Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon


John Nichols


p: 315.425.2770

f: 315.703.7354

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Syracuse Office

Barclay Damon Tower
125 East Jefferson Street
Syracuse, New York 13202

As counsel at Barclay Damon LLP, John serves clients from a nearly 300 attorney, leading regional law firm operating from a strategic platform of offices across the Northeastern United States and Toronto. Clients routinely seek John’s assistance with long-term planning to position themselves to respond to developments in cannabis laws and regulations. With that, clients rely on John to direct their cannabis projects, including governmental licensing, property right acquisition, compliance, and organizational structure. In developing resources for others in the legal profession, John actively supports the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Cannabis Law.

In addition, John represents clients in litigation and transactional matters in other highly-regulated industries such as energy, utilities, and consumer lending. To properly shape lawsuits and appeals and keep them on course as vehicles to resolve disputes, John learns clients’ business objectives. Hurdles overcome by John’s clients have involved tortious interference, compliance issues, clashes over goods/services contracts, secured transactions, and real property rights.

Representative Experience

  • Led a multi-disciplinary team preparing state licensing applications on behalf of cannabis business clients, resulting in licensure.
  • Conducted gating analyses and advised clients in planning around the evolving legal status of cannabis.
  • Serves as general counsel to a state-licensed cannabis business.
  • Advised cannabis clients in transactions and agreements involving rights in agricultural, commercial, and industrial real property.
  • Counseled cannabis clients on land use, zoning, banking, and tax issues, including 280E.
  • Provided counsel to a professional athlete regarding investment and involvement in a cannabis business, including disputes with business partners and with players’ union.
  • Assisted cannabis license applicants with internal corporate issues, including employee/staffing and company structure.
  • Counseled import/export clients regarding cannabis licensure and compliance matters.
  • Advised cannabis licensees on statutory and regulatory compliance requirements (pre- and post-licensure).
  • Enforced private contracts by obtaining judgments of liability and damages against consumer/commercial debtors.
  • Obtained dismissal (and appellate affirmance) of a multi-million dispute over a utility client’s critical operational asset.
  • Negotiated favorable settlement of government agency’s claims of deceptive retail/finance practices, consumer fraud, and usury.

Practice Areas


  • Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., Journal of International Law and Commerce, Lead Articles Editor, 2007
  • Middlebury College, B.A., 2003

Admitted To Practice

  • New York, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

Memberships & Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association
  • Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association
  • Onondaga County Bar Association

Civic Activities

  • Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc., Landlord-Tenant Court, Program Liaison and Volunteer Attorney
  • Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc., Family Law Clinic, Volunteer Attorney
  • Say Yes to Education, Tel-Law Clinic, Volunteer Attorney
  • Syracuse City Court, Small Claims Part, Volunteer Arbitrator


  • Selected to Super Lawyers Upstate New York Rising Stars: Creditor Debtor Rights, 2016-2018
  • New York State Bar Association, Empire State Counsel Honoree, 2009-2011

Prior Experience

  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Associate
  • Welch Allyn, Inc., Law Clerk