Since 2013, Tam Boyar and Samantha Arrandale have been counsel for Thomas McDonald in connection with criminal proceedings arising from the 1981 shooting death of an individual in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. Mr. McDonald was initially a suspect in the shooting but there was insufficient evidence to charge him with an offence. In 2011, he was the subject of a lengthy Mr. Big operation which culminated in him making four incriminating statements to the undercover operators. Tam was co-counsel on a constitutional challenge to the admissibility of those statements as well as various other pre-trial motions. At trial, Mr. McDonald was acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter.
After his conviction, the Crown applied for a dangerous offender designation under Part XXIV of the Criminal Code and sought to tender character evidence from the Mr. Big operation in support of the application.