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It seems that states are legalizing various levels of usage of marijuana left and right. Given the conflict between federal and state marijuana laws, however, questions abound about whether lawyers may ethically advise and assist clients in complying with their state’s marijuana laws, or whether they would be running afoul of state and federal ethical rules governing lawyers’ conduct were they to do so. While a handful of states have weighed in on the subject, the majority of state bar associations and ethics committees have remained silent on the issue. Thus, it is imperative that lawyers in states with medical or recreational marijuana laws proceed with caution when contemplating advising or assisting a potential client on issues involving state medical or recreational marijuana laws.
Join attorney Ameer Benno for an update to his extremely popular course discussing the ethical landscape for lawyers working with clients on marijuana-related issues. Here, he discusses conclusions reached by the various state bars that have considered this evolving issue. Additionally, he explores lawyers’ personal exposure under far-reaching federal civil and criminal laws such as conspiracy, asset seizure and forfeiture, and even money laundering.
An experienced trial and appellate lawyer, Ameer Benno litigates civil rights and personal injury matters for Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP. Ameer takes great pride in seeking justice for those who have been injured by the wrongdoing of others. His personal injury cases include premises liability, motor vehicle accidents, product liability, and construction accident cases. In his civil rights practice, Mr. Benno champions the rights of individuals who have been subjected to governmental abuses of authority. These cases range from police misconduct matters to prisoner rights cases, from unjust conviction claims to employment discrimination matters.
Ameer began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney at the esteemed Manhattan District Attorney's Office, where he served for several years in both the trial division and the appeals bureau. Upon leaving government service, Mr. Benno worked at premier civil litigation law firms where he focused on representing plaintiffs in personal injury and civil rights matters in both state and federal courts.
Mr. Benno is admitted to the New York and Connecticut state bars, and is admitted to practice in the federal courts of the Southern, Eastern, Northern, and Western Districts of New York, as well as to the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.
From 2006 through 2012, Mr. Benno was an adjunct professor at New York Law School, where he taught Appellate Advocacy and Legal Reasoning and Writing. Mr. Benno regularly lectures for bar associations and continuing legal education providers on topics having to do with trial practice, civil rights litigation, Constitutional law, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Benno has been named to The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 and has been named a New York Metro Super Lawyer every year since 2012 in the area of civil rights law. Mr. Benno has also been selected for membership in the National Association of Distinguished Counsel as one of the “Nation’s Top Attorneys.” These are invitation-only organizations composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state who meet stringent qualifications. Mr. Benno is rated 10.0, the highest rating given, by the online lawyer rating service Avvo.com.
Ameer serves on the Civil Rights Committee, Federal Courts Committee, and Appellate Law Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association. He is a member of the National Police Accountability Project, the First Amendment Lawyers Association, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (where he chairs the Civil Right Committee), and the Brooklyn Bar Association. He sits on the board of directors of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers and is vice president of the Nassau Lawyers’ Association of Long Island.
In addition to his membership in professional organizations, Mr. Benno is a civic leader. He is the president of the Merrick-Bellmore Jewish Community Council, the board of directors of the Merrick Jewish Centre, and as a member of the Nassau County Police Commissioner's Community Council for the 19th Legislative District. He is a member of the Nassau County Police Reserves, the Bellmore Kiwanis, the Bellmore Lions Club, and the Bellmore Historical Society. He proudly serves as a First Lieutenant in the New York Guard.
Ameer is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University and Cornell Law School. He lives in Bellmore, NY with his wife, Gayle, and three daughters.
Looking forward to an updated program on the important issues raised in this presentation.
Mr. Benny is an excellent teacher. He explains thing in an easy to understand but comprehensive manner. This is the third course l have taken from him.
Ameer has a great speaking style. The course opened my eyes to how nonsensical the ethics rules are which govern attorney behavior when representing a marijuana industry client. The net effect of nearly all the state ethics rules is to discourage attorneys from representing commercial marijuana concerns for fear of being disciplined for the slightest violation of an unneccessarily stringent and vague rule.
Great course. Thank you.
