Calgary

Emmerson Brando's criminal past outlined in Calgary court memo

Calgary prosecutors were asked in an internal memo to oppose appearing on cases with a paralegal who has a criminal history — a move that could affect some court cases in the city.

It would 'undermine the integrity of the proceedings,' says chief prosecutor of allowing paralegal to continue

An investigation from the Crown prosecutor's office has revealed that Calgary paralegal Emmerson Brando has a criminal past. (emmersonbrando.com)

Calgary prosecutors were asked in an internal memo Tuesday to oppose appearing on cases with a paralegal who has a criminal history — a move that could affect some court cases in the city.

Emmerson Brando, who acts in the place of a defence lawyer on traffic and some criminal matters for those facing charges, also spent time in jail for fabricating evidence in the case of a murdered police officer in Ontario.

Am I proud of my past? Not even close. Am I proud of what I've achieved in recent years? Absolutely.- Emmerson Brando

The memo came from Chief Crown prosecutor Lloyd Robertson. He said if Brando continued act as a court agent it could impact the administration of justice.

Prosecutors were told to consent to adjournments for people who are currently represented by Brando and need to seek new representation. 

The directive comes after an investigation by the Crown's office turned up evidence that Brando, a boisterous staple at the Calgary Courts Centre, changed his name from Arturo Nuosci after serving sentences in both Nevada and Ontario.

It is not illegal for Brando to represent clients but the court does have jurisdiction to prevent him from appearing on the grounds that he could "undermine the integrity of the proceedings."

Despite the Crown's objections, Brando said he will continue to ask judges to allow him to appear. He told CBC he has done a lot of pro bono work and often helps people who can't afford a lawyer. 

Brando says there no hard feelings with the Crown's office, even calling the memo "appropriate" and saying he doesn't take it personally. 

Criminal history

Brando said that he changed his name legally in 1997 in order to start a business. He said he is ashamed of his criminal history. 

"Am I proud of my past? Not even close. Am I proud of what I've achieved in recent years? Absolutely." 

According to Ontario newspaper reports from the 1990s, Nuosci was a former RCMP constable when he was jailed for 90 days in 1994 after pleading guilty to fabricating evidence that implicated a former male lover and another man in the 1984 shooting of undercover OPP Const. William McIntyre in his bedroom.

Nuosci also pleaded guilty in 2006 to several charges while living in Las Vegas including mail fraud, identity theft, bank fraud, misuse of a social security number and making a false statement in a passport application. He was sentenced to 33 months in prison, according to several stories published in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Before paralegals became regulated in Ontario, Nuosci set up a practice called Maverick A. Maveric. Here in Alberta, where paralegals are not regulated, Brando set up a practice several years ago. His website boasts about his time with the RCMP.

"With my 25 years of experience with the RCMP, you can trust that I will work for you," Brando writes on his website.

Nuosci was dismissed from the RCMP for disgraceful conduct and later convicted of defrauding the Canadian government of $55,000 in disability payments, according to an article examining the issue of Ontario paralegals becoming licensed on the website Canadian Encyclopedia.

"As an officer, he was always very diligent in his handling of investigations and in dealing with Crown attorneys on his findings," reads part of Brando's website under the title Calgary's Legal Eagle