Natalie Alane concentrates her practice on family law, Collaborative practice, and appellate law and is a trained mediator. Before co-founding Alane & Chartier, P.L.C., she served as a senior staff attorney to Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael F. Cavanagh and Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Stephen L. Borrello and worked as a staff attorney in the Michigan Court of Appeals Research Division. Ms. Alane has taught Scholarly Writing, Moot Court, and Advanced Legal Writing at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School and currently teaches Family Law as an adjunct professor.
Natalie is the Immediate Past President of the Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan and is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Ingham County Bar Association, and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Ms. Alane serves as a board member for the Resolution Services Center of Central Michigan and also sits on the Institute of Continuing Legal Education's Family Law Advisory Board. She is an in-demand presenter and writer for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education and the State Bar, having given over eighteen presentations over the past four years in all aspects of family law, including child custody, child and spousal support, division and valuation of assets, bankruptcy, and hot topic issues. She was named a Top Woman Lawyer by Michigan Lawyer's Weekly in 2011.
Natalie grew up in Florida, and while she misses the ocean and seafood, she loves the snow in Michigan. In her spare time, Natalie loves to hike and travel and is excited to say that she will finally "bag" her fiftieth state – Alaska – in the summer of 2014.
Daniel-Paul Alva is a criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a recognized expert in the Art of Cross Examination. Having practiced for over 37 years, and tried well over 3,000 cases, Mr. Alva is recognized as one of the "Dean's of The Bar" in Pennsylvania. Additionally, for the last 12 years he has been an adjunct professor at Temple University's Beasley School of Law teaching Trial Advocacy. Temple has been rated #1 nationally in Trial Advocacy for the last 9 years by U.S. News and World Report. Mr. Alva was elected by the members of the Philadelphia Bar Association in 2003 to a 3 year term on the Board of Governors and served in 2006 as the Chair of The Board. Finally, Mr. Alva was selected by the Honorable John F. Street, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, as a member of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (composed of all law enforcement chiefs, President Judges, Chief Defender, etc.) as the sole representative of the City's Private Bar.
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.
David Baugh, an attorney based in Richmond, VA, has been involved in several significant and high profile cases, including the trial of the terrorists in the 1998 bombing of the United States Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya; and capital cases in the District of Columbia and Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr. Baugh is a former president of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer and the Richmond Criminal Bar. He frequently lectures on such diverse topics as DNA, the First Amendment, the use of constitutional law as a criminal defense tactic and search and seizure. For his work defending, at the request of the ACLU, the Imperial Wizard of the Pennsylvania Ku Klux Klan, Mr. Baugh was named a Human Rights Hero by the American Bar Association.
Keith Belzer As a trial attorney and trial consultant, Keith Belzer is well known for bringing creative presentation ideas and storytelling techniques into the courtroom. He is also a nationally recognized lecturer and teacher on criminal defense issues, trial techniques and strategies. In addition to his position on the faculty at the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia, and the Wisconsin Trial Skills Academy, Keith has lectured or taught for over 50 criminal defense groups or conferences. He has given presentations for the Israeli National Public Defender, the Puerto Rican CJA panel and The People's Republic of China. Mr. Belzer is a frequent commentator on national, statewide and local legal issues and has appeared on such nationally syndicated shows as Good Morning America, The O'Reilly Factor and Geraldo at Large. In 2005, 2006 and 2007 Milwaukee Magazine named him as one of the top criminal defense lawyers in the State of Wisconsin. In 2006 the Wisconsin Law Journal named Mr. Belzer as one of 12 statewide Leaders in the Law. One of Mr. Belzer's cases, the retrial and exoneration of Evan Zimmerman, a man previously falsely convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a homicide that he did not commit, was the subject of a feature length documentary, Facing Life, the Retrial of Evan Zimmerman, which can be seen on the Arts and Entertainment Network and the Biography Channel.
Leland Berger practices from his home in Portland, Oregon. His practice emphasizes the representation of therapeutic cannabis patients and their caregivers statewide. He assisted in drafting the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, and has also worked on its implementation, including impact litigation. His practice includes non-cannabis related criminal defense state court trial work, along with a broad array of appellate work. He also occasionally assists in the pro bono representation of people arrested during protests. He is a frequent lecturer on legal issues relating the defense of medical cannabis patients, and has spoken on these issues at Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association CLEs, at a NACDL Annual Conference and at the NORML Legal Committee's Annual Conference. He serves on the Oregon Department of Human Services' Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee and on the Americans for Safe Access' Board of Legal Advisers.
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.
David Branfman has been practicing law in San Diego County for over thirty years. Mr. Branfman's practice focuses on intellectual property and entertainment law, including trademarks, domain names, copyrights, trade secrets, licensing, motion pictures & TV, and music. After a five-year association with the intellectual property law firm of Charmasson & Holz in San Diego, Mr. Branfman joined Gary Martin to form Martin & Branfman and in early 1994 formed Branfman & Associates to focus on intellectual property and entertainment matters. Branfman & Associates became Branfman Law Group, P.C. in 2008. Mr. Branfman graduated Cum Laude from Alfred University in New York and received his law degree from the University of San Diego in 1978. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the non-profit San Diego Music Foundation which sponsors the San Diego Music Thing and San Diego Music Awards. He was Chairman of the Board of the San Diego Film Commission from 1998 - January 2000 and was a member of the Board of Directors from 1998 - 2007. He was Legal Chair of the Pacific Southwest Chapter of the National Television Academy for approximately two decades and is a member of the State Bar of California's Intellectual Property Section. He is a regular speaker at Comic-Con and has lectured or spoken on entertainment, intellectual property and Internet Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and California Western School of Law. He is a member of the NORML Legal Committee and has been writing and speaking about the intersection between intellectual property law and cannabis since 2010. He has been selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer® in intellectual property five times since 2007 including most recently this year.
Hilary Bricken is an attorney with Canna Law Group (a practice group of Harris & Moure, PLLC in Seattle, Washington). Regarded as one of Washington State's premier cannabis business attorneys, she helps cannabis companies of all sizes with everything from corporate structure and intellectual property protection to branding, licensing, and applications of State cannabis laws. Her primary focus is helping cannabis companies navigate the increasingly confusing and murky legal climate surrounding State and local cannabis laws. She has represented clients struggling with a host of common problems in the industry, from business license denials, revocations, and injunctions to land-use disputes and moratoria on cannabis businesses. She has also been involved in 280e tax reform and routinely participates in national and community education panels to continue to inform industry participants about the current and changing cannabis laws in Washington State. Ms. Bricken currently sits the Boards of the Cannabis Business Group (CBG), a Washington State trade organization. Along with members of the CBG, Ms. Bricken has worked extensively with lobbyists and the Liquor Control Board (LCB) on I-502 implementation. Ms. Bricken holds a B.A. in Philosophy, English and Spanish from Jacksonville University and earned her J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law.
Paul Brunton has been practicing criminal law for over 30 years. He's a graduate of the University of Oklahoma (B.A.) and the University of Oklahoma (J.D.), and received his L.L.M. from the University of Arkansas. He has been the Chief Public Defender in Tulsa County, and also served in the Oklahoma legislature for 6 years. He is an active member of various bar associations, criminal defense lawyers associations, trial lawyers associations, and the American Inns of Court. He was in private practice from 1974 until July 2001 when he was appointed by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals as the Federal Public Defender for the Northern and Eastern Districts ofOklahoma.
