NORML’s Aspen Legal Seminar has outstanding speakers from around the country presenting important topics such as: issues related to defense of marijuana consumers, legal issues in the cannabis industry, and resources to support each other in the pursuit of justice.
Natalie Alane of Alane Family Law, P.C., dedicates her practice to litigation and appeals in all areas of family law. She is a proud member of the NORML Legal Committee. In addition to practicing law and growing her law business, Natalie is an avid backpacker and intrepid traveler. She’s visited all fifty states and knocked off four continents so far. Her proudest outdoor accomplishment is summiting 15,200 feet in the Andes Mountains in Peru and, second to that, braving the world’s highest bungee jump over the Zambezi River in Africa. A former opera singer, Natalie admires all genres of music and will not miss her annual mecca to Blissfest, Michigan’s most laid back music festival, every summer. Natalie credits yoga, meditation, her amazing husband, and the love of her three cats with helping her stay grounded and focused in her challenging profession.
Erik Altieri is the Executive Director of NORML. Previously, he was NORML’s Communications Director and ran the federal and state lobbying efforts and legislative outreach, administered NORML’s social media networks and served as a spokesperson to the press from 2007-2015. During this time period he was also the manager of the NORML PAC, and worked to elect marijuana reform-friendly candidates at all levels of government. In 2015, he left NORML to explore other political issue activism, including campaign finance reform and tax policy. He returned to NORML as executive director in 2016. He is the youngest person named executive director in the organization’s history, an accomplishment recognized by Forbes Magazine when he was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for Law and Policy in 2017. Mr. Altieri is currently based in Washington, DC at NORML’s national headquarters.
Paul Armentano has over two decades experience working professionally in cannabis policy. He is the Deputy Director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and he also serves on the faculty of Oaksterdam University, where he is the Chair of Science.
His writing on cannabis and cannabis policy has appeared in over 1,000 publications, scholarly and/or peer-reviewed journals, as well as in more than two dozen textbooks and anthologies. Mr. Armentano 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. He is also the author of the book The Citizen’s Guide to State-By-State Marijuana Laws (2015), available from Whitman Publishing.
He 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. He is the 2019 recipient of the Al Horn Memorial Award to Advance the Cause of Justice, presented by the NORML Legal Committee.
Joshua S. Bauchner is a partner with the Firm and Co-Chair of the Litigation Department, head of the Cannabis Law Practice Group, and a member of the Community Association Law and Bankruptcy practice groups. His areas of concentration include complex commercial, class action, bankruptcy-related, and securities litigation, including: enforcing commercial lease agreements, guaranties, purchase and sale contracts, and commission agreements; litigating partnership disputes; defending against class-actions arising from alleged violations of consumer protection and related statutes; litigating claims arising from bad faith denial of insurance coverage; and defending against commercial foreclosure actions.
Mr. Bauchner also represents condominium and cooperative boards of management, is a licensed Real Estate Instructor in the State of New York, and teaches a course for Real Estate Sales Professionals.
He also has taught as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School and was appointed by the Manhattan Borough President to serve on Manhattan Community Board 10 where he was Treasurer of the Board and Co-Chair of the Committee on Land Use. He also is President of the Wheaton College Alumni Association and serves on the College’s Board of Trustees. He also serves on the Boards of the New York Theater Ballet, Frederick Douglass Boulevard Alliance, and Harlem Wellness Center.
Immediately prior to joining the Firm, he was Deputy Director of the Legal Division at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and previously worked at a national litigation firm.
Mr. Bauchner received his B.A., cum laude, from Wheaton College and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Brooklyn Law School. Following graduation from law school, Mr. Bauchner served as law clerk to the Honorable Ursula Ungaro in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Joseph A. Bondy is a criminal defense and cannabis business attorney in Manhattan. A graduate of Columbia University and Brooklyn Law School, over the past twenty-five years, Mr. Bondy has represented more than one thousand individuals at all stages of litigation, including dozens of federal and state cannabis clients. He is admitted to practice law in New York State, the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern 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 Supreme Court of the United States.
