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
Monday, 22 September 2014 08:00

The right to free speech — or not?

Freedom From Speech by Greg Lukianoff, pp. 48, US$5.99, Encounter Books, 2014.
Freedom From Speech by Greg Lukianoff, pp. 48, US$5.99, Encounter Books, 2014.
It used to be that people waited until they were actually offended to take action against something that offended them, but Carleton University student Arun Smith has no time for such details. When a “free-speech wall” upon which anyone could write any opinion was erected at his school last year, Smith promptly tore it down. When the wall went back up, he did it again.
The Hunt, directed by Thomas Vinterberg, released 2012
The Hunt, directed by Thomas Vinterberg, released 2012
A curious anomaly in our justice system; the offence with the most severe penalty under law is not the crime toward which most people feel the most personal revulsion.
Monday, 19 May 2014 08:00

Oil, law, and lawlesness

The Secret World of Oil, by Ken Silverstein, Verso Books, 2014, pp. 240.
The Secret World of Oil, by Ken Silverstein, Verso Books, 2014, pp. 240.
The good Lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratic regimes friendly to the United States.
— Dick Cheney
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”
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