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Mary-Clare MacKinnon - Criminal Lawyer

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

Bachelor of Arts, Dalhousie University, 1975
Bachelor of Music Education, Dalhousie University, 1976
Bachelor of Laws, Dalhousie University, 1986

Call to the Bar, Nova Scotia, 1987
Call to the Law Society of Upper Canada, 1997

Mary-Clare was born and raised in the coal-mining town of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and was inspired by her father’s activism to become a lawyer. Before her admission into law school, she was also able to pursue a classical music career in piano and choral conducting.

After a short time in private practice in Cape Breton, Mary-Clare came to Ontario where she was admitted to the Bar and worked in private practice. It was then that she acted as per diem duty counsel at the Oshawa courthouse which led to a career with Legal Aid Ontario, most of that time as Supervisor. The fast pace as well as the high volume was exciting and it was there that Mary-Clare saw clearly the importance of a client being able to make bail. This is also what spurred her to approach the Toronto Bail Program to establish a satellite office in Durham Region. The Toronto Bail Program is an agency that helps to supervise an accused who does not have anyone to sign for his or her bail. Not being released on bail can sometimes lead to an accused pleading guilty where they may have a defence or maybe didn’t even commit.

As Supervisory Duty Counsel, Mary-Clare assisted with bail hearings almost every day during the week and on weekends for clients in Durham as well as those from Peterborough, Lindsay, and Cobourg.  This work requires fast assessment of a client’s situation and background as well as the legal issues:  what is the basis of the charges?  How strong is the evidence?  Does the client have a criminal record and, if so, how does it affect the likelihood of bail?  Mary-Clare’s experience enables her to connect with the client quickly in order to get the information necessary to run a bail hearing.  Bail court also requires an efficient assessment of the sureties:  are they credible?  Are they suitable?  Do they have assets that will be accepted by the court?  Is there a reasonable plan that can be put together?

There is a saying that “timing is everything” and that is no truer than in bail court.  In the 15 years that Mary-Clare was supervisory duty counsel, she amassed a wealth of experience in bail court that allows her to quickly evaluate the case against the client – strengths and weaknesses – and put forward a plan that will best respond.

Since joining Aitken Robertson, Mary-Clare continues to be committed to the client’s ability to gain pre-trial release and is delighted to be part of the Aitken Robertson team.

For hobbies, Mary-Clare enjoys playing the piano and solving sudoku puzzles.

Please note: Mary-Clare MacKinnon is practising in affiliation with Aitken Robertson Professional Corporation.

Mary-Clare MacKinnon is a lawyer and is licensed by the Law Society of Ontario.

Some of Our Google Reviews

I had my first trouble with law couple of months and we found Edmund Chang. He helped me through all the process professionally moreover, he really cares about my best interest, he will check if I comfortable with all decisions we were going to make and if not, he will not push it. Other things that really stand out, he is approachable as well as responsive to follow up. In the end, we settled the case and I can move more
Krystal Stacy
17:19 15 Jun 18
I was charged with over 0.80 and Impaired Driving charges. I didn't think I had any chance, but Justin Marchant managed to get me out with a careless driving charge. Thanks to him, I don't have a criminal record!!! Very friendly, sharp, professional, and dedicated individual. He did a great job prepping me for the trial, and prepping for the case. I highly recommend this firm, as if it wasn't for them, I'm not sure what would have happened to my life. I made a nasty mistake, one which I will never ever make again. Some lessons have a big price to be more
Sean Jamali
15:20 07 Jun 18
Recently I was charged with over .80, Justin Marchand help me WIN this charge, from the moment I contacted him, he was very professional and upfront, He always responded to my calls and answered all my questions, He prepared me really well before trial. I would 100% recommend him and his team, Job Well done… “Sometimes good people make mistakes”read more
17:16 07 Jun 18
Mr. Marchand is an amazing lawyer. He is very personable and professional. My case was a very long and drawn out case, but Mr. Marchand always kept up with everything and I was always well informed. I really appreciated that he would take the time to fully explain his thought process/strategy and was never condescending. Even though this was a stressful time, Mr. Marchand made it a great experience and took care of more
Rochelle Jenifer
17:30 15 Jun 18
Once again amazing ! I am writing this review as I always refer my friends to this firm. THEY ARE THE BEST ! My friend was pulled over at the us border on a random check and in turn got charged with a refusal. My friend did not know that refusing to take a breathalyzer was a criminal offence. In fact as soon as he realized it he asked the officers to take it but they refused him. In turn he was charged with a refusal. Aitken Robertson specializes in DUI and cases such as this.. so it was an immediate call to them that i put in for him. Right then and there they took over. As usual, they offered a payment plan and of course they took care of everything all the pre-trial meetings etc. Justin was the laywer for him and not only is he the MOST thorough he is the most out for justice. He found the errors that the officers made and he used it to my friends advantage. He went above and beyond to find the best resolution with the crown. He went above and beyond to give my friend all his options. And the best part is that NO CRIMINAL CHARGES. It was reduced basically down to a speeding ticket as a result of Justins hard work. The whole firm is stellar. They take time to go through your disclosure to confirm any and all details are correct.The justice system is a corrupted one and im thankful these lawyers know how to find a way to help us through that. Justin once again did an amazing job. Susan at the firm is great she helps out with payment plans etc. Brenda is great. Robert of course its just a great team of laywers. Do not go anywhere else ! I will recommend them time and time more
19:28 26 Jun 18
When my daughter's boyfriend had a problem I looked up Jordan Tekenos-Levy. Jordan did an amazing job defending this young man. He showed compassion and care in a very sensitive issue. Jordan is a great lawyer, he fights hard for his clients and ensures their loved ones are kept in the loop during the entire process. He is honest and doesn't sugar coat the situation. I would highly recommend his services. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude and I wish him all the best in the more
Laurene Smith
02:58 16 Nov 18
I was falsely accused of a crime and I sought out representation. I did not know exactly where to go, I was in a panic as I've never seriously run afoul with law enforcement. Mr. Nathan Baker and his staff were assigned to my case, and I am thankful that they were. Knowing I was innocent I still was worried about how everything was going to play out as I wondered 'how could this even be happening'. Mr Baker and his staff helped walk me through the court process that was completely unfamiliar to me, besides what Id seen on television. It was a two year process, and every step of the way all my questions and inquisitions were answered and put at ease. I give this Firm my full endorsement, they believed in me, supported my case and followed through on every detail pertaining to it, and defended me to a correct Not Guilty verdict. For that I will be forever grateful. I've never had the need for an attorney to represent me before the false accusation, and I hope I never need it again. But if I do, I'd want this firm to represent more
Zak Piva
03:06 28 Oct 18
I would like to thank the lawyers at Aitken Robertson especially Philip Stiles and Lavina Inbar for helping me thru this most difficult time.Everyone i was in contact with were very polite and professional.Being a very high stress time of my life i could not have been happier to hear a "Not Guilty " verdict.I will always recommend Aitken Robertson to anyone i hear of needing a good lawyer.Thank you all very muchMauriceread more
Maurice Flight
20:22 31 Oct 18
Justin provided thorough and caring representation for my friend who had a court proceedings. I would recommend Justin and the Aitken Robertson team to anyone in a similar situation. Thanks!
Rexy H
19:26 08 Sep 18
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