Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws, and a Senior Policy Advisor at Freedom Leaf, Inc. He also serves on the faculty of Oaksterdam University, where he lectures of the safety and efficacy of cannabis. His writing and research have appeared in over 750 publications, scholarly and/or peer-reviewed journals, as well as in more than a dozen textbooks and anthologies. He is a regulator contributor to The Hill as well as to to numerous other publications. He is the co-author of the book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? (2009, Chelsea Green), which has been licensed and translated internationally. His most recent book, The Citizen's Guide to State-By-State Marijuana Laws (2015), is available from Whitman Publishing. His writing also appears in the 2016 book, The Medical Marijuana Dispensary: Understanding, Medicating, and Cooking with Cannabis, available from Althea Press.
Mr. Armentano was the principal investigator for defense counsel in US v Schweder et al., the first federal evidentiary hearing in over 40 years to consider the constitutionality of cannabis as a schedule I controlled substance. He was also a rebuttal expert in the successful Canadian constitutional challenge, Allard et al v Her Majesty the Queen, which determined that prohibitions on the rights of qualified patients to cultivate cannabis in their homes were "not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice."
Mr. Armentano provides content to TheAnswerPage.com, an online medical educational resource that provides daily education to healthcare professionals in 120 countries. A version of this curriculum is now required in New York State for any physician who wishes to participate in that state's medical cannabis program. Mr. Armentano is the 2013 Freedom Law School Health Freedom Champion of the Year and the 2013 Alfred R. Lindesmith award recipient in the achievement in the field of scholarship.
Joseph A. Bondy is a criminal defense attorney, located in Manhattan. A graduate of Columbia University and Brooklyn Law School, Mr. Bondy is admitted to practice law in New York State, the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York and the District of Connecticut, the United States Courts of Appeal for the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Bondy is a life member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the legal committee for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). He is also a member of the NORML Amicus Committee. Mr. Bondy has lectured on a variety of federal criminal law topics at various legal programs throughout the country, and has served on the faculties of the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC), and Cardozo Law School's Intensive Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP).
During the past twenty-two years, Mr. Bondy has represented hundreds of individuals at every stage of criminal litigation. His advocacy and writing have won numerous clients dismissals, acquittals, reduced sentences, and appellate reversals. Mr. Bondy also maintains the website www.federalmarijuanadefense.com, as a federal marijuana defense resource center for attorneys, advocates, and those accused of federal marijuana violations.
An avid gardener and Shaolin kung fu practitioner, Mr. Bondy lives in Manhattan with his wife and three children.
Barry Coburn, a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, has been litigating complex criminal and civil cases for over twenty-five years. His experience encompasses several years at the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division, where he served as a Special Assistant in the Office of Operations; four years in the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, where he prosecuted numerous significant cases, both local and federal; and eighteen years of private practice. He has tried nearly 200 cases, represented clients in many of the most significant federal whitecollar criminal investigations in recent history, and has litigated and tried highly complex civil cases. Barry's private practice has included the following civil and criminal matters, though he has litigated numerous smaller, less publicized and confidential matters as well.
Barry is an active member of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia Bars, and has tried cases in various other jurisdictions as well. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers ("ACTL"), and is a member of its District of Columbia State Committee and Access to Justice Committee. He has been recognized in "SuperLawyers," The Washingtonian and other periodicals. He has taught Continuing Legal Education courses sponsored by the American Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar, the ACTL and other entities. He also has taught courses with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy ("NITA") and is a certified NITA instructor. Barry has guest-taught trial practice and other courses at Georgetown, the George Washington University and the University of Virginia Law Schools, and at the Department of Justice's National Advocacy Center. He has authored articles on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and other subjects. He has taught business ethics at the Greater Washington Board of Trade. In 2005 Barry was appointed by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to chair the Merit Selection Panel considering the reappointment of a Magistrate Judge. In 2006 he was a presenter at a District of Columbia Circuit Historical Society program on the Espy Independent Counsel investigation. He chairs the Lawyers' Committee for "the ARC," a public service entity in Southeast Washington, D.C. that provides space and other services to Covenant House, the Boys and Girls Club and a variety of other providers of assistance to inner city youth, and is active in the lawyers' committee and the genocide prevention activities of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Mary E. Conn & Associates has been a "client-based" practice, with generally 85% or more of the practice being criminal defense, both in federal and state courts, first based in Texas and then 10 years in the Bay Area of California. Ms. Conn holds licenses in both states and in several federal courts, including the USSC. Ms. Conn has handled broad spectrum of criminal cases, from marijuana to murder, illegal re-entry, other first degree aggravated or strike cases, drug possession and/or distribution cases, sex offenses, internet crimes, bank fraud, DUI's and a variety of misdemeanors, in federal and state courts. A significant portion of cases have been indigent clients, many pro bono. The focus of the practice has always been the best possible resolution of the matter for the individual client, regardless of whether the case was paid, appointed, or pro bono through the local bar association. On many occasions, she was able to resolve or try cases for some difficult or mentally ill clients, when other lawyers had been discharged by clients or courts.