This is a wonderful course that answered all of the questions that i had regarding the ethical issues around the use of medical marijuana by those in the legal profession.
I teach undergrad business law and every semester students ask about these laws — such as ‘is marijuana illegal or not’ — and this will definitely help me explain (to the extent possible!) the answer to that and other questions. Great speaker!!!
Clear discussion of a complex subject. Very good slides
excellent presentation of a confused and ever-changing area of law
Thank you for explaining the differences in federal and state laws. Very informative.
The presenter was extremely knowledgeable.
Very informative and important to know about federal v. state ethics applications.
I was happy to find this program as it informed my thinking on a number of federal preemption issues I have wondered about on this topic.
This was a great program - very informative.
Excellent overview and history of marijuana laws together with what it means to us attorneys who are considering counseling others in states that have legalized marijuana.
A very good overview of the current state of the law.
learned a great deal about lawyer liability in the field
Course was very informative.
I felt this speaker was one of the best I've seen. Great job.
Ameer is fantastic! Very thorough and direct.
GREAT COURSE VERY INFORMATIVE
This presenter managed to hold my interest. I would watch courses by him, again.
Detailed and well-organized slide show.
Very detailed and extremely informative. The speaker is quite engaging as well. Well done overall.
Great subject, very well explained
The presentation was excellent
Fascinating! I knew nothing about my ethical responsibilities as a lawyer re marijuana, and now I know a lot. Thanks.
Particularly good presentation.
Articulate and thoughtful
Really like the new viewing setup with side-by-side video and PowerPoint, rather than having to select one or the other for the larger screen view.
This is an interesting topic of law and lawyers are in an interesting spot with figuring out how to help clients.
Very prepared, easy to listen to, informed lecture.
Well organized and structured. Very informative, comprehensive illustration of conflict between Federal and State law.
Great primer on marijuana law.
Very well done and interesting presentation! One of the best so far that I have listened to.
Very timely course!
I found this very helpful since the cannabis law industry has been growing.
well presented and a very topical issue. Interesting to follow the evolution of the ethics. *****
Good explanation of federal vs state conflicts and survey of several states' treatment of the ethics / legalities of legal representation under the governments' impaired notion of protecting the public.
Benno is just great / 2nd course with him this cycle. But so much for my plans to establish a nationwide marijuana legal services law practice. Yikes! What a snake pit.
One of the best courses I’ve taken on Lawline!
Addressed additional ethical issues surrounding Medical Marijuana programs particularly helpful for healthcare representation.
Excellant Overview. Sufficient detail. Presenter works hard.
very interesting; great speaker
One of the best Lawline videos surveying a legal subject.
Comprehensive, substantive and interesting.one of the best ethics credit courses I've seen in several years.
Outstanding coverage of federal and state issues, and extremely well presented!
Great course. Easy to follow and well structured.
The best thing about this seminar is the accent on the pitfalls of performing legal work with clients involved in the marijuana industry and the continuing conflicts between state and federal law.
Good presentation in a difficult area.
course material was very comprehensive
Very informative and relevant to my practice. I appreciated the focus on state-by-state ethical rule(s) applicability.
up to date for an emerging area of law
That was an AMAZING presentation! Very thorough. Well presented. Thank you!
Detailed, actionable information presented in a clear and engaging format
Effective overview of evolving area
Didn't think this one would be interesting, it turned out to be a fascinating area due to the conflict between state and federal law. Very well delivered, great presentation. Please have the same presenter update it with recent developments when able.
This course module offered an excellent explanation of the tension between federal and state law.
Oh my! If this conundrum between federal and state(s) law doesn’t make you lose sleep at night, nothing will. This is an excellent CLE—far more interesting than I expected and far more useful.
Tough subject with no clear cut answers. Well presented.
Interesting insight on a cutting edge topic
Nice speaker. Very prepared.
Very interesting and informative. And, although it was to the point and full of facts, the lecture was never boring or slow paced.
Most interesting ethics program ever.
well done on a very difficult subject
Great course! Lots of very useful content.
Excellent presentation. One of the best I've watched on Lawline.
