Criminal Law Lawyer
Michael Bolton, Q.C., is one of the most experienced trial and appellate lawyers in Canada, and is regarded as one of the top criminal lawyers in BC. He is a Life Bencher with the Law Society of British Columbia, and frequently advises other lawyers facing ethical issues.
Michael’s criminal law expertise spans over forty years and includes the defence of many significant high-profile cases at all judicial levels, as well as before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Early in his career, Michael became a highly successful and sought-after drug lawyer. This reputation was solidified with the publication of the well-known legal text, Defending Drug Cases, found in law libraries and in legal offices across Canada. As a seasoned drug lawyer, Michael represents clients charged with serious drug offences including conspiracies, trafficking, exporting & importing and cases with links to organized crime.
Presently Michael primarily practices in international criminal law, including extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty matters. Armed with a wealth of experience as an extradition lawyer, he has represented clients facing criminal charges in foreign jurisdictions in many notable cases.
A large component of his practice also involves advising officers and directors of corporations on potential criminal liability risks of international commerce, such as payment processing and the prevention of searches.
With his substantial criminal law experience, creativity in approach to defending cases and highly effective cross-examination skills, Michael Bolton is routinely selected to represent individuals charged with the most serious offences in exceptionally high-profile cases.
Professional Background & Memberships
Michael Bolton was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1969. He was appointed the honorary title of Queen’s Counsel to recognize his exceptional skill and contributions to the legal profession in 1989.
Active in the legal community, Michael served as an elected Bencher of the Law Society of B.C. from 1985 to 1993, and is now a Life Bencher. He has chaired seven committees of the Law Society, including Competency, Discipline, Professional Conduct and Justice Reform. Michael is also a group leader for the Inns of Court program on the topic of Lawyers and the Media.
Michael has served as a panelist for the Continuing Legal Education Society and Trial Lawyers of British Columbia on topics of criminal law procedure and evidence, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, proceeds of crime and prosecution as well as defence of controlled substances cases. He has additionally acted as a session leader in the University of British Columbia Law School Advocacy Course.
Besides Defending Drug Charges, Michael has authored two other books as part of a self-counsel series: Criminal Procedure in Canada and Civil Rights in Canada.