Stephen W. Dillon is an attorney in Indianapolis, IN specializing in criminal defense and constitutional law. A graduate of Purdue University and the Indiana University School of Law, Mr. Dillon served briefly as a public defender before entering private practice, and has headed his own firm, Dillon Law Office, since 1988. Mr. Dillon is an active Libertarian who has been that party's candidate for several statewide offices, including Secretary of State, Governor and U.S. Senator. He is a long time member of the NORML Legal Committee, and serves on the NORML board as the Vice-Chair. Mr. Dillon helped start Indiana NORML in 1974; and, is currently State Coordinator of Indiana NORML.
Anna Durbin's solo practice, located in Ardmore, Pa., focuses on criminal defense, primarily federal. She also represents students on local alcohol and drug charges. She litigates civil rights cases, obtaining a significant settlement for women raped by a guard while in federal detention. Ms. Durbin earned her AB at Stanford and received her law degree from Yale. She supervised students in the criminal defense clinic at the University of Connecticut's law school, clerked for U.S. District Judge Norma Shapiro (E.D.Pa.), then served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender. Ms. Durbin received advanced training at the National College for Criminal Defense and at the Trial Lawyers College founded by Gerry Spence. She has won jury trials and appeals in extortion, mail fraud, false statements, drug conspiracy, and weapons cases. Her advocacy frequently secures sentences less than expected under the Sentencing Guidelines. She has been repeatedly selected by her peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America® and in Pennsylvania SuperLawyers.® She also serves her community as an elected Township Commissioner for Lower Merion, Pennsylvania.
Peter Goldberger is the founder and principal of a three-lawyer firm, located near Philadelphia, which for more than 30 years has focused its practice on the post-conviction aspects of federal criminal cases, especially sentencing and appeals. Admitted to appear before every Circuit, Peter has briefed and/or argued more than 200 federal appeals. He has also been appointed twice for cases on the merits, and has argued, before the Supreme Court of the United States, both appointments being in cases raising issues concerning sentencing in drug cases.* Chair of the Litigation Advisory Board of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Goldberger was the first winner, in 2001, of FAMM's "Cesare Beccaria Defender of Justice" Award. Peter serves as the current President of the Third Circuit Bar Association, and was elected in 2007 to the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He is also an officer of the Pennsylvania state and Philadelphia regional ACLU affiliates. Based on many years of service on a number of committees and special projects, he received in 2015 NACDL's highest honor, the Robert C. Heeney Award.
Peter has been named repeatedly as one of Pennsylvania's "SuperLawyers,"® and has long been listed in Best Lawyers in America®. Working for over ten years under a CJA appointment, Goldberger was part of the team that won the first DNA exoneration from Pennsylvania's death row, in 2003. He achieved his second exoneration (an arson-murder, based on forensic myths and fraud) in 2014.
After graduating from Yale Law School (1975), Peter served as a federal law clerk and two years as an Assistant Federal Public Defender. He was for several years a professor at the Villanova University and Whittier College Law Schools, where he taught criminal law and procedure, corporate and white collar crime, and other subjects. The father of three grown daughters, Peter lives in Ardmore, Pa., with his wife of 40+ years, fellow Best Lawyer Anna M. Durbin.