Great CLE that fully covered the detailed world of stat marijuana laws. The materials were clear and helpful too.
Very informative. The speaker was excellent.
Mr Benno was well versed in the subject and presented the material in a clear and well organized manner.
Really good presentation!
Great Great Great
very detailed presentation - well -researched - great job!
Really great survey of a complex area of the law. I had no idea that this was so complicated. I have to say that it is hard to believe that there has been nothing done to fix this mess.
Knowledgeable instructor, very punchy upbeat delivery. Very good.
Very good speaker and content
Excellent course for an overview of national trends regarding the ethics rules related to state-authorized marijuana laws
This speaker presented an in depth and comprehensive state of the law in this ever changing and challenging area. It would be helpful to have further updates on this topic.
very interesting and timely course. Presumably will need at least updating annually with new developments
Very helpful as trying to better understand this evolving legal topic.
I would like more programs from this presenter. Mr Benno is very good.
Great lecturer. Interesting topic. Would like to see more content from this lecturer again.
Very interesting topic
This was a n interesting course which highlighted the inconsistency in state and federal law on the subject.
this lawyer knows his subject!
i like the dashboard look of the set up.
A very good job handling knotty issues that frankly do not seem to have any clear resolution. Very good materials. This course will have to be updated again now that Federal policy re enforcement has just changed 180 degrees. Several states seem to reference the prior favorable Federal enforcement policy in formulating their ethical rules. Now what happens after the Federal enforcement policy is reversed?
Very good presentation.
Mr. Benno is an excellent presenter. His style and presentation are among the best I have seen.
Good presentation on a very new area of the law!
Not only informative but thought provoking.
This was the best CLE I've ever seen
Interesting current topic.
Very good presentation. Thank you.
just plain excellant
Well done. Thanks
the material was very informative.
enjoyed the speaker
Interesting content, an informative way to get ethics credits on an unusual topic!
Well Presented. Good Speaker
This was quite well done.
Best instructor ever.
Important information that is very well presented. Mr. Benno is an excellent speaker. I would take another CLE where he is the instructor.
Plain English, loved it.
Mr. Benno did a remarkable presentation on a very difficult topic. Great JOB. Thank you.
A tremendous amount of information,
This was a very good overview of ethical as well as legal issues for those of us who have not been involved in the Cannibus move.
The speaker was outstanding given the current fluid state of laws relating to marijuana laws and the conflicts between state and federal law.
Most timely, and the best presentation I've seen in years.
Great overview and history lesson.
Fast moving, detailed and clear. A very good presenter.
Very good speaker; clear and concise information.
excellent on tension between state and federal with a lot of state content
Very interesting. Well organized.
engaging speaking style
Great speaker in very murky area of the law.
I thought this was very interesting. Good topic.
Very interesting course. Thanks!
I have been giving presentations on legalized marijuana around the state of Wisconsin. I have not considered the ethical issues in this area. Therefore, this presentation was extremely helpful in recognizing these issues.
Tough area of conflicts, he did as well as anyone i know to explain current status.
Exceptionally thorough comparative analysis. This is not an area of law that I practice; I was simply interested in the topic. I felt like I was back in law school during this course, with an efficient overview of federal law, state law, and professional ethics, as they all pertain to CSA. Professor is engaging, to boot, with his use of hypotheticals.
Absolutely EXCELLENT Presentation and written materials. Speaker was engaging, knew his material with only few references to materials. Without doubt one of the top 3 Lawline Courses I've taken over the last several years. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
Very comprehensive coverage of the topic. Well done.
Scope of coverage by the states is somewhat surprising...interesting
Presenter was very well versed in the subject matter.
Wow! Great job. This Ameer Benno was super-prepared for the entire 90 minutes. I would love to attend other CLE presentations on other topics delivered by him.
Excellent speaker and course
Outstanding presentation - I would highly recommend this topic and this presenter.
Excellent presentation and content for a complex and evolving area of law.
Nice over view
Excellent. I wish all of your authors did such a good job with the supplementary materials. I am going to go out of my way to give him an online google review.
Very informative and well presented. Excellent lecture!