Mr. Bondy currently represents a number of companies in the cannabis and industrial hemp industry. In May 2019, High Times Magazine identified Mr. Bondy as “one of the nation’s preeminent cannabis attorneys.” Mr. Bondy is a member of the pro bono legal team in Washington v. Barr, the federal case challenging the constitutionality of our federal cannabis laws. He is also lead counsel in US v. Lev Parnas, et. al., a historic Federal Election Act prosecution that is currently pending in the Southern District of New York.
Mr. Bondy serves on the Board of Directors for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), is a life member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and a life member of the NORML national legal committee. He is the Founder of In the Know 420, a well-known livestream on cannabis law and policy, and Vice- President of the Cannabis Cultural Association (CCA). The American Trial Lawyers College rates Mr. Bondy as one of the top 100 criminal trial attorneys in the United States. Mr. Bondy lectures on a variety of federal criminal and cannabis law topics nationally, serves on the faculty of Cardozo Law School’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP), and immensely enjoys mentoring young lawyers and advocates.
Dave Branfman has been practicing law in San Diego County for over thirty-five years. His practice focuses on intellectual property and entertainment law, including trademarks, domain names, copyrights, trade secrets, licensing, motion pictures & TV, and music. He has also developed a cutting-edge specialty in the intersection between intellectual property law and the growing medical and recreational marijuana industries and speaks and writes regularly on this subject.
Dave graduated Cum Laude from Alfred University in New York and received his law degree from the University of San Diego in 1978. He is an instructor on intellectual property law at the UCSD (University of California, San Diego) Executive Perspective for Scientists & Engineers program. He is a member of the NORML Legal Committee and the Humboldt Country Growers Alliance. He has been 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, 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. Dave is a member of the California Lawyers Association Intellectual Property Section and is Vice-Chair of the Trademark Interest Group of its Executive Committee. 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.
Dave has been selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer® in intellectual property law six times since 2007.
Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Joe DiSalvo is the sheriff of Pitkin County, CO.
Leonard I. Frieling is the creator and was the first chair of the Colorado Bar Association Cannabis Law Committee, Colorado NORML Board Member Emeritus, Life Member NLC, and “rejuvenator” of the “Life Member, NLC” option, and an inductee of the NLC Distinguished Counsel Circle. Over four decades of criminal defense work, from “traffic to treason,” from stop sign violations to racketeering, rape, tons of drugs, including the representation of “Mom” in the worst child sex abuse case in Boulder County History. Eight years chair, Boulder Criminal Defense Bar, two years consecutive (unprecedented) chair, Colorado Bar Association Criminal Law Committee Executive Council. Colorado superlawyer for over a decade. Awarded “Courage Under Fire” for resigning as a judge as a political statement opposing proposed pot offense penalty increases in Lafayette, Colorado.
Champion with help of the yearly Hunter Thompson Scholarship for the NORML Aspen Conference. Our board, Colorado NORML sponsor[s] one or two complete scholarships for a long list of people who became superstars in the legalization effort internationally.
Nationally and internationally known lecturer, writer, and activist on marijuana legalization issues. My Canary iPhone app LLC member and co-developer, objectively measures performance impairment. Numerous media appearances, including co-hosting Time4Hemp for a number of years. Speaker for LEAP Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Guest lecturer and presentor at University of Colorado and Denver University Law events and classes. Presented (and helped create) alternate 4/20 events at University of Colorado. Presenter at a number of Denver 4/20 and Boulder 4/20 events. Proud graduate of Rutgers Law, working with the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Two terms, Boulder Bar Assoc. Board of Directors. Two terms, Colorado Municipal Judges Association. CLEs on cannabis presented to the Judges Associstion. Two terms, including chair, VALE (Victims and Law Enforcement Board) allocating money to victims’ groups. Creator of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar website and listservs, with Phil Cherner. Published articles and presented CLEs in many places on Email Etuquette. Life member of the Colorado Criminal Bar Association. Creator of the “life member” option for the CCDB. Several terms on the CCDB Board of Directors.
