Hadford Defence Group is a regional law firm providing consultation and representation for all criminal matters including appeals, drug offences, assault, firearms offences, robbery, break and enter, impaired driving (not including administrative), domestic violence, major crimes, theft and fraud, young offenders, and pardons. Hadford Defence Group has an exclusive focus on criminal law and provides round-the-clock and personalized service to clients in Southern Alberta. Each client’s personal situation is carefully considered while we work hard toward the best possible outcome every time.
Hadford Defence Group is located in the historic Paramount Theatre Building in downtown Lethbridge.
Hadford Defence Group is owned and operated by Scott Hadford, Juris Doctor.
Born and raised in southern Alberta, Scott Hadford practiced corporate law in the United States for eight years before returning home and being called to the Alberta Bar in 2008. Before returning to Canada, Scott was licensed to practice law in Arizona, Utah, and Idaho. In addition to corporate law, Scott has practiced some family law as well as represented many indigenous clients through the Indian Residential School settlement process in southern Alberta. Scott’s preferred practice, and his exclusive focus, is criminal defence.
Scott has two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Utah State University. Completing both with the summa cum laude distinction, Scott’s first degree is in Political Science and the second degree is in Philosophy. Scott holds a Juris Doctorate from J Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, where he was the recipient of multiple academic awards.
Scott is a determined barrister and solicitor who welcomes the challenges presented by appearing in court at all of the southern Alberta circuit points, running a trial practice, and maintaining a law firm in Lethbridge. Scott has experience appearing before the Provincial Court of Alberta, Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta and the Alberta Court of Appeal. Scott’s work advocating for clients is reflected in numerous published court decisions. Scott believes in mentorship and has valued the mentorship he received when he was a young lawyer. Because of this, Scott makes himself available to assist young lawyers when he can.
Scott supports the community with pro bono work at Lethbridge Legal Guidance and volunteering for Law Day. Scott has served as a volunteer for the moot court for Western Law’s Criminal Law Students’ Association at the University of Western Ontario. Scott is a proud supporter of Streets Alive and the Parkside Group Home. Scott is a current member of the Canadian Criminal Justice Association. He is also a founding member and an active Director of the Southern Alberta Defense Lawyers Association.
To retain or to book a free consultation with Scott, please call our office at 403-380-1999.
Cara Lebenzon, Juris Doctor, is a graduate of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law. Cara also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Affairs from the University of Calgary, and a Master of Arts in Political Science and Government from Tel Aviv University.
Before attending law school, Cara gained excellent skills working as a senior branded content writer for international startup EX.CO and through other marketing roles in the tech industry. While completing her Doctor of Laws at the University of Ottawa, Cara had the opportunity to develop her interest in the practice of criminal defence in internships at Friedman Mansour LLP and with the Law Office of Rosalind E. Conway.
As President of one of the Law Student Associations at the University of Ottawa, Cara was honoured with the 2020 Student Leadership Award from an Ottawa community federation.
Born and raised in Calgary, Cara Lebenzon returned to Alberta to complete her articles at Hadford Defence Group, where she continues her career as an Associate Lawyer after having been called to the Alberta bar in July of 2022. Cara is driven to protect charter rights and skillfully advocate for clients.
In addition to supporting the community with pro bono work at Lethbridge Legal Guidance, Cara Lebenzon is a member of the Alberta Prison Justice Society and the Criminal Lawyers' Association. She is an active Director on the board of the Southern Alberta Defence Lawyers' Association, where she also serves as Social Media Manager.
Steffanie Okrainec holds a combined Bachelor of Arts degree, with a focus on history, political science and sociology, and a Bachelor of Education degree, with a focus on English, from the University of Lethbridge. Steffanie also completed a Legal Assistant diploma from Robertson College. She has been performing a broad range of Paralegal duties since 2018 and holds a Paralegal designation from the Alberta Association of Professional Paralegals.
In addition to supporting the lawyers with research, writing, and complex file management, Steffanie is a Commissioner for Oaths. Steffanie finesses the legal practice at Hadford Defence Group with her attention to detail and commitment to clients. At Hadford Defence Group, clients are in excellent hands!
After spending 25 years with the Lethbridge School Division, and the last 19 of those as a School Administrator, Heather brings vast experience in effective business administration, human resources management, and solution-focused problem-solving. Heather focuses on the business operations at Hadford Defence Group so that Scott and Cara stay focused on doing an excellent job of defending clients.
Heather received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Dalhousie University, as well as a Bachelor of Education and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership, both from the University of Lethbridge. She is trained in Violence Threat Risk Assessment Level II training through the Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Human Response, as well as Suicide Intervention Training through Lethbridge Family Services’ Outreach and Education Services. Additionally, Heather is a certified trainer/facilitator in the 7 Habits and in Fierce Conversations. In order to better support clients, Heather holds a Commissioner for Oaths appointment from Alberta Justice.
Heather received the YWCA (Lethbridge & District) Women of Distinction Award in 2017 in the area of Education and Mentorship. Heather has served as Chair of an Advisory Board within the Centre for Justice and Human Services at the Lethbridge College. Heather currently supports the South Alberta FASD Network Christmas Campaign, as well as the Angel Tree Christmas Campaign through Lethbridge Family Services.
Ashleigh Zdyb was born in Lethbridge, Alberta and raised in Coaldale, Alberta. In 2019, Ashleigh decided to make a career out of her interest in the legal system and her passion for helping people. Ashleigh enrolled in the Legal Assistant program at Robertson College, where she graduated with honours in February 2020.
Ashleigh completed her Legal Assistant practicum in the area of family law and held a contract position, both at AZ Lawyers in Lethbridge.
As well as being a Commissioner for Oaths, Ashleigh Zdyb fills the role of Travel Waiver Agent and works closely with clients with criminal records to obtain travel waivers to the United States without spending the significant time and expense in getting a pardon. Ashleigh thrives in a fast-paced working environment and is eager to be immersed in the area of criminal law!