health Act, and the Health Care Consent Act protect against the improper infringement of a patient’s rights.

Fighting against the unfair treatment of persons struggling with mental illness – or persons wrongly said to mentally ill – is a large part of my law practice. I have extensive experience representing clients before the Consent and Capacity Board.

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About Me

Robert Goddard

My entire career as a lawyer has been dedicated to criminal defence law, and related fields.

I graduated from Queen’s University Faculty of Law in 1990. My articling year was at the Crown Law Office – Criminal, which is the appeals division of the Office of the Attorney General – Ontario. I was called to the bar in 1992, and I opened a criminal law practice that same year. For the next two years, I defended clients in the Toronto courts, including conducting bail hearings and representation on appeal.

I returned to Kingston in 1994, when I accepted a position with Queen’s University’s Correctional Law Project, a legal aid clinic at the Faculty of Law (now known as Queen’s Prison Law Clinic). With the help of law students, the clinic provides representation and legal assistance to penitentiary inmates. In addition to teaching and supervising Queen’s law students, I maintained my own caseload, personally representing clients with a variety of matters, including more than 50 Court of Appeal cases, and hundreds of parole hearings.

In 2015, after two decades at Queen’s University, I returned to private practice. My focus remains criminal defence. This includes appeals, Ontario Review Board hearings, and parole hearings. Starting 2015, I also represent clients before the Treatment Consent and Capacity Board, the tribunal that hears challenges to involuntary hospitalization, or a finding of decision-making incapacity.

As a respected professional, I have presented at judges’ education conferences and continuing legal education programs for fellow lawyers.

In addition to membership with the Law Society of Ontario, I am the treasurer of the Kingston Criminal Defence Lawyers’ Association, and a longstanding member of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association.

I will defend you against criminal charges. I will help you reverse a wrongful conviction or reduce an unfair sentence. I can guide you towards parole, including preparation and direct advocacy on your behalf. I can help you regain your freedom to leave the hospital, and your right to make your own medical decisions.

All contacts are confidential, and, if suitable, a 30-minute meeting, free of charge, can be arranged. Legal Aid retainers are usually accepted.

Robert F. Goddard,
Barrister & Solicitor

Tel: 613.777.4936
Toll-free: 1.888.275.2892
Fax: 613.777.4935
11 Princess Street, Unit 301
Kingston, ON K7L 1A1