COVID-19 Update From Tarnow Criminal Law

COVID-19 has impacted the Canadian legal system from all angles, effecting all areas of practice including the criminal justice system.

Since the courts curtailed operations on March 18, our office has been committed to staying apprised of all developments. We will update this page frequently as new information becomes available.

As of May 11, 2020:



No in-person trials will proceed unless otherwise directed by a Judge. All in-custody trials and trial continuations that were set between March 16 and May 29, 2020 have been adjourned.

Pre-Trial Conferences

Pre-Trial Conferences (“PTC”) will now be mandatory and will be used to determine the following:

  • If setting a trial date is necessary, or if the matter can be resolved in pre-trial discussions;
  • Feasibility of conducting the trial virtually or through written submissions;
  • How much court time will be required for a trial

*Summary proceedings (those scheduled for a half day or less) are exempt from a mandatory PTC

These efforts are intended to alleviate the pressure of the backlog that has been created by COVID19. As mentioned in our blog, the BC court system was already facing severe scheduling conflicts prior to the virus, which have now been compounded.

Noting the exception of summary proceedings, all criminal cases will now require a PTC prior to the scheduling of a Preliminary Hearing or Trial.

The most recent update from the Provincial Court of British Columbia can be found here.


All criminal matters scheduled for type of appearance up to and including May 29, 2020, are adjourned, with the exception of:

Pre-Trial Conferences

  • Scheduled for dates before May 29, 2020 will proceed as scheduled by telephone

Regular Fix-Date Appearances

  • Resumed as of May 4, 2020, at usual date and time by telephone

Summary conviction appeals and Traffic ticket appeals

  • To proceed by telephone when possible/appropriate

Essential and Urgent criminal matters

  • Judicial Interim Release (bail) and Bail Review Hearings;
  • Scheduling and detention review hearings under s.525 of the Criminal Code;
  • Applications by in-custody accused persons and offenders requiring urgent attention;
  • Applications for search/arrest warrants, other related applications that should not be delayed

All jury selections are cancelled up to and including September 7, 2020.


The BC Court of Appeal began hearing matters again via Zoom on May 4, 2020.

While COVID-19 has presented many challenges to the way we conduct business, our office remains open to serve clients in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory.

If you wish to meet with counsel to discuss your case, please contact our office by telephone or email to arrange for a consultation. Our phone line is monitored 24/7, 365. Please do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to help.

“I was charged in a complicated situation involving elements of the both Criminal Code and immigration law. The amount of disclosure I received from the Crown prosecutors was overwhelming to me… but Dave helped me get through it all. Dave managed to work out favourable agreement with Crown that not only allowed me to continue living in Canada, but also ensured that I had no criminal record so that I can freely travel to the U.S.”
"His knowledge of the law is impressive."


PHONE: 604.278.0555  FAX: 604.278.0525

#210-7480 Westminster Hwy. Richmond, BC V6X 1A1