Ian James Christiansen, a lawyer from Jacksonville, Florida, is no longer allowed to practice law in Florida. The Florida Supreme Court disbarred him for giving clients wrong legal advice about the growing and selling of marijuana.
Christiansen worked with a doctor who did not have the right to practice medicine. Together, they charged a lot of people $799 for “Official Legal Certifications.” Those who bought certifications were told that they could grow and sell marijuana. The certifications turned out to be fake and a lot of the people who bought them got into trouble.
Several of Christiansen’s clients got arrested because they listened to his advice. They thought they could legally grow and sell marijuana because that was supposed to be the purpose of the licenses they had bought. The clients did not know that they were dealing with a lawyer who wanted to scam them. For example, one couple who had worked with Christiansen got three years of probation. Additionally, they had to do 100 hours of community service and pay a fine of $15,000.
Christiansen was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2013. Later that year he opened a law firm where he started giving clients advice on medical marijuana. He had no background in medical marijuana when he began offering these services. After that is when he began selling fake certifications with the unlicensed doctor. He did all this illegal work in the medical marijuana field years before medical marijuana was even allowed in Florida.
The Florida Supreme Court made its decision on January 18 of 2018. It was determined that Christiansen had broken 9 of the state bar rules. Thus, his right to practice law in the state of Florida was removed.