The partnership between Candice Owens and Seth Gardenswartz started when Kat Gardenswartz (Seth's spouse) asked them to co-present at a National Labs Entrepreneurship Academy in 2017. The 3 day program was designed for scientists who were interested in commercializing technology from a National Laboratory. Their presentation, a combination of corporate and branding law, along with decades of startup experience was a spectacular success.
Consequently, Seth joined Candice at the Leverage Legal Group as a partner. Candice's legal practice, which is focused on Corporate and Securities. Candice's corporate clients often needed trademark and branding counsel and Seth's clients benefited from the legal structure and investment experience Candice brought to the table. Because their combined practice began to develop a unique identity and value proposition, Blackgarden Law was born. Candice and Seth believe that client representation is first about relationships and also an intimate and holistic understanding of each business.
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Candice Lee Owens
Candice is a corporate and securities attorney specializing in entity formation, corporate governance, contracts, capital raising, asset transfers and corporate restructuring. She is a native of Northern California. Candice graduated magna cum laude from Santa Clara University School of Law, where she was Senior Articles Editor for the Santa Clara Computer & High Technology Law Journal. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego.
Candice was the founder of The Owens Law Firm, P.C., a dedicated corporate and business law practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Prior to opening her own firm, Candice was an attorney and partner at Sommer, Udall, Sutin, Hardwick & Hyatt, P.A. in Santa Fe. In California, she worked at Cooley LLP (Palo Alto) in the corporate securities group. In between law careers, Candice owned a boutique in downtown Santa Fe called “Miss Maybe”. Most recently, she was a partner at Leverage Legal Group, a multi-office virtual law firm. Candice lives in Albuquerque with her husband, two daughters and family dog.
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
Juris Doctor, 1997
UNIVERSITY of CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO
• Phoenix StartUp Week
• New Mexico, California
Seth began his career in his family's sporting goods business, a 80 year, multi-generational enterprise that ultimately expanded from Colorado to New Mexico and Texas. When the business was sold in 1995, Seth brought his experience and passion for technology and marketing to the practice of law. During law school, he wrote for SMU Law's International Journal and his paper, The Risk of Loss in Electronic Transactions, was published in the Virginia Journal of Law and Technology. He graduated Cum Laude from SMU Law School.
Seth's specialties include: trademarks, craft breweries, contracts, payment systems, e-commerce, digital media and general business management. In addition to practicing law, he's co-developer of a tech-flex office building in downtown Albuquerque and Co-owner of Surefi, a ad-tech company that combines proximity marketing with media targeting for mid-sized and regional brands in the craft beverage industry. Seth has represented and advised entrepreneurs on branding-related legal issues for over 15 years. When not practicing law or marketing, Seth can be found roaming the trails of the mountain west on skis, bikes or running shoes.
SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude 2000
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
B.S., Business, 1986
Activities & Affiliations
• Brewers Association, Allied Trade Partner
• JCC of Greater Albuquerque, Board of Directors
• New Mexico, Colorado
James graduated from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City with a concentration in corporate law. He enjoys working with entrepreneurs and helping them grow their businesses into publicly-traded entities.
James spent seven years in New York representing issuers, underwriters and institutional investors on a wide range of matters, including public offerings of debt and equity securities, such as initial public offerings (“IPOs”), follow-on primary offerings, registered direct offerings, and at-the-market offerings. He has advised issuers, placement agents and institutional investors in private placements of debt and equity securities, including private investments in public equity (“PIPEs”). He has also advised on the formation of hedge funds. James has worked with many public companies with respect to their periodic reports under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. He has also advised these companies on the initial and continued listing requirements of the NYSE and NASDQ stock markets.
James has experience advising on alternative methods of financing, such as registered blind pool offerings (generally known as “SPACs”), Top-Line Income Generation Rights Certificates (“TIGRcubs”) and Simple Agreements for Future Equity (“SAFEs”). He also enjoys working on the formation of corporations and limited liability companies, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate takeover defense.
James is heavily involved in the Phoenix blockchain community and is constantly monitoring the evolution of the federal securities laws with respect to initial coin and token offerings. When he isn’t practicing, he can be found hiking with his wife and two dogs or at a farmers’ market. He also enjoys fly fishing.
CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW
Juris Doctor, 2006
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
B.B.A., Marketing, 2002
• New York, Massachusetts, Arizona
Teresa Judith Chartrand
Teresa-Judith (TJ) Chartrand is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and wandered to New Mexico in early 2014. She is a Stanford alum (Fear the Tree) with a Master's in Criminology & Law from UC Irvine. She cut her teeth at a boutique law firm in Palo Alto as a Law Librarian/legal researcher, and eventually became that firm's Corporate and Real Estate Paralegal. She then joined the Silicon Valley office of Fenwick & West, one of the nation's top tier 'big' firms specializing in technology and life sciences companies. She gained experience in all phases of a company’s life cycle - from start-up to late stage financings, mergers/acquisitions, and Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).
While at F&W, TJ was voted 'Most Likely to Make You Laugh' by her peers three years in a row, and was formally recognized for her client service skills on more than two dozen transactions. TJ takes pride in building solid client relationships, and values the importance of finding the right balance between a strong work ethic and a good sense of humor. She geeks out over spreadsheets and research of all kinds - from trademark knockout searches to blue sky securities laws to optimal fantasy football weekly line-ups.
As a transplant to New Mexico, in her spare time TJ loves to explore the nooks and crannies of the Land of Enchantment by off-roading in the Jeep with her husband. She also loves to hang out at the dog park on a nightly basis (don't worry, she has a dog to justify it), is an avid ice hockey fan (go Sharks!), and absolutely loves to cook (soups and stews for the win!). She enjoys turbo kickboxing and Zumba, and doesn't enjoy running but does it anyway because donuts are amazing. Word of advice - if you can't find her, check our nearest client's brewery - this lady loves craft beer!
B.A., Psychology, with Distinction and High Honors, 2005
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE
M.A.S., Criminology, Law and Society, 2013
Arlene has over 30 years of experience in Administration including 17 years in the non-profit world. In addition to being a long-time volunteer with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Arlene volunteers with a rescue dog transport group, helping to get rescued dogs to their ‘furever’ homes. She also enjoys camping with her dog and spending time outdoors.