CLE presentations have included Motions, Advanced Motions Practice, Winning Every Case Every Time, The Science of Marijuana, Many presentation for the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, with a Search and Seizure presentation schedule for 100 minutes April 12/13, 2019. presentation on many aspects of DUI law, ethics presentations, many presentations, a truly great honor, to this NLC, and more. Publications in multiple places locally, statewide, and nationally, over a wide range of topics. Media interviews on all media. Chaired ColoradoNORML while simultaneously acting as a LEAP speaker and as a media source during the A-64 successful recreational marijuana campaign in Colorado.
Especially proud of having created the “first in the Nation” state bar association Cannabis Law Committee. From their yearly report for 2017: “The current officer positions are held by the following people: Graham Gerritsen, Chairperson; Jeff Wilson, Co-Vice Chairperson; Michael Elliot, Co-Vice Chairperson; and Lindsey Killion, Secretary. A special mention is deserved by the CLC’s initial Chairperson, Lenny Frieling, who served in that position from the CLC’s inception until he stepped down in March of 2017. Mr. Frieling blazed a path for the CLC with the Bar Association and lead the CLC successfully through unknown territory during its infancy.”
Rachel Gillette is among the first attorneys in the nation to dedicate her practice to the cannabis industry. Since 2010, Ms. Gillette has helped marijuana/cannabis businesses with licensing and regulatory compliance, business law and transactions, contract drafting and review, tax litigation, corporate formation, and tax matters, including audit representation. She works with startups and entrepreneurs, investors, and ancillary industry businesses to help develop the cannabis innovation ecosystem, and is a zealous advocate for the industry.
Ms. Gillette regularly represents clients before the IRS’s Examinations, Appeals, and Collections Divisions, including marijuana businesses facing the challenges of IRS adjustments under 280E. She has successfully protested local, state and federal tax deficiencies on behalf of her clients, having prevented hundreds of thousands of dollars in incorrectly assessed taxes, interest, and penalties. She can assist individual and business taxpayers in 280E proposed assessments, offers in compromise, audit examinations, innocent spouse claims, sales, use, and employment tax matters, trust fund tax penalty assessments, penalty abatement’s, and levy releases.
For several years, Ms. Gillette was the executive director of the Colorado state chapter of NORML, the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws. She was a founding member of Women Grow and the National Cannabis Bar Association. She an advocate as well as an attorney, and is committed to helping change laws – and perceptions – relating to cannabis and ensuring state licensed and legal marijuana businesses are fairly taxed and regulated.
Ms. Gillette received her Juris Doctorate from the Quinnipiac University School of Law in Hamden, Connecticut, where she served as Associate Editor of the Quinnipiac University Probate Law Journal. During law school, she interned with the New Haven Public Defender’s office, where she developed her commitment to advocacy for those facing the many challenges of the criminal justice system.
Gerald “Gerry” Harris Goldstein
Gerry Goldstein graduated from Tulane University, B.B.A., 1965, University of Texas, JD, 1968, was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas (1982-1993), and currently serves on the faculty of St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas.
He is a Past President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (1994-1995) and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (1992-1993), a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (1997-), the American College of Trial Lawyers (1991-), and the American Board of Criminal Lawyers (1997-).
He received the Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award [Outstanding Criminal Defense Attorney] from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 1991; was named the Outstanding Criminal Defense Lawyer in Texas by the State Bar of Texas in 1991, and was named a “Texas Legal Legend” by the State Bar of Texas in November of 2011. He received the Justice Albert Tate, Jr. Award [for Outstanding Contribution to Criminal Advocacy] from the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 1993, and the John Henry Faulk Civil Libertarian of the Year Award from the American Civil Liberties Union in 1999. In 2002 he was named to the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers “Hall of Fame”, Best Lawyers in American [1987-], one of five “Top Notch” Criminal Defense Lawyers in Texas in 2012, San Antonio Bar Association’s “Hall of Fame” Award in 2013, and received the William S. Sessions American Inns of Court First Annual “Goldstein Award of Excellence” in 2015, the First Annual Michael J. Kennedy Social Justice Award, from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, in May of 2016, and the San Antonio Bar Association’s Joe Frazier Brown, Jr., Award of Excellence for Outstanding Leadership and Service to the Legal Community in 2016.
