Mr. Sandler is widely recognized as one of Canada’s leading criminal defence lawyers. He holds an AV Pre-eminent Rating (the highest level of professional excellence) from Martindale-Hubbell; is listed in the Best Lawyers in Canada (2016) for criminal defence work; is recognized as one of the world’s leading lawyers for investigations and business crime defence in Who’s Who Legal; and is included in ExpertGuides as a peer-selected world’s best lawyer in white collar crime. Mr. Sandler is also a recipient of the G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal for his outstanding contributions to criminal justice.
Mr. Sandler received his LL.B. from the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto in 1978. He was called to the Bar in 1980. He is certified by the Law Society as a Specialist in Criminal Law. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He recently completed three terms as a Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario, and served as Chair, Appeals Panel for a number of years, and then as the Vice-Chair of the Appeal Division with the appointment of a full-time Chair of the Tribunal. He also served for a number of years as Chair of the Law Foundation of Ontario. His practice is primarily devoted to appellate and trial criminal and regulatory litigation.
He has served as counsel or senior advisor for or at over 20 public inquires or systemic reviews, including the Goudge Inquiry (Pediatric Forensic Pathology), the Kaufman Inquiry (Guy Paul Morin), the Robins Review (Sexual Misconduct by Teachers), and the Minister of Justice’s s. 696 review into the Stephen Truscott case (Hon. Fred Kaufman Q.C.). He is currently lead counsel to the Hon. Gloria Epstein respecting an independent civilian review into how missing persons investigations are conducted in Toronto, and chair of the independent committee examining the culture and values at St. Michael’s College School in the wake of allegations of sexual and physical abuse at the school. He recently completed his work as counsel to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director’s systemic review of the Thunder Bay Police Service and its relationship to Indigenous communities..
He has served as a member of the Criminal Law Specialty Committee, Law Society of Ontario, Specialist Certification Programme; was an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School from 1992 to 2005; previously co-chaired the Criminal Lawyers’ Association Annual Convention and Educational Programme for three years; and has written and lectured extensively on criminal law, evidence, procedure and advocacy. He co-authored (with the Honourable Madam Justice F. Weinper) Criminal Procedure: Cases, Notes and Materials, Butterworths 2nd Edition 2004. He has served as a Faculty member of the National Judicial Institute and of the Federation of Law Societies annual Criminal Law Programme.
Mr. Sandler was formerly a part-time member of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. He is former National Chair and former Senior Counsel, B’nai Brith League for Human Rights, and as such, has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada on issues relating to hate propaganda and hate-motivated crime.
LL.B University of Toronto, 1978
Law Society of Ontario
Criminal Law Specialists Committee
Criminal Lawyers Association