Skip to main content

Danger Lurking in the Tall Grass -- Legal Ethics and Marijuana

Speaker(s): Charles F. Luce, Jr., Eric B. Liebman
Recorded on: Jan. 16, 2015
PLI Program #: 130382

Charles F. Luce, Jr.

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Charles Luce let his imagination fly. Years later, Charles’ life is still soaring—literally and figuratively—as an accomplished pilot, musician, and chair of Moye White's Intellectual Property Group.

A tenacious advocate, Charles counsels clients of every size on trademarks, copyrights, computer technology, Internet law, licensing, contracts, and other areas of intellectual property.

Merging passions for music, theatre, technology, literature, and law, Charles is uniquely suited to help technology companies, artists, and entertainers protect and defend their technology and artistic assets. While still in law school, his article, “Look What They’ve Done to My Song!,” an analysis of the Copyright Act’s compulsory license for audio recordings from a composer’s point of view, won ASCAP’s copyright law writing competition at the University of Oregon. The same year, “Scuttling the Air Pirates: Theories of Pay Television Signal Theft Liability,” became the first published comprehensive analysis of legal remedies available for the misappropriation of cable and satellite television transmissions.

Years and dozens of publication credits later, Charles continues to mix legal insight and humor in pieces for The Colorado Lawyer, such as “Spam and Cookies: How to Avoid Indigestion While Binging at the World Wide Automat” and “The Matrix Unloaded: Coping with Computer Spyware.”

Charles is a recognized authority in the “law of lawyering.” With more than 28 years of practical experience, he advises and assists attorneys and law firms with risk and law firm management strategies, professional responsibility issues, client relationships, and ethics issues arising in litigation. A frequent lecturer and author on legal ethics, Charles provides creative counsel on law firm formation, mergers and dissolutions, business structure, advertising, client issues, ethics, bar admissions, hiring scenarios, malpractice standards, partnership disputes, and risk management assessments to ensure compliance and enhance profitability.

Combining his interests in technology and the law of lawyering, Charles launched and maintains Charles Luce on Legal Ethics and the Practice of Law, the first website devoted to Colorado legal ethics, and a newer blog of the same title.

When not working, Charles may be found piloting his 1964 Cessna Skylane through the Rockies, courtside at University of Colorado women's basketball games, scuba diving, or playing half a dozen musical instruments. Together with his wife and three daughters, he supports five dogs, ten lovebirds, and an African grey parrot named “Sherlock“ at their home in rural east Boulder county. Charles enjoys playing and listening to jazz and classical music, and the works of Charles Dickens, Jasper Fforde, Kurt Vonnegut, and Bill Bryson.

Recent publications and presentations

  • Charles F. Luce, Jr. on Legal Ethics and the Practice of Law blog
  • Presenter on “Ethics of Social Media” for CLE in Colorado program entitled “Hanging Your Shingle: Your Future Begins Now,” August 16, 2014
  • Presenter on “Cloud-y, with a Chance of Data Leakage: Practical Advice for Protecting Client Data and Your License” for CLE in Colorado's Real Estate Symposium, July 12, 2014
  • Presenter, "Ethics and Technology: Hot Mouse Button Issues," CLE in Colorado program, April 8, 2014
  • Presenter on "Ethics: Staying out of Trouble" for CLE International program entitled "Public Financing: The Next Generation in Colorado," April 7, 2014
  • Quoted in "Marijuana Companies Try to Protect the Intellectual Property of Their Pot Brands,", March 28, 2014
  • Presenter on "Ethics and the Use of Technology in a Transactional Practice - Social Media, Cloud Computing, Email, Protecting Client Data" for Colorado Bar Association CLE live program and webcast entitled "Preventing Legal Malpractice 2014," January 30, 2014
  • Presenter, "Ethics and Social Media: What Attorneys Need to Know," NBI Seminar, December 20, 2013
  • Presenter, "Legal Ethics for Paralegals: The Impact of Social Media," NBI Audio Webinar, December 11, 2013
  • Presenter on "Prospective Clients: Avoiding the Rule 1.18 Trap" for CLE International program entitled "ETHICS: Keeping Up in Changing Times," December 9, 2013
  • "Make sure you know when (and how) to fire a client," Denver Business Journal, July 5, 2013
  • Quoted in "5 Tips for Lawyers Representing Lawyers,", June 6, 2013
  • Quoted in "How to avoid copyright infringement,", February 27, 2013
  • Quoted in “Law of Lawyering: A Burgeoning Field,“ Law Week Colorado, February 4, 2013
  • Presenter on “Professional Liability with the Use of Social Media” for CLE in Colorado program entitled “Preventing Legal Malpractice 2013: Protecting Yourself and Your Clients,” February 1, 2013
  • Presenter on “Hot Intellectual Property Issues for the Business Law Attorney” for CLE in Colorado’s Business Law Institute, November 5, 2009
  • “What the Matter with Metadata?” Colorado Bar Association, 36 The Colorado Lawyer 113, November 2007
  • “The Matrix Unloaded: Coping with Computer Spyware,“ 34 The Colorado Lawyer 125, September 2005
  • “Internet Privacy: Spam and Cookies - How to Avoid Indigestion While Binging at the World Wide Automat,“ Colorado Bar Association, 27 The Colorado Lawyer, October 1998