William H. Buckman is a Certified Criminal Trial Attorney in the State of New Jersey where he was admitted to the Bar in 1978 and is also admitted to the bars of Pa., NY, VT and the US Supreme Court. Bill is in private practice in Moorestown, New Jersey, specializing in the areas of criminal defense and civil rights. Bill has been active in cases attacking racial profiling, the practice of law enforcement stopping and or detaining citizens based partially on their race or ethnic background. In this area Mr. Buckman has obtained rulings in numerous courts finding the existence of this unconstitutional practice. In particular he participated in one of the first cases in the nation to prove the existence of the practice. In State v. Soto, Bill joined with other attorneys to prove that the New Jersey State Police were wrongfully stopping and searching thousands of innocent minority citizens on the New Jersey Turnpike, one of the busiest highways in the nation. After Soto, Bill and his colleagues successfully established the fact that profiling was an unconstitutional policy practiced by the New Jersey State Police throughout the statefor two decades which set the stage for hundreds of victims of State Police bias to have their cases dismissed or their convictions vacated. Additionally, Bill was one of a successful team of ACLU attorneys who sued the New Jersey State Police for the ACLU on behalf of minority motorists who had been victimized by the practice of racial profiling. On a related note, Mr. Buckman presently represents numerous New Jersey State Police troopers who have suffered retaliation after speaking out about misconduct within the ranks of the State Police. Bill serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and is President Elect of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey. He is a former Vice President of the ACLU of N.J. where he still serves on the Board. Mr. Buckman is a past recipient of the 1992 Presidential Award for Furthering the Cause of Civil Rights, Southern Gloucester County Chapter of NAACP; 2001 Professional Lawyer of the Year Award from the Burlington County Bar Association and the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law; 2001 Mary Philbrook Award for Public Interest Work from Rutgers Law School - Camden Women's Law Caucus; as well as a recipient of the 2002, Justice Award, Black Ministers' Council of New Jersey and in 2005 Bill received the Roger Baldwin Civil Liberties Award from the ACLU of New Jersey. Bill has written and taught extensively for the benefit of criminal defense lawyers nationwide in areas such as attacking racial profiles, understanding law enforcement agencies, discovery techniques in criminal matters as well as cross examination techniques.
Mary Chartier is a partner at Alane & Chartier, P.L.C., a women-founded law firm located in downtown Lansing, Michigan, that Mary began with her law partner Natalie Alane. Mary's practice is focused on criminal defense, defending parents charged with abuse and neglect, and appellate work. Before starting the law firm, one of Mary's positions was working at the Michigan Supreme Court for Justice Michael F. Cavanagh. Mary is a member of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and the National College of DUI Defense. She is also the Appellate Unit Chairperson of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys, Co-Chairperson of the Ingham County Bar Association's Criminal Law Section, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Ingham County Bar Association. Mary has taught at Thomas M. Cooley Law School for over ten years, including teaching a medical marijuana class and an appellate class. She has presented at numerous conferences on topics related to criminal defense, including presenting at conferences organized by the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, Michigan Judges Association, and the Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Mary has also taught at the highly regarded Hillman Advocacy Program, which provides courtroom training to trial lawyers and is sponsored by the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
Cary Citronberg is an associate at the Law Offices of John Kenneth Zwerling. He graduated from Northwestern University in 2006 with a B.A. in Applied Mathematics, and earned his law degree, with honors, from Georgetown University in 2010. He joined the firm as a law clerk during his first year of law school, and became an associate upon his admission to the Virginia Bar.
He is an experienced trial attorney, and has represented individuals in a wide array of federal and state criminal proceedings. In addition to his trial experience, Mr. Citronberg has represented individuals in various post–conviction proceedings, including direct appeals, petitions for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, and writs of habeas corpus.
Among his most recent victories was a tri-partite success in a marijuana distribution case in state court this past year. After a Virginia jury had convicted a 60 year old man, and sentenced him to serve 35 years, Cary convinced the Court to vacate the conviction and order a new trial based on a failure to strike a juror for cause. Prior to the new trial, all of the weapons and drugs found that had been admitted at the first trial (over objection) were suppressed. Finally, the prosecution's appeal of the suppression motion was defeated on procedural grounds in the Virginia Court of Appeals. The Commonwealth of Virginia ultimately Nolle Prosequied all charges, which included distribution of marijuana, manufacturing marijuana, distribution of marijuana while possessing a firearm, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
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.
Rick Collins [www.rickcollins.com] is a principal in the law firm of Collins, McDonald & Gann, P.C. [www.cmgesq.com], with offices on Long Island and in downtown New York City. He is nationally recognized as a legal authority on anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing substances, and has testified in federal court as an expert witness on the subject. He is the legal advisor to professional bodybuilding as an organization (IFBB) and to the International Society of Sports Nutrition. He has degrees in psychology and law, and is a nationally Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS). His practice and career have been profiled in diverse periodicals, and he has been interviewed as a legal expert on national television talk and news shows, in talk radio interviews, and the Washington Post, and in the documentary film, "Bigger, Stronger, Faster*" (2008). He received his undergraduate degree from Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, and his law degree from Hofstra School of Law, where he attended on a full academic scholarship and served on the Law Review. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1985 and served as an assistant district attorney for five years. He is also admitted to practice in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, the District of Columbia, and various federal courts.
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.Jerry J. Cox is a sole practitioner and has been practicing criminal defense law for over 40 years. He has served on the faculty of DPA's Trial Practice Institute. He is a member of the American and Kentucky Bar Associations and has served on the KBA's Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee (1993-2007), Criminal Rules Committee (1995-2007), Legislative Committee (1999-2005), Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force (2003) and as Chair of the Criminal Law Section (1994). He is a member of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; received the Presidential Award in 1995 and served as President in 1997. He is a life member of NACDL and is currently serving as the organization's 55th President. He served on the Board of Directors from 2000 - 2006. He also previously served as Chairman of the NACDL Audit Committee and was a member of the Investment Committee and Long Range Planning Committee. He also served on the Kentucky Criminal Justice Council's Drug Strategy Committee (1999), Kentucky Bar Foundation (Board, 1995-2004; President, 2002-2003); Foundation for Criminal Justice (Trustee, 2009-) and Public Advocacy Commission since 1999 (Chairman since 2010). Jerry Cox is certified as a Criminal Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. In 2004, he served on the NBTA Board of Examiners. In 2002, he was awarded DPA's Nelson Mandela Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to criminal defense. In 2004, he received the President's Special Service Award from the Kentucky Bar Association. Cox has written and lectured extensively on criminal law issues.
Anne M. Davis, Esq. is the Executive Director of NORML New Jersey (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws); is a member of the National NORML Legal Committee, a founding member of the NORML Women’s Alliance. She has taught several semesters as an Adjunct Professor for Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Paralegal Program.
Anne has ten years of litigation experience. Immediately upon graduating from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2000, she served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Thomas E. O’Brien, P.J.S.C., in both the Civil and Family Law Divisions. She then spent a year working with the fierce and respected trial attorney, Michael Wilbert, formerly of Wilbert, Montenegro & Thompson who taught her the art of conducting jury trials.
Since 2002, she has managed her own law firm and helped hundreds of clients with a variety of backgrounds and problems. Though the majority of her practice is specialized in family law, she has litigation and trial experience in areas of civil law, personal injury, real estate, and business law. For the past three years she has dedicated her time and talent to NORML, speaking out on behalf of women and mothers to end prohibition.
Denis DeVlaming was educated at the Ohio State University where he received a B.A. in Psychology (1969). He graduated from Stetson University College of Law in 1972 with a Juris doctor degree. He accepted an appointment as a Florida Assistant State Attorney where he prosecuted in the Sixth Judicial Circuit from 1972 through 1975. Thereafter, he started his own law practice and has specialized in criminal defense ever since.
Mr. deVlaming is the past president of the Pinellas County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (1987), the Pinellas County Trial Lawyers Association (1991) and the Clearwater Bar Association (1994-1995). He also served as Chairman of the Criminal Law Section of the Clearwater Bar. He was elected statewide President of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2002-2003) and is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In 2001 he was named senior counsel in The College of Master Advocates And Barristers and in 2010 he was inducted in to the American College of Trial Lawyers. He currently serves as president of First Step, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to helping needy men and women who are on probation.
He is Board Certified in criminal law (1988-present) and has been approved by the Florida Bar to give Continuing Legal Education seminars on every aspect of the criminal trial. For over twenty years he has been asked to lecture at the Board Certification Seminar for criminal trial law. He has authored numerous articles touching upon matters involving criminal law in both state-wide and national periodicals. Mr. deVlaming is an adjunct professor at Stetson College of Law in St. Petersburg, Florida teaching "Advanced Criminal Trial Advocacy" and is a past adjunct professor at the University of South Florida. He has also been a guest lecturer for the St. Petersburg College and the "Peoples Law School" in Pinellas County and been asked to speak at the statewide Florida Judicial Conference on criminal law (Circuit and County), the Florida Public Defender's Association (trial tactics), the Gerald T. Bennett prosecutor/public defender trial training program at the University of Florida, the National College of DUI defense held at Harvard law school and "Masters of DUI" held in Miami, Florida (2006). He has also travelled around the state giving a three hour interactive ethics seminar to the combined offices of the state attorney and public defender. And has coordinated, produced, directed and acted in several mock trials for cable television.
Mr. deVlaming has been inducted into "Who's Who In American Law" (1989-present) and has been included in the book "Best Lawyers In America" (Naifeh and Smith, 1995-present). He was selected as one of the best criminal defense lawyers in Florida by the Florida Trend magazine (July 2004-6), Florida Monthly magazine (Sept. 2003), the Tampa Bay magazine (1997), the Tampa Metro magazine (2003-4) and Florida Super Lawyers magazine (2006-present). The Tampa edition of the Business Review newspaper included him as one of the Gulf Coast's most influential lawyers (Oct. 2003). The national rating service of attorneys (Martindale-Hubbell) has given him an "A" rating since 1987. He is also listed in that publication's "Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers". His peers have presented him with awards for professionalism and excellence in the field of criminal law by awarding him "The Barney" award (Inns of Court, 1997), "The Hindman" award (Pinellas County Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1998), "The Richard T. Earle" award (voted on by all Pinellas County Florida judges, 1998),"The William Reece Smith"award for professionalism(Stetson College of Law, 2008) and the "Jack Edmund" award (The Herbert G. Goldburg Inn of Court, Tpa. 2011).
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 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.
Mark Edwards began his legal career as a public defender. After serving for eight years in that position in both Florida and North Carolina, he entered private practice in Durham, North Carolina, where for the past 15 years he has represented individuals charged in both state and federal courts with white collar, blue collar, and "no collar" crimes. Board certified by the NC Bar as a specialist in federal and state criminal law, his practice consists primarily of trial and post-conviction work. From November 21, 2000 to January 10, 2003, he represented three men on North Carolina's death row. All three came within hours of execution. These men are alive today as a result of Mr. Edwards' relentless efforts that helped convince the Governor to grant two men clemency, while the third saw his sentence vacated by the state court. Mr. Edwards has appeared numerous times as a guest commentator on CourtTV, MSNBC, ABC News, and local television affiliates.
Alan Ellis, past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Fulbright Award recipient, is a nationally recognized authority in sentencing, prison matters, and post-conviction remedies with offices in San Francisco and New York. He is co-author of the Federal Prison Guidebook, the Federal Sentencing Guidebook, the Federal Post Conviction Guidebook and a Contributing Editor to the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice magazine for whom he writes a quarterly column on Federal Sentencing. Mr. Ellis has been described as "one of this country's pre-eminent criminal defense lawyers" by Federal Lawyer magazine. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a published decision, identified him as a "nationally recognized expert in federal criminal sentencing." He is a sought-after lecturer in criminal law education programs and is widely published in the areas of federal sentencing, Bureau of Prisons matters, appeals and other post-conviction remedies, with more than 150 articles and books and 85 lectures, presentations and speaking engagements to his credit. He was a Visiting Professor of Law, by way of a Fulbright award from the U.S. State Department, to conduct lecturers at Shanghai, China Jiaotong University School of Law on the protections afforded criminal defendants in America.
Omar Figueroa is a young lawyer in San Francisco who specializes in defending medical marijuana, cannabis cultivation, and cybercrime cases. Trained by legendary radical trial lawyer J. Tony Serra, Omar has defended cannabis cases in more than thirty California counties and has gotten dozens of cases and scores of felony charges dismissed since he started practicing law in 1998. He recently represented marijuana cultivation expert and author Ed Rosenthal in San Francisco federal court, and helped get tax and money laundering charges dismissed for vindictive prosecution. Omar's pro bono clients include political activists, protesters, treesitters, and medical cannabis patients, including cannabis minister Rev. Eddy Lepp, accused copkiller Bear Lincoln, notorious superhacker Kevin Mitnick, Native American Church elder and peyote shaman Skyhorse Durant, patriotic hacker The Deceptive Duo, and computer security researcher Eric McCarty. Omar is a graduate of Yale University (where he infiltrated a secret society), Stanford Law School (where he was voted "Most Likely to Fail Senate Confirmation Hearing"), and the Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming (where he was knighted by Gerry Spence).
Vincent J. Flynn has been a criminal defense attorney in Miami since 1972. Started with the Dade County Public Defender Office under Phil Hubbart. In private practice since 1978. Has tried hundreds of federal and state cases. Has lost more than he has won.
Gordon S. Friedman has been practicing criminal law in Cleveland, Ohio for more than 30 years in both state and federal courts. A graduate of Miami University and The George Washington University Law School, Friedman initially worked as a public defender and then as an associate professor of law at Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Since 1976, he has been in private practice in the firm of Friedman & Gilbert, specializing in criminal and civil rights litigation in state and federal courts. His practice ranges from state capital murder defense to federal white collar crime. He teaches as an adjunct professor at Cleveland-Marshall. Friedman has been heavily involved nationally in lecturing on topics as diverse as jury selection in criminal cases to Section 1983 litigation for plaintiffs. Friedman presently serves on the Cuyahoga County Public Defender Commission and is a Trustee of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.
William Garvin is a shareholder in the Food and Drug Administration & Pharmaceuticals section of the firm Buchanan, Ingersoll, and Rooney PC. William assists his clients in their interactions with various federal agencies including: Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Health and Human Services (HHS). William's work includes challenging administrative agency actions through correspondence, citizen petitions, and litigation. He has extensive experience in assisting companies with complying and contesting administrative agency actions and regulations at both the federal and state level. He has worked with helping several cannabis companies understand how to bring their products to market in the current regulatory environment as well as how to obtain FDA and DEA approval for research into cannabis-related drug products. He is currently a Member of the Cannabis Committee for the American Herbal Products Association, Member of the Drugs and Biologics Committee for the Food and Drug Law Institute, FDA Liaison for the American Intellectual Property Law Association's FDA Committee, and member of the Legal Advisory Council for the Natural Products Foundation.
Rachel K. Gillette is an attorney based in the Denver-Boulder area of Colorado and she currently serves as the Executive Director of Colorado NORML. A major part of Rachel's practice is focused on advocating on behalf of medical marijuana patients and caregivers, marijuana consumers, as well as the representation of state and locally licensed medical and recreational marijuana businesses and their employees throughout Colorado. Since founding her solo practice in 2010, Rachel has assisted numerous marijuana businesses throughout the complicated local and state business licensing process. Rachel also represents taxpayers before the Collections, Appeals, and Examination divisions of the Internal Revenue Service, including marijuana business taxpayers facing tremendous tax challenges due to the IRS's application of 280E, and those marijuana businesses under state, local, or federal tax audit. Rachel is highly involved in the political discussion surrounding the development of Colorado's new regulatory model of cannabis legalization under Amendment 64, passed by 55% of Colorado voters in 2012. She is committed to ending the prohibition of cannabis at the national level and ensuring state licensed and legal marijuana businesses are fairly taxed at both the state and federal level.
Peter Goldberger is the founder and principal of a three-lawyer firm, located near Philadelphia, which for more than 20 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 nearly 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. He also co-chairs NACDL's Committee on Rules of Procedure and serves as a vice-chair of its Amicus Committee. In that connection he supervises at least one Supreme Court amicus brief each year, and more in the Circuits, usually on sentencing issues. He is also a Board member of the Pennsylvania state and Philadelphia regional ACLU affiliates, and of the Pennsylvania Ass'n of Criminal Defense Lawyers. A founding member of the Board of Governors of the Third Circuit Bar Association, Peter was elected in 2007 to the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.
Peter has been named repeatedly as one of Pennsylvania's "SuperLawyers" by Philadelphia Magazine, and has been listed for more than a decade 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.
