Leland, Parachini, Steinberg, Flinn, Matzger and Melnick
Lara L. DeCaro is a business attorney and mediator. She has concentrated her legal career in the areas of intellectual property, corporate governance and compliance, commercial transactions, real property, and mediation. Most of her clients came from highly-regulated industries and she translated that knowledge into a comprehensive medical cannabis business practice over the past 12 years. She has also represented event venues, entertainment providers, art galleries, authors, banks, recycling companies, investors, franchisors, an airport, and various small business owners. Whatever their industry Lara takes pride in getting to know her clients and working with them from start-up to wind-up.
Lara commenced her legal career as a litigator in Northern New Mexico, where a brief she authored was submitted to the Supreme Court of Colorado, and made law in her client’s favor. She also successfully defended marijuana and other criminal charges locally. Lara later took a position as in-house counsel for a premier company in the risk evaluation software industry and worked at a leading bio-pharmaceutical company. Both positions served as important career mechanisms that further developed her regulatory compliance skills, intellectual property knowledge, business sense, and transactional experience.
Lara is a founding board member, former executive officer, and current advisory board member of the International Cannabis Bar Association and currently sits on the Executive Committee of the Bar Association of San Francisco Cannabis Law Section, where she generated the idea for the San Francisco Cannabis Equity Program pro bono panel to provide meaningful representation to social equity applicants. She is a published author and frequent speaker on various matters of cannabis business law and had the honor of appearing on the August 14, 2020, Weed Wonks podcast. Lara was also on the team that drafted the Safe Agreement for Cannabis for Meadow (with the approval of YCombinator), an open source document intended to reduce costs of capital raises for California cannabis corporations.
Lara graduated with honors from both her undergraduate program at the University of Southern California and law school at Tulane, where she received a certificate in mediation in 1999 from the American Arbitration Association. She is licensed to practice law in California, Colorado, and New Mexico (currently inactive).
She was also a member of the New Mexico Senate Memorial 57 Advisory Council and the New Mexico State Bar Association ADR Committee, which authored the rules in New Mexico for alternative and effective dispute resolution.
In her spare time Lara enjoys live music, skiing, horseback riding, and baseball. She participates in her community by donating legal services to worthy causes and volunteering at her daughters’ schools. Lara lives in San Francisco.