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This would continue until the client answered correctly.
Given the above exchange it should come as no surprise that throughout
his career Russ vigorously held law enforcement to account. Early on, even
prior to the introduction of the Charter, Russ guarded and protected accused
persons from improper actions by law enforcement.
Russ was never afraid of doing what he felt was right, no matter the personal
cost. Though he established a reputation for being respectful to the
judiciary, Crown counsel and co-counsel, when necessary he would risk
being held in contempt and being disliked by his adversaries in order to vigorously
stand up for his clients and oppose improper rulings by trial judges
and improper positions taken by opposing counsel.
Russ graduated from UBC in 1967 with an LL.B. after earning a B.Comm.
degree in 1966. He was called to the bar in 1968 and began his career as an
articled student with Harry Rankin, Q.C. On December 29, 1989, Russ was
appointed as Queen’s Counsel.
In true S.R. Chamberlain fashion, in preparing to finally create an online
website (roughly 45 years into his practice and 25 years after the common
usage of websites) he dictated an 18-page summary of some of his most
interesting cases. Below is a select summary of what he believed to be his
most important accomplishments as a trial lawyer.
During his articles, he represented two accused named Turcotte and
Parkinson who he believed were inappropriately sentenced. Their sentences
were appealed through the courts of the province, and eventually he
sought leave to appeal Turcotte’s sentence to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The leave application was heard by a single justice of the court and was
denied. Dissatisfied, Russ successfully applied for leave in front of three justices.
At the Supreme Court, although he was unsuccessful in overturning
his client’s sentence, the appeal established the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction
to hear sentencing appeals (see Anderson v. R., 1970 S.C.R. 843). When
this case was heard he was barely one year at the bar.
In 1976 Russ appeared in front of the Supreme Court of Canada again.
This time he was instrumental in setting the law on corroboration generally
and in the area of sexual assault (Murphy v. The Queen, 1977 2 S.C.R. 603).
In 1992 Russ took on the defence of an accused who he believed was being
unfairly persecuted by the RCMP. The matter was appealed by Russ all the
way to the Supreme Court of Canada, where the law on severance and similar
fact evidence was reviewed. The court granted the accused a new trial
and ordered the trial to be held in another location due to the prejudice that
had accumulated against the accused (R. v. Rarru, 1996 2 S.C.R. 165).
For the second time in 1992 that Russ was before the Supreme Court, he
argued a seminal case on dangerous driving causing death. The court set-