Manny Daskal

Manny Daskal

This week's member in the spotlight is Manny Daskal of Eureka, California. Manny is originally from Detroit, Michigan. He spent a number of years involved in community organizing. This was all part of a natural evolution from growing up in Detroit Michigan and being close to those who formed the auto unions. After graduating with his B.A. from Wayne State University, he got involved in the initial start up of a community food co-op that now numbers about 30 thousand members. He was on the original board of directors and incorporated a quite successful rural health center. In addition, he was an officer and board member of a very substantial public land trust. He describes this public service background and having gone to college in the 60's in the heart of downtown Detroit, as giving him an affinity to the "counter-culture". So he moved to far Northern California (Humboldt County in particular) which was, to many, the center of the United States marijuana culture. After spending a number of years in this rural environment he broadened his horizons by setting forth on world travel and resided in Switzerland, Spain and Morocco.

He chose to earn his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, which allowed him on the job experience. He worked for the Massachusetts Public Defenders office at both the Boston and Roxbury locations, handling his own arraignment calendar. By the time he graduated, he represented over 100 clients at arraignments. After graduation, he dove right in by opening a solo practice in Boston handling primarily Federal drug cases. With a little experience under his belt, he returned to California where he practiced with and took over Robert Cogen's practice. Robert then held a reputation as one of the best marijuana defense lawyers in the country. Manny started out successfully defending the first marijuana cases in a number of California counties. His success grew into some of the largest marijuana cases, ranging from 13,000 plants (the largest grow at the time in California) to most recently suppressing the evidence in a 600 plant case. Manny states, "I believe that marijuana growers and people charged with DUIs aren't criminals as neither wants to intentionally harm people". So, it was a natural transition for Manny to expand his practice to representing people charged with DUIs.

Manny's expertise includes special training in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Standardized Field Sobriety Tests as an instructor, as well as the Drug Recognition Expert course, along with technical training on the several different breath test devices used in California. He has lectured and published on Marijuana and DUI, and consults with attorneys across the country. Manny has been a sustaining member of the National College of DUI Defense since 1997. He is currently the Vice- President of the California DUI Defense Lawyers and has been a member of NORML and NACDL for over 20 years.

Manny was married to the love of his life Denise by his favorite Judge "Corky" Banducci, who was quite ill and passed away a week after their wedding. Corky got his dying wish in that the marriage was his last act as a judge. Their daughter is a testament to Manny's brilliance. Lilian is a senior at Brandeis University, a world traveler like her dad, and speaks 8 languages fluently. With a fine appreciation of beauty and craftsmanship, Manny rewards himself with an exquisite glass collection, his favorite glass artist being Lucio Bubacco.

Manny states, "My favorite part of lawyering is the unbelievable connection with people ranging from the challenged to the amazing intellectual capacity of our members. I love trying to follow the thoughts and thought patterns of our members, truly the brightest and most gifted of lawyers. It is this intellectual stimulation that keeps me young and continually striving to bring my A' game for my clients. I am continually astounded by how much I learn from the members of our group".

Well, Manny we value learning from you. Not only do we prize the expertise you impart, we love your camaraderie and joie de vivre. The NCDD is a better organization because of your lively zest, love of law, and love of people. We are honored to serve alongside you. Thank for a lifetime of excellence.

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