As more and more states begin to ease restrictions on the use and possession of marijuana and to enact medical marijuana statutes, it is important to understand that, for now, non-medical cannabis use and possession is still illegal in in the vast majority of states and under Federal law. Join attorneys Rochelle Berliner and Shelley Albert as they share their extensive knowledge of these intricate—and conflicting—marijuana laws.
I. Identify marijuana sale and possession laws
II. Discuss DWI laws in connection with marijuana
III. Understand collateral consequences of a marijuana conviction in connection with, among other things, professional licensing, education and immigration
IV. Compare medical marijuana laws
V. Recognize how state laws are affected by federal law
VI. Review practice tips on how to defend your client from a marijuana charge
Upon graduating New York Law School in June 1991, Ms. Berliner began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the office of Robert M. Morgenthau, the New York County District Attorney. She spent two years working in the Appeals Bureau, writing briefs and arguing them in the Appellate Division, First Department. She then spent another twelve years in the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. While in the Office of Special Narcotics, Ms. Berliner worked on long-term and short-term drug investigations, a lengthy wiretap case and hundreds of street-level drug sale and possession cases. During that time, Mr. Berliner tried approximately 50-60 cases to verdict and acquired extensive litigation skills and experience.
Before leaving the Office of Special Narcotics, Ms. Berliner received a Certificate of Appreciation from the New York Police Department’s Detectives Endowment Association.
Ms. Berliner left the District Attorney’s Office in 2005 to begin her own criminal defense practice. For more than ten years, she has provided vigorous criminal defense for men, women, and adolescents in New York City, and in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
Ms. Berliner also represents victims of police brutality and official misconduct in Federal Court in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. In 2008, in the case of Colon v. City of New York, Detective Stephen Anderson and Detective Henry Tavarez, et al., Ms. Berliner exposed rampant misconduct within the NYPD’s Queens Narcotics unit. The case involved the two named detectives fabricating a drug sale and falsifying police reports against four completely innocent men; the entire evening was recorded on surveillance video from the bar in which this “sale” was alleged to have taken place. After convincing members of the Queens County District Attorney’s Office that the drug sale charges against her client were fabricated, the District Attorney dismissed all of the charges against Ms. Berliner’s client, his brother and two of their friends. The District Attorney then brought criminal charges against the two detectives, who pled guilty and are now convicted felons; one of them went to prison. The case also opened the doors to multiple other charges of police misconduct, both in criminal cases and civil rights lawsuits.
Ms. Berliner is admitted to practice law in New York State as well as the federal courts in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Ms. Berliner has lectured on marijuana law for the Cannabis Career Institute. She is an active member of the New York State Bar Association, the Queens County Bar Association, The New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the New York State Defenders Association, the National Police Accountability Project and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Legal Committee.
Mr. Berliner received her B.A. Degree in Broadcast Journalism from New York University in 1981. She began her first career in journalism as a newscaster at a Connecticut radio station, and then became a political correspondent for a statewide radio network in Connecticut, covering the state legislature and other political stories of statewide interest, including gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns and elections. Ms. Berliner was also the news director and morning anchor at another Connecticut radio station. She then became the on-air talent and a scriptwriter for a nationally-syndicated ski report and beach report, aired on about 200 radio stations across the country. Before starting law school, Ms. Berliner did commercials and voice-over work in New York City.
Shelley graduated from law School at Temple University in 1990. She went immediately to Manhattan where for five years, Shelley served as an Assistant District Attorney under the legendary Robert M. Morgenthau in the trial division of the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
After leaving the Manhattan DA’s office, Shelley established herself successfully in private practice, focused on criminal defense and all aspects of family law litigation, including domestic Shelley is currently a partner in the firm of Dario Albert Metz & Eyerman, with offices in New Jersey and in Manhattan. She has been in private practice for the past 20 years. In addition to her private practice, Shelley and her partner, Carole Gold work in an innovative jury selection practice known as The Jury Whisperer, where they assist attorneys in the jury selection process. Shelley’s courtroom and jury experience are central to her current role with The Jury Whisperer, where she teams with Carole Gold to offer clients cutting-edge effective jury selection, document and witness evaluation. Together, Carole and Shelley deliver a unique blend of proven courthouse techniques, upgraded to incorporate Carole’s special intuitive, results-driven, skills. Together they also teach a CLE class in Jury Selection.
Shelley is known nationally, thanks in part to her guest appearances on CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News and other networks. A member of Mensa, Shelley mentors young attorneys through the Trial Lawyers Association and has provided pro bono assistance to Legal Services of New Jersey to assist victims of domestic violence in the New Jersey Court process.
Wonderful instructors, bot Rochelle and Shelly!
Super timely, relevant material given the recent change in laws, would definitely recommend
very interesting presentation
Interesting and timely topic; good dynamic between two very informative presenters, thx
Great course and presenters!
Great program. Very comprehensive and informative.
These two presenters were excellent. They really seemed to know the law. They clearly had lots of personal professional experience which they could speak to. They also added in some fun tidbits which made it a great presentation.
This presentation is excellent will watch itmultiple times. The presenters are excellent
an excellent explanation
Presenters personable and knowledgeable. Much good and useable information provided re collateral issues re job, licensure and especially federal immigration consequences of various mj charges or convictions
Very informative; the multi-state distinctions were very interesting!
Please pass on my compliments to the presenters. An excellent presentation.
Interesting, great to have yet another approach to this area of law...
Useful and practical
Nice overall overview.
Good CLE format with two people.
I'm glad TX was specifically mentioned, thanks for including my state.
Nice to have different presenters that had a conversation & dialogue.
keeping in mind the significant consequences is so important and should not be overlooked
I would love to see an hour course for each state on this issue.
Found it very helpful especially in light of the changing of various state laws.
Very informative. Girls knew the stuff.
Excellent presentation. Both presenters were interesting and extremely knowledgeable.
Good course. Interesting topic.
Overall - a very good job! With such legal differences among the states, this presentation makes clear that there is no substitute for having an in-depth understanding of the law of the specific jurisdictions where a client is active. The variety of law
Enjoyed the back and forth between the presentaters