Defense attorney Alex Lane is at the height of his profession

Lawyer on TopNV Cover Story Aug Sept '16

Defense attorney Alex Lane is at the height of his profession.

By Nadine Bubeck

 

Photos by CMQ Photos LLC

One of the highest awards the State Bar of Arizona gives is the annual President’s Award. The president of the state bar presents this prestigious award, “To an individual who has contributed enormous effort toward the furtherance of the president’s goals and priorities during the president’s term in office.” In the past, it has been given to senators, governors, and judges. This year, Alex Lane was one of two Valley lawyers to receive the award.

Lane’s a Phoenix attorney who practices in the areas of criminal defense and the medical marijuana industry. He’s also a lobbyist. Lane is listed in the Martindale Hubbell Registry of Preeminent Lawyers and has received the highest rating of AV.

Alex Lane’s father, Kenney Hegland, is a law professor who has taught at Harvard, UCLA, and the University of Arizona. His stepmother is a superior court judge. His grandfather worked with the California Legislature and his great-grandfather was a lawyer before he became a general in the Marine Corps. Lane’s father always taught that being a lawyer isn’t about abstract concepts; it’s about helping real people with real problems. So, it’s no surprise that Lane has followed in his family’s footsteps.

Education

Lane attended Northern Arizona University and graduated with a degree in philosophy. He received his juris doctor degree from the University of Arizona and his master of business administration from Arizona State University. Before law school, Lane worked for Landmark Education.

The first three years of Lane’s career were spent as a prosecutor. This time included working at the Maricopa County Attorney’s office, where he was assigned to major crimes.

Lane then switched sides and began defending individual’s charges with a variety of crimes including white-collar crimes and DUIs. For Lane, the transition to becoming a defense lawyer was easy because he believed the Arizona sentencing scheme was too harsh and actually counterproductive.

“When I meet a client for the first time, they often ask what they can do to help their case. In this moment, they are ready to make significant changes because their job or marriage, or life as they know it, might be on the line,” says Lane.

Lane believes defense lawyers should do more to use this moment to encourage clients to make positive changes. These changes can then be presented to the prosecutor and judge as evidence of the client’s commitment and effort.

Ahead of the Curve

In addition to being an advocate for his clients, Lane gives back to the community. He’s involved with The Arizona Bar Foundation and has helped support the educational goals of the organization. Earlier this year, he helped make an educational video about the Trial of Goldilocks, in which he starred in with his two daughters. Margot, 12, played Mamma Bear, and Kate, 10, played Goldilocks. Lane played the reporter. The 11-minute video is designed to help teach elementary school children about the legal system and the importance of making good decisions.

Teaching for The Apple Corporation

Several years ago, Lane converted his office from Windows to Mac. Since then, Lane has become a sought-after presenter on the topics of law office management, mobile technology, Internet security, and cloud technology. He’s given presentations to many groups including the State Bar of Arizona, UA James E. Rogers College of Law, and ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Lane was particularly honored when two people from the Apple Corporation, after viewing his presentation, invited him to give his presentation to Apple’s business customers. He’s been invited back and has given four presentations for the Apple Corporation.

And there’s more.

Lane has also authored a chapter in the book Utilizing Forensic Science in Criminal Cases. The book is available on the Thompson Reuters website.

Medical Marijuana

Lane has expanded his practice into the field of medical marijuana. This was natural for him because he has always believed that the drug war has been a public policy disaster. Lane’s background gives him a unique perspective, because he has seen, as a prosecutor and as a defense lawyer, what he says are the terrible consequences of America’s misguided drug war.

According to Lane, there are many legal issues that relate to medical marijuana; including compliance, business formations, the application process, obtaining a license, etc. He says that the medical marijuana industry is rapidly expanding, and lots of people want to participate. However, as Lane points out, it’s very important to understand the industry and seek advice to make sure that all issues are understood prior to entering the world of weed.

Lane also works as a lobbyist and is becoming a recognized voice within the industry. He’s been consulted by elected officials in Arizona and out-of-state officials on drafting medical marijuana legislation. He has co-hosted a tour of a medical marijuana dispensary for out-of-state officials considering creating a medical marijuana program in their state. For those interested in learning about marijuana and the law, simply turn to Lane’s Facebook page: @CheebaLaw.

Closing Statements

Lane is the father of two girls. When he’s not at work, he can be found taking ballet classes with his daughters or spending time on his sailboat in San Diego.

His favorite quote is from an unattributed source––“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”––Fitting words for this criminal defense attorney.

 

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