Ethics 301 - How You Manage Too Many Clients: Perspectives on Conflicts of Interest
Most lawyers dream of having many clients seeking their services. For cannabis lawyers, that dream can become a nightmare even with careful management. Offering differing perspectives on an issue with no perfect answers, our panelists will debate how to manage conflicts of interest during competitive licensing and applications.
Phillip Neiman, Esq., FCIArb is a mediator and arbitrator with JAMS, specializing in the resolution of complex business and commercial disputes. He devotes much of his practice to securities and investment-related cases, including shareholder, partnership and M&A disputes, and has substantial experience resolving employment, insurance, intellectual property, professional liability and privacy tort cases. His subspecialties
include cryptocurrency and cannabis sector disputes. Prior to establishing his ADR practice in 2004, Mr. Neiman spent a decade as CEO and General Counsel of a FINRA-registered investment bank. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College (High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa), a J.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Based
in San Francisco, Mr. Neiman hears cases nationwide.
Omar Figueroa has more than twenty three years of experience at the vanguard of California cannabis law and is widely respected as an industry expert.
Omar earned his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Yale College in Connecticut and his Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School in California. He also graduated from the Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming, and earned a certificate from the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at The Wharton School after completing the intensive “Boards That Lead: Corporate Governance That Builds Value” program in Pennsylvania for directors of corporate boards.
Omar is a Director of the National Cannabis Industry Association as well as a Director of the Cannabis Travel Association International. He is also a Founding Lifetime Member and former Director of the International Cannabis Bar Association, a Lifetime Member of the NORML Legal Committee, and recognized with the Distinguished Counsel’s Award by NORML.
Omar is the author of numerous legal reference works including: 2022 California Cannabis Laws and Regulations, New York Cannabis Laws and Regulations 2021, 2021 California Cannabis Laws and Regulations (available in a Kindle Edition), California Cannabis Laws and Regulations 2020 (also available in a Kindle Edition), California Cannabis Laws and Regulations: 2019 Edition (also available in a Kindle Edition), California Cannabis Laws: MAUCRSA Edition (also available in a Kindle edition), and Cannabis Codes of California: Legalization Edition.
Omar has earned respect for his historic work documenting the legal evolution of cannabis law in California. His books are part of the collection of the Stanford Libraries and can be found at the Robert Crown Law Library at Stanford Law School.
Omar was trained as a litigator by his mentor, legendary San Francisco trial lawyer J. Tony Serra. He also served a two year-term as a member of the Sonoma County Cannabis Advisory Group after being appointed by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.
Omar frequently appears in media coverage as a legal expert on cannabis. He has spoken at cannabis events around the world, such as Spannabis and The International Cannabis Business Conference in Barcelona, MJBizCon NEXT in New Orleans, The Emerald Cup in Sonoma County, and the State of Cannabis in Long Beach, to name a few.
Omar’s cannabis expertise is not limited to the law, and he has at various times over the years served as a judge for The Emerald Cup, which has been characterized as the Academy Awards of Cannabis. He is a member of the Ganjier Founder’s Circle and, along with a team of cannabis experts, guided the development of the Ganjier cannabis sommelier certification program.
Omar’s interests are not limited to cannabis, and he has a profound, long-term interest in entheogen law and policy. Omar has served as a Legal Advisor to Decriminalize California, a campaign to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in California by means of a statewide voter initiative.
Omar also volunteers his time as a Board Member with the Sonoma County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California, and is active with the Law Enforcement Surveillance Technology (LEST) team.
Omar considers himself fortunate to live in gorgeous West Sonoma County. In his free time, Omar practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and has patiently advanced over many years to the rank of purple belt. Like the late Anthony Bourdain, another purple belt, Omar’s humble goal in jiu-jitsu is to “suck less tomorrow” by focusing on technique and making small incremental improvements.
David is a partner with the Chicago-based law firm, HMB Legal Counsel. Following 25 years of litigating business and tax disputes, in 2016 David turned his full energy to focus on providing legal counsel to the cannabis industry, representing entrepreneurs, investors and business owners, both plant touching and ancillary trades.
David enjoys guiding clients through the life-cycle of cannabis operations, starting with the regulatory maze for state licensing of cannabis businesses followed by the myriad of general and regulatory counsel needs during the course of the company’s life, from start-up issues through sale events and the multitude of legal challenges in between. David has been successful in securing numerous licenses and cross-border agreements in various states for clients, with the help of his HMB Legal cannabis team.
Known as an excellent listener, David’s approach is efficient and focused on his client’s business goals. Ultimately, David’s biggest satisfaction comes from moving the cannabis industry forward, both through legal work and also making introductions within his wide network of cannabis business friends and colleagues. To that end, David co-founded CannaMatch in 2021, for the purpose of matching newly licensed growers, processors and retailers with the numerous industry service providers in an organized, efficient and confidential fashion. David’s other hours are spent active with the International Cannabis Bar Association, the Illinois Cannabis Bar Association and the Illinois Craft Cannabis Association…when not with his family, their golden-doodle Boyd, or enjoying live music.
Beau Epperly advises startup-business clients in all aspects of the startup cycle; from formation to exit. He guides mature companies through complex securities and regulatory matters. He and his team have led a wide variety of complex and unique funding deals for startups and recapitalization funding for existing businesses. Beau is recognized for his ability to advance creative solutions to difficult problems; and as a result has saved deals from failure.
In addition to practicing law, Beau co-founded two companies: TriVino, a supply-chain management company for California wineries, and All9s, a cloud-to-cloud disaster-recovery software-as-a-service (SaaS) company for cloud-based businesses.
"Epp" as he is known to his friends played and coached rugby domestically and internationally for 17 years in parallel with his professional pursuits. He served as head coach of the Olympic Club 7s men's rugby team in San Francisco. He has also served as a board member for Easter Seals Bay Area, an organization assisting families blessed with children with autism.