Our attorneys have more than three decades of combined experience representing clients in the marijuana industry and working on marijuana policy reform. They do not just advise clients on the law; they help to shape the laws and regulations themselves. Keep reading for a more detailed introduction to the members of our team.
Brian Vicente, Esq., is a partner and founding member of Vicente Sederberg LLC. He served as the co-director of the Amendment 64 campaign and was one of the primary authors of this historic measure, which resulted in Colorado becoming the first state in the nation – and the first geographic area in the world – to make the possession, use, and regulated distribution of marijuana legal for adults. Brian also serves as executive director of Sensible Colorado, the state’s leading non-profit working for medical marijuana patients and providers. Brian is the chair of the Denver Mayor’s Marijuana Policy Review Panel, serves on the Colorado Department of Revenue Medical Marijuana Oversight Panel, and coordinates the Colorado Bar Association's Drug Policy Project. He was awarded the prestigious Gideon award for his free speech advocacy during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In 2010, Brian was elected the first-ever chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association, the only trade association in the U.S. that works to advance the interests of cannabis-related businesses on the national level. Brian is regularly quoted in local, state and national press and is a featured blogger for the Huffington Post. He serves on the board of directors for a number of state and national non-profit organizations including the SAFER Voter Education Fund and the Harm Reduction Center. Brian graduated from the University of Denver Law School on a full merit scholarship where he clerked for outspoken social critic, Senior Federal Judge John L. Kane. Brian was the chair of the Committee for Responsible Regulation, which coordinated the campaign to implement statewide excise and sales taxes on the sale of adult-use marijuana in Colorado.
Christian Sederberg, Esq.,is a partner and founding member of Vicente Sederberg LLC. After graduating from the University of Colorado School of Law, Christian focused his practice on representing businesses with a primary focus on real estate, private equity, commercial, and corporate transactions. Since the inception of Colorado's state regulated medical marijuana program, Christian and the firm have provided a wide range of real estate, transactional and regulatory assistance to the marijuana community. Christian was also an integral part of Colorado's Amendment 64 campaign, acting as core volunteer for the campaign, representing the campaign on Governor Hickenlooper's Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force, and leading the campaign's legislative implementation team in the Colorado legislature by coordinating the implementation of the Colorado legislative and regulatory structure related to adult-use marijuana. Christian sat on the executive committee of the Committee for Responsible Regulation, which coordinated the campaign to establish statewide excise and sales taxes on the sale of adult-use marijuana in Colorado.
Joshua Kappel, Esq., partner at Vicente Sederberg LLC, graduated in the top 10 percent of his class at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in May 2010. While in law school, Josh received both the Patton Boggs Public Policy Fellowship and the Public Interest Law Clerkship to work for Sensible Colorado. Josh also interned with the National ACLU's Drug Law Reform Project in Santa Cruz and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar. At Vicente Sederberg, Josh routinely provides advice to patients, caregivers, and businesses about medical marijuana, licensing, regulatory compliance, general business and transactional law, and the intersection of state and federal law. In addition to his work with Vicente Sederberg, Josh is currently the Associate Director of Sensible Colorado, advocating for medical marijuana patient rights. Josh has testified at numerous public hearings on issues related to medical marijuana, sat on many panels at various conferences, and routinely writes articles about a myriad of medical marijuana issues. Josh’s work has been highlighted in the Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette, Westword, Kush Magazine, West Coast Leaf, and Colorado Springs Independent.
Ted Trimpa, Esq., of counsel with Vicente Sederberg, LLC, is the Principal and CEO of Trimpa Group LLC, a national political consulting and government relations firm that specializes in progressive public policy advocacy and political strategy. With offices in Washington D.C. and Denver, Trimpa Group develops cutting-edge public policy strategies at the state and federal levels. Trimpa also serves as a board member for numerous organizations, including the Democracy Alliance, ProgressNow, Third Way, Citizen Engagement Laboratory, and Tectonic Theater Project. Trimpa is one of the country’s most sought-after advocates resulting from his deep understanding of the national and multi-state public policy, political, and nonprofit landscape. Called “Colorado’s answer to Karl Rove” by The Atlantic, Trimpa is a nationally recognized Democratic strategist and operative. He is considered a key architect of the political infrastructure that facilitated the Democratic Party’s resurgence in Colorado after decades of Republican dominance—a turnaround so dramatic National Review dubbed it the “Colorado miracle.” Campaigns & Elections recently named him one of the top five Democratic political players in the state. In addition to his work in Colorado, Trimpa is a nationally recognized thought leader and a leading advisor to progressive donors and foundations. He is also a visionary within the gay rights movement and considered an early pioneer in advocating for political strategies focused at the state level. He has been recognized in national publications, including The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic, National Review, and The Advocate, for his central role in designing cutting-edge public policy strategies. Trimpa was raised on a small family farm in southwestern Kansas and got his start in politics by working for U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum. Prior to forming Trimpa Group, Ted was a shareholder at both Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and Hogan Lovells where he was responsible for matters before the Colorado General Assembly and had a multi-state public policy practice.
