Over the last two decades, David has acquired an extensive background in complex civil and criminal litigation. He has experienced the justice system from nearly every vantage point having represented both civil plaintiffs and defendants as well as having served as a Prosecutor, Judicial Intern, and Criminal Defense attorney. He is a member of the state and federal bars of New York, New Jersey, and Maryland, and is admitted to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
He is frequently consulted on a variety of state and federal litigation matters by attorneys from across the country including New York, New Jersey, Maryland, California, Colorado, Texas, Michigan, New Mexico and Louisiana.
In the civil litigation arena, David has undertaken or been requested to co-counsel a wide variety of complex client matters.
- He recently forced a landlord to concede, after extensive motion practice over a three year period, the valid succession right of the wife of an estranged husband who had been the prime tenant of record for the highly sought after subject rent stabilized apartment.
- He prosecuted a federal civil rights challenge to a School’s denial of student’s request for religious exemption from mandatory immunizations under New York’s Public Health Law.
- He prosecuted property rights claims and consignment agreement disputes between highly regarded artists and art galleries.
- He caused the withdrawal of a civil R.I.C.O. complaint alleging health-care fraud against a chiropractic facility due to a violation of mandatory patient confidentiality regulations under HIPAA.
- He obtained a sealing order from a Florida state court protecting all medical records from disclosure to state and federal investigations until patient notification and full compliance with all HIPAA and state confidentiality laws occurs.
- He pursued sexual orientation discrimination claims of a gay attorney against an internationally known law firm based in New York.
- He successfully defended a client against allegations of his business partner that he violated the federal “Computer Fraud and Abuse Act” by deleting his intellectual property and black book of business from the company computer.
- He defeated false advertising claims under the Lanham Act brought by a leading sports equipment manufacturer against an emerging competitor.
David regularly handles commercial leasing issues and is an advocate for housing rights representing tenants against efforts to illegally evict them from rent controlled and rent stabilized apartments.
Prior to entering private practice, David was an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County. He also served as a Judicial Intern to the Hon. Frederick Berman in the New York State Supreme Court where he was a contributing drafter of People v. Smith, 602 N.Y.S.2d 999. He assisted the United States Attorney’s Office, S.D.N.Y. during the “Blue Thunder” trial. He was an independent contractor to Pretrial Services in the Southern District of New York where he maintained the Congressionally mandated drug testing database.
In private practice, David has represented or been specially appointed by the Court as co-counsel to defend clients in a number of complex cases.
- He obtained dismissal of “Enterprise Corruption” charges in New York against a Florida based anti-aging rejuvenation medical center and internet pharmacy which was the focus of Senator Mitchell’s investigation and report to Major League Baseball regarding players using steroids and human growth hormone (HGH).
- He and co-counsel obtained dismissal of all federal R.I.C.O. charges against baseball great, Denny McLain.
- He has defended union officials, trash haulers, and shipping executives charged with being part of criminal enterprises and violating R.I.C.O.
- His strategy produced the acquittal of a university professor who’s indictment under R.I.C.O. and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (F.I.S.A.) was announced on national television by Attorney General Ashcroft charging him with fund raising on behalf of a Specially Designated Terrorist Organization.
- He obtained an acquittal for client charged with federal capital murder in furtherance of a drug conspiracy.
- He has defended clients against federal obstruction of justice charges involving the deletion and destruction of computer records.
- He procured a no-jail and no-probation sentence for a merchant who possessed large stores of ivory with the intent to sell it without previously obtaining proper licensing from New York State.
- He negotiated a no-jail plea deal for an I.R.S. agent convicted of tax fraud and tax evasion.
Of Counsel Relationships
David Clifford Holland was Of Counsel to the late Michael Kennedy, Esq., a nationally recognized criminal defense attorney and civil rights advocate for more than 40 years. Together they defended scores of clients in civil and criminal matters including academic and public figures charged federally in politically motivated prosecutions, high profile constitutional challenges in the state and federal arenas, and represented the Coalition to Reschedule Cannabis, in the battle of scientists and academics to re-schedule marijuana under the federal Controlled Substances Act to foster greater scientific research into the properties of the cannabis plant. Their efforts culminated in an appeal by the C.R.C. and Americans for Safe Access to the Court of Appeals in Washington D.C.
In November, 2012, Holland and Kennedy successfully petitioned President Obama for group clemency on behalf of five elderly federal prisoners, each of whom are over the age of 65 and have served more than 15 years of their mandatorily imposed life without parole sentences under the sentencing guidelines.
David spent more than a decade as Counsel to High Times, a magazine universally recognized as the first and foremost publication exclusively dedicated to cannabis related issues. He handles all legal, intellectual property, and licensing matters for High Times. David oversaw all the legal and leasing aspects of the “Hemp Expo” tradeshows and supervised the last 17 ”High Times Cannabis Cup” marijuana themed competition events held in Amsterdam and across the United States. He is also the author of the “Cannabis Courtroom” column which appears bi-weekly in the electronic High Times newsletter.
David is the Executive and Legal Director of Empire State NORML, the New York State affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He is frequently interviewed by national and foreign television, radio and print journalists regarding the legal status of marijuana in the United States. He was an original panelist in the 2010 “Marijuana Conference” where he educated investment bankers, hedge funds, and entrepreneurs about the implications of federal vs. state laws regarding commercial cannabis and the emerging world of “canna-business”.
David is an active member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, a also a former member of the Judiciary Committee and the Mentoring Circle. He is a former member and co-author of “The Proposed Rules of Attorney Conduct: The Wrong Solution for the Wrong Problem” produced by the Professional Responsibility Committee.
2008 – Present – The Law Offices of David Clifford Holland, P.C. – Principal
2004-2008 The Law Offices of Michael Kennedy, P.C. – Senior Associate
2002-2004 The Law Offices of Walter Jennings, P.C. – Trial Attorney
1999-2001 Kings County District Attorney’s Office – Assistant District Attorney
1995-1999 Santangelo, Santangelo & Cohen – Associate Attorney
1993-1994 New York Supreme Court, Judge Frederick Berman – Judicial Intern
1993 Bower & Gardner – Summer Associate
1992-1993 U.S. Attorney’s Office, S.D.N.Y. – Trial Assistant
1992 Rockland County District Attorney’s Office – Summer Intern
1989-1991 United States Pretrial Services - Independent Contractor
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