Category Archives: Uncategorized

Comic Book Law School Exam Article

You may remember the comic book-inspired law school exam from a couple of weeks ago.  Professor Friedman and the exam were recently the subject of an article in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.  Check it out!

Mark S. Zaid’s “Superheroes in Court”

Mark S. Zaid is not only an attorney in the rarefied field of national security law but also a comic book collector and dealer in investment-grade comics.  Jeremy Greenberg recently tipped me off to a presentation Mr. Zaid gave in 2010 at the Yale Law Library on “the history of comic books and how the law has played a factor in [the] business and regulation [of comic books].”  An article about the presentation and the law library’s exhibition of some of Mr. Zaid’s collection of comic books was featured in The New York Times.

On a Personal Note

As many long-time readers know I have spent the last several years working for the Stanford University Hoover Institution’s Project on Commercializing Innovation.  Until last October the Project was led by F. Scott Kieff, who left to become a Commissioner on the United States International Trade Commission.  The Project is now in the process of wrapping up its various tasks and transitioning to the new Hoover Institution Working Group on Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Prosperity (or IP2 for short).  While I may collaborate with IP2 through future papers and conferences, it will not be a full-time job.  And so although I am grateful for the freedom and flexibility that my work for Hoover has given me to pursue creating Law and the Multiverse and co-authoring The Law of Superheroes, it is time for me to find a new day job, hopefully one that will allow me to continue to work on side-projects like these.

So, in a shameless appeal to my readership, I present my CV and a pair of writing samples.  If you are interested in hiring an intellectual property attorney with a broad range of interests and experience and a technical background in computer science, I’d love to hear from you.

2013 ABA Blawg 100

For the third year in a row, Law and the Multiverse has been selected as an ABA Journal Blawg 100 honoree.  Thank you to everyone who nominated us!  As with prior years there is also a vote for the best legal blogs in each category, which anyone can vote in.

Wolff & Byrd: Counselors of the Macabre

For Halloween this year I wanted to point our readers to Supernatural Law, a comic strip, comic book and web comic series that has been around since 1979, written and illustrated by Batton Lash.  The most recent collection is The Werewolf of New York, which was funded by a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year.  The series features attorneys Alanna Wolff and Jeff Byrd, who represent a variety of supernatural clients, including zombies, werewolves, ghosts, and vampires.  The legal details are kept very accurate, largely thanks to Mitch Berger, the real-life attorney who consults on the series.

Because the stories are overtly law-related and the details are accurate, there isn’t much for me to say.  Anything I wrote would largely amount to summarizing the plot and saying “yeah, that’s about right.”  But I invite you to check out the web comic and if you like it, order a book or two.

Ex Machina: NYC Politics and Police Unions

Ex Machina is the 50-issue series by Brian K. Vaughn and Tony Harris about Mitchell “The Great Machine” Hundred, a superhero who is elected to be the Mayor of the City of New York in the aftermath of September 11. In this post, we’re looking at two things: the stories’ portrayal of New York City’s municipal government, and the possible implications of superheroes on police union contracts. Continue reading

Coverage Opinions

Today’s post is actually another bit of a plug, though it does involve superheroes. I recently did an interview with Randy Maniloff of counsel at White and Williams in Philadelphia, who also publishes Coverage Opinions, a newsletter about insurance coverage issues targeted at coverage counsel. In the interview, we discussed some of the coverage issues pertaining to bat guano, Spider-Man’s webs, and magical perils. The piece is in Volume 2, Issue 14.

The newsletter is actually a pretty informative publication for those who follow developments in coverage law, and but it’s seasoned with enough levity to make for enjoyable reading for the broader legal audience. Non-attorneys and non-insurance professionals will likely find it a bit technical, but if you’re looking at how insurance law really works, it might actually a fairly accessible jumping-off point for a more general audience.

In any case, if you were wondering how Peter Parker might get in even more trouble, angry property owners facing the denial of insurance claims is plausible. Give it a look!

X-Men: Days of Future Past

No, not the upcoming movie, the 1981 X-Men comics storyline in issues # 141-42 (Kindle edition). It’s about an alternate future in which Sentinels are loosed by the federal government to round up mutants. It’s a major component of the X-Men mythos, and it’s been revisited several times in the comics and is apparently at least some inspiration for the next X-Men movie.

There are some spoilers within, so be warned, but honestly: the story is three decades old. It ought to be fair game at this point. Anyway, the story directly involves some legal wrangling, and we’ll take a look at that. Continue reading

2012 ABA Journal Blawg 100

We are proud to announce that Law and the Multiverse has been named to the ABA Journal Blawg 100 for the second year.  Thanks to everyone who nominated us!  As with last year, the ABA Journal is taking votes on the best law blogs in each category (we’re in the “For Fun” category).  Unlike blog nominations, voting is open to everyone.

Election Day Special

Here at Law and the Multiverse we take no position regarding the various elections being held today in the United States, but we thought it might be fun to take a look at some of the fictional candidates that have appeared in comic books over the years.  If you don’t like your choices this election, you might like them better after looking at some of these turkeys.

I. Thor Odinson (Earth-20604)

In this alternate reality, almost everyone on Earth has superpowers, and Thor is President of the United States.  Apparently this alternate United States also lacks the natural born citizen requirement to be president, since Earth-20604 Thor was born on Asgard to Asgardian parents and wasn’t a US citizen in 1783 when the Constitution was adopted.

Vice President: Reed Richards

Platform: Superpowers for everyone!  Just take these handy Skrull pills.  Side-effects may include superfast aging.

Legacy: Killed by invading Skrulls.  Who would’ve thought that Skrull technology could backfire?

II. Anthony “Tony” Stark (Earth-20318)

In this alternate reality, Tony Stark is President and the Exiles serve as his Secret Service detail.

Vice President: Unknown

Platform: Laissez-faire capitalism and a strong defense policy, presumably.

Legacy: Assassinated.  Apparently the Exiles weren’t such great bodyguards!

III. Tin Man (Earth-8)

An obvious DC analog to Tony Stark, Tin Man becomes President in an alternate reality that is an homage to the Marvel Civil War storyline.

Vice President: Americommando (Captain America, basically)

Platform: Metahuman registration.

Legacy: Assassinated (that seems to happen a lot with these guys).

IV. Alexander “Lex” Luthor (New Earth)

The only one of our fictional Presidents in a mainstream continuity, Lex had an initially successful (if duplicitous) presidency eventually undone by his maniacal obsession with defeating his enemies.  Very Nixonian.

Vice President: Peter Ross

Platform: A better tomorrow through technology (“A flying car in every garage”).

Legacy: Declared Batman and Superman to be public enemies, injected himself with Venom and kryptonite in order to fight Superman, went insane, and was impeached.  Succeeded by his Vice President.

V. Clark “Superman” Kent (unnamed alternate reality)

After Superman saves presidential candidate Peter Ross from an assassination attempt, his secret identity is revealed.  Ross lives but asks Kent to run in his place.  Kent wins in a landslide, though his eligibility for the presidency is questioned.  Ultimately the Supreme Court decides that Kent is a natural born citizen, since in this continuity he was sent to Earth as an embryo in a Kryptonian birthing matrix and ‘born’ after the rocket landed in Kansas.

Vice President: Sarah Hemming

Platform: “My friends, