Nearly 50 Years Later, Réjean Hinse Obtains Compensation for Wrongful Conviction

Katherine Loranger, Guy Pratte and Alexander L. De Zordo celebrate with Réjean Hinse (seated), following the judgment in his favour, against the Attorney General of Canada. (CNW Group/Borden Ladner Gervais LLP)

Hinse Accepts $4.5M Settlement in Civil Suit against Government of Québec; the Federal Government is condemned to pay $8.6M

MONTRÉAL, April 14 /CNW/ - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), Canada's largest national law firm, is pleased to announce that Mr. Réjean Hinse's civil lawsuit, which was tried over a period of six weeks last November and December at the Montréal courthouse has resulted in a successful condemnation against the Federal government for $8.6M (including interest) and a historic settlement agreement of $4.5M (prior to judgment) with the Province of Québec. The $13.1M overall award is the most significant compensation of its kind so far in Québec, and even throughout Canada, for a victim of wrongful conviction.

"After living through an unending, traumatizing and painful legal saga, it is difficult to express how satisfied I am at having reached the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel a great wave of relief for both my family and myself. From now on, I'll be able to focus on the present and perhaps even look forward to better days during the few years I have left," said Réjean Hinse now 73 years old.

Victim of an acknowledged miscarriage of justice, Mr. Hinse was condemned to 15 years in prison in 1964. After completing his sentence, he was subsequently acquitted by the Supreme Court of Canada more than 30 years later (in 1997) as a result of fresh evidence. Following his acquittal, Mr. Hinse had to file a civil lawsuit against the federal and provincial governments, from which he had never received any form of apology or compensation.

"This is a great result for Mr. Hinse and an important victory for BLG and our pro bono team," commented Alex De Zordo, Partner and Regional Manager of the Litigation Department. "It is the type of complex litigation that litigators live for.  To obtain justice for Mr. Hinse required the efforts of a dedicated team ready to review 50 years of evidence and address a myriad of legal questions.  Our goal was to secure the best possible indemnity for Mr. Hinse to compensate for the irreparable wrongs that he suffered. It's every litigator's dream to successfully help a client through such a difficult legal battle.  To make a difference in the life of such a client. To advance the law. To embrace such a worthy cause."

For the past three years, BLG lawyers have provided pro bono representation to Mr. Hinse, through the support of a team comprised of Guy J. Pratte, Partner and Chair of BLG's National Council, Alexander L. De Zordo, Partner and Regional Manager of the Litigation Department, Katherine Loranger, Marc Unger and Patrick Plante, associates within the BLG Commercial Litigation Group.

"Among the litigators I've come to know, Mr. De Zordo, Mr. Pratte and Ms. Loranger of BLG are truly in a league of their own. Indeed, this law firm pioneered the pro bono movement in this province by promoting the creation of Pro Bono Québec. They are true champions for those who, like myself, have struggled with unbearable injustice," expressed Mr. Hinse.

About Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
With more than 750 lawyers, intellectual property agents, and other professionals working in six major Canadian cities, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP is the largest Canadian full-service law firm focusing on business law, litigation and intellectual property solutions. BLG provides bilingual services in virtually every area of law, and represents a wide range of regional, national and multinational organizations.  For further information, visit blg.com.

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