Christopher J. Davis, Esq., Executive Director, joined the Association in June 2017, and, as Executive Director, and has stewarded our group to new heights, having overseen the first two Cannabis Law Institutes (Denver and Washington DC), the amicus brief on behalf of Jessica McElfresh, the growth and proliferation of our membership, network, and educational events.
Chris is a member of the California and New York Bars, and is a graduate of UCLA undergrad (cum laude) with degrees in Business/Economics and Accounting, and The George Washington University Law School (with honors, class of 2010). Prior to joining NCBA, Chris worked as a Legal Editor at The Practical Law Company (Westlaw), where he concentrated in finance (drafting template documents for complex financial transactions and issues related to swaps & derivatives), and previously was a securities litigator.
Valerie Mary Um, Project Administrator, joined the Association in early 2019 and has managed several external speaker programs for live events and webinars. She maintains the website structure and educational programs for many of the Association’s pages. She enjoys working for a nonprofit that focuses on Cannabis advocacy and awareness.
NCBA committees are the hallmark of our membership involvement. It is through our committees that we engage the legal community with the bar association, and achieve many of our most important functions. Committees are filled on a rolling basis, please take a look below at which committees we are currently looking to fill. Please do so at this link: NCBA Committee Application 2019
Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee
The CLE Committee plans the NCBA educational panels, lays out the substantive focus of all of legal educational events throughout the year, and creates our webinar schedule. The committee’s role is broad, and the members play an integral role in developing our CLE content. The committee selects speakers, helps pick the events in which NCBA will participate as an educational partner, arranges the content and speakers for webcasts and webinars, and helps coordinate CLE credits with local representatives.
Online Content Committee
The Online Content Committee is in charge of bolstering the online presence of the National Cannabis Bar Association in 2019. In addition to helping moderate the NCBA Forum, the Online Content Committee will relaunch the NCBA blog, and will help coordinate other online offerings, including member interviews, current awareness updates, and case law summaries. The Committee is made up of experts in their respective substantive area of practice, and offers our members tools that enable them to stay on top of this constantly changing industry.
Fumus Iuris (Journal) Committee
The journal committee is the force behind what will become our biannual legal journal, Fumus Iuris. While each of our content offerings are focused on facilitating the everyday practice of law, the journal is focused on publishing high-quality law-review style journal that focuses on the some of the most difficult topics that continue to arise in this novel and complex area of law. The NCBA legal journal will be the pinnacle of legal thought in the cannabis industry, will provide a level of analysis unparalleled in the cannabis legal space concentrating on legal and policy issues at the local, state and federal level.
Membership Benefits Committee
The Membership and Benefits Committee oversees all things related to membership. The Committee’s focus is on expanding membership through outreach as well as by expanding the benefits available to our members. The committee organizes and arranges all strategic partnerships with both cannabis industry partners and ancillary legal service provides, in an effort to make the practice of law in our industry more streamlined, efficient, and effective.
Students and Academic Affairs Committee
The Students and Academic Affairs Committee is primarily focused on integrating students into our association and preparing the next generation of great legal minds for practice in our specialized industry. There are multiple initiatives currently underway, and the committee will help facilitate student involvement in a variety of areas, including, among others, helping to develop CLE content, assisting with NCBA legal publications and research, and participating in student externship programs. The committee helps determine NCBA Student member incentives and membership criteria, is the primary point of contact for students with NCBA, and oversees the development of NCBA Student Chapters. If you are a student and interested in becoming more involved with NCBA or starting a student law school chapter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Events Committee oversees our regional representatives and is responsible for overseeing NCBA’s in-person regional and national events, including mixers, socials and roundtables. The Events Committee also takes on the responsibility of is responsible for planning out larger national events, including receptions at the Cannabis Law Institute and our parties at other nationally focused events. The events committee seeks out sponsorships for events and plans each aspect, including the dates, locations, and amenities for each.
Leading Issues Committee
The Leading Issues Committee examines current events at the intersection of law and the cannabis industry to determine whether the legal community should respond with a voice through the National Cannabis Bar Association. Issues that are raised at the committee level could include specific pending cases, trends in litigation, regulatory agency rule-making, and other issues that affect lawyers and legal practice as it relates to the cannabis industry. The Leading Issues Committee, formerly the Amicus Committee, may respond to arising issues by filing amicus curiae, as was executed in the case of Jessica McElfresh in San Diego, may submit public comments on regulations, draft open letters, issue press releases, and issues other responses as deemed appropriate. The Leading Issues Committee takes a primarily role in shaping the NCBA’s public-facing stance on issues as they arise in the industry.
Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee
The Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee is responsible for remaining abreast of the ethical issues faced by attorneys serving cannabis businesses. With rules and guidelines changing every day, the committee is tasked with providing basic information about our ability to practice law in different jurisdictions across the country. The committee works closely with the legal education committee to ensure that our educational offering reflect the most up-to-date information on ethical issues, as well as the amicus committee to ensure that the pressing ethical issues are addressed in the correct forum. The area of ethics is one of the most important facing our profession as we serve this industry, and is our Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee that tackles these issues.
The International Committee is responsible for NCBAs’ international presence. As we have grown, attorneys from jurisdictions outside of the United States have become more interested in the association and in expanding our presence to Europe, Israel, Central and South America, and Australia. NCBA has a full year planned for 2019, and a major component of that is beginning to expand our network into these foreign jurisdictions to provide global access to high-level legal consultation for our members and their clients. Look forward to events that will serve interested attorneys all over the world in the coming year.
If you are looking to join the regional representative committee please do so at this link:
NCBA Regional Committee Representative Application 2019
NCBA has Regional Representatives in various jurisdictions to facilitate regional events and communications. Representatives will be appointed on an as-needed basis dependent on our membership in specific regions. Regional Representatives will be required to host two regional networking events per year, maintain a local list-serve, and apply for CLE credit in their region. If you think that your area needs a regional representative and you’d like to learn more information, please email email@example.com.