After graduating from Yale Law School (1975), Goldberger served as law clerk to then-U.S. District Judge (later Chief Circuit Judge) Edward R. Becker (deceased, 2006). Following his clerkship, Peter served two years as an Assistant Federal Public Defender. Goldberger is a former 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. He has presented many well-received CLE programs, and is the co-author of a two-volume Practice Guide for Federal Appellate Procedure in the Third Circuit (1997, out of print). More recently, Peter co-authored a 100-page chapter on criminal appeals in the Third Circuit Appellate Practice Manual (Penna. Bar Inst. 2007, revised 2010), and is a contributing author for Collier on Bankruptcy, responsible for the chapter on Fifth Amendment privilege and immunity. He has also designed and occasionally teaches a course on Law and Morality at Haverford College, his undergraduate alma mater. The father of three daughters, Peter lives in Ardmore, Pa., with his wife of 34+ 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.
Carmen Hernandez is a criminal defense attorney in Washington, DC and is a nationally recognized expert on the federal sentencing guidelines. Throughout her career she has handled a full range of federal criminal cases ranging from drug trafficking to fraud offenses to bank robberies. She has taught as an adjunct professor at the Maryland School of Law and the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University. She co-chairs the Federal Sentencing Committee of NACDL, is a member of NACDL's board of directors, and has received its most prestigious award, the Robert C. Heeney Award.
Alison Holcomb is Director of the ACLU's Campaign for Smart Justice. Previously, she worked for the ACLU of Washington State where she drafted marijuana legalization Initiative 502 and served as campaign director for New Approach Washington, the committee that secured I-502's passage. Prior to the I-502 campaign, Alison's work included successfully advocating for legislative and regulatory improvements to Washington's medical marijuana law, adoption of Washington's 911 Good Samaritan overdose prevention law, and creation of Seattle and King County's groundbreaking Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program that has reframed police thinking about drug use, prostitution, and public safety.
Prior to joining the ACLU, Alison represented individuals in criminal defense, civil asset forfeiture, and civil rights cases in local, state, and federal courts for more than a decade. She received her B.A. from Stanford University and her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law.
Tova Indritz is a criminal defense lawyer in private practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her practice consists of federal and state criminal trials, appeals, and post-conviction petitions around the country, and she has some practice in Indian tribal courts as well. The 1993 winner of the Driscoll Award, the highest honor of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the 1990 Albuquerque Bar Association Outstanding Lawyer of the Year award, she is currently on the board of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, and the New Mexico Innocence and Justice Project. New Mexico's Best Lawyers named her the best white collar criminal defense lawyer in the state for 2011. For several years now she has been listed as one of the best lawyers for both white-collar and non-white collar criminal defense in New Mexico.
She graduated from Yale Law School, earned a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from The George Washington University. She has special interests in Native American criminal law and in the confluence of criminal law and immigration law and the issues a criminal defense lawyer must consider in representing a non-U.S. citizen; she has spoken around the country about the immigration consequences of criminal convictions and authored a book chapter on that topic, published in the book Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense (Juris Publishing, fourth edition to be published in 2014, third edition 2010, second edition 2007, first published in 2000).
She represented the three amicus curiae, New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, New Mexico Civil Liberties Foundation (litigation arm of the ACLU of New Mexico), and National Immigration Project, in briefing and argument in State v. Paredez, 136 N.M. 533, 101 P.3d 799 (2004), cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Padilla v. Kentucky, which held that the Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel included the obligation to determine if a client is a U.S. citizen and to inform a non-citizen client of the specific immigration consequences of criminal charges. She is the chair of the Immigration Committee and co-chair of the Native American Justice Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She was an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the District of New Mexico for 5 years and then the Federal Public Defender for the District of New Mexico for another 13 years, until beginning private practice in 1995.
Rick Jones is the executive director and a founding member of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. He is a distinguished trial lawyer with more than 25 years' experience in complex multi-forum litigation. Rick is a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School and on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, GA. He currently serves as Second Vice President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). He has previously served NACDL as secretary, two-term member of the board of directors, parliamentarian, co-chair of both the Indigent Defense Committee and the Special Task Force on Problem-Solving Courts and is currently co-chair of the Task Force on Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction. He received the 2014 Champion of Justice Award at the National Constitution Center during the NACDL annual meeting in Philadelphia. Rick is a member of the inaugural steering committee of the National Association for Public Defense (NAPD), sits on the boards of the NY State Defenders Association (NYSDA) and the Sirius Foundation, and serves on the Editorial Board of the Amsterdam News.
Elizabeth Kelley has a special commitment to representing people with intellectual disabilities (such as mental retardation and autism spectrum disorders) and mental illness (such as bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder). She has also worked on several cases of wrongful conviction, including ones where her clients were successfully exonerated. Elizabeth has hosted the award-winning weekly radio show, "Celebrity Court," for over two years. Celebrity Court counts down the top celebrity legal stories of the week and provides in-depth interviews that Elizabeth conducts with A-list guests from throughout the country.
Elizabeth is in her second term as a board member for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). She has served on numerous committees, is a Life Member, and chairs both the Mental Health Committee and the Corrections Committee. In 2009, she traveled as part of an NACDL - United Nations sponsored delegation to Liberia in order to train Liberian attorneys about courtroom strategies and techniques. A Life Member of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Elizabeth has been recognized as one of Ohio's Super Lawyers, a member of numerous bar associations, and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.
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.
Jack King is a writer and legal media and communications professional in Alexandria, Virginia. A former criminal defense lawyer who still pays his bar dues, he has written for numerous publications and is a former senior legal editor and journalist for American Lawyer Media Group and Bloomberg BNA, where he co-authored the BNA Criminal Practice Manual and was a recipient of two Newspaper Guild awards. He is also a former director of public affairs for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) in Washington, D.C. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Komie is the principal of Komie and Associates in Chicago specializing in federal and state trial and appellate practice since 1976; admitted to U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Circuits; U.S. District Court for Central, Northern, and Southern Illinois, the Northern District of Indiana, the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, Eastern District of Missouri, and Eastern District of Wisconsin; U.S. Tax Court; and the Illinois Supreme Court; Faculty: Illinois State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Seminars and local Bar sponsored programs; Panel attorney, Federal Defender Program, Northern District of Illinois.
Member NORML Legal Committee. Member Illinois State Bar Association, 1973. Elected Secretary 1996-1997; elected Board of Governors 1992-2005, 2011-2017; elected member of the Assembly 1985-2014; served as chairman of Committee on Credentials, and member of By-Laws Committee, of the Assembly; member of the following committees: Mandatory Continuing Legal Education, A.R.D.C. Committee; Chairman, Criminal Justice Section, Chairman, Committee on Professionalism; and Committee on Traffic Courts and the Law; appearances on legislative issues for ISBA at the General Assembly and United States Congress; former member ISBA Young Lawyers Section, and participant in annual local Outreach Meetings sponsored by Young Lawyers Section. Director, Illinois Bar Foundation, Chicago Bar Association liaison to ABA Criminal Justice Section; past chairperson of Criminal Law, and Defense of Prisoners Committees of the CBA; Delegate: CBA Conference on Cuban Law, 2010; Member American Bar Association, 1976, Elected Member of the ABA Criminal Justice Section Council, served on the Defense Function Committee of the Criminal Justice Section, and as Chair of the Small Firm and Solo Practitioner Committee, 1993- 1995; founding member Illinois Attorney's for Criminal Justice: member Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; served on the Board of Directors and as the Parliamentarian of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; member NACDL CFAA Reform White Collar Crime Subcommittee 2014; member Chicago Lincoln American Inn of Court and International Bar Association; and Chairperson Family Law Section International Bar Association 2005-2007.
American Trial Lawyers Association National Public Service Award for Pro Bono Legal Representation of the Needle Exchange Program to Prevent the Spread of AIDS, July, 1994; ISBA Board of Governors Award for Advocating Individual Rights of Lawyers in Disciplinary Proceedings and for Services to the Bar, June, 1991; ISBA Certificate of Appreciation, 1986, 1990, 1991, 2001 and 2006; CBA Certificate of Appreciation, 1984 and 1987; Francis W. Parker School Alumni Service Award 2012; 2012 ATLA Top 100 Trial Lawyers Award; 2013 National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Award; Martindale Hubbell "AV" rating; voted a Super Lawyer 2004-2015; and voted an Illinois Leading Lawyer 2014.
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.
