The Ethics of Cannabis Law


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About This Course

The ethical considerations around the representation of cannabis clients, and the handling of cannabis-related claims and litigation, are complex and evolving. Lawyers who wish to counsel and assist clients in the space must determine whether specific work for cannabis clients is legal, ethical and/or prudent.

This presentation will identify ethical scenarios that have confronted attorneys in this space. In addition to analyzing the current state of the federal/state standoff on marijuana and the prospect for federal reform, we will discuss strategies used by industry participants to mitigate risk. We will address how the courts have tried to reconcile enforcing the rights of cannabis-related claimants and litigants in both state and federal courts.

We will identify how the various states have interpreted Model Rule 1.2, and how they have distinguished between counseling and actively assisting cannabis clients. We will discuss relevant state ethics opinions, modification to states’ ethical rules and state policies that limit disciplinary action around work in the cannabis space.

Other specific ethical issues important to cannabis lawyers will also be addressed, including disclosure of effective professional liability insurance, protection of the lawyer client privilege, the crime fraud exception, client trust accounts, accepting stock/equity in lieu of fees and required disclosures to the client, among other topics.

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