Veteran lawyer Orris joins defence team for Pickton
He leads arguments in the voir dire in the trial of accused serial killer

Lori Culbert
Vancouver Sun

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

NEW WESTMINSTER - A new portion of accused serial killer Robert (Willy) Pickton's lengthy pre-trial hearing opened Monday in New Westminster Supreme Court, and revealed another high-profile name on his publicly-funded defence team.

CREDIT: Peter Battistoni, Vancouver sun.

Another high profile lawyer, Glen Orris has been added to the defence team of Robert (Willy) Pickton.

Glen Orris led the arguments in the voir dire that began Monday, details of which are protected by a publication ban.

Pickton, a Port Coquitlam pig farmer, is accused of killing 26 women who disappeared from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Orris is a veteran defence lawyer who has represented clients in many headline-grabbing court hearings, including Terry Driver, the so-called Abbotsford killer; Roger Warren, the man convicted of killing nine fellow miners in a Yellowknife bombing; Phil Kim, one of the three men acquitted during a double-murder trial in which juror Gillian Guess was accused of having a sexual relationship with suspect Peter Gill; the appeal of Darren Huenemann, the Victoria teenager convicted of the first-degree murders of his mother and wealthy grandmother; and the appeal by protesters convicted of criminal intent in the Clayoquot Sound logging blockade.

He has also represented a Vancouver police officer linked to a case about the conduct of six officers who were accused of acting improperly when they raided a Commercial Drive apartment in March 1998; one of the Squamish Five; prominent oilman J. Bob Carter; and John Horace Oughton (a.k.a. the Paper Bag Rapist).

Pickton's lead lawyer, Peter Ritchie -- himself a seasoned, high-profile defence lawyer who has represented famous clients like Gillian Guess -- has always refused to say how big his defence team is.

However, at least 10 different defence lawyers have appeared before Justice Jim Williams or attended the courtroom since Pickton's pre-trial motions began in late January.

The long list includes Adrian Brooks, who has done most of the questioning at the pre-trial hearings. Brooks is also considered a well-known B.C. defence lawyer, and at one time represented Kelly Ellard who was eventually convicted of killing Victoria-area teen Reena Virk.

"This is not full-time for me," Orris said Monday about his involvement in the massive Pickton case.

He is the lead lawyer on a key voir dire -- a hearing which determines what evidence will eventually be admissible at trial -- that began Monday and is expected to end in early June.

Orris was non-committal when asked if he would still be involved in the case when it goes to trial. And he laughed when asked if anyone else on the who's-who list of top B.C. defence lawyers will be making an appearance at Pickton's pre-trial motions.

Pickton's trial is expected to begin later this year.

 The Vancouver Sun 2006



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