BIO

David Michael is a practicing criminal defense trial lawyer in San Francisco, CA, formerly a partner with Serra, Lichter, Daar, Bustamante, and Michael.  He specializes in medical cannabis cases as well as state and federal forfeiture litigation.  He is also a long standing member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) , a member of their Forfeiture Task Force and a NORML Legal Committee (NLC) member.  He has lectured for both those organizations.  The NACDL Forfeiture Task Force was instrumental in forfeiture reform laws, helping to write the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA) enacted into law in 2000 by President Bill Clinton, providing more rights to property owners who have had their possessions seized by the federal government.

David Michael also successfully litigated many federal forfeiture cases in a number of federal circuits throughout the country and was counsel before the United States Supreme Court on the last forfeiture case decided by that Court in United States v. $405,089.23 U.S. Currency et al.  He has appeared on numerous talk shows and national news discussions on that subject.

For many years, Mr. Michael has also represented numerous high profile defendants in federal medical cannabis prosecutions, including B.E. Smith, Todd McCormick, Angel Raich and numerous state medical cannabis dispensaries and providers as well as appearing before various federal courts of appeal on the constitutional and statutory issues raised. He was co-counsel for Angel Raich and Diane Monson before the United States Supreme Court in Raich v. Gonzales, addressing the issue of whether the federal government had the power to regulate or punish state medical cannabis activities. He has lectured and advised many clients on the relationship between federal law and state medical cannabis law.  He is presently representing medical cannabis users, providers, and dispensaries in multiple lawsuits now pending before the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he leads a team of attorneys and parties in simultaneous lawsuits against the federal government in its attempts to crack down on medical cannabis operations which are legal under state law but which remain illegal under federal law.  See, Ninth Circuit Case No. 12-55775Alternative Community Health C, et al v. Eric Holder, Jr., et al., (2012); Ninth Circuit Case No. 12-15991 Sacramento Nonprofit Collectiv, et al v. Eric Holder, Jr., et al. (2012).

Mr. Michael has also represented other clients in various high-publicity cases, including Charles Harrelson, the father of actor Woody Harrelson, who had been convicted some 20 years ago for the killing of a federal district court judge, has been confined since then in the federal Super Max Prison in Colorado, and was seeking a new trial and a reversal of his conviction.

EDUCATION
B.A., University of San Francisco, 1973
J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law, 1976

EDWARD BURCH

PARTNER

BIO

Edward Burch is a practicing criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco, CA. He specializes in civil asset forfeiture defense.

While at the University of New Mexico School of Law, Mr. Burch was an officer of the school’s equal rights organization “LAMBDA,” co-founded the law school’s chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, completed a clinical semester litigating cases for the District Attorney in Albuquerque Metro Court, and received the school’s Julia Raymand McCulloch Memorial Award for Demonstrated Excellence and Interest in the Field of Constitutional Law. 

He is a proud member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law (NORML) Legal Committee and the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDL).

 

Mr. Burch has been with the firm since 2007.


EDUCATION
B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2000
J.D., University of New Mexico School of Law, 2006

DAVID MICHAEL

PARTNER