Barrett | Matura would like to congratulate Amanda Taylor on her admission into the Illinois State Bar. We look forward to the amazing things she will accomplish.
JEFFREY MATURA WINS APPEAL AGAINST THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY TO SAVE THE ARIZONA FIRE SCHOOL
The Arizona State Fire Training Committee is a non-profit organization that organizes and runs the yearly Fire School for firefighters located across Arizona. In 2015, the Department of Economic Security concluded that the instructors who teach at the Fire School are employees of the Committee, rather than independent contractors, and assessed monetary penalties against the Committee. The Department of Economic Security’s decision put the Committee’s ability to run the Fire School at risk, which would have eliminated the primary source of education and training for firefighters. The Committee therefore contacted Jeffrey Matura to appeal the decision. Mr. Matura submitted a written brief and presented evidence and witnesses during a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. After several months of deliberation, the Administrative Law Judge issued a final decision reversing the Department of Economic Security’s decision in its entirety and adopting every argument that Mr. Matura presented on behalf of the Committee. This decision will enable the Committee to continue the Fire School each year, and is therefore an important ruling for the fire service industry throughout Arizona.
JEFFREY MATURA AND MELISSA ENGLAND DEFEAT THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE’S EFFORT TO DISBAND LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT
Attorneys Jeff Matura and Melissa England received a favorable ruling on behalf of their clients in an historic case in which the United States Department of Justice sought to disband an entire local police department.
Mr. Matura and Ms. England represented an Arizona municipality and its police department. The Department of Justice alleged that the municipality and police department discriminated against individuals due to their religion with respect to police services and housing rights. After more than 5 years of litigation and a seven-week federal jury trial, the Department of Justice requested that the Court disband the entire police department and turnover all policing services to the County Sheriff’s Office. The Court rejected the Department of Justice’s request and instead adopted the remedy that Mr. Matura and Ms. England proposed on behalf of their clients, which included additional training, new policies and procedures, and the hiring of a consultant and mentor to assist the police department. The result was a victory for Mr. Matura and Ms. England’s clients, and also a victory for Arizona municipalities and police departments who fight against government overreach into their local affairs.
Jeffrey Matura and Melissa England joined the Arizona Cannabis Bar Association, whose mission is to educate lawyers and the public on cannabis law and to serve the needs of responsible cannabis legislation and regulation. Ms. England was also elected to serve as the secretary of the Association and will help to coordinate its future events and community outreach programs.
MORE ABOUT JEFF MATURA:
Jeff Matura is a founding shareholder of Barrett | Matura. His practice emphasizes commercial litigation, municipal and governmental law, and cannabis law. He is AV-Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest peer-review rating an individual lawyer can receive. He has also received the Rising Stars designation by Super Lawyers. Contact Jeff at 602-792-5721 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
MORE ABOUT MELISSA ENGLAND:
Melissa England is a senior associate with Barrett | Matura and her practice encompasses a variety of areas including insurance law, construction law, commercial litigation, municipal and governmental law, and cannabis law. She has received the Rising Star designation by Super Lawyers and has been named as one of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers. Contact Melissa 602-792-5707 or email her at email@example.com.
Melissa England presented to other lawyers and industry experts regarding the enforceability of contracts involving cannabis at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in connection with its presentation on Arizona’s War on Drugs: Cannabis Law in Arizona. Ms. England provided an in-depth examination of the legal and practical problems that individuals and companies encounter when they attempt to enforce contracts that involve cannabis and cannabis-related issues.
Included in the presentation was a discussion of insurance coverage for patients and cannabis businesses in states that have approved medical or recreational cannabis use. Ms. England also discussed how individuals and companies can avoid common pitfalls when trying to enforce contracts in the cannabis industry.
Learn more about Melissa England, or contact Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org
Attorney Jeff Matura received a full dismissal of an employment discrimination and breach of contract lawsuit filed against his client. A former employee filed the lawsuit against an Arizona public entity and its board members. The former employee alleged that the public entity violated his federal due process rights, wrongfully terminated him under Arizona’s Employment Protection Act, breached his employment contract, and violated Arizona’s wage laws and open meeting laws. After defending against these claims for less than a year, the former employee agreed to dismiss every claim without receiving any payment, an admission of wrongdoing, or anything else from the public entity and the board members. The result was a complete victory for Mr. Matura’s client and reaffirmed the legal protections afforded to public entities throughout Arizona.
Learn more about Jeff Matura, or contact Jeff at email@example.com
Arizona Proposition 205, which would legalize the adult use of marijuana, would still make driving under the influence of marijuana illegal. Currently, however, there is no reliable way to test whether someone is under the influence of marijuana. A California-based company, Houndlabs, is trying to change that and claims it has developed a new breathalyzer to measure the levels of marijuana in an individual’s system. If true, this new breathalyzer could provide law enforcement with an important tool to test for marijuana impairment.
Here is a link to a story on this development.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which sets the laws for Arizona and other western states, has unanimously ruled that the United States Department of Justice cannot prosecute medical marijuana patients and suppliers of marijuana for violating federal cannabis laws if those individuals comply with state laws that legalize the use of medical marijuana. The ruling was based upon a 2014 budget measure that Congress passed and which “prohibits the Department of Justice from spending funds” to prosecute individuals who comply with state laws. Currently, 25 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws to legalize medical marijuana, and voters in 9 more states will consider the issue in November 2016.
Although a victory for individuals and businesses involved in the legal marijuana industry, the victory could be short-lived because Congress or the next President could restore funding to allow the Department of Justice to again prosecute anyone who violates federal marijuana laws, regardless of whether they are also complying with state laws. The Department of Justice could also appeal the Ninth Circuit’s decision and request that the United States Supreme Court decide the issue.
For now, however, the Ninth Circuit’s decision is a step forward toward establishing legal protections to those who comply with state marijuana laws.
READ AN ARTICLE ON THE DECISION FOR ARIZONA LEGAL MARIJUANA.