S. Zalman Haouzi is a Montreal criminal defence lawyer with over ten years of practical experience. In 2011, he founded his firm to help his clients navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system and achieve the best possible outcome based on their case and individual profiles.
Zalman works closely with each client to understand them on a human level and to see past their criminal accusations. He approaches all cases with the understanding that we all make mistakes and that, more often than not, behind the criminal charge in question, there is usually an underlying explanation and unknown challenges beneath the surface. These problems (addiction, mental wellness, life challenges, etc.) can be solved, and once they are, the need for criminal sanction lessens. With that in mind, he approaches each case empathetically and guides his clients throughout the process.
A criminal charge is a problem that needs to be solved. The method used depends on the client’s individual circumstances (i.e. employment, family situation, immigration status) and overall objectives (prove innocence, avoid criminal record, mitigate the damages). Because every situation is unique, Zalman ensures that his clients’ best interests are served, and focuses on fostering a collaborative partnership founded on the belief that whatever the problem, with enough hard work and effort, we can take care of it together.
With a high value placed on guaranteed results, Zalman prefers resolving files via negotiation and plea bargaining rather than trial. There is great solace in an assured outcome, as we know that a significant portion of the stress from a criminal charge stems from uncertainty and fear of the unknown.
For Zalman, the ideal client is a first-time offender who understands the value of doing everything possible to avoid a criminal record. Someone willing to take some form of responsibility for their actions provided that they can mitigate the potentially devastating consequences of a criminal conviction. Zalman often asks his clients to “help us help you” so they can present their best version to the judge.
Zalman works extremely hard for his clients, advocating on their behalf like he would want a lawyer to advocate for him. He thinks outside the box and goes the extra mile for his clients. He’s not afraid to make bold suggestions and address difficult challenges. His team considers all eventual scenarios and preemptively sets a backup plan if things don’t go as planned.
In addition to his legal work, Zalman is committed to community service and professional development. Early in his career, Zalman volunteered for a non-profit organization assisting landlords and tenants in navigating the legal landscape of housing law. He also played an integral role in establishing pro bono legal services at the Municipal Court of Montreal. Zalman has also actively participated in local professional organizations, including the Lord Reading Law Society. He has served on the board of legal associations such as the Jeune Barreau de Montréal, the Association of Montreal Defence Lawyers (AADM), and the Montreal Bar Association. He lovingly volunteers much of his time to his children, who have him tied around their little fingers.
Education & admission to the bar
- McGill University, Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), 2006
- Université de Montréal, Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), 2009
- Barreau du Québec, 2011
- Association Québécoise des Avocats et Avocates de la Défense (AQAAD)
- Association des Avocats de la Défense de Montréal (AADM)
- Lord Reading Law Society
- Barreau du Québec
- Barreau de Montréal