Former Attorney General | Bestselling Author of 28 Seconds
A night that began with a dinner to celebrate his twelfth wedding anniversary ended in a jail cell for Michael Bryant―the Former Attorney General―when he was charged with dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death. Speaking publicly about how his entire life changed in just 28 seconds, Bryant’s is a dramatic story of inspiration, survival, tough choices, and transformation.
In 2003, Bryant became Ontario’s youngest ever Attorney General. A Harvard-trained lawyer, he had clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada, taught law at King’s College, London, and at Osgoode Hall Law School. He had practiced law on Wall Street and Bay Street, was a Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament for a decade; and was a Cabinet Minister for six years.
The tables turned for him forever, soon after leaving politics in 2009, when Bryant was charged with dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death. A Special Prosecutor dropped all charges against him in 2010, but more adversity followed. In 2012, Bryant authored the #1 Canadian bestseller, 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Tragedy and Hope.
Bryant now practices criminal defence law, mostly in mental health courts, defending the unrepresented and unrepresentable as a public defender in the Greater Toronto Area. He also serves as a director on charitable boards — one serving inmates, another treating young people struggling with mental illness and addiction.
Bryant has also worked in indigenous affairs since 1988, as a litigator, negotiator, scholar, teacher and Cabinet Minister. He was Ontario’s first Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, and recently served as a First Nation’s Chief Negotiator on an historic $100 Million Ontario land claim settlement.