Gerald "Gerry" Harris Goldstein is a nationally known and respected defense lawyer at Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley in San Antonio, Texas. He is a past president of both the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He has served as amicus curiae for NACDL in many high-profile cases, including CNN v. Manuel Noriega and Joe Does v. United States, arguing lawyers should not be required to disclose the identity of cash-paying clients on IRS forms.
His forceful Congressional testimony during the 1996 House Waco hearings is credited with helping to turn the tide against further suppression of citizens' rights in America. More recently, he represented Dr. Al-Badr Al Hazmi, a fifth-year radiology resident in San Antonio who was arrested on Sept. 12, 2001. Subsequently, Goldstein testified before Congress on his client's request to speak with counsel.
Gerry Goldstein is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Texas Lawyer's Legal Legends. He also has been profiled in numerous publications, served as an adjunct professor of law at University of Texas School of Law in Austin and at St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio and is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.
He also is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. In his role as an adjunct professor, Gerry teaches a course titled Advanced Criminal Law (Defense of a Complex Federal Prosecution). Other lectures and presentations include U.S. Supreme Court updates, Crawford & the Current State of the Hearsay Rule, Crossing the Double Crosser and Federal Appeals.
His published works include: Grand Jury Practice; Pretrial Release; Indictment [Joinder/Severance/Transfer]; Pretrial Motions; Suppression of Evidence; Jury Selection; Trial [Evidence]; Examination of Witnesses; Jury Instructions; Closing Arguments; Creative Trial Techniques; Criminal Issues - Civil Cases; Jury Arguments [Closings to Remember]; Search and Seizure; Life and Hearsay - Post Crawford Era; Federal Appeals; and Supreme Court Review.
Gerry earned his juris doctor at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas, in 1968. He also graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1965, with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration.
Gerry received a certification in Criminal Law in 1975 from the State Bar of Texas. He holds the following bar admissions: Texas (1968), Colorado (1989), U.S. District Court Western District of Texas (1970), U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit (1982), U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit (1970), U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit (1983), U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit (1979), U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit (1983), U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit (1981) and the U.S. Supreme Court (1975).
Gerry Goldstein received NORML's Al Horn Memorial award in 1999, which commemorated a lifetime of advocacy and support for responsible marijuana law reform. He has also received the following honors and awards: Best Lawyers in America, 1987 -- Present; Texas Monthly - Texas Super Lawyers; Top 100 Texas Super Lawyers; Top 50 Central and West Texas Region Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2003 -- 2007; Scene in SA Monthly - San Antonio's Best Attorneys, San Antonio Law, Top Ten Lawyers, 2004 -- 2008; Texas Lawyer Legal Legends, 100 Best Lawyers over Last 100 years (100 Year Anniversary of State Bar of Texas), 2000; Fellow, State Bar Foundation, 1976 -- Present; Recipient, Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award [Outstanding Criminal Defense Attorney in the United States] from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1991; Recipient, Outstanding Criminal Defense Lawyer in Texas from the State Bar of Texas, 1991; Justice Albert Tate, Jr. Award [Outstanding Contribution to Criminal Advocacy] from the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1993; Recipient, John Henry Faulk Civil Libertarian of the Year Award from the American Civil Liberties Union; Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Hall of Fame, 2002; Marquis Who's Who, Who's Who in American Law, 14th Edition, 2006 -- 2007.
He is a member of the following professional associations: National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Past President (1994 -- 1995); Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Past President; International Academy of Trial Lawyers; American College of Trial Lawyers; American Board of Criminal Lawyers; American Board of Trial Advocates, President ; Dean's Round Table, University of Texas School of Law; Texas Civil Liberties Union; San Antonio Bar Association; American Bar Association; and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.
John Wesley Hall, Little Rock criminal defense attorney, is a Past President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Hall received the organization's prestigious Robert C. Heeney Award in 2002 for service to the criminal defense bar. He was chair of the NACDL Ethics Advisory Committee from 1990-2005, and on the International Criminal Court's Disciplinary Appeals Tribunal. He has tried 250+ jury trials and handled 250+ appeals, including three in the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the author of Search and Seizure (3d ed., 4th ed. forthcoming), Professional Responsibility in Criminal Defense Practice (3d ed.), Trial Handbook for Arkansas Lawyers (4th ed.), and numerous articles. He has done CLEs in 38 states, 3 provinces, and The Hague.