Ira Kurzban is a partner in the law firm of Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzeli and Pratt, P.A., of Miami, Florida.Ira Kurzban, has argued several cases in the United States Supreme Court and has been recognized by Newsweek, Time and Esquire Magazines, as well as the National Law Journal and the American Lawyer for his work on behalf of immigrants and refugees. He is the author of Kurzban's Immigration Law Sourcebook, the most widely used one-volume immigration source in the United States.
Brian Leininger is a sole practitioner in Leawood, KS and defends persons accused of DUI, driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), and DUI-related batteries and homicides. He was formerly General Counsel to the Kansas Highway Patrol and a state and municipal prosecutor. He is certified in the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and is a trained operator of the Intoxilyzer. Brian is one of the few lawyers in the world to have completed the full police training as a Drug Recognition Expert, which is the training used to detect DUID drivers. Brian is a member of the NORML Legal Committee , the National College for DUI Defense, and the National, Kansas and Missouri Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers. As a former prosecutor, he is also a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).
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.
Philip M. Levin has been practicing U.S. Immigration and Nationality law for over twenty years. From May 1985 to December 1990, Mr. Levin served as an Associate at Lawler and Lawler, where he specialized in family and business immigration and litigated cases on behalf of clients before the U.S. Federal District Court in San Francisco, California. Since 1990, Mr. Levin has been a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law by the State Bar of California.
Ruth M. Liebesman is an attorney who has been practicing in the federal and state courts of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts since 1986. She is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States , the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third and Ninth Circuits, the United States District Courts for the District of Massachusetts, the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York, and the District of New Jersey, as well as the State Courts of New York and New Jersey, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
A Solo practitioner since 1989, Ruth M. Liebesman has conducted the defense of criminal trials in the state and federal courts, including the four and a half (4½) month racketeering trial of United States v. Melendez. She conducted competency hearings in United States v. Gambino, and defendant various Federal racketeering, murder, drugs, Hobbs Act robbery, gun running, fraud, tax fraud, bank fraud, and other cases in United States District Courts of New York and New Jersey, as well as drug, robbery and murder trials in the state courts of New York and New Jersey.
She has also handled numerous federal appeals and habeas corpus proceedings before the Federal District Courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Third Circuits and Ninth Circuits, as well as employment discrimination & civil rights matters before the Federal Courts. She has been a guest commentator/analyst on Court TV; News Talk Television and CNBC, where she discussed the OJ Simpson trial on numerous occasions, the Jayson Williams murder trial, and debated various issues, including Habeas Corpus Reform, Asset Forfeiture, Medical Marijuana and other issues.
Ms. Liebesman is a cum laude graduate of Suffolk University Law School, in Boston, Massachusetts, May 1986, where she was the senior staff writer on the Law Review and authored three published articles. She received her B.A. cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, in May 1981, after completing her remaining degree requirements at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, from June to August, 1980. She is a graduate of Westfield Senior High School, Westfield, New Jersey in 1976.
In addition to her work as an attorney, Ruth M. Liebesman is a published professional sports (boxing) photographer. She was the Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New England frisbee freestyle champion from 1980 through 1984. She is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL); the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL); the New York Criminal Bar Association (NYCBA); the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)and the NORML Legal Committee. She is also the President of Empire State NORML and a member of Mensa.
Thomas Loeb has been licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan since 1976. He worked at the Defender's Office in Detroit, trying felony cases, and thereafter became an associate in a law firm. He has been a sole practitioner since 1982, and a member of NORML's Legal Committee since the late 1970s. His current areas of concentration include criminal defense, plaintiff's federal civil rights litigation, professional responsibility and grievance defense, and family law and divorce. Mr. Loeb is a member of the Criminal Law and Family Law Sections of the State Bar of Michigan, the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, and of course NORML's Legal Committee. He has lectured extensively to both lawyers and police officers for such groups as Michigan's Institute For Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), Michigan Trial Lawyers Association(MTLA), and the Macomb County Criminal Justice Training Center, on issues concerning police misconduct lawsuits, trial practice, criminal procedure, and 42 USC §1983. He has handled over 100 §1983 cases in federal court, and most recently obtained a $2.5 Million judgment on behalf of two women who were falsely arrested, maliciously prosecuted, and denied a fair trial (Brady violation) by detectives in the Detroit Police Department's Armed Robbery Unit.
NLC member Mark Mahoney, with the firm of Harrington & Mahoney in Buffalo, NY, is a past president of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and currently a NACDL Board Member. He has always been a criminal defense lawyer, handling trials and appeals and post-conviction matters. He is a recipient of the "Outstanding Practitioner" award from both the Criminal Justice Section of the New York State Bar Association and the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Among his several publications is the monograph "The Right to Present a Defense" which had been widely circulated within the defense bar, and updated continuously, since 1980. This November marks the 40th Anniversary of the "Notre Dame Ten," of which Mark was a member - the only students ever suspended from the University of Notre Dame for political protesting. He has been on the defense of a wide variety of political/criminal cases, including those involving various anti-war and anti-armament protests, the "Attica trials," artistic freedom protests, and the defense of Critical Mass participants. More recently his client was the only defendant acquitted in USA v. Rigas, et al., the 6-month long "Adelphia" multi-billion-dollar corporate fraud trial, in New York City, in 2004.
Allison Margolin is a partner at Margolin & Lawrence in Beverly Hills, where she practices criminal defense and civil litigation, in both state and federal court. She writes regularly about the law, including the drug war, search and seizure law, and has appeared as an expert on television regarding internet privacy law and medical marijuana. She has written articles for The Los Angeles Times online, Hustler magazine, the Daily Journal, the Los Angeles Bar Journal, Anderson Cooper 360, and the Daily News. In 2008, she also worked as an Adjunct Professor of Law at West Los Angeles Law School. In 2004, Allison worked as a legal consultant on the reality jury show "Second Verdict". She has been featured on the cover of California Lawyer Magazine, the front page of the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily Journal. In addition, during her spare time she lectures on current legal issues across California. Among those for who she has given lectures include: The Beverly Hills Bar Association, CEB: Continuing Education of the Bar, Torrance Public Defenders' Office, San Fernando Public Defenders' Office, amongst others. She has been quoted in magazines ranging from the Los Angeles Daily News, the Los Angeles Times West to the New Yorker to US Weekly. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and earned her B.A. at Columbia University with a degree in Political Science and a Certificate in Writing. She has been been admitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the US Supreme Court, and admitted pro hac vice to federal courts in Florida and Nevada.
E. X. Martin is both a trial and appellate lawyer. He has been a speaker at criminal defense lawyer and other legal seminars in over forty (40) states lecturing about technologies and software programs that work for criminal defense attorneys. His topics include the computerized trial notebook, defending computer crime cases, preparing and presenting computer generated evidence, and most recently "iPhone For The Defense.
Jeralyn E. Merritt is a Denver attorney in private practice primarily representing persons accused of serious federal drug and financial crimes. She served as one of the principal trial lawyers for Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City Bombing Case. She has been a television legal analyst since 1996, most frequently appearing on Fox News, MSNBC, and CNBC. An expert in using Internet resources in the practice of law, she has created two nationally recognized websites, Crimelynx.com and Talkleft.com, for criminal defense lawyers and journalists covering crime-based news and politics.
David Michael is a practicing criminal defense trial lawyer in San Francisco, CA., formerly a partner with Serra, Lichter, Daar, Bustamante, and Michael. He specializes in medical cannabis cases as well as state and federal forfeiture litigation. He is also a long standing member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) , a member of their Forfeiture Task Force and a NORML Legal Committee (NLC) member. He has lectured for both those organizations. He successfully litigated many federal forfeiture cases in a number of federal circuits throughout the country and was counsel before the United States Supreme Court on the last forfeiture case decided by that Court in United States v. $405,089.23 U.S. Currency et al. He has appeared on numerous talk shows and national news discussions on that subject.
For many years, Mr. Michael has represented numerous high profile defendants in federal medical cannabis prosecutions, including B.E. Smith and Todd McCormick, as well as appearing before various federal courts of appeal on the constitutional and statutory issues raised. He was also co-counsel for Angel Raich and Diane Monson before the United States Supreme Court in Raich v. Gonsolez, addressing the issue of whether the federal government had the power to regulate or punish state medical cannabis activities. He has lectured and advised many clients on the relationship between federal law and state medical cannabis law.
