Gregory W. Falls
Gregory W. Falls

Member

Phone: 602.240.3012

Fax: 602.240.6600

gfalls@shermanhoward.com

vCard | Print Page

Legal Secretary

Diana Hanson
602.240.3075

Areas of Emphasis

Litigation, Trials & Appeals

Business & Corporate

Real Estate

Education

  • Juris Doctor, with distinction, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, 1986
    • Member, Arizona Law Review
  • Bachelor of Science in Production-Operations Management, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, 1983

Gregory “Greg” Falls, a skilled and accomplished litigator, has more than 30 years of experience representing individuals, companies, state agencies, and government entities in federal and state court litigation, private arbitration proceedings, mediation, and administrative hearings. He has successfully resolved disputes related to real estate ownership and operation; company ownership, operations, and changes in control; business contracts; and commercial transactions. Greg has also effectively handled cases involving the interpretation and application of government regulations, and loan, investment and other contract negotiations, modifications, and related commercial litigation.

A known authority in cannabis law, Greg was retained to represent the Arizona Department of Health Services in its implementation and enforcement of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act after its adoption in 2010. Since the Act’s passage, Greg has defended dozens of lawsuits challenging the validity of agency actions, supervised teams of lawyers in scores of enforcement proceedings against industry parties, and provided ongoing strategic and operational advice concerning the legality of the agency’s actions under the Act. Greg is well versed in the regulatory issues pertaining to medical marijuana and the laws and regulations governing the cannabis industry.

Greg is a strong proponent of alternative dispute resolution and brings exceptional skill in using negotiations, arbitration and mediation to help parties resolve their differences without risking the uncertainty and expense of litigation.

Representative Matters

LITIGATION AND ARBITRATION MATTERS

  • Served as lead counsel representing a physicians’ practice group in successful arbitration proceedings before the American Arbitration Association to prevent a hospital system’s wrongful cancellation of an exclusive provider agreement. After a week of hearings, the arbitrator ruled for the practice group.
  • Served as lead counsel in defense of two unrelated “bet the company” claims involving many years of alleged overpayments under separate contracts. In both cases the contract language was ambiguous, requiring reliance on many alternative legal theories. Many witnesses were missing or could no longer remember what happened in the past. Many documents had been lost or destroyed.
  • Served as lead counsel in Arizona in the defense of several litigation matters involving the placement of telecommunication facilities in easements, rights of way, and on private property, defense of a consumer class action (part of an MDL proceeding in another state), and state regulatory claims involving alleged fraudulent advertising and other business practices. Property rights are personal, often highly controversial, and frequently lead to disputes over the rights of two or more competing parties. Consumer fraud has been a focus of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for several years.
  • Represented purchaser of mortgage loans in successful defense of U.S. District Court lawsuits challenging the validity of deeds of trust given as security for promissory notes, which had been securitized and sold in the secondary mortgage market.
  • Served as lead counsel representing a Fortune 500 company in successful arbitration proceedings before the American Arbitration Association to enforce a contract to purchase approximately 1,500 acres of real property intended for a mixed-use suburban subdivision development.
  • Represented homebuilder in defense of arbitration class action before the American Arbitration Association arising out of alleged defective construction of homes located in Arizona subdivisions.

 

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

  • As lead counsel, represented the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) in many overwhelmingly successful litigation matters under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). Examples include: Arizona Cannabis Nurses Ass’n v. Arizona Dep’t of Health Services, 242 Ariz. 62, (App. 2017) (affirming limitations on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a debilitating medical condition under the AMMA); Compassionate Care Dispensary, Inc. v. Arizona Dep’t of Health Services, 244 Ariz. 205 (App. 2018) (affirming ADHS’ award of a dispensary registration certificate to an applicant who did not first obtain a conditional use permit – zoning being an issue for the local municipality); JH2K I LLC v. Arizona Dep’t of Health Services, 246 Ariz. 307 (App. 2019) (affirming denial of application for dispensary registration certificate where applicant’s location was within 500 feet of school property); Waltz Healing Ctr., Inc. v. Arizona Dep’t of Health Services, 245 Ariz. 610 (App. 2018) (affirming denial of application for a dispensary registration certificate made with an expired zoning approval letter); and Murro v. Arizona Dep’t of Health Services, 246 Ariz. 527 (App. 2019) (affirming revocation of a dispensary agent’s registry identification card where he had an excluded felony offense for solicitation to commit a substance abuse offense).
  • Also represented ADHS in its implementation and enforcement of the AMMA after its adoption in 2010. Legal services included ongoing strategic and operational advice concerning the legality of the agency’s actions under the Act and relationship to other state and federal laws, enforcement proceedings against individual and corporate licensees and applicants, and counsel regarding compliance with rules and regulations governing the cannabis industry.

