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Claire Wells Hanson

Senior Counsel

Claire Wells Hanson leads the firm’s Cannabis Litigation Team, and she stands out among industry practitioners due to her unique background and skill set. She is a commercial litigator by training. Having spent more than a decade practicing in the most sophisticated legal markets in the country, her practice focuses on contractual disputes, securities fraud, and business torts.

Claire applies her experience and litigation know-how in the cannabis industry, by advising marijuana and hemp companies on dispute avoidance and management, defending them against claims, and prosecuting their claims. Both within and without the cannabis industry, Claire has vast experience helping clients navigate disputes in nearly every area of the law, including securities, real estate, intellectual property and licensing, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, product liability, defamation, and Constitutional law.

Claire’s litigation record exemplifies her practical, nimble, and strategic approach to resolving disputes. She has tried cases—and won—in federal and state court. She has argued successfully in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. She’s won many cases and claims on summary judgment and other dispositive motions and avoided the stress and expense of trial for her clients.

Education

J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School, Nashville, Tennessee
B.S., magna cum laude, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, Psychology

Recognitions

National Law Journal Cannabis Trailblazer 2022

Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch, Environmental Law (2022), Commercial Litigation (2021-2022)

State Bar Licenses

Colorado, New York

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
  • Succeeded in defending vertically integrated marijuana business in ownership and license dispute, including first-chairing the 8 day trial. Our successful defense strategy was to teach the Judge that the plaintiff’s investment scheme was illegal under the marijuana regulations in place at the time, which required cross examining two “expert cannabis attorneys” who argued otherwise.
  • Represented marijuana licensee in license revocation hearing and investigation in Pueblo, Colorado.
  • Represented hemp licensee producing hemp derived delta-8 THC in MED investigation.
  • Defended against securities fraud claims brought by investors in a CBD hemp venture.
  • Represented a large group of investors in a Ponzi scheme. Represented them in various court actions, SEC investigation and Colorado Division of Securities investigation.
  • Prosecuted securities fraud and other claims on behalf of investor in a marijuana technology business.
  • Corporate counsel to marijuana dispensary and consumption lounge in West Hollywood, California.

Speaking Engagements

  • “Securities Fraud in the Cannabis Industry,” Lecturer at University of Denver Sturm College of Law, March 2022
  • “Practical Tips for Defending Depositions: Speaking Objections and Preserving Objections for Trial,” PEAK Training, April 2019