John Wesley Hall
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.
Bernard A. Jocuns
Bernard Jocuns, a Lapeer Criminal Defense Lawyer, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1971 and spent his formative years in Central Pennsylvania. Upon graduating High School “Bernie” entered the United States Army (like some of his heroes President Jimmy Carter & Dr. Howard Zinn honorably served their Nation as doves, not hawks). After honorably serving our nation overseas during the First Gulf War, Bernie returned to Central Pennsylvania to study at the Pennsylvania State University. While extensively travelling and working, Bernie completed his Bachelor of Arts degrees in two and a half years. After extensive travelling and soul searching, Bernie moved to Michigan and successfully completed his Juris Doctor degree.
After working in the entertainment industry in Atlanta for two (2) years, Bernie decided that his true passion was to be an activist and trial attorney. After becoming a Member of the State bar of Michigan in 2003, Bernie eventually started his own practice in 2006 and permanently moving to Lapeer, Michigan in 2009. When asked by people why Lapeer? Bernie’s response; “Why not”? “This is a nice close knit community that is really the hub of the State and it is nice to practice in more populated areas without the hustle and bustle of having to live there”. “I have always enjoyed city life and culture, but never enjoyed simple tasks becoming unnecessarily complex”.
Born and raised in southeastern Virginia, Lauren began visiting Colorado in 1975. Her early exposure to Colorado instilled in her a love affair with Colorado and its mountains. Lauren moved to Colorado in 1989 to attend the University of Colorado, Boulder. After undergraduate school, Lauren attended the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law where she and her current partner, Warren Edson, joined forces to participate in the drafting and passage of Colorado’s Amendment 20. From 1999 until 2002, Lauren practiced law throughout the State of Colorado as a Deputy State Public Defender. After trying over thirty criminal cases in four and a half years with the Colorado State Public Defenders Office, Lauren moved to New York City for a short time delving into complex, mass tort litigation, which focused on illnesses caused by pharmaceuticals and asbestos. Lauren Maytin moved to Aspen to open the Colorado Office of Weitz & Luxenberg, PC. In 2006, The Law Office of Lauren R. Maytin began taking criminal cases and in 2011, Warren Edson and Lauren Maytin united, creating The Law Offices of Edson & Maytin, with offices in Denver and Aspen. Lauren is a lifetime member of NORML, is on the Board of Directors for Colorado NORML and was the John Flowers Mark NORML Scholarship winner in 2001. Lauren has committed her life to helping those in need of medical and recreation marijuana business and regulatory representation, those accused of a crime, people in need of an attorney well versed in the US and Colorado Constitutions, Federal and State Laws and Municipal Rules, Regulations and Ordinances.
Jeralyn E. Merritt
Jeralyn 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.
Gregory J. Morse, Esq. is a partner at the law firm of Morse & Morse, LLC with Amy Morse, Esq. and of counsel to Richard G. Lubin, P.A. in Palm Beach County, Florida. He and his law partner primarily practice state and federal criminal defense and heath care law. He began his legal career in 2000 at the West Palm Beach Public Defender’s Office and is currently CJA counsel in the Southern District of Florida. Gregory has had cases featured on: 48 hours, Inside Edition, American Monster, and In Ice Cold Blood.
Gregory graduated cum laude from New York Law School in 2000; he was a member of the International and Comparative Law Journal. He graduated with a degree in Political Science from State University of New York at Buffalo and The University of North London, London, England in 1997. He has been published in the New York Law School Law Review: Techno-Jury: Techniques in Verbal and Visual Persuasion, Vol. 54, No. 1 (2009/10). He has presented on the topics of: Technology in the Courtroom and Techniques in Direct and Cross Examination.
Gregory is an Emeritus member of the Craig S. Barnard Chapter of the American Inns of Court (board member from 2005-2010). He is a member of the NORML Legal Committee and N.A.C.D.L. He is considered a Top 100 trial lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and a 10 Best Attorney in Florida by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys. He was also legal advisor and Chairperson to the City of West Palm Beach’s Nuisance Board (2007-10). Prior to attending college and law school, he was the youngest elected shop steward of Service Employees’ International Union, Local 32 B&J in NY, NY.