  • Business

Areas of concentration

  • Computer technology
  • Contracts
  • Copyrights
  • Entertainment law
  • Intellectual property
  • Internet law
  • Law firm risk management
  • Legal ethics
  • Trademarks

Education and credentials

University of Oregon, J.D.,   
    Order of the Coif

University of Colorado,   B.A. with distinction, 
    Phi Beta Kappa

Martindale-Hubbell Rating:
  AV® Preeminent™ (highest)
The Best Lawyers in
  America® 2014-2015

Frequent lecturer for CLE, CBA, CBI, NBI, and other entities


Colorado Bar Association, Ethics Committee
Denver Bar Association

United States Supreme Court Tenth Circuit
United States District Courts for Arizona, Colorado and the Northern District of Illinois

Eric B. Liebman

Eric Liebman has represented the business and litigation interests of public and private companies and individuals for fifteen years.  He has substantial experience in a broad range of complex commercial litigation matters across industry segments. Eric counsels clients in litigation relating to securities, employment and labor, trade secrets, intellectual property, real estate, construction, banking, business torts, contracts, franchise, class action defense, insurance coverage, oil and gas, bankruptcy, and probate, trust, and estate matters. He also has significant experience in attorney ethics matters and provides disciplinary defense to attorneys where needed.

Focused on efficient, economic dispute resolution, Eric realizes that litigation is not always the best or only solution to achieve favorable results. He has in-depth experience with alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation. His comprehensive litigation experience also provides him with the expertise to handle related transactional matters, such as in the industries of banking, construction and real estate.

Eric has conducted more than fifty jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations, and evidentiary and procedural hearings, including defending against several class action cases. These have taken place in the federal, bankruptcy, and state courts, before arbitral hearing panels, as well as in several administrative agencies and self-regulatory organizations. He has also briefed and argued numerous appeals, in federal and state courts of appeal, the Colorado Supreme Court, and before self-regulatory organizations.

Eric has handled numerous proceedings in other states, including Wyoming, New York, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, and Texas. In addition, he has extensive experience in cases before the American Arbitration Association, the Judicial Arbiter Group, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA", previously the National Association of Securities Dealers ("NASD")), the NASD National Adjudicatory Council, the Certified Financial Planner Board, the Colorado Presiding Disciplinary Judge/Attorney Regulation Committee, the Colorado Board of Law Examiners, the Colorado Department of Labor, and within the municipal systems of Denver and Colorado Springs.

Eric has taken and defended over 100 depositions in Colorado, California, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, as well as abroad in London, England; Dusseldorf, Germany; and Larnaka, Cyprus. Eric has also represented clients in almost 100 mediations all over Colorado, as well as in Michigan and Illinois.

Eric began his career as a law clerk for Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Anthony F. Vollack.  He is active on the CBA’s Ethics Committee, serves on The Colorado Lawyer's Board of Editors, and has chaired the Judicial Performance Commission for the 17th Judicial District.

Eric is committed to giving back to the community. He is on the Board of Family Star, a nonprofit that provides early education opportunities to underserved populations, and is a past recipient of the CBA’s Metro Volunteer Lawyers Award.

Eric is licensed to practice law in Colorado and Illinois. He has been admitted to practice by courts in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, New York, Texas, and Wyoming.

  • Publications
  • “The Future of the Fourth Amendment After Minnesota v. Dickerson - A "Reasonable Proposal," 44 DePaul Law Review 167 (Fall 1994)
  • “Application of SEC v. W.J. Howey in Colorado and Other Jurisdictions,” (The Colorado Lawyer, June 2002)
  • “The Application of the FMLA and Its Interplay with the ADA” (The Colorado Lawyer, May 2005)
  • “The State of the Intertwining Doctrine in Colorado,” (The Colorado Lawyer, January 2007)
  • Colorado Civil Motions Practice (Bradford Publishing Co., 2012)
  • Co-presenter, "When In-House Counsel Takes the Stand," Association of Corporate Counsel Colorado Chapter 2013 In-House Counsel Forum (April 2013)


  • Trial

Areas of concentration

  • Commercial litigation
  • Securities
  • Trade secrets
  • Class action defense
  • Employment and labor
  • Intellectual property
  • Real estate
  • Construction
  • Banking
  • Franchise and distribution
  • Insurance coverage
  • Oil and gas
  • Bankruptcy
  • Probate, trusts, and estates

Education and credentials

  • DePaul University, College of   Law, J.D., 1995, Editor -   DePaul Law Review
  • University of Colorado at Boulder, B.S., 1990, Business Administration
  • Judicial Clerkship, Chief Justice Anthony F. Vollack, Colorado Supreme Court (1995-1996)


  • American Bar Association
      Availability of Legal
      Services Committee
      (1997-2002), Ethics
      Committee (2004-present)
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • The Colorado Lawyer, Board of Editors 2006–2010
  • The Colorado Lawyer, Department Editor, Legal Services News  (1997-2000)
  • CBA Judicial Performance Commission, 17th Judicial District (Chair, 2002–2005)
  • Solera National Bank, Board of Directors, 2014-present
  • Family Star, Board of Directors (2006–present)
  • Colorado Board of Law Examiners (2008-present)
  • 2013-2014 Special Committee on the Uniform Bar Examination of the National Conference of Board Examiners
  • Colorado Super Lawyer 2010 - 2014


  • Colorado
  • Illinois