Andrew Sacks

Managing Partner and Head of the Cannabis and Hemp Department

Email: asacks@sackslaw.com

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Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mr. Sacks received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Grinnell College (1981) and his Juris Doctor degree from Dickinson School of Law (1984).

Previous Experience

Mr. Sacks began his legal career practicing personal injury law in Philadelphia. Soon he was also administrating several legal service plans for large labor unions (including Lodge 5 of the Fraternal Order of Police), servicing a collective membership of more than 50,000 members and their families.

In 1994, Mr. Sacks purchased his employer’s assets and launched the present firm.

The firm continued to handle the following:

  • Personal injury
  • Medical malpractice
  • Maritime matters

In addition, significant efforts were now devoted to representing plaintiffs in toxic tort and environmental contamination litigation. The direction of the practice changed immediately, as it diversified in order to represent a broader client base.‚Äč

A satellite firm was formed in New Orleans, closer to the clients whose land had been contaminated. The firm rapidly pioneered N.O.R.M. litigation, eventually resulting in the largest, single-landowner verdict in the nation’s history – a $1.06 billion verdict. The firm is still one of the country’s leading plaintiffs’ law firms in N.O.R.M. litigation, as well as in other environmental and toxic tort matters.

Notable Achievements

Within the framework of the new partnership of Sacks Weston Diamond LLC, Mr. Sacks maintains his dual interests in general practice law and environmental law, with special focus on pursuing litigation against any company or industry that damages the environment or injures property or individuals. He is justifiably proud that he is one of the few U.S. attorneys who has handled two cases in excess of $1 billion, including the landmark 2001 $1.06 billion verdict against ExxonMobil (see here and here), and has settled cases totaling over $3 billion. On account of these achievements, Mr. Sacks was admitted to membership in the Billion Dollar Lawyers Association.

Admitted to Practice

He is admitted to practice in all Pennsylvania state courts, as well as the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Sixth Circuits. Additionally, he is a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. Five of his cases have gone before the Supreme Court to date.

Contributions to Medical Marijuana Legislation

Andrew Sacks is also heavily involved with medical marijuana and industrial hemp law formation, regulation, and updates in Pennsylvania, and he is often considered the leading legal professional in the state for these matters. In 2015, he was selected by the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH) as the only lawyer to serve on their State Level Coalition. He has since worked extensively with the association to promote fair laws surrounding medical marijuana, cannabis, and hemp, focusing largely on how lawyers can advocate legally for people working within those industries.

He has spoken at several seminars, including:

Mr. Sacks has personally lobbied state senators in conjunction with ATACH (The American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp) to move Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana regulations forward. It is no exaggeration to say that his own efforts have helped Pennsylvania create the medical marijuana program currently in formation. He played an integral part in founding the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations' Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Committees and in helping the Pennsylvania Bar Association gain an understanding of the complexities inherent to medical marijuana law. He is now the co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Committee (appointed by Pennsylvania Bar Association President Sara Austin), as well as the Philadelphia Bar Association Business Law Section: Medical Marijuana and Hemp Committee. Mr. Sacks is also an editor to the Cannabis Law Journal, a contributor to the Cannabis Law Report, and a mamber of the Cannabis Law Directory.

Involvement in the National Lupus Organization

Perhaps his best contribution was to get the National Lupus Organization to recognize the benefits of medical marijuana and to change its policy to reflect it. In addition to pursuing his law-related interests, Mr. Sacks served on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Tri-State Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America. He held this position for six years until he was retired from the seat, as is policy at the foundation.

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