Marshall Putnam

BA (Calgary), JD (TRU)

Marshall Putnam grew up near Bragg Creek, Alberta. After finishing high school, he attended the University of Calgary to study English and graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts. He then moved to Kamloops to study law at Thompson Rivers University, where he received the Dean's List distinction and won multiple awards for academic achievement while completing his law degree. While in his final year, Marshall completed a directed research project with Jon Heshka and was invited to attend the Annual International Conference on Doping in Sport in London, where he and Jon presented their research into the constitutionality of Canada's anti-doping regime. He graduated with a Juris Doctor in 2016.

After graduating, Marshall articled with a local criminal defence firm: Jensen Law Group. He has worked at Jensen Law Group in Kamloops as an associate lawyer since completing his articles in 2017. While working at Jensen Law Group, Marshall has represented clients at every level of court in British Columbia. He practices primarily in criminal defense with a focus on Charter litigation and appellate work, but also has experience in personal injury litigation. His litigation experience includes an acquittal of second-degree murder, a conviction overturned on appeal, and striking a mandatory minimum sentence for being unconstitutional.

Marshall first joined the Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law as a sessional instructor in 2019 when he was asked to teach Criminal Process and a week-long course on Alternate Dispute Resolution and Negotiation. In 2020 he built and taught a course on the topic of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Criminal Litigation, adding this course to the Faculty's offerings. He now teaches these courses as well as Crime: Law and Procedure to the first-year law students.

Publications and presentations

  • Pathways to Police Adoption of Body and Dash Cameras in Canada: How and Why Parliament Should Intervene” – Criminal Law Quarterly (review completed – publication expected 2021) (with Robert Diab)
  • March 2020 – “Counsel Comments – R v Robertson, 2020 BCCA 65” – Take Five British Columbia Edition
  • July 2019 - “Is Password Compulsion Constitutional in Canada? Two Views” – July 2019, The Advocate (with Robert Diab)
  • March 2017 – Presenter at the “Tackling Doping in Sport” conference in London, UK. Presented the contents of the Directed Research: “Does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms apply to the Adjudication of a Doping Dispute under Canada’s National Anti-Doping Program?” (with Jon Heshka)

Notable decisions

  • R v Swain, 2021 BCCA 207 (re-trial ordered following appeal)
  • R v Robertson, 2020 BCCA 65 (mandatory minimum sentence struck for being unconstitutional)
  • Bennett v Leschuk, 2020 BCSC 681 ($501,933 award in damages for personal injury)
  • R v Jessup, 2019 BCSC 2043 (second degree murder acquittal)
  • R v Morris, 2018 BCSC 803 (1 year sentence for manslaughter)