Steve Fox, Esq., of counsel with Vicente Sederberg LLC, heads up the firm’s government relations work. He is one of the leading figures in the movement to create a legal, regulated marijuana market in the United States. He is a co-founder of the National Cannabis Industry Association, which represents approximately 500 state-legal businesses, and serves as a strategic advisor to the organization. While at the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) from 2002-2005 and 2009-2013, Steve lobbied Congress and guided numerous ballot initiative campaigns, including the Amendment 64 campaign in Colorado. He also guided a lobbying team through the Amendment 64 implementation process. In 2005, Steve conceptualized and co-founded Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) in Colorado for the express purpose of educating the public about the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. The goal, eventually realized, was to change the mindset of voters in order to make marijuana legal through a ballot initiative. He is the co-author of Marijuana is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink? (Chelsea Green, 2009, 2013), which is based on the strategy that proved successful in Colorado. Steve is also principal at Marijuana Strategies, where he serves as an independent consultant, advising individuals and organizations on marijuana policy- and industry-related issues. He is a member of the Bar in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Jordan Wellington, Esq., an associate at Vicente Sederberg LLC, graduated cum laude from Brooklyn Law School in May of 2009. His primary focus at Vicente Sederberg is on regulatory compliance and government affairs. In 2013, Jordan served as the sole legislative staffer assigned to shepherd the legislation relating to the implementation of Amendment 64 and the legalization of marijuana through the Colorado General Assembly. Jordan was then hired by the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division to serve as the sole policy analyst during the development and drafting of the rules governing retail marijuana and the revised rules governing medical marijuana. During his time with the Marijuana Enforcement Division, Jordan drafted rules governing testing, cultivation, product manufacturing, concentrate production, retail distribution, production management, transportation, certification of laboratories, labeling, packaging, and storage. He also organized the Division’s entire stakeholder engagement process and personally chaired several of the working groups. Jordan is honored to be selected to serve on Marijuana Research Advisory Group, which was convened by the Colorado School of Public Health at UCD, and Advisory Board on Good Marijuana Cultivation and Handling Practices, convened by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. In addition to his expertise in the regulation of the marijuana industry, Jordan has also worked for the New Jersey Legislature, New York Assemblyman Jonathan Bing, and the Epilepsy Foundation of NJ. Also, Jordan is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Prevent Child Abuse Colorado.
Phil Cherner, Esq., focuses on criminal defense and attorney grievance defense at Vicente Sederberg LLC in Denver. Driven by a commitment to justice and civil rights, Phil has had a long career steeped in law and advocacy, dating back to when he was the head of a local NORML chapter during law school in the early 1970's. After a few years in private practice, he began, in 1979, an eight-year stint with the Colorado Public Defender’s Office where he conducted numerous trials in both Arapahoe and Denver counties. Overall, he has spent close to 40 years defending thousands of clients charged with crimes, trying cases in state and federal courts across Colorado. For the last two decades, he has also performed attorney grievance defense and bar admissions, representing attorneys and law students. He has litigated appeals in the Colorado Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court, and the Seventh and Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Having practiced law in Denver for four decades, Phil is on a first name basis with most of the key players in the justice system. Phil is a graduate of Vanderbilt Law School and currently enjoys Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating, AV. He is the 2006 Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Jonathan Olom Award winner and the 2013 Sam Carey Bar Association Warrior for Justice Award Winner. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Law School and an internationally recognized semi-professional photographer.
Alexa Tetzlaff, Esq., is of counsel with Vicente Sederberg LLC. Alexa is also an associate in both the Denver and Chicago offices of Tetzlaff Law Offices and is licensed to practice in Colorado, Illinois and Washington D.C. Her practice includes a full-spectrum of services for business clients, with experience in corporate documentation, litigation, administrative and regulatory matters. She is currently a member of the American Bar Association, the Colorado Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association. Prior to joining the firm, Alexa worked as a Law Clerk with the Denver Water Board of Commissioners and as a Summer Associate in Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Denver office. Alexa received her B.A. from the University of Colorado – Boulder in 2005, M.A. from the University of Denver – Korbel School of International Relations in 2007, and J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2010.
Shawn Hauser, Esq., an associate in the Vicente Sederberg Denver office, is a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where she chaired the school's chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Prior to joining Vicente Sederberg LLC, Shawn worked at a small law firm specializing in criminal defense and family law. Shawn is the director of the "Local Implementation Project" for the non-profit Sensible Colorado Action, where she works with local governments across the state to pass marijuana laws that foster responsible businesses. Shawn came to Denver from Austin, Texas, where she fostered her love for live music, while studying psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.
