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Defence lawyers concerned about Toronto lawyer arrested in courthouse

02/13/2015 06:14 EST | Updated 04/15/2015 05:59 EDT
Criminal defence lawyers are in disbelief after the dramatic arrest of a fellow member of the bar.

Uniformed officers entered a Brampton court and arrested a 32-year-old Toronto criminal lawyer on Thursday, leading her out of the courthouse in handcuffs.

Police allege the lawyer smuggled drugs into the courthouse on that morning.

Peel police have charged Laura Liscio with possession of a controlled substance, possession for the purpose of trafficking, obstructing justice and breach of trust.

'It's humiliating'

Paul Cooper, a criminal defence lawyer who most recently represented Jennifer Pan, said lawyers are talking about the arrest and very concerned.

"She's got a very good reputation," Cooper said. Cooper hosts seminars three times a year for lawyers to bring defence and crowns lawyers together to talk about legal issues affecting the profession.

"It's tough enough practising," he said. "It's so tough to ensure that the young lawyers — who are putting incredible efforts in, who are not being paid well at all — remain in the profession."

Cooper explains that defence lawyers bring client's clothes, often supplied by the family of the accused. Court security searches the clothes. Cooper believes, from media reports, there may have been drugs within the clothing or shoes supplied to Liscio.

Cooper said he and his colleagues expressed disbelief in the way Liscio was arrested.

"It's humiliating," he said.

Liscio is to appear in court on March 12 to face the allegations.

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