Category: Featured

Identity Thief Goes to Rehab

People v. ID Theft (2013)

Client was arrested for Identity Theft. Client had a previous strike, increasing his exposure to prison time. In this case, Client was facing 10 years. He was originally offered two years of county jail. Margolin & Lawrence successfully negotiated a deal where Client would be released from county jail and placed in a rehabilitation center for his long standing drug addiction problem.

Hung Jury Where Client Sold Marijuana to an Undercover Officer

People v. R (2012) -Alhambra

Client was operating a mobile dispensary in the San Gabriel Valley and was contacted by an undercover police officer. The officer claimed that he was a medical marijuana patient throughout the transaction but had failed to give his recommendation the client. When the police officer approached the client for the exchange, the Client felt pressured and feared for his life after observing a bulge on the officer’s belt which turned out to be his service firearm. Not wanting to risk his life, Client exchanged the marijuana for cash and drove away.

At the jury trial, Attorney David F. Poblete presented a mistake of fact defense. The be specific, the client could not have formed the requisite intent to illegally sell marijuana because he had a reasonable belief that the officer was a medical marijuana patient. After deliberations, the judge ruled a mistrail due to a hung jury.


HUNG JURY – Domestic Violence Case

People v. GV (2013) – West Covina Courthouse

Client was caught in an altercation with his baby’s mother’s family during a custody exchange. Client fought with the baby’s mother’s brother leading to a criminal battery case. Client was seen on tape by police dash cam footage being beaten by the brother as police officers arrived. At the conclusion of the jury trial, the judge declared a hung jury and dismissed the case with prejudice.

Professor v. Cal. State Los Angeles

Professor v. Cal. State

Our client is distinguished white, female professor at Cal. State Los Angeles. In a rare occurrence of reverse discrimination, our client was being paid substantially less than male and ethnic peers in her ethnic studies department. Through rigorous litigation, Margolin & Lawrence was able to negotiate a settlement that would give our client damages equal to her loss wages due to discrimination and allowed her to keep her job.

995 Motion to Aside Information Granted In Medical Marijuana Cultivation Case

People v. EE (2008)

Client charged in cultivation, possession for sale of marijuana case where over 50 plants were being cultivated by a collective but client told allegedly told police he thought he was taking advantage of a loophole in the law. Though the court bound over client for trial court after Allison put on an an affirmative defense at the preliminary hearing, trial court magistrate dismissed pursuant to Penal Code 995, a motion based on the four corners of the preliminary hearing transcript.

Allison B. Margolin quoted in ABA Journal

On September 1 ,2012, Allison B. Margolin was featured by the American Bar Association: A Dope Niche: With State Law Changes, It’s Pot That’s Hot.

Full text reproduced below, original article by G.M. Filisko for the American Bar Association.

W. Michael Walz calls himself a pot lawyer. But he doesn’t represent drug dealers—and there’s a difference.

“I don’t defend people who are in business to make money,” explains the Phoenix-based solo who began specializing in marijuana cases in 1996 and launched the site in ’98.

“Those people carry weapons and sometimes are affiliated with organized crime, and I don’t have anything to do with them. Mostly, I defend mom and pop-type clients who may grow some and sell a little bit to handle tough financial times but didn’t set a financial objective of selling marijuana.”

Walz isn’t the only lawyer pushing his pot practice. “LA’s dopest attorney” is Allison Margolin, a partner at Margolin & Lawrence in Beverly Hills, Calif. She represents growers and distributors in cases related to the sale, production and transportation of marijuana. “We represent big-time dealers—or people who operate medical marijuana clinics,” she says. “People who are relatively smart realize they can run a marijuana-based business, but they have to do it through a medical contact.”

That’s because in California since 1996 and Arizona since 2010, weed smoking has been legal with an approved doctor’s recommendation; growing and dispensing is also permitted under certain circumstances. But use outside medical parameters can lead to harsh penalties. In Arizona, Walz says, possession of any amount of the herb is a felony.

Getting ribbed by colleagues comes with the territory. Since she’s open about lighting up legally, Margolin is sometimes the butt of digs from opponents asking whether she’s high. “But a lot of lawyers want to get into marijuana law,” she says. “Marijuana is a cash crop, and the marijuana economy is good. Marijuana defendants today are really the only people who can afford a defense.”

Both lawyers consider pot representation a calling. Margolin’s father, defense attorney Bruce Margolin, has advocated for marijuana law reform since the 1960s. She knew by age 12 she wanted to become a lawyer advocating for drug law reform. “My essay for getting into Harvard Law School,” she says, “was on the constitutional right to alter our consciousness.”


Walz joined the niche later in life. His first such case involved securing the release of a jailed AIDS patient who was starving to death. Smoking pot was the only way his client could beat nausea and keep food down—and that was, of course, a jail no-no. “The judge seemed more than willing to let him die,” recalls Walz. “She asked me what assurance I could give her that he wouldn’t continue to violate the law if she let him out.”

After Walz alerted local media, the prosecutor agreed to the prisoner’s release. He died about two years later at his mother’s home.

“I felt very good about what I’d done,” Walz says. “I’d been a criminal defense lawyer for many years and had represented child molesters and people like that. Eventually you’re going to be on your deathbed looking back on your career. I hope to be able to say I made society a better place.”

Client Receives ALL Marijuana and Grow Equipment Seized After Dismissal

People v. J.K. (2012) LAX

Police officers arrested Client after seizing multiple pounds of medical marijuana and grow equipment. At the preliminary hearing, Margolin and Lawrence partner J. Raza Lawrence successfully argued a medical marijuana defense. Client was cultivating for numerous collective members all with valid doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana. The Court found that there was no probable cause to believe that the Client was illegally cultivating marijuana nor was there probable cause to believe that he was possessing the marijuana for sale.

The Client was able to receive all the marijuana seized (over three pounds of marijuana) and all of his grow equipment back.