July 21st, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP, Cops and Courts, CLEAN UP

Lawyer Who Targeted Portland Pot King Loses License for 90 Days

Paul Stanford

Courthouse News has picked up a story out of the Oregon Supreme Court that provides a coda to our 2007 cover story about Portland cannabis king Paul Stanford (photo above).

Our story related one of the more bizarre chapters in Stanford's career building the largest nationwide chain of medical-marijuana clinics:
In 2005—in an event that ranks as bizarre even in the Stanford chronicles—the normally tranquil atmosphere at his clinic was interrupted when Rochelle Leveque, a former receptionist at the clinic who had been fired three weeks prior, arrived with her attorney, Frederick Smith, in tow. Stanford says the two tried to take over the clinic and change the locks, then left after police arrived.

Leveque was working with a man named Daniel Keys, who was down in Salem at the Secretary of State's office that same day registering the name The Hemp & Cannabis Foundation—Stanford had failed to reapply with the state to keep the name. He lost a lawsuit against Keys to get the name back and has since changed the foundation's official name to THCF.

Leveque, who died in September of a heart attack, was the daughter of Dr. Phillip Leveque, the clinic's first doctor until he lost his medical license in 2004 for qualifying patients for the medical-marijuana program without seeing them in person. Dr. Leveque confirms his daughter planned to turn the clinic over to him after ousting Stanford. “I knew more about the damn thing than he did,” Leveque says.

Today's follow-up from Courthouse News says the state Supreme Court has stripped Smith of his license to practice law for 90 days.

The court ruled Smith knew the positions he took in the case were "frivolous," and he should never have advised Leveque to take over the clinic, according to Courthouse News.

Stanford tells WW he's relieved at the ruling.

"It's kind of a sad thing that it happened there, at least for me," Stanford says. "That he would stoop to something like that—I don't know what motivated him."
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