BA, LLB, LEC, of the Bar of Ontario
Shane Martinez’ passion for social justice and human rights originated from his time living in rural eastern Canada and witnessing first-hand how working class and poor people are disproportionately and systemically affected by the criminal law.
During a portion of his legal education, Mr. Martinez worked with one of Toronto’s top criminal defence firms. There he assisted on cases that included charges of first degree murder, prohibited firearms, fraud, narcotics, theft, assault and prostitution. The experience solidified his commitment to provide fierce representation for all clients regardless of the allegations.
From September 2013 to March 2014, he completed a period of academic leave to become qualified to practice law in the Commonwealth Caribbean. During that time he lived in Kingston, Jamaica, and assisted attorney-at-law Michael Lorne as part of the defence team for dance hall artist Shawn Storm, one of the co-accused in the Vybz Kartel murder trial.
Mr. Martinez regularly writes and lectures about police brutality, racial profiling, the prison industrial complex and transnational labour. He also works closely with Justice 4 Migrant Workers (J4MW), providing legal education and pro bono assistance for Caribbean and Mexican migrant farm workers in southern Ontario.
With the goal of providing his clients with the best defence possible, he founded Martínez Law where he combines a social justice perspective with innovative legal analysis. He has also acted as counsel in Coroner’s inquests in relation to the deaths of people who have been killed by the police or who have died in jail.
In addition to operating Martínez Law, Mr. Martinez serves as the Deputy Legal Director at LiUNA Local 3000, where he helps defend the rights of Ontario’s front line healthcare workers.