David Michael has also represented other clients in various high-publicity cases, including Charles Harrelson, the father of actor Woody Harrelson, who had been convicted some 20 years ago for the killing of a federal district court judge and was seeking a new trial and a reversal of his conviction.
Kyndra S. Miller obtained her undergraduate degree from UC San Diego in 1994 and her law degree from the Lincoln School of Law in 2002. She worked as a volunteer lawyer for Americorps before opening her own law firm specializing in entertainment law in Los Angeles. Today she is part of the Pier 5 group of lawyers in San Francisco, providing business, corporate and civil litigation services to medical marijuana patients in CA. She is dedicating her time, energy and spiritual resources to educating the public about the dangers of prohibition and the benefits of marijuana and industrial hemp. Miller is the West Coast coordinator of the NORML Women's Alliance.
Marvin Miller has been defending criminal cases for more than 25 years, including drug defendants, political radicals and government officials. Based in Alexandria, VA, Marvin has represented clients from Maine to Florida, including an alleged ringleader in the Attica prison riot and Joan Little, an African-American woman charged with killing a white jail guard in rural North Carolina.
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."
William G. Panzer of Oakland, CA has been practicing criminal law in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area for seventeen years, specializing in cannabis cases. Mr. Panzer was co-author of California's Prop. 215, "The Compassionate Use Act of 1996," and has represented patients, growers, and medical cannabis dispensaries throughout California in state and federal court, at both the trial and appellate levels. He was the 2002 recipient of the NORML Legal Committee's Al Horn Award, and has been recognized by High Times Magazine as their "Freedom Fighter of the Month."
Randy Sue Pollock, a trial attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area, has handled cases ranging from thefts to espionage. She started as a Public Defender in Stockton, CA from 1975-1979 and then became a Deputy Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles, CA from 1979-1985. She has had her sole criminal defense practice focusing on federal and state offenses since 1989, with an emphasis on marijuana cases as well as white collar offenses in federal court. In 2011 she was the only attorney to secure a Not Guilty verdict in a seven defendant RICO case involving the MS13 in a five month federal jury trial in San Francisco. As a result of that acquittal, she was named one of the Attorneys of the Year by the Recorder Newspaper. She has been AV rated since 2001; a Super Lawyer since 2012 and a member of the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers. She was on the Board of Governors for California Attorneys for Justice for over 15 years and organized all of their continuing legal education seminars. Ms. Pollock is active in federal court and bar activities as a member of the United States Northern District Rules and Practice Committee; the Women Attorney's Advocacy Project Group for U.S. District Court and the Executive Committee of the San Francisco Bar Association Criminal Justice Committee. She was named one of the Best Statewide Attorneys of the Year 2011 by the Recorder Journal.
William Rittenberg of New Orleans, LA, is a well known civil rights lawyer who has successfully defeated every attempt to restrict a woman's right to an abortion in Louisiana for 30 years. He has also won cases declaring drug testing statutes to be unconstitutional, and protecting the rights of children, minorities, street musicians, marijuana farmers, message parlors, paraphernalia dealers, political groups, school teachers and even a few middle-aged white men. Mr. Rittenberg is a past president of the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Dennis Roberts - Upon graduating from the University of California School of Law at Berkeley in 1964, Dennis Roberts worked with the Law Students Civil Rights Research Council (LSCRRC), an organization of which he was a founding member, and for C. B. King, Esq., a prominent black civil rights attorney in Albany, Georgia, representing members of the Student Non-Violent Coordination Committee (SNCC), Southern Conference Education Fund (SCEF), along with various local civil rights activists and movement groups. In 1966 Roberts became the first staff attorney and administrator of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City. In 1969, he was awarded a Reginald Heber Smith Fellowship and spent a year with the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County working with black and Chicano community groups on police misconduct issues. In 1973 Roberts opened his own law office in Oakland, where he practices today. Roberts is a past President of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (1980-1981); serves on the Board of Governors of the Center for Constitutional Rights; and served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for 12 years. He is listed in the California Criminal Law section of "The Best Lawyers in America.”
Marjorie P. Russell is a professor of law at Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mi, where she is the chair of the litigation skills department. She is a criminal defense lawyer and trial consultant, specializing in working with lawyers and clients using psychodramatic methods to develop testimony and the story of the case. Professor Russell serves on the faculty of the Trial Lawyers College, based in DuBois, WY, and is the director of training for skills instruction for the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, where she also serves on the Board of Directors.
Kent Schaffer is a nationally known criminal defense lawyer and a partner in the Houston, Texas firm of Bires Schaffer & DeBorde. He is a frequent lecturer and has authored numerous articles dealing with the trial of a criminal case. Mr. Schaffer specializes in the trial of complex Federal cases and has tried cases in ten states throughout the United States. He is a member of the bar of the State of Texas and the District of Columbia. A graduate of the University of Houston Bates College of Law, Schaffer is a past president of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.
Laurie Shanks is a Clinical Professor at Albany Law School where she teaches Client Interviewing and Counseling, Fact Investigation, Negotiations and Trial Practice courses. She is a past member of the Board of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and a faculty member at the National Criminal Defense College and the New York Defender Institute. She lectures frequently at conferences throughout the country on various aspects of trial preparation and tactics. Prior to moving to New York, she was the training director of the Maricopa County Public Defender's Office. Her article, "Evaluating Children's Competency to Testify: Developing a Rational Method to Assess a Young Child's Capacity to Offer Reliable Testimony in Cases Involving Child Sex Abuse" was published in the Cleveland State Law Review in 2010. Her most recent article, "Child Sexual Abuse: How to Move to a Balanced and Rational Approach to the Cases Everyone Abhors" is in the current issue of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy.
James Shellow has cross-examined prosecution drug analysts for almost fifty years. He graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Chicago with a major in physics and mathematics and continued in a doctoral program in cybernetics. He was the Divisional Honor Scholar and a University Research Fellow. Thereafter he was employed as a servo engineer, systems engineer, research scientist and operations analyst. He taught university courses in instrumentation design, abnormal psychology and Advanced Criminal Procedure and was a consultant to the Mental Health Research Institute at the University of Michigan. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Fund for the Behavioral Sciences. He received his law degree from the Marquette University Law School and was a member of its Law Review. He was an Assistant Professor on the faculty of the Medical College of Wisconsin where he conducted a seminar in forensic science for residents in psychiatry and postdoctoral fellows in psychology. He is a Certified Public Accountant and practiced accounting for several years. He is a former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense lawyers, currently President of the Board of Regents and member of the faculty of the National College for Criminal Defense and an elected member of the American Law Institute. He is a former member of Committee on Federal Criminal Jury Instructions of the Seventh Circuit. He is a Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers and a member of the Board of Directors, Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin. He has lectured and published extensively in the field of criminal law and is a member of the Editorial Board of Forecite. He practices criminal defense law in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and vacations at his home on the French Riviera.
Alan Silber, a long time member of the NORML Legal Committee and former NORML Board member, has litigated cases in Federal Courts and numerous State Courts across the United States. He has tried not only sophisticated drug cases, but also major white-collar cases involving RICO, bank, securities, telemarketing, health care, wire and mail fraud, as well as significant money laundering cases, kidnapping (representing a police officer), and murder. His practice is concentrated on federal and state complex criminal litigation. Mr. Silber, who will be lecturing on ethics, also represents lawyers in disciplinary cases.
James Silva was admitted to practice in California in 1995; one year before California's historic Prop 215 was placed on the ballot and approved by voters. Immediately upon the enactment of Prop 215 into law, James opened a legal practice in Venice Beach and undertook the representation of individuals and organizations all around the State of California who qualified for the protections of the new state law, but continued to be subject to criminal prosecution.
James took a break from legal practice in 2002 to study Japanese Cuisine and the culinary arts and cooked professionally as a chef with The Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey, as well as other notable restaurants and catering establishments in California for several years.
In 2009, James moved to Oakland, California to share an office suite with William G. Panzer and to reopen a legal practice devoted to the defense of patients who use cannabis for medical purposes. James is a guest lecturer at Oaksterdam University in Oakland, where he teaches legal classes pertaining to California's emerging medical cannabis laws under the Compassionate Use and Medical Marijuana Program Acts, as well the continued exposure to criminal liability under state and federal laws.
