Edward Greenspan, one of Canada’s most prominent criminal lawyers, has died at the age of 70. Greenspan is being remembered as a best-selling author, a litigator with a trademarked style, a nationally syndicated and Gemini –winning TV show host (The Scales of Justice on CBC) and someone who helped impact the legal system for over four decades. His law firm, Greenspan Partners LLP, confirmed that he had passed away in Phoenix, Arizona. He had represented several high-profile cases, from Conrad Black, Helmuth Buxbaum to assault charges that several Milwaukee Bucks’ NBA basketball players were facing.
The outpouring of tributes from the legal community is a testament to Greenspan’s distinguished career where he cemented his place as one of the nation’s best legal minds. Greenspan was also well-known for his passionate advocacy concerning a number of important legal issues. Most notably, Greenspan was a vocal opponent of the death penalty, especially in the 1980s where there was a national debate about bringing back capital punishment. His legal status, nation-wide campaigning and activism was seen as significant in overturning the shift, and Canadian lawmakers voted against reinstating capital punishment. Greenspan, an Osgoode Hall graduate, was also seen as someone who embodied the fundamental principle that every person, regardless of public perception or nature of the crime, deserved a fair chance in the court of law.
Edward Prutschi, a partner at boutique criminal law firm of Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman, had idolized Mr. Greenspan and considered him a giant in the field of criminal law. Mr. Prutschi, who had on occasions worked with Greenspan, recalls his larger than life personality and how he would seamlessly capture the spotlight in any courtroom. Mr. Prutschi spoke about Greenspan’s legal genius and legendary litigation skills to a host of media, both in Canada and abroad, about the death of the iconic criminal lawyer.
Mr. Prutschi was widely cited in both Canadian and American media outlets regarding Mr. Greenspan’s death: