Overview

Tom represents growing businesses at each stage of their development, advising them on complex matters involving regulatory oversight, corporate governance, risk management, and other day-to-day business issues. He often works with his clients to overcome short-term regulatory and financial uncertainty to achieve long-term success in developing markets. 
 
When litigation is unavoidable, Tom crafts litigation strategies for a defense-led investigation and discovery effort to uncover new favorable facts and witnesses. At times, these strategies also involve utilizing media platforms to protect clients' reputations when facing damaging allegations. Tom has successfully represented clients both at the trial court level and on appeal throughout the State of Ohio.
 
Tom's practice is also focused on marijuana law and policy. He has become one of the go-to attorneys for Ohio's burgeoning medical marijuana industry, working with medical marijuana cultivator, processor, and dispensary applicants and license holders. He assists clients with license acquisition, zoning and municipal law, product labeling and packaging, and regulatory compliance. He also advises ancillary industry stakeholders seeking to service Ohio's medical marijuana market.
 
As a former nominee for the State Senate, Tom knows how important it is to build consensus at the local and State level to further clients' interests. He is an avid contributor to various local and national media outlets and often shares his expertise by speaking at industry conferences and events.
 
Tom regularly provides pro bono litigation services to indigent clients, as well as clients facing defamation claims based on constitutionally-protected online speech. 

Practices

    • Assisted multiple Ohio medical marijuana applicants during the Ohio license application process.
    • Along with co-counsel, successfully obtained a sanction award against an eBay seller who brought a SLAPP suit against two out-of-state individuals.
    • Successfully quashed a subpoena issued by a Plaintiff in a SLAPP suit that would have revealed a client's identity, where the client engaged on constitutionally-protected speech online.
    • Obtained a summary judgement against a construction equipment company where the company attempted to hold the client personally liable for business debt; defended the decision in the Court of Appeals, which subsequently affirmed the trial court's decision.
    • Obtained an acquital on behalf of a client accused of improperly purchasing liquor for business purposes, thereby avoiding revocation of his client's liquor license.
    • Obtained a sentence of community control on behalf of a client alleged to be trafficking in approximately 100 pounds of marijuana.
  • Education

    • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2011
    • John Carroll University, B.A., 2008

    Admissions

    • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
    • State of Ohio
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • Professional Affiliations

    • National Cannabis Industry Association—Legal and Banking Committee (2016-Present)
    • National Cannabis Bar Association—Member (2016-Present)
    • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Legal Committee—Member (2012-Present)
    • Ohio State Bar Association—Member (2012-Present)
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association —Member (2011-Present); Board of Directors (2018-Present)
    • Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers—Member (2012-Present)
    • Cuyahoga County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association—Member (2012-Present)

    Community Involvement

    • National College of DUI Defense (2014-Present)
    • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law - Solo Incubator Advisory Council (2011-Present)
    • Candidate for Ohio Senate, District 23 (2014)
    • Lowellville High School - Commencement Speaker (2014)
    • "Defending Against: Products Liability, RICO, Dram Shop/Social Host, and Other Claims," National Cannabis Bar Association's Law Instiute, Washington D.C. (September 2018)
    •  "Ohio Cannabis Legal and Financial Impact & Update, BioOhio's "Medical Cannabis in the Buckeye State Conference, Cleveland OH (June 2018)
    • "Hot Emerging Medical Markets: Michigan, Pennsylvania & Ohio," MJBixConNEXT, New Orleans, LA (May 2018)
    • "The Ethics of Representing Medical Marijuana Clients: What We Know, What We Don't, and How Other States Have Addressed Attorney Participation in this Growing Industry," Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' Hot Topics in Criminal Laws, Columbus, OH (December 2017)
    • "How to Screen a Case," Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Associations' New Lawyer Bootcamp, Cleveland, OH (December 2017)
    • “Ohio Medical Marijuana: Implementation and Opportunities for Young Lawyers,” Panelist, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Federalist Society Meeting, Columbus, OH (October 2017)
    • “Rules Regarding Representation in Medical Marijuana Matters,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association's Sizzling Hot Topics in Professional Conduct, Cleveland, OH (October 2017)
    • “Dealing with the Realities of Un/Underemployment and Career Transition,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Pillars Program, Cleveland, OH (October 2017)
    • "Hot Topics in Media Law," Ohio State Bar Association Law & Media Conference, Columbus, OH (October 2017)
    • "Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program: An Overview," Ohio Cannabis Institute (May 2017)
    • "The Ethical Black Hole of Ohio's Green Rush," Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2016)
    • "Back to Basics: Defamation, Privacy, and Copyright Law in Ohio," Ohio State Bar Association Law & Media Conference (2015)
    • "Litigating the Offensive Online Speech Case: Perils, Protections, and Public Relations," Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association CLE (2013)