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Eichner Secures $2.7 Million Verdict for Defamation and Malicious Prosecution

On April 12, a Weld County jury awarded 38-year-old Clint Munoz $2.7 million in damages in his lawsuit against Employment Solutions. Represented by Ken Eichner, Munoz filed the lawsuit against the temp agency in February 2018 for malicious prosecution, abuse of process, negligence, libel and civil theft. The jury returned a verdict in Munoz’s favor on the claims of malicious prosecution and defamation (the other claims were dismissed by the judge earlier in the year).

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Hemp Industry not out of the Weeds Just Yet...

The landmark passage of the 2018 Farm Bill is frequently said to have “legalized” hemp. Indeed, the Farm Bill removed hemp, defined in the federal Controlled Substances Act as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly known as THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”[1]

But while the DEA may no longer criminally prosecute those who grow, process, extract, sell, or otherwise use or possess hemp merely for such activities, the government is still battling the hemp industry on several fronts. The same day the Farm Bill was signed into law, the FDA issued a statement making clear that the FDA considers the sale of cannabidiol (CBD) for animal or human consumption, in any form, a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act unless such product has been approved by the FDA’s rigorous drug approval process.[2] Despite the nationwide proliferation of CBD products touted for a wide array of benefits for both humans and animals, the FDA has approved only one such product, Epidiolex.[3] Sales of all other CBD products remain illegal.[4] Although the FDA has yet to aggressively enforce its policy, it could crack down at any moment.

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Grand Juries Part II: Colorado Grand Jury Process

Colorado is unique in how it deals with grand jury cases. The Sixth Amendment requirement that criminal cases begin with a grand jury indictment does not apply to the states. Colorado, like many other states, does not require criminal prosecutions to begin with a grand jury indictment at all. Rather, most cases are brought by prosecutors in the form of a complaint and information giving the prosecutor complete discretion about what charges to bring. Many complex cases in Colorado nonetheless begin with a grand jury indictment. This is because prosecutors point to the grand jury process and say that it protects against frivolous prosecutions. However, as we will see, the grand jury route may give the prosecutor more discretion to bring charges that arguably are not supported by probable cause.

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Grand Juries Part I: What is a Grand Jury?

In this blog series we discuss the roots of the grand jury system and its importance in criminal law in Colorado. In this post we talk about what a grand jury does and next time we will look at what protections an accused has with respect to grand jury investigations under Colorado law.

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Marijuana in Colorado Part III: Securities Fraud

In a previous blog series, we looked at how prosecutors in Colorado use the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA) to pile charges and penalties onto members of the recreational marijuana industry. Today we discuss how prosecutors use white collar criminal charges such as securities fraud to establish their COCCA predicate offenses.

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Disclaimer: The information in this blog is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this blog should be construed as legal advice from The Eichner Law Firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this blog should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.