Damian J. Penny

Damian J. Penny

Damian J. Penny, a native of Mt. Pearl, Nfld., is a family law practitioner with Bedford Law in Bedford, N.S. His blog can be found at www.damianpenny.com and his Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/damianpenny. He  can be reached at damian@bedfordlaw.com.



Column: Law Library
NewLaw New Rules — A conversation about the future of the legal services industry by George Beaton, Beaton Capital, 2013, pp. 210.
NewLaw New Rules — A conversation about the future of the legal services industry by George Beaton, Beaton Capital, 2013, pp. 210.
NewLaw, New Rules — A conversation about the future of the legal services industry
, by its very nature, shows how much the practice of law has changed. It is dubbed “a conversation about the future of the legal services industry,” and while Australian consultant George Beaton is billed as the author, it’s really a collaboration between dozens of lawyers, professors, and analysts from around the English-speaking world (including several Canadians, most notably Jordan Furlong).
Monday, 20 January 2014 08:00

What not to do in the war on drugs

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2014_Screen-shot-2014-01-16-at-6.jpgJust after midnight on Jan. 1, a former U.S. Marine named Sean Azzariti made history by becoming the first person in the world to legally buy marijuana for recreational use. Azzariti, who served in Iraq and claims the weed helps relieve his post-traumatic stress disorder, made his purchase just as a new law allowing its licensing and sale in Colorado came into force.

Monday, 11 November 2013 08:00

Help for lawyers’ bad habits

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_damian-j-penny.jpgA disturbing thought occurred to me while reading Coaching for Attorneys — after 15 years of practising law, I have become lazy about meeting deadlines and making it to appointments on time.
Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces by Radley Balko, PublicAffairs, 2013, pp. 382.
Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces by Radley Balko, PublicAffairs, 2013, pp. 382.
The next thing [Cheye] Calvo remembers is the sound of his mother-in-law screaming. He ran to the window and saw heavily armed men clad in black rushing his front door. Next came the explosion. He’d later learn that this was when the police blew open his front door. Then there was gunfire. Then boots stomping the floor. Then more gunfire. Calvo, still in his boxers, screamed, “I’m upstairs, please don’t shoot!” He was instructed to walk downstairs with his hands in the air, the muzzles of two guns pointed directly at him. He still didn’t know it was the police. He described what happened next at a Cato Institute forum six weeks later. “At the bottom of the stairs, they bound my hands, pulled me across the living room, and forced me to kneel on the floor in front of my broken door. I thought it was a home invasion. I was fearful that I was about to be executed.” I later asked Calvo what might have happened if he’d had a gun in his home for self-defense. His answer: “I’d be dead.” In another interview, he would add, “The worst thing I could have done was defend my home.”
Wrong Side of the Law: True Stories of Crime by Edward Butts; Dundurn Press, 2013; pp. 224; $19.99.
Wrong Side of the Law: True Stories of Crime by Edward Butts; Dundurn Press, 2013; pp. 224; $19.99.
As of this writing, American fugitive Edward Snowden — on the lam after releasing details of the National Security Agency’s domestic and international spying programs — is stuck in the international transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. A hundred years ago, Snowden might have had an easier time escaping the clutches of the U.S. justice system — he could have just hopped over the sparsely populated, largely unguarded border with Canada and found a nice spot to hide out.
Without Honour: The True Story of the Shafia Family and the Kingston Canal Murders by Rob Tripp; HarperCollins, pp. 368.
Without Honour: The True Story of the Shafia Family and the Kingston Canal Murders by Rob Tripp; HarperCollins, pp. 368.
“My children did a lot of cruelty toward me.”

- Mohammad Shafia, testifying at his trial for murdering his first wife and three daughters
Charlie and the Angels: The Outlaws, the Hells Angels and the Sixty Years War, by Alex Caine, Random House Canada, 2012, pp. 272.
Charlie and the Angels: The Outlaws, the Hells Angels and the Sixty Years War, by Alex Caine, Random House Canada, 2012, pp. 272.
A one-percenter is the one of a hundred of us who has given up on society and the politician’s one-way laws.
This is why we look repulsive.
We are saying we don’t want to be like you or look like you.
So stay out of our face.
[...]
God forgives, Outlaws don’t

- The “Outlaws’ Creed”
Monday, 21 January 2013 10:08

Lawyer on polygamy case changes his tune

A Cruel Arithmetic: Inside the Case Against Polygamy, by Craig Jones, Irwin Law, 2012, pp. 384.
A Cruel Arithmetic: Inside the Case Against Polygamy, by Craig Jones, Irwin Law, 2012, pp. 384.
When s. 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada was referred to the British Columbia Supreme Court, I wrote that I believed the law was clearly unconstitutional in its current form:
Monday, 26 November 2012 08:00

A brief intro to lawyers on Twitter

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_damian-j-penny.jpgSarah Peterson Herr, a research lawyer with the Kansas Court of Appeals, recently learned the hard way that putting your opinions out on Twitter can get a lawyer in trouble. After calling a former state attorney general now facing ethics charges a “douche bag,” Herr found herself out of a job.
Thursday, 27 September 2012 11:39

Progress and backlash over same-sex marriage

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_2012_September_closettoaltar-cvr.jpgIn 1957, a prominent American group denounced homosexuality as “socially heretical or deviant,” and determined that laws against it posed no constitutional problems. That organization: the American Civil Liberties Union. For years thereafter, “sodomy” was a criminal offence in every state.
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