Welcome to our website. My name is Mike Kruse. I’m here today to talk about why I became a criminal lawyer. That’s an interesting question because if you go to parties, as you know there’s all lawyer jokes and particularly criminal defense lawyers jokes. I learned from a very young age the importance of, you know, the lawyers in our society and particularly the importance of criminal defense lawyers. It’s such an important fundamental right in our society that you’re presumed to be innocent and you have every right to a trial in Canada, a fair trial where the burden is on the crown to prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt. I learned this from very young age because my father was in the military – he was a military lawyer in the Judge Advocate General’s Office and he defended and prosecuted court martial cases – serious cases – and I saw the dedication, the stress, the work and the commitment that he took to his entire military career and it really inspired me to become a lawyer. I I then attended Western Law School and went on to the bar admission course and eventually became a prosecutor and for the last 27, 28 years now I’ve been a criminal defense lawyer. I find it so challenging being in the courtroom. It’s so stressful and we’ve honed our skills every day in the courtroom. There’s always a learning curve you’re learning something new and you bring the skills and expertise that you develop over the course of your career. I’ll tell you this, my very first trial I ever did in the prosecution’s office, I guess it was in 1989. It was working as a young prosecutor fresh out of law school, twenty- seven years old fresh out of the bar admission course. I was so nervous and so stressed last morning but when the trial started it all went away, I was ready, I prepared and and did a good job, I felt at the time. And we actually wound up securing a conviction. That feeling, believe it or not, has never gone away. I still had the excitement every time I appeared in the courtroom – that nervous energy, that knowing that you’re ready and when that when the game starts, when the trial starts, with your preparation you hav,e with the experience and knowledge, that [stress] goes away and you do the job. If you don’t have that stress, if you don’t have that nervous energy, I don’t feel you’re ready. That’s what I love about this business, you’re bringing intellectual skills, your written skills, your verbal communication skills and you’re bringing it all together to help people. That’s why I became a criminal lawyer and it’s been an exciting career and I love it.