Calgary DUI Lawyers

Driving under the influence (DUI), or driving while intoxicated (DWI), is the crime of driving a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs. It includes recreational drugs and those prescribed by physicians, to a level that renders the driver incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely. Calgary DUI Lawyers

Balfour Der and Lisa Burgis are one of Calgary’s most dynamic and sought after criminal defence lawyer teams. Their experience is unique as they know criminal law from both sides – defence and prosecution. As former crown prosecutors, Balfour and Lisa have 45 years of combined experience at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. This experience and their track record of defending thousands of cases, including many high profiles clients, have earned them reputations as highly-respected criminal defence lawyers in Calgary and throughout western Canada.

Whether they work together on a case, or independently, Balfour and Lisa will provide you with the best possible defence regardless of the seriousness of the charge or the circumstances of the client.

Their clients are people, not cases. They strive to humanize the legal system and work tirelessly to represent their client’s interests without exception.

Balfour and Lisa have defended professional and amateur athletes, police officers, firefighters, lawyers, politicians and many others whose livelihood and reputations depended on the positive outcome of the case. Some of the most notable cases involve:

  • Canadian Forces Soldier charged with manslaughter in Afghan training accident (2013)
  • Cement truck driver charged with five counts of manslaughter in traffic accident (2009)
  • Commercial pilot charged with criminal negligence after crash landing a plane on a Winnipeg street (2008)
  • Columbine copy cat shooting in Taber high school (1999)
  • Father shoots drug dealer who has his daughter hooked on drugs (2010)
  • Professional wrestler charged with drug possession (2000)
  • Funeral home charged with fraud and other professional violations (2012)

Let Balfour and Lisa put their experience and knowledge to work to help you achieve the best possible results of your case.


Balfour Der Q.C.

Calgary DUI Lawyers
Balfour Der has been described by the Calgary Herald as “arguably Calgary’s top defence counsel.” Balfour has been called upon by professional and amateur athletes, police officers, soldiers, firefighters, politicians, lawyers and many others whose livelihood and reputations depended on the positive outcome of the case. Balfour’s clients know they can rely on him to represent their interests without exception. When he takes on a case, he does so to achieve the best results regardless of the seriousness of the charge or the circumstances of the client.

Balfour was a senior trial prosecutor for the Crown Prosecutor’s Office in Calgary from 1981 to 1990. During that time he honed his skills by handling hundreds of criminal prosecutions. In 1988 Balfour was asked to join the appellate division of the Crown’s Office where he handled appeal cases before the Alberta Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

In 1990 Balfour left the Crown Prosecutor’s Office to go into private practice where he has continued to practice exclusively in criminal law. He has successfully defended people who have been charged with the most minor of charges to the most serious. There is no area of criminal law that Balfour has not been involved. He has defended people charged in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the North West Territories. His experience extends to areas outside of strict criminal offences including Tax Evasion, Customs Act offences and Traffic offences.

While his main work is in the trial courts, Balfour regularly argues appeals for not only persons he has defended, but also accused that have been defended at trial by other lawyers. As counsel, Balfour has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada on precedent setting cases involving reasonable doubt and jury instructions, lost evidence, and double jeopardy.

In addition to his active practice, Balfour teaches criminal law and is the author of two criminal law text books as well as numerous papers and articles for seminars and lectures. He has been on the faculty of the Canadian Police College in Ottawa, Ontario and the Bar Admission Course of Alberta. As he says, “I eat, drink and sleep criminal law.”

Balfour is a former Junior A hockey player. In his spare time he is a triathlete and plays golf, a lot of golf.

Lisa Burgis

Calgary DUI Lawyers

You will not find a more experienced and well-regarded female criminal defence lawyer in Calgary than Lisa. Lisa became a lawyer in 1997 and since then has practiced exclusively in the area of criminal law. She has represented thousands of individuals charged with crimes ranging from shoplifting to murder.

Lisa has earned a reputation as a very skilled negotiator and an outstanding trial lawyer. In the court room she demonstrates the rare talent of negotiating with crown prosecutors, examining witness’s and making written and oral legal arguments all while protecting and representing her clients’ interests with the upmost poise, professionalism and integrity. Her ability to humanize the legal system by expressing compassion yet maintaining her unwavering legal objectivity sets her apart from her peers.

Lisa’s other distinguishing quality, that few of her peers possess, is her experience working as a crown prosecutor. This experience enables her to know criminal law from both sides – defence and prosecution. She has appeared in Alberta Provincial Court, Court of Queen’s Bench and the Court of Appeal. Lisa has also had the rare opportunity to appear along with Balfour at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Lisa’s clients know her as a lawyer who believes strongly in establishing positive working relationships with them. She has worked with clients who have severe addictions to alcohol, drugs, and gambling and clients who have serious mental disorders such as bi-polar, schizophrenia, and other behavioural disorders. Her cases have resulted in working with forensic experts in pathology, child abuse, psychiatry, psychology, blood spatter, computer, accounting, and arson.

Lisa has a thirst for continuing education. She continues her own legal and personal development education by attending seminars and courses locally and internationally in the areas of Criminal Law, Conflict Resolution and Personal Development. These courses have helped shape Lisa into the unique lawyer she is. Her coach-approach with her clients is a novel and refreshing approach to practicing law: an approach highly effective to her clients and personally satisfying to her. In the legal community, Lisa is a member of the Calgary Criminal Lawyer’s Association, the Calgary Bar Association, and the Canadian Lawyer’s Association. Lisa has volunteered her time with the Alberta Bar Admission Course, Alberta Law Day, Calgary Legal Guidance, Calgary Justice Working Committee, and University of Calgary Faculty of law.

Lisa is very active when away from the office. She is adamant about daily fitness and good nutrition. Her favourite activities are: swimming, cycling, running and weight training. Lisa recently took up 1/2 marathons and triathlons and is enjoying the challenge of training and competing. Lisa’s first love, aside from her family, is travel and the adventure it brings. Along with travel comes her favourite things: golf and lots of it; thrilling adventures like zip lining, horseback riding in the mountains, and snorkelling in search of sea turtles; cooking classes of the countries local food; and just being at the beach: toes in the sand, waves crashing on the shore, blue skies and the heat of the sun.

Calgary DUI Lawyers