Litigation Alert- Reefer Madness: Despite state legalization of medical marijuana, businesses risk criminal, civil and regulatory sanctions

Despite state legislation of medical marijuana, businesses risk criminal, civil and regulatory sanctions

Don’t be fooled by the smoke screen. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Therefore, even in states that have decriminalized marijuana, engaging in business transactions with the marijuana industry could lead to loss of money, loss of profession, and even loss of freedom.

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McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies Advisory: Deal on Debt Ceiling and Government Shutdown Reached

After weeks of tense verbal and legislative battles, a bipartisan deal has been crafted by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that would reopen the federal government and avert a default on federal debts.  The agreement would provide roughly three months for Congress and the White House to negotiate on more long-term matters outside the chaotic atmosphere of a government shutdown or possible default.    Though the exact text has not been made public, the general framework was announced on the Senate floor at noon today.  The major provisions include:

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Paralegal Offended by Justice of the Peace’s Treatment, Calls Barristers Act Unconstitutional

Some lawyers, including those who practice before the Ontario Provincial Courts have becoming increasingly more vocal in expressing concern that paralegals are encroaching on what they consider to be their turf.  This turf war between lawyers and paralegals was ratcheted up a bit in the case of Lippa, et al. v. The Queen, (indexed as R. v. Lippa 2013 ONSC 4424).   

Marian Lippa has worked as a paralegal since 1998.  In 2006, the Law Society Act (“Act“) was amended to create two forms of licensee – lawyers and paralegals – where previously, only lawyers were licensed to practice law in Ontario.  Much to the chagrin of many lawyers, licensed paralegals became members of the Law Society of Upper Canada (“LSUC“).  Paralegals became subject to a regulatory regime that closely parallels the regime applicable to lawyers, including adherence to Rules of Professional Conduct.  They were authorized by the by-laws under the Act to provide specified legal services including representing a party before a summary conviction court.

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Illinois Supreme Court Decides Not To Review Lower Court Ruling That, Absent Other Consideration, Two Years Of Employment Is Required Consideration For A Restrictive Covenant

The Illinois Supreme Court recently announced that it was not going to review an Illinois Appellate Court decision, Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services, Inc., which held that, absent other consideration, two years of employment is required for a restrictive covenant to be deemed supported by adequate consideration – even where the employee signed the restrictive covenant as a condition to his employment offer – and even where the employee voluntarily resigned.

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Mark Spognardi writes on medical cannabis and firearms issues in Illinois

Mark Spognardi

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Mark A. Spognardi recently wrote two articles regarding two laws that were recently passed in Illinois regarding concealed carry and medicinal marijuana. The first article titled, “Illinois Enacts Medicinal Cannabis Pilot Program Law” for Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor on October 9. Recently, the state of Illinois enacted the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, which will take effect on January 1, 2014. Mr. Spognardi clearly defines what this law entails, as well as defining the effect this law has on employers. To read the article in full, please click here.

The second article titled, “Illinois employers face firearms obligations and choices,” was published on October 14 on Inside Counsel’s website. The article is stemmed off of a recent decision by the CEO of Starbucks asking the public and its employees to not bring firearms into their store, unless they are licensed peace officers. The Illinois General Assembly recently enacted the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act on July 9, making Illinois the last state to adopt a concealed carry firearm law. The article provides an overview of how this law will affect employers. To read the article in full, please click here.


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Construction attorneys Raymond Krauze and Christina Brunka speak on contracts for design services

Raymond Krauze

Christina Brunka

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Raymond M. Krauze and Chicago Associate Christina K. Brunka recently presented “Reviewing Contracts for Design Services” at the HalfMoon Education Seminar on Illinois Engineering Law on October 11.

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Samuel Levine scheduled to provide case law update

Arnstein & Lehr

Samuel Levine

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Samuel H. Levine will be participating in the Harold I. Levine Real Estate Institute’s program on November 7. Mr. Levine will be be presenting “Case Law & Legislative Update.”

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Illinois employers face challenges with new laws

In Illinois, there is growing concern and confusion amongst employers on how to handle the recently passed medical marijuana use law and the concealed carry law.  Chicago Partner Mark Spognardi recently had two articles published regarding these laws. The first article titled, “Illinois Enacts Medicinal Cannabis Pilot Program Law” was published in Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor on October 9. The law will go into effect on January 1 and the article clearly defines the details of this law, as well as what employers can do to prepare. To read the article in full, please click here.

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Joseph Scharnak authors article on new Chicago Ordinance and Illinois Law

Arnstein & Lehr

Joseph Scharnak

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Joseph W. Scharnak authored an update for Arnstein & Lehr’s Condominium and Community Association Bulletin. His article titled, “New Tenant Protection Laws Enhance Revenue Opportunities for Condominium and Community Associations” reviews a new Illinois law and Chicago City Ordinance that were created to enhance revue opportunities for condominium community associations that take possession of units from owners who fail to pay assessments.

To read the article in full, please click here.

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Arthur Janura, Randall Kulat to speak at Illinois Municipal League Conference

Arnstein & Lehr

Hon. Arthur Janura

Arnstein & Lehr

Randall Kulat

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner’s Arthur L. Janura and Randall S. Kulat will be speaking at the Illinois Municipal League’s annual meeting on October 18. Mr. Kulat will be speaking at the program “Changing Requirements and Trands in Municipal Bonds.” The session will discuss how changes will affect municipal bonds and financing of future projects.

Hon. Janura will serve as a panelist for the program “Reducing Your Public Safety Employee Benefits Act Obligations.” Attendees at this session will learn about legal developments involving PSEBA as well as steps that can be taken locally to reduce exposure to questionable PSEBA claims.

To learn more about the annual conference, please click here.

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