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Melanie Heathman

Melanie Heathman is an associate at Martland & Saulnier. She received a B.A. from the University of British Columbia, and a J.D. from the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC. During her time in law school, she volunteered with Access Pro Bono (through Pro Bono Students Canada) and the Law Students’ Legal Advice Program, and she was a clinician with the UBC Innocence Project.

John M. Gordon, KC joined Martland & Saulnier as associate counsel following a long career as Crown counsel, with expertise in criminal appeals. A graduate of the Faculty of Law at UBC (LL.B., 1980), John was called to the bar in 1981 and commenced working with the provincial Crown. But for a five-year hiatus as a sole practitioner from 1988-1993, John has dedicated the bulk of his legal career to public service as Crown counsel.

In 1993, John joined the Crown’s Criminal Appeals Office. There, he had conduct of many high-profile cases in both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada, appearing as appellate counsel in Ottawa over a dozen times.

Some of the highest profile and most serious cases he conducted as appellate counsel include Sharpe, where the SCC upheld the proscription of the mere possession of child pornography; Ellard, where the SCC upheld, once and for all, the conviction for the murder of Reena Virk; Pickton, the notorious serial killer of Downtown Eastside sex trade workers; and (in the Court of Appeal), the “Surrey Six” multiple murders. In 2005, John was appointed Queen’s Counsel.

In 2000, John was appointed to the position of deputy director in charge of the Criminal Appeals division of the provincial Crown’s Criminal Appeals and Special Prosecutions Office. He managed to remain active as appellate counsel despite the administrative and managerial demands of this position.

Following a two-year retirement to recharge his batteries, John joined Martland & Saulnier in early 2023.

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Martland & Saulnier is a leading Vancouver criminal law firm. We have been recognized by Canadian Lawyer magazine as one of the top criminal law boutiques in Canada for 2022-2023. We help people from every walk of life, with all types of criminal cases.

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