Tom Engel was born and raised in Ontario. After graduating from high school, he went west to get a job on the oil rigs that were drilling in the Arctic Islands in order to see an area of the world that fascinated him. This stood him in good stead because he was able to pay for school and support his family by working as a roughneck and motorman on the rigs until he graduated from law school.
Tom liked western Canada and so roots were put down and he and his wife, AmberLee, raised a family here.
He is a proud member of the first graduating class of the University of Calgary, Faculty of Law. He articled for Ed Molstad Q.C. in 1979-1980 and remained with the firm of Molstad Gilbert until 1995, when he went on his own to practice criminal law.
Over the years his practice increasingly dealt with human rights issues involving abuses by the police and jail authorities. There have been many important cases where precedents have been established in these areas, for example:
- • Fryingpan
- • Steele
- • Trang
- • Adams
These areas could be considered as his specialty.
Tom has been a member of the Criminal Trial Lawyers’ Association for many years and has served on its Board and, from 2000, as Chair of its Policing Committee. In that capacity, he has worked hard to improve the state of policing and civilian oversight of police, by working and collaborating with the Edmonton Police Service, the Edmonton Police Commission, the Solicitor General and other stakeholders, in holding the police to account through the Police Act and RCMP complaint process and in raising abuses as Charter defences in criminal prosecutions.
Awards and recognition
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