Theodore "Ted" Simon was sworn in on Saturday, August 2, 2014, as President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). He is an attorney in private practice in Philadelphia where he has based a local, national and international practice for the last 40 years. He has obtained reversals in the U.S. Supreme Court and in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. In addition to representing individuals and corporations in state and federal trial and appellate proceedings, Simon is a leading authority on the representation of Americans abroad and securing their outright release from custody, as well as on the application of prisoner transfer treaties here and abroad, achieving remarkable success in obtaining the transfer of numerous foreign nationals. He has also successfully defended international extradition requests. A frequent speaker at legal seminars across the nation on a wide variety of pre-trial, trial, sentencing, and post-trial criminal law issues, Simon has made numerous appearances on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Early Show, CNN, ABC's 20/20, Primetime, NBC's Dateline, Larry King Live, Court TV, Geraldo Live, Crossfire, The Abrams Report, and The Oprah Winfrey Show (as well as all of the major networks and cable outlets). Simon has been included in a Philadelphia Magazine's "Best Lawyers in Philadelphia" edition as well as having been selected a Pennsylvania "Super Lawyer." Simon is also an invited member of the "National Trial Lawyers," a national organization composed of the top 100 trial lawyers from each state.
David D. Smith lives and practices in Norman, Oklahoma. In addition to his private practice, he is the contract indigent defender for his home county. A graduate of Oklahoma University and its College of Law, he was first admitted to the bar in 1982. He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association; he is a charter member of the Oklahoma County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and a former charter member of the Tulsa County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He is a 2004 graduate of the Trial Lawyers College, and has served on the faculty since 2005. In 2006 he received the OCDLA President's Award for Outstanding Advocacy for his pro bono defense of State of Oklahoma v. Glen Gore, a capital murder case. He has spoken and presented on the subjects of jury selection and handling high profile cases.
Cheryl D. Stein has been a criminal defense lawyer with a solo practice in the District of Columbia for over 32 years. She has handled over 100 trials and motions hearings, as well asdozens of appeals and federal habeas corpus petitions in several different districts. Ms. Stein isan adjunct professor at the American University Washington College of Law, where she teachesEvidence. She is also an instructor at Harvard Law School's Trial Advocacy Workshop.
Ms. Stein is an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyersand serves on its Committee on Rules and Procedure. She has contributed chapters to two bookson criminal defense and has published articles at law.com and in the Washington Times and USAToday, among other publications.
Jeffrey Steinborn graduated from the Yale Law School in 1968. For the last 35 years he has been defending citizens accused of drug crimes -- mostly marijuana. Jeff's seminal double jeopardy/forfeiture case, United States v. McCaslin, had the government on the run for a few years, but is now an exhibit in the Museum of Short-Lived Legal Anomalies. His victory in State of Washington v. Thein, forced the government to stop using boiler-plate search warrants for the homes of suspected drug traffickers and put an end to the practice of searching the residences of suspected drug dealers based upon conduct occurring outside of the home. Jeff maintains an informational website for pot users - www.potbust.com.
Michael Stepanian has been practicing criminal law for 35 years, specializing in the defense of individuals charges with state and federal crimes. Based in San Francisco, Mr. Stepanian is co-chair of the NORML Legal Committee and is a member of the CJA panel for the Northern District of California. Married for 33 years with two children, he hunts and fishes whenever he can.
Allen St. Pierre was hired by NORML in early 1991 as Communications Director, in 1993 he became the organization's Deputy National Director and served as the Executive Director of NORML and the NORML Foundation until 2016. Mr. St. Pierre's experience is unparalleled in the field of drug policy reform. He has been cited in hundreds of international, national, and local news publications (New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, London Times, Le Monde, Der Speigel, Economist, Newsweek, Time). He has appeared on dozens of nationally televised news programs (ABC, CBS, NBC, C-Span, Fox, PBS) and hundreds of radio shows representing NORML.
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.
William W. Swor has been an attorney in private practice for 42 years. He has served as a member of the Representative Assembly of the State Bar of Michigan, and served two terms as chairman of the General Practice Section of the State Bar of Michigan. He is a Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, and currently sits on its Board of Governors. He has tried many high profile and politically charged cases, including Young Boys Incorporated (drug conspiracy), & The Chambers Brothers (drug conspiracy). He was counsel for one of the defendants in the first terrorism case tried in the United States after September 11, 2001. That case resulted in dismissal of all charges against the defendants and prosecution of the lead Assistant United States Attorney. He was lead counsel for 19 Arab men who were rounded up immediately after 9/11 and falsely accused of conspiracy to engage in terrorism. He has participated in the defense of a number of Islamic charities accused by the government of providing support to terrorism, or providing humanitarian aid in violation of US Government sanctions. He represented Dr. Kifah Jayyousi, one of the defendants in the Jose Padilla terrorism conspiracy case. In 2012 Mr. Swor was lead counsel in United States v. David Stone, et al, a case in which members of a rural Michigan militia were charged with Seditious Conspiracy to oppose and overthrow the United States Government. The trial of that case resulted in an acquittal of all major charges.
Mr. Swor has authored articles on various aspects of the practice of law, and has spoken frequently on legal issues in both the print and electronic media. He has taught at conferences hosted by numerous professional organizations, including the State Bar of Michigan, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, and the ACLU of Michigan. The subjects he has addresses include Trying Complex and High Profile cases, Trying Terrorism cases, and Civil Liberties and National Security Law. Mr. Swor has participated in Conferences on teaching National Security laws hosted by the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security.
In 2000, Mr. Swor was invited to Washington D.C. four times to discuss U.S. policy in the Middle East with senior White House staff, including then Vice President Al Gore. He was invited to the White House again in 2011 and 2012 for similar meetings. As a member of the Arab American Institute, he has worked to politically educate and empower the Arab American community.
In 2005 Mr. Swor received the Detroit Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild's Defender of Justice award in recognition of his work on behalf of four Middle Eastern men who had been falsely accused of supporting terrorism. In 2004 he was a recipient of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan Justice for All award. He has also received the Detroit ACLU Bernard Gottfried, award, and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 2007 Rodney Thaxton, Against All Odds award. In 2010 the American Arab Chamber of Commerce named him their Legal Professional of the Year. He has been recognized by placement in the Martindale Hubbell Register of Preeminent Lawyers every year since 2004. He also has received a rating of 10.0 (out of 10.0) from the AVVO rating website.
Mr. Swor has served on the national legal committees of numerous legal, political, religious, and charitable organizations. He is currently a member of the Practitioners Advisory Group to the United States Sentencing Commission. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the American Civil Liberty Union of Michigan. He serves on the board of directors of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, and the Executive Board of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), and the Arab American National Museum. He is also a member of the National Policy Council of the Arab American Institute.
Pamela Tedeschi has practiced criminal defense in state and federal court since 1996 in California. Her practice has included defending special circumstance murder allegations and other serious violent felonies. For the past 7 years she has specialized in cannabis defense, including medical marijuana activities: dispensary sales, cultivation, transportation, etc.
Ms. Tedeschi sub-specializes in bringing habeas petitions alleging ineffective assistance of counsel, winning her first IAC habeas petition in the Second Appellate District of California. She has argued in the appellate court several times, and is published in a California case involving Russian mafia fraud on the issue of double jeopardy.
Ms. Tedeschi began her professional career as network newswriter, which later led to feature film production and development, including several pictures produced by Disney, Touchstone and Buena Vista Pictures. Subsequently, she served as Vice President of Production at a now defunct entertainment company, where she successfully co-promoted a live heavyweight boxing bout to qualify WBA boxer Tony Tubbs to challenge Mike Tyson in a heavyweight fight that took place in Tokyo, among many other entertainment projects.
Grey Tesh sings and plays guitar in a rock cover band. Oh yeah, and he's also a criminal defense lawyer. He was born in West Palm Beach, Florida and still calls it home. He graduated from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. While in Jacksonville, he performed with Derek Trucks (slide guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band), members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blue Oyster Cult and even opened for Molly Hatchet twice. He booked Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Pre-Trial Practice and Appellate Brief Writing. As an assistant public defender, he tried over 30 jury trials in one year, breaking all previous records at the Palm Beach Public Defender's Office. Everything he knows is stolen from other people much smarter than him. He has a mortgage to pay, so he's been in private practice since 2004.
