No money for Pardy to pay for private lawyer
Accused murderer Trevor Pardy is still without a lawyer.
Legal Aid announced on Wednesday that it will not pay for a private lawyer to argue an application for Pardy.
Pardy, 36, is charged with first-degree murder, connected to the shooting death of his former girlfriend, Triffie Wadman, in St. John's in October 2011.
The application would make the case for Legal Aid to pay a private lawyer to represent Pardy above the normal legal aid rates.
Bob Buckingham's law firm was willing to take on the application at legal aid rates, but John Duggan, the deputy director of Legal Aid, told the court that the application is about Pardy's right to get the lawyer of his choice.
Duggan said Pardy already has that right, so it won't fund Buckingham to argue the case.
Lawyer Keir O'Flaherty, who's with Buckingham's firm, said Pardy's right to have the lawyer of his choice is merely an illusion.
"We do not believe that it is a real right, because the rate of pay is so nominal that no senior lawyer in Newfoundland will do this case at $60 an hour. They cannot do it. The economics are just not there," he said.
O'Flaherty said the application itself would be so involved, that the firm can't do it for free.
"We would see it as a multi-day application – perhaps three or four days before a decision [would] be reached on it," he said.
While Buckingham's firm is currently out of the picture, they plan to keep an eye on the case.
"Obviously Mr. Pardy has made it clear that he wishes for Mr. Buckingham to represent him at the murder trial, so we are going to stay in contact with Mr. Pardy," O'Flaherty said.
Pardy has previously told the court that he doesn't believe he has the ability to argue the application himself.
A hearing date for Pardy's application is set for May 15.