 

OTHER LITIGATION MATTERS

  • Represented closely held company in successful defense of Bankruptcy Court litigation claiming fraudulent conveyances, and that company was the alter ego of a bankrupt debtor and should be consolidated in bankruptcy with the debtor.
  • Represented hard money lender in defense of lender liability claims in Arizona Superior Court, foreclosure proceedings, and negotiated settlement in connection with loans secured by improved subdivided lots.
  • Represented private company in defense of Arizona Superior Court and U.S. District Court litigation involving claims of breach of contract, fraudulent conveyance, and constructive trust.
  • Represented various banks and commercial lenders in foreclosure proceedings and deficiency actions in Arizona Superior Court and negotiated settlements in connection with loans secured by parcels of improved and unimproved real estate located in Arizona and other states.
  • Represented various lenders and owners in defense of government claims for condemnation of real property under power of eminent domain.
  • Represented association in litigation in the Arizona Superior Court, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court in connection with laws and contracts providing for tax-incentive financing in violation of “gift clause” provisions of state constitution.
  • Represented a title company as plaintiff in Arizona Superior Court, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court in successful action for racketeering judgment in connection with forged documents presented to the lender on a property acquisition and development loan.
Professional Activities

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • Arizona
  • United States District Court District of Arizona
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Pro hac vice, various districts

 

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • State Bar of Arizona Real Property Section
  • Board Member, Phoenix Lawyers’ Chapter, The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies
  • Board Member and Education Committee Co-Chair, Phoenix Community Alliance
  • Board of Visitors, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
  • Board Member, University of Arizona James E. Rogers Law College Association Board of Directors
  • Vice-Chair, Board Member, Training Committee Chair, and Executive Committee Member, Arizona Town Hall
  • Arizona Offices Managing Member, Sherman & Howard
  • Executive Committee Member, Sherman & Howard
Honors and Awards
  • AzBusiness Leaders, “Arizona Business Leader – Law Firm Management” (2016)
  • Chambers USA, “Recognized Practitioner – Litigation: General Commercial”, Arizona (2015-2016)
  • Super Lawyers, “Super Lawyer – Business Litigation”, Southwest (2008, 2010)
Publications and Presentations

PRESENTATIONS

  • Medical Marijuana in Arizona
    Phoenix Lions Club
    November 2018
  • Managing the Medical Marijuana Employee
    Sherman & Howard Annual Employment Law Seminar
    September 2018
  • Local Best Practices in Phoenix: Creative and Integrated Business, Arts/Cultural Engagement
    Phoenix Community Alliance’s Creative City Symposium
    November 2, 2017
  • Cannabis Law
    Continuing Legal Education for the State Bar of Arizona
    June 2017 and June 2018
  • Panel Discussion on Medical Marijuana
    SHRMGP North Valley
    2015
  • Governing Board Candidate Forums
    Maricopa Community Colleges
    2014 and 2018
  • The Administrative Hearing Process
    Office of the Arizona Attorney General
    2013
  • Residential Construction Business Practices
    Del E. Webb School of Construction at Arizona State University
    2008

    • Recorder, Arizona Town Hall
      Grand Canyon
      October 1995, October 1996, and October 2008
    • Report Chair, Tucson Regional Town Hall
      May 2007
    • Report Chair, Arizona Town Hall
      Grand Canyon and Prescott, Arizona
      October 1997, May 2002, and May 2003