Practicing criminal and quasi-criminal law since 1969, Joel’s area of practice brings him before all courts in Nova Scotia on almost a daily basis. He has also argued cases before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Joel was elected as a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers in 1987 and as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1995.
He has lectured at Cambridge University in England to the Canadian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. He was the recipient of the J.C. Milvain Chair in Advocacy at the University of Calgary Law School, the Ted Wickwire Lecture on Legal Ethics at the Schulich School of Law (Dalhousie University) and the Bernard Cohen Memorial Lecture at the University of Windsor Law School.
From 2008 to 2009, Joel served as President of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and has been active on many of the Society’s committees. He is also a member of the Canadian Bar Association and served as National Chairman of the Criminal Justice Subsection.
Joel was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in Canada® 2019 in the field of Criminal Defence Law.
Joel is co-editor of the text From Crime to Punishment (8th Edition) published by Carswell. He has also contributed chapters to The Bernard Cohen Lecture Series – 2002 and the 2014 book, Tough Crimes.
Lawyers and Police Associations throughout Nova Scotia rely on Joel to speak on topics concerning criminal law. For 31 years, he was on the faculty of the National Criminal Law Program, sponsored by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. This program lectures to judges, crown attorneys and defense counsel from across Canada.
Joel was honoured with his Queen’s Counsel designation in 1985.