John Rosen is a Canadian criminal defence lawyer, who has defended the most murder trials in Ontario's history, and perhaps in Canadian history. He has defended some of the most notorious murderers in Canadian history, including Paul Bernardo, Dominic Musitano, Min Chen, Paul Volpe, John Papalia and Carmen Barillaro (of the Buffalo Crime Family.) He is a partner in the Toronto law firm of Rosen Naster LLP.
John Rosen's grandparents immigrated to Toronto from Poland in the early 1900s. He is the eldest of six children, whom his father supported with his Bay Street dry-cleaning shop, Imperial Cleaners, across from the Toronto Coach Terminal. At age 16, Rosen began driving the dry-cleaning delivery truck after school.
John Rosen received his LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1968. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1970. He is a member of a number of professional associations, including the Advocates Society, the Criminal Lawyers' Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in the US, and Canadian and American Bar Associations.
Rosen is well known for the notoriety of the accused criminals he defends. He is also known for the ruthlessness of his defence of persons accused of odious crimes. In one case, he was criticized for making a murder victim seem like a criminal.
Rosen successfully defended a man charged with second degree murder, where the prosecution withdrew the charge on the eve of trial following John's appearance in the Supreme Court of Canada in the related case of Benson v. Brown, which set the ground rules for allowing access to lawyer/client confidential information regarding another suspect previously cleared by the police.
Among Rosen's high-profile cases were:
- Paul Bernardo, infamous Canadian serial killer and rapist.
- Defence of Peter Scarcella, charged in the 2004 shooting of a Vaughan sandwich shop that left Louise Russo paralyzed.
- Min Chen, accused of murdering Chinese visa student Cecilia Zhang in her residence at York University.
- Defence of Chuang Li, an ex-employee charged with stabbing 4 former co-workers.
- "John Rosen '68 has Defended more People Accused of Murder than any other Lawyer in Ontario, possibly in Canada".
- "Chinese visa student admits to killing Cecilia".
- "Rosen Naster LLP".
- "How John Rosen Sleeps at Night".
- "John Rosen: Barrister Profile".
- "Cop Corruption Trial Hears Angry Words".
- "Edge City Suburbs Can Run Dark and Deep".
- "R. v. Brown,  2 S.C.R. 185, 2002 SCC 32" (PDF).
- "Behind the scenes in Louise Russo sandwich shop shooting deal".
- "Judge defends Russo's $2M deal".
- "Mob war led to Russo shooting, sources say".
- "Cecilia's killer gets 15 years without parole".
- "CBC News INDEPTH: CECILIA ZHANG Timeline".
- "Chuang Li, charged in Toronto office stabbings, found not criminally responsible".
- "Newsstand: September 9, 2015".
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- - Rosen Naster LLP
- - CBC News In Depth - The Cecilia Zhang case
- - Ex-drug squad leader at centre of corruption trial denies breaking law
- - Key events in the Bernardo/Homolka case
- - Globe & Mail January 24, 1997 Bernardo's Ex-Lawyers Charged
- - AdvocateDaily.com Archives of John Rosen
- - High-profile defence lawyer disputes claim that long trials are a “cancer” on the justice system
- - Law Society Awards Honour the Best of the Profession
- - Lawyers gearing up for assault on omnibus bill
- - Witness cannot be trusted, lawyer for ex-officer says
- - Pictures of key figures in the Paul Bernardo trial
- - The Toronto Star- Karla Homolka reopens wounds left by a chilling trial amid the heat of '95