I have practiced law in the San Francisco Bay Area for over forty years, with an emphasis on litigation of construction issues and business disputes. This has included the resolution of hundreds of claims by means of negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or trial.
For the past fifteen years, I have maintained a mediation practice focusing on construction and business disputes in addition to that litigation practice. These business-related mediations now extend to the resolution of disputes among companies in the cannabis space, who need settlement services that are not as readily offered by a group of retired judges who may have been former prosecutors. The claims being resolved include both disputes within a company and disputes between companies based upon unwritten contracts or upon contracts which call for mediation and arbitration rather than litigation in court.
My having joined NCBA near its inception has permitted me to participate in industry events and continuing education events that bring together the attorneys who are developing the framework for regulated legal cannabis in the face of competing governmental interests and powers. This brings me full circle from my 1973 college marketing class paper on distribution of legal marijuana which was prescient but forty years before its time.
My approach to negotiations as a mediator is to seek a win-win solution to complex problems, utilizing the skills of mindful listening and the ability to distill arguments and reframe issues in order to achieve a successful negotiated resolution of a dispute. These skills would help the NCBA board in the course of discussing contentious issues, where an opportunity to reframe and distill the discussions often leads to clarity and agreement.
I want to continue to serve the businesses in the cannabis space; providing these skills within a group of highly intelligent and competent lawyers who are representing clients in addition to their work for the NCBA board would promote that goal. Additionally, my involvement as an investor in cannabis businesses provides further perspective as to the issues that the industry faces and for which individual companies need the assistance of experienced members of the cannabis bar.
I would be pleased to serve as a board member of NCBA and look forward to an opportunity to do so.