Robert T. Vaughn is a 1974 graduate of The University of Tennessee, Mr. Vaughn attended The Nashville School of Law and became licensed to practice law in Tennessee courts in October, 1979. Mr. Vaughn has represented clients in 35 state and federal courts. Mr. Vaughn has taught law related courses for 25 years at various institutions including Belmont University, various private companies and for the past 9 years served as an adjunct professor at Tennessee State University. His articles on drugs and drug paraphernalia have been published by the Drug Law Review, High Times Magazine and Headquest Magazine. Mr. Vaughn has been frequently quoted in local and national publications. He has lobbied and assisted in writing laws in Michigan, Ohio, Hawaii and Washington D.C. For over 25 years, Mr. Vaughn has continually, on an un-interrupted basis, published "The Letter of the Law", a monthly update involving the manufacture, sale, and prosecution of drug paraphernalia cases.
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.
Creekmore Wallace inherited his practice in Sapulpa, Creek County, Oklahoma started by grandfather and uncle in 1917. He lectures yearly for Oklahoma Bar CLE courses on everything from search and seizure to cross examination, voir dire, and closing argument. Taught at last year's four day California Public Defenders Association on closing argument in mitigation stage of Capital Case, and gave workshop on representing multiple defendants in Capital Cases. He graduated from University of Tulsa Law School in 1972. He is a member of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers, Tulsa Criminal Defense Lawyers, Creek County Bar Association(past President), Prior Chairman of Oklahoma Bar Association Indigent Defense Committee. He was awarded Lord Thomas Erskine Award 1988(life time achievement award), Clarence Darrow Award 2004 both by Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and selected Oklahoma Super Lawyers in 2006.
Jeffrey Weiner is a former president of NACDL and of the Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys Association. He is a Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers and is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Jeff has been a practicing criminal defense attorney since 1974. He has argued trials and appeals throughout the country. Many of Jeff's cases are "high profile" in which he represents fellow attorneys, professional athletes and politicians. Jeff argued Florida v. Jimeno before the United States Supreme Court. Jeff also handles many international criminal cases. Jeff is a recipient of NACDL's highest honor, the Robert C. Heeney Award, for his representation of fellow lawyers on behalf of NACDL. Jeff is a former Regent of the National Criminal Defense College and is a popular CLE lecturer. He has authored several articles for "The Champion". Jeff was voted by fellow lawyers as a 2008 "Florida Super Lawyer", a Florida Trend "Legal Elite" lawyer and a South Florida Legal Guide" Top Lawyer".
Steve Wells moved to Nashville, Tennessee after graduating from law school at California Western School of Law. He practiced there for several years, sharing space with Lionel Barrett, one of Tennessee's premiere criminal defense attorneys. In this time, he handled criminal cases throughout middle Tennessee, cases in State and Federal court.
After a while, though, the call of the wild places became too strong to ignore and he moved to Dillingham, Alaska, to be the public defender. The sole public defender for an area roughly the size of Ohio, he handled every type of case from commercial fishing cases to first-degree murder.
He left Dillingham to join the Office of Public Advocacy, Alaska's alternate defender agency, in their traveling attorney position. In this position, he traveled throughout the State of Alaska handling serious criminal cases. As a general rule, he represented clients charged with murder, sexual assault and sexual abuse of a minor, with an occasional charge of arson, robbery, kidnapping or first degree assault. His most famous case was State v. Waterman, in which he represented Rachelle Waterman, a 16 year old girl accused of conspiring with two men to kill her mother. Despite a taped statement by Ms. Waterman, the jury hung 10-2 for acquittal. After the trial, the court re-considered the motion to suppress her statement and, after suppressing her statement, dismissed the indictment against Ms. Waterman. The State appealed that decision and the Alaska Court of Appeals affirmed the motion to suppress. On re-trial, Ms. Waterman was acquitted of charges of first and second degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder.
In May, 2006, Mr. Wells left the Office of Public Advocacy to start his own office. He continues to represent clients in state and federal court. Most recently, he has obtained a dismissal on child pornography charges in a case involving almost 400 images. He also was able to suppress DNA test results in the first sexual assault case in Alaska that used Y-STR DNA testing. His motion work suppressed a large quantity of methamphetamine and cash in a case involving a member of a motorcycle club. He also got all charges dismissed for a client facing a minimum twenty year sentence for drug sales.
He is listed as a Super Lawyer for criminal defense in Alaska, the Founding President of the Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a Director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He also speaks to criminal defense groups and public defender agencies across the country on trial skills and advocacy. In his spare time, he is an avid fly fisherman.
Liz Westbrook advises clients seeking the necessary government permissions to conduct research and clinical trials on medical marijuana. Given its status as a schedule 1 narcotic, applications to conduct research into marijuana's potential medicinal uses must go through DEA and can be a slow and painstaking process. Ms. Westbrook draws upon her experience and relationships from time spent on the Hill and working with various health agencies to facilitate clients' applications through the DEA system. By engaging members of Congress, Ms. Westbrook has helped clients achieve the necessary approvals to begin research into drugs with the potential to improve the lives of millions. Through this work, Ms. Westbrook has met with the Senators and House members who are championing the efforts and legislation to open the door to marijuana and remains part of those conversations on Capitol Hill.
Calvin Williams has been at it for 28 years, started in general practice but now limited to criminal defense most of that in the drug defense arena. Because of his location on I-70 in western Kansas he does a lot of "mule" cases. This kind of case leads to an interest in profiling, warrantless searches, coerced consent, and the "stand and deliver" forfeiture attitude of the highway robbers calling themselves drug intervention officers.
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.
Jennifer Willis is currently a staff attorney with the Federal Defenders of New York in their Manhattan Office. Prior to joining that office, Ms. Willis spent twelve years with the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, with eleven of those years spent as a senior trial attorney in the Chicago Felony Division. She also previously served for two years as a staff attorney with the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Massachusetts. She is a frequent speaker and sought after trial advocacy instructor for criminal defense attorneys. Ms. Willis received her J.D. at New York University School of Law and a B.A. from Columbia University.
Dr. James Woodford of Tennessee is a research chemist who has done chemical analyses of marijuana, alcohol and drugs at New Scotland Yard in London, the U.S. Army Forensic Testing Lab in Wiesbaden, Germany, and state crime labs all over the country. He is author of numerous peer reviewed published articles, and has testified as an expert witness in many court cases. An expert in drug odor chemistry and odor detection, Woodford holds the U.S. Patent on the synthesis for the odor of cocaine, which is used as the standard in odor screening devices and as the scientific standard in drug detection K-9 training and proficiency testing of K-9s.
Steven Yermish is an assistant public defender in Miami where he works in the Capital Litigation Unit defending death penalty cases at the trial level. He graduated with honors from the University Of Miami School Of Law in 1983, where he was Articles and Comments Editor for the Lawyer of the Americas, the school's international law review. He is a member of the Florida Bar, and from 2004 until 2010 was a member of the Bar's Code and Rules of Evidence Committee and chair of the Code Improvement Subcommittee. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of The Florida Association of Criminal Lawyers-Miami Chapter, and has been a member of NACDL since 1984. He has written and lectured on Crawford v. Washington and confrontation issues regarding experts and forensic labs, as well as confidential informants and indigent defense ethics issues.
John Kenneth Zwerling practices law with Zwerling, Leibig & Moseley, P.C. in Alexandria Virginia. For the past 35 years, Mr. Zwerling has been defending individuals and corporations who have run afoul of the law in the trial and appellate courts of state and federal judicial systems. His clients include the famous and the infamous. Rock stars and lawyers, politicians and protesters, the innocent and the not so innocent on charges ranging from murder to misdemeanors, including espionage, terrorism, mail fraud, bribery, cyber sex and unwanted sex. He is a nationally recognized and respected criminal defense attorney. His ability to speak persuasively to prosecutors, judges and juries has yielded the type of success that resulted in his peers evaluating him as one of the Best Lawyers in America, a Pre-eminent Lawyer, and a Super Lawyer. He is sought out on the CLE lecture circuit and well as the national media including The Today Show, Firing Line and the NBC, ABC and CBS evening news.