Derek graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta in 2008, and was admitted to the Law Society of Alberta in 2009. He has since practiced almost exclusively in the area of criminal law, and has appeared at every level of court in Alberta, including the Alberta Court of Appeal, where he has successfully argued appeals against both sentence and conviction, and he has brought cases before the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also defended cases in every province in western Canada.
Prior to entering into the practice of the law, Derek received a B.A.H. (receiving the University medal as top graduating student) and M.A. in English literature from Acadia University. Thereafter, he spent eight years in South Korea as a university professor and program administrator, freelance journalist, and regular columnist for CBC News on Korean issues.
While he has defended clients in all manner of criminal cases, both at the trial and appellate levels, and has even acted as amicus curiae (friend of the court) on a lengthy murder matter), Derek has been guided by a single over-riding principle in all matters: that our duty as members of a principled and just society is to make sure that all members of our society, no matter what their position in that society is, and no matter what situation they may find themselves, deserve the full and proper protection the law has to offer us all.
As many great men and women have put it, a nation is judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens.
To this end, as both an individual and as a criminal defence lawyer, the proper maxim is to be found in section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: that we all have the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.