Norman Elliott Kent, a graduate of Hofstra University, who first joined NORML as a college senior in 1971, is now a publisher and criminal defense attorney based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, handling First Amendment, constitutional rights, and media law cases. A pioneer in medical necessity defenses for marijuana users, such as Elvy Mussika, Norm has represented patients, growers, and buyer's clubs throughout Florida for over 30 years. As far back as 1982, he sued the State of Florida to stop the deadly herbicide paraquat from being sprayed on marijuana fields.
Norm has authored 'The Pot Warriors Manifesto', contributes marijuana advocacy columns to Counterpunch.org, and has lectured at multiple NORML legal seminars, conferences and other events on cannabis law issues. A member of the NORML Legal Committee for over twenty years, Norm is a cancer survivor who is an open and out medical marijuana user himself, crediting marijuana with ameliorating the harsh nature of chemotherapy treatments.
A noted advocate for gay rights who has appeared as a commentator on CNN and FOX News, Kent is also presently the publisher of The South Florida Gay News, the largest weekly LGBT newspaper in the State of Florida.(www.southfloridagaynews.com)
Mr. Kent serves on NORML's Board of Directors.
Matt Kumin is the co-founder of California Cannabis Voice, a PAC with a non-profit educational foundation attached to it, and is its Executive Director. He is a civil rights attorney, a member of the NORML legal committee and represents cannabis operations. Because California courts have consistently upheld the right of that State's cities and counties to use their zoning powers to prohibit medical cannabis operations, he has turned his focus to lobbying, political consulting and organizing to change these local zoning laws. California Cannabis Voice's Chapters in Humboldt and San Francisco spearheaded the passage of ground-breaking ordinances relating to cannabis, and those new laws, and the participatory approaches that the PAC encourages, are serving as templates for cities and counties across California as they consider their own approaches, policies and regulations for cannabis. Matt has offices in San Francisco and Humboldt County ad works throughout CA and the United States advising on political strategy and approaches to cannabis legalization and regulation.
Deborah Katz Levi received her law degree from the University of Utah, where she was a staff member of the Utah Law Review and a Leary Scholar. After law school, Ms. Levi clerked for the Honorable Judge Pamela Greenwood at the Utah Court of Appeals, and from there, she began her career as a public defender with the Salt Lake Legal Defenders, practicing in the appellate, misdemeanor, and felony trial divisions. In 2012, Ms. Levi relocated to Maryland to work with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender; she has been with the Baltimore City Felony Trial division since 2013. In addition to trying multiple felony cases to verdict, Ms. Levi has an aggressive motions practice, litigating access to internal affairs files and Fourth Amendment violations. Most recently, the Court of Special Appeals affirmed the trial court's grant of a motion to suppress in State v. Andrews, a case Ms. Levi litigated regarding warrantless cell phone tracking. The Andrews decision is reported to be the first published appellate decision precluding the use of a cell-site simulator without a warrant. Ms. Levi is also a graduate of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia and an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law. She was awarded Baltimore's best lawyer for 2016 by Baltimore city paper.
William H. "Billy" Murphy, Jr. has practiced law for 35 years, including three years as a judge on the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, the highest level Maryland trial court. Mr. Murphy has tried numerous high-profile criminal and civil cases, including some of the most celebrated cases in Maryland history and in the country. In 2004, Mr. Murphy received the Charles Hamilton Houston Award for Lifetime Achievement in Litigation from the University of Baltimore School of Law in "recognition of his career of excellence, innovation and achievement in courtroom advocacy."
Keith Stroup is a Washington, DC public-interest attorney who founded NORML in 1970. Stroup obtained his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Illinois in 1965, and in 1968 he graduated from Georgetown Law School in Washington, DC. Following two years as staff counsel for the National Commission on Product Safety, Mr. Stroup founded NORML and ran the organization through 1979, during which 11 states decriminalized minor marijuana offenses.
Stroup has also practiced criminal law, lobbied on Capitol Hill for family farmers and artists, and for several years served as executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).
In 1992 Stroup was the recipient of the Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform presented by the Drug Policy Foundation, Washington, DC. In 1994 Stroup resumed his work with NORML, rejoining the board of directors and serving again as Executive Director through 2004. He is currently serving as Legal Counsel with NORML.
