Managing Partner and Head of the Cannabis and Hemp Department
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).
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
The firm continued to handlepersonal injury, medical malpractice, and 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 the firm diversified
in order to represent a broader client base.
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. radiation
contamination 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.
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 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
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.
Andrew in the News
"Diet soda makers sued over deceptive, false and misleading advertising" - Health Nut News
"CONSTELLATION, OWNER OF BEER BRAND CORONA, TAKES STAKE IN CANADA’S CANOPY." - Cannabis Law Report
"CALIFORNIA CONSUMER FILES AN ARRAY OF CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS AGAINST DIET
COKE, DIET DR.PEPPER AND DIET PEPSI" - Texans for Lawsuit Reform
"Coke, Pepsi Diet Drinks Can Add Weight, False Ad Suits Say" - Law360
"Soft Drink Makers Face Allegations of Fraud Over Diet Sodas" - BigClassAction.com
"Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition Stands Up for Patients: Files Court Petition
to Prevent Halt of Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program" - Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition
"Parents: Marijuana grower suit is 'myopic and selfish'" - The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Pennsylvania: Aspiring Medical Cannabis Producer, Keystone ReLeaf LLC ,
Files Lawsuit To Stop State’s MMR Program Because They Didn’t
Receive A Permit" - Cannabis Law Report
"'Suit to halt Pa. marijuana program may cause 'pain, agony, & death'" - The Inquirer Daily News
"USA Roundup: Federal, National, California, Minnesota, Ohio, Philadelphia, Virginia" - Cannabis Law Report
"Philly-area law firms bullish on cannabis despite grave legal risks" - Philly.com
"Sacks Weston Diamond LLC, Philadelphia. The Interview" - Cannabis Law Report
"Buy your medical cannabis here; Pa. announces dispensary sites" - The Inquirer News
"For Medical Cannabis Lawyers, It's Crunch Time" - Law.com
"USA Customs and Border Protection Confiscate Product Designed To Keep Cannabis
Safe & Away From Kids" - Cannabis Law Report
"Cannabis Law Journal: Andrew Sacks - Chairman of the Medical Marijuana
and Hemp Department" - Cannabis Law Journal (See more in our blog)
"Pennsylvania: The Year in Review of the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act" - Cannabis Law Report
"The Year in Review of the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act" - The Legal Intelligencer
"Mock Trial Competition Teaches More than Legal Process" - Pennsylvania Bar Association
"Montco attorney to lead medical marijuana and hemp law committee of state bar" - Central Penn Business Journal
“Medical Marijuana Committee” - Philadelphia Bar Association
"PBA Launches Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Committee" - Pennsylvania Bar Association
"Medical Marijuana and Hemp Committee" - Philadelphia Bar Association
"The Biggest Pa. Policy Developments Of 2016" - Law360
"New Pa. Rule Clears Path for Medical Cannabis Practices" - The Legal Intelligencer
"Vast Conspiracy Theory Takes Back Seat To Technical Arguments In RJ Reynolds Case" - Forbes
"Billion Dollar Lawyers Association Launches with First Member" - Billion Dollar Lawyers Association
"Pennsylvania legalized pot might create work lawyers fear going after" - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Lawyers Unhappy With Bars' Opinion On Pot Industry" - The Legal Intelligencer
"Bars Urge Rule Change on Marijuana Industry" - The Legal Intelligencer
"Legalized Pot Might Create Work Lawyers Fear Going After" - The Legal Intelligencer
"Cannabis and Hemp Industry Association calls for medical cannabis law that
protects Pennsylvania's lawyers" - American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp