Kelly Dawson

Kelly has practiced exclusively in the criminal defence area for over 30 years, representing clients charged with offences ranging from theft to murder. He has conducted criminal cases across Alberta and western Canada, and at every level of trial and appellate court level, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Kelly is a founder and current managing partner of the firm.

One area of specialized interest has been the defence of impaired driving related allegations. To better understand this technical area of the law, Kelly obtained instrument certification on several roadside screening devices as well as the Intoxilyzer models 5000 and 8000. Kelly is the editor of the firm's separate impaired driving website located at This site provides some basic information about impaired driving law in Alberta, together with weekly case summaries of decisions in this area.

Another area of specialized interest are cases involving factually or technically complex or credibility based allegations such as all internet crime, sexual assaults and major frauds. He believes in an active defence strategy that incorporates where appropriate private investigators and/or forensic experts. Reyling exclusively upon the presumption of innocence is rarely a safe defence strategy.

Kelly is a member of the International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association, and has completed their training program for International Tribunals and the International Criminal Court in the Hague. He has sinced represented that organization in New York at the United Nations by promoting the role of the Defence in international criminal law.

Kelly, together with his partners and associates, are the criminal law legal supervisors for Student Legal Services of Edmonton. He is a long-time director of the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association and has provided instruction on various criminal law topics for the Legal Education Society of Alberta, University of Alberta Law School and other professional legal bodies, most recently instructing the Intensive Advocacy program in Calgary for lawyers working to improve their courtroom skills..