John Fennel

John Fennel
FIRM:
HIcks Adams LLP
POSITION:
Associate
AREAS OF PRACTICE:
Criminal Law

John Fennel, an associate with the Toronto firm Hicks Adams LLP, focuses on criminal law.

He graduated from Virginia’s James Madison University with his Bachelor of Science in physics in 1993 and earned a PhD in philosophy from the University of Georgia in 1999.

Mr. Fennel went on to graduate with his Juris Doctor and Master of Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. He was called to the Massachusetts Bar in 2006 (inactive) and the Ontario Bar in 2015.

With a background as a public defender in Massachusetts, Mr. Fennel litigated numerous cases before juries and appellate courts, focusing on post-conviction litigation.

After he was admitted to the Ontario Bar, he resumed trial practice, appearing before the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court.

Mr. Fennel has published articles and presented on the pitfalls of risk prediction and forensic psychology.

John Fennel Posts

SCC to rule if sex offender registry unfair to mentally ill

Sex offenders who have been found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder (NCRMD), and received an absolute discharge from the Ontario Review Board (ORB), may soon be permitted to have themselves removed from sex offender registries, says Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel. Read more

Police in schools not the answer to gang activity: Fennel

Putting police in schools isn’t the solution to preventing kids from joining gangs, says Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel. Read more

Fully explain issues when mental health patients go missing

In spite of the outcry over a forensic patient’s elopement from a Toronto mental health facility, it is far from certain that the system failed, says Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel. Read more

Anonymous tip case demonstrates searches must be justified

The Ontario Court of Appeal has reaffirmed the importance of police corroborating the information they receive through an anonymous tip by recently overturning a man’s drug convictions, says Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel. Read more

Track data for bias on youths steered clear of court

Police should be required to compile data on youths who are suspected of committing violent crimes but are diverted from the courts, says Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel. Read more

Legal Aid cuts penny wise but pound foolish: Fennel

Cuts to Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) will lead to unjust convictions as more defendants are forced to go unrepresented, Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel says. Read more

Legislated 'exit ramps' needed to rectify inequality: Fennel

A recent decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal calling for the federal and Ontario sex-offender registries to provide “exit ramps” to those found to be not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder (NCRMD) is a good first step, Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel tells AdvocateDaily.com. Read more

More support needed for offenders with mental health issues

Barring violent offenders from programs designed to help individuals with mental health issues is doing more harm than good, Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel tells AdvocateDaily.com. Read more

Medical evidence on mental health can help or hinder client's case

Expert evidence on the mental health of a client can be a double-edged sword, Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel tells AdvocateDaily.com. Read more

Weapons acquittal proves the value of persistence: Fennel

Thoroughly exploring each avenue of defence, no matter how slim the chance of success seems, can bring significant results, says Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel , who recently secured an acquittal for a client on multiple gun charges after demonstrating police had breached the man’s constitutional rights. Read more

Term psychopath 'morality masquerading as science': Fennel

It’s time we stop dehumanizing offenders by designating them psychopaths, a label based on uncertain science, says Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel . Read more

Sentencing policy 'more informed by fiction than fact:' Fennel

Actuarial risk assessments are routinely misunderstood and misapplied by the justice system, leading to the over-incarceration of offenders, says Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel . Read more

Supreme Court sends strong message to vigilantes

The Supreme Court of Canada has taken a strong stance against vigilante justice, says Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel, an associate with Hicks Adams LLP . Read more

Some thoughts on bail in Toronto

By John Fennel . Anyone who knows anything about bail in Toronto knows that delays are the rule. Nevertheless, Mayor John Tory recently blamed fictional speedy releases on bail for some of the recent gun violence in Toronto: “we can’t have people getting out on bail 20 minutes after they’re arrested for using a gun.” In Toronto, nobody gets out on bail in 20 minutes for jaywalking, let alone a gun crime. Nevertheless, these fictions about bail continue to exist. Read more

Fennel lauds man who fought pre-meeting searches by police

Toronto criminal lawyer John Fennel says he appreciates the man who won his challenge of the constitutionality of the Toronto Police chief’s claim that officers could conduct warrantless searches of people before public police board meetings. Read more