Brian Vicente is a partner and founding member of Vicente Sederberg LLC. He served as the co-director of the Amendment 64 campaign and was one of the primary authors of this historic measure, which resulted in Colorado becoming the first state in the nation -- and the first geographic area in the world -- to make the possession, use, and regulated distribution of marijuana legal for adults. Vicente also serves as executive director of Sensible Colorado, the state's leading non-profit working for medical marijuana patients and providers. He was given the Gideon award for his free speech advocacy during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In 2010, Vicente was elected the first-ever chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association, the only trade association in the U.S. that works to advance the interests of marijuana-related businesses on the national level. Brian was the chair of the Committee for Responsible Regulation, which coordinated the successful 2013 campaign to implement statewide excise and sales taxes on the sale of adult-use marijuana in Colorado and was awarded the Justice Gerald Le Dain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law that same year. Brian has conducted over 1000 interviews in local, state and national press regarding marijuana policy, and in 2014 The Guardian (UK) dubbed him "the industry's de facto spokesman." Vicente's expertise in marijuana policy is highly sought after, and has led to him serving as a formal advisor to local, state, and federal governments--most recently he assisted with Uruguay becoming the first country in the world to fully-regulate the adult marijuana market. Brian serves on the board of directors for a number of state and national non-profit organizations including the SAFER Voter Education Fund and the Harm Reduction Action Center. Vicente graduated from the University of Denver Law School on a full merit scholarship where he clerked for outspoken social critic, Senior Federal Judge John L. Kane.
Dan Viets is an attorney in private practice in Columbia, MO, concentrating on the defense of marijuana cases. He has served for many years as the Missouri State Coordinator for NORML. He is a former president of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, former chair of the board of the Mid-Missouri ACLU, former president of the University of Missouri student body and former chair of the City of Columbia Human Rights Commission.
Mr. Viets was the recipient of the 1993 Martin Luther King Association's "Keeping the Dream Alive" award and the 1995 Mid-Missouri "Civil Libertarian of the Year." Dan was named High Times Freedom Fighter of the Month in March, 2005 for his work helping to pass both a marijuana decriminalization initiative and a medical marijuana initiative in the November, 2004 election in Columbia. He received the 2005 Atticus Finch Outstanding Criminal Defense Lawyer award from the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In January, 2006 he received the Trailblazer award from the Mid-Missouri NAACP. He received the "Audiencey Award" from Conan O'Brien on the Tonight Show for looking most like the college professor who could always get you weed.
Dan hosts a weekly radio program, called "Sex, Drugs and Civil Liberties", on a community station affiliated with National Public Radio. He is Chair of the Board of Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, the group which intends to place an initiative taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol on the November 2016 ballot in Missouri.
Lynne A. Williams is a solo practitioner at Williams Law Office in Bar Harbor, Maine. She is one of the leading authorities on medical cannabis law in Maine and, as General Counsel of Legalize Maine, she was one of three individuals who drafted the recreational cannabis legalization initiative that will be on the Maine ballot in November 2016. Ms. Williams frequently speaks on cannabis issues and in both 2015 and 2016 she was a panelist at the New England Cannabis Convention, speaking on women in the industry. She has also been a speaker at NORML legal conferences, and is a member of the NORML Legal Panel. Ms. Williams has also chaired a Maine Bar Association panel on cannabis law, presented at the Maine Association of Planners annual meeting, and written for the American Planning Association's magazine, Zoning Practice. She is currently working to form a group to support Maine women in the cannabis industry.
Ms. Williams currently represents medical marijuana professionals, including caregivers, doctors, patients, ancillary businesses and investors, as well those individuals and businesses who are putting together teams to seek cultivation, retail, social club, product producer and/or testing licenses if the Legalize Maine initiative passes in November 2016.
From 2008 to 2012, Ms. Williams was an adjunct faculty member at the College of the Atlantic, teaching seminars on Business Entities, the U.S. Supreme Court and Psychology and the Law. She has extensive litigation, administrative law and regulatory compliance experience, and has been a mediator for over 30 years. She lives in Bar Harbor, Maine and practices throughout the state.