Adam D. Fine
Adam D. Fine, Esq., joined Vicente Sederberg LLC in 2013. As of counsel, Adam represents the firm’s growing base of Massachusetts medical marijuana clients, with a particular emphasis on criminal and business compliance matters. Adam spent a number of years as an associate attorney at a downtown Boston law firm where his practice focused on complex civil and criminal litigation. He is also currently a partner at Fine Kohanloo LLP, a law firm located in Needham, Massachusetts, and is licensed to practice in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Before entering private practice, Adam was a trial attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia where he litigated over 200 criminal trials. Adam received his B.A. from the University of Rochester, and his J.D. cum laude from the American University Law School in 2004. He presently resides with his wife and two children in Duxbury, MA.
Ellen Sullivan, Esq., works in the Vicente Sederberg Massachusetts office, representing clients on a variety of matters including applications for Massachusetts Registered Marijuana Dispensary licenses immigration law, applications for protection orders, criminal defense, civil litigation, collections, and residential real estate matters. Ellen’s prior experience includes working at a small Boston law firm, the Victim Rights Law Center, and Centro Presente and interning at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Center for Justice and International Law in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Greater Boston Legal Services. Ellen is a member of AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association), the Boston Bar Association, and Women’s Bar Association. She received her J.D. at Northeastern University School of Law, her B.A. at Dartmouth College, and is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Ellen speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
Michelle Kohanloo, Esq., works in the Vicente Sederberg Massachusetts office as part of a team that counsels applicants for Registered Marijuana Dispensary licenses and provides comprehensive legal services to the Commonwealth’s medical marijuana patients and businesses. More broadly, her practice includes civil matters, immigration, and real estate. Previously, Michelle worked as an associate at a downtown Boston law firm where she assisted clients in a variety of matters, including residential and commercial real estate transactions, estate planning, immigration, and civil litigation. As a law student, she worked at Neighborhood Legal Services as a law clerk for the family law unit, serving low-income and elderly clients in Essex and Northern Middlesex counties. Michelle also interned at Suffolk County Superior Court for the Honorable Charles T. Spurlock. Before law school, Michelle worked in television and print journalism around New England. Michelle received her J.D. at New England Law | Boston, her B.S. from Boston University, and is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She is fluent in Persian (Farsi).
Jill Lamoureux, a technical writer for Vicente Sederberg LLC, is a former cannabis dispensary operator. In addition to establishing one of Colorado’s most respected multi-location dispensary operations, Jill has earned national recognition for her expertise in best practice and operating standards. Jill works with clients navigating complex licensing and application processes throughout the United States and in Canada. The only business owner to serve on both the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Medical Marijuana Enforcement divisions’ medical marijuana work groups, Jill played an active role in development of Colorado’s first round of industry, physician, patient, and caregiver regulations. Jill provided regulatory advisory and drafting services to all three of Colorado’s marijuana business trade associations during the rule revision process last year. In 2013, Jill assisted the Washington State Liquor Control Board in developing their licensing process, joining RAND researchers and fellows as a member of the BOTEC Analysis Corporation team. She developed the medical marijuana business third-party audit and certification program (based on NSF, ISO, and USDA certification programs) for Americans for Safe Access, a national non-profit patient advocacy and scientific research group. Jill is also a key member of the American Herbal Products Association's work group developing recommendations for marijuana regulators, and regularly develops standard operating procedures for clients in multiple jurisdictions including Canada, Colorado, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the District of Columbia.
Andrew Livingston serves as a policy analyst for Vicente Sederberg LLC. Andrew first worked alongside the Vicente Sederberg team in 2012 during the historic Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol campaign, which legalized marijuana for adults in Colorado. Andrew started his work in drug policy while at Colgate University and founded a chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy in 2009. During this time he focused his academic studies on the economics of illegal markets and the harms they create for societies around the world. After graduation Andrew worked at the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation as an Institute for Humane Studies Koch Summer Fellow. At Vicente Sederberg, Andrew provides analysis on legal and regulatory policy matters for adult-use and medical marijuana laws in Colorado and other states around the country. In October 2013, Andrew was appointed by the Colorado Department of Revenue to represent the law firm on a regulatory panel determining interim production caps for the new retail marijuana industry.
Nicola Giudice is a legal assistant in Vicente Sederberg's Massachusetts office. Prior to joining the office, she was the Director of Outreach for the Question 3 campaign, which legalized medical marijuana in the state of Massachusetts. Nicola got her bachelor's degree in political science and master's degree from the Women in Politics and Public Policy Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She interned at the Massachusetts State House for State Representative Ruth Balser, and currently serves as the clerk for the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Association. She lives in Arlington, MA.
Kat Humphries is a legal assistant at Vicente Sederberg LLC. She joined the Vicente Sederberg team in 2013 after spending the preceding year working as a legal clerk for an intellectual property law firm focusing on patent and trademark law. Kat initiated her involvement in drug policy in 2010 when she founded a chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at the College of Charleston. In college, she changed marijuana policies at a collegiate level, expanded the College's Good Samaritan Policy, lobbied at a national level for drug policy reform, interned with the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office's Juvenile Arbitration program, and served as the chairwoman of the College's judicial board for two years. Currently, Kat sits on Students for Sensible Drug Policy's Board of Directors and volunteers on weekends.