Licensed Throughout the United States
and U.S. International Military Courts
Ret. Colonel John Canham, Jr. Photo

Ret. Colonel John J. Canham, Jr.

  • Profile

Attorney Canham has an extensive, successful background in criminal defense proceedings, primarily occurring over his long and decorated military justice career. As an active United States Marine, Attorney Canham served as a Staff Judge Advocate and in-house counsel to the Commander, providing counsel pertaining to a wide variety of areas, including ethics, issues of officer misconduct, Freedom of Information Act requests, and operational and international law.

Before this, he served as Regional Senior Defense Counsel in the West Coast / Western Pacific, responsible for criminal defense proceedings related to murder, rape, and aggravated assault. Attorney Canham has also worked as a prosecutor for Marine and Navy staff charged with a misdemeanor or felony offenses at bases in Okinawa, Japan, and El Toro, California. He has taught over 2,000 officers, attorneys, and paralegals in trial advocacy and Constitutional law.

During his stints in Operation Iraqi Freedom I & II, he coordinated counter-terrorist attacks and was a part of more than 500 criminal cases that included criminal trials fully contested by criminal juries.

Now, Canham's legal experience and prowess is used at his private practice, as Of Counsel for Cantafio Nagel & Song PLLC, and as an adjunct professor at Roger Williams University, where he teaches constitutional law, civil procedure, juvenile justice, military law, and substantive criminal law.

Colonel Canham has been honored with a number of military decorations for his outstanding service to his country, including:

  • The Legion of Merit with a gold star (2nd award)
  • Bronze Star
  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a gold star (2nd award)
  • Iraq Campaign Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  • Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (x2)
  • National Defense Service Medal (x2)Navy and
  • Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
  • Navy Unit Commendation
  • Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (x5)

Since his retirement in 2005 at the rank of Colonel, Jay has devoted himself to his private legal practice and his love of teaching. Currently, he lectures in the areas of civil procedure, criminal procedure, substantive criminal law, juvenile justice, military law, and constitutional law as an adjunct professor at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Jay received his Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School in Boston and went on to earn his Master of Laws degree in Criminal/Military Law from the University of Virginia. He has maintained membership in the Rhode Island State Bar since 1982, the Federal Bar since 1982, and the Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces since 1983.

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