Marc is a dedicated criminal defense attorney who was inspired by William Kunstler’s work to defend all who are need of a solid defense. He was a state public defender and has been in private practice, running his own shop since 1997. Since that time, he continues to represent such diverse clients such as the DNC protesters and civil disobedience activist of all stripes here in Colorado (all pro bono) as well as federal and state defendants. Marc has a large indigent cliental and he had the honor of representing Brian Gall in United States v. Gall. He lives and works in Boulder, surfs the deep powder snow in Steamboat Springs whenever he can and enjoys the great Colorado outdoors.
William H. Murphy, Jr.
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.”
Nabil Rodriguez is an associate in the Cannabis Law practice group at Greenspoon Marder LLP. Mr. Rodriguez focuses his practice exclusively on cannabis law and the complex legal environment surrounding hemp and CBD. Mr. Rodriguez has developed a comprehensive understanding of hemp and CBD laws across the U.S. and maintains up-to-date with developments at federal, state and local levels of government to assist businesses with licensing and regulatory compliance.
Mr. Rodriguez has been a proud member of NORML since 2013 as a student member at the University of Central Florida, and has been an active board member for CO NORML since July 2018.
Known as the “Godfather of Marijuana” for his work enacting and promoting Nevada’s marijuana industry, Tick Segerblom is one of the world’s leading pro-marijuana politicians. Tick authored Nevada’s Medical Marijuana law, served as Co-Chair Nevada’s recreational marijuana initiative – Treat Marijuana Like Alcohol, and is now pushing for public use lounges and events as a County Commissioner in Las Vegas. Segerblom, a fourth generation Nevada legislator, served in the Nevada legislature for 12 years and previously served in the White House under President Carter and was State Chair of the Nevada Democratic Party from 1990-94. Segerblom graduated from Pomona College and the University of Denver Law School – before it was known for its cannabis expertise. He practices plaintiffs’ employment law and has been listed of one of Nevada’s best lawyers for nearly 30 years.
Jeri Shepherd is an attorney in Greeley, Colorado where she has lived since 1986. She has supported legalizing cannabis/marijuana for all of her adult life, opposes the Drug War in general, and also supports the legalizing (or at least decriminalizing) of all drugs. She has been a 4 time volunteer circulator for initiatives relating to cannabis/marijuana (2x in the 1990s, 2016 for 44, 2012 for A64); She has testified at city councils and the CO legislature in support of good cannabis policy and in opposition to bad cannabis policy. Jeri is a current board member for CO NORML (Communications Director). She was a Deputy State Public Defender for 26 years, and still practicing part time. She is a current DNC member, and is heavily involved in the support of political candidates and issue advocacy. She makes every effort to be connected to community in all endeavors. Jeri lives with 2 cats and enjoys gardening, reading, traveling, live music, and connecting with friends/family. She travels often to Wisconsin to see her SO.
Vince Sliwoski is a partner with Harris Bricken. He runs the firm’s Oregon office, and his clients run the gamut from individual investors and entrepreneurs to widely held domestic and international corporations. Since 2011, he has represented a large number of cannabis entities through corporate structuring, commercial transactions, and early stage dispute resolution. Vince publishes Harris Bricken’s award-winning Canna Law Blog, and has served as a professor of “Cannabis Law & Policy” at Lewis & Clark Law School since 2017.
Justin Strekal is the Political Director for NORML, where he serves as an advocate to end the federal prohibition of marijuana and to reform our nation’s laws to no longer treat marijuana consumers as second-class citizens. Before working on drug policy, he focused on tax, wage, and campaign finance reform as well as managed electoral campaigns throughout the country for positions in every level of government.
Lisa M. Wayne
Lisa Wayne is a criminal defense attorney from Denver, CO. Formerly the senior trial attorney in the Denver office, and training director for the Colorado State Public Defenders Office, Ms. Wayne is now in private practice and serves on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College, NITA, Cardoza Trial Practice Institute, and as an adjunct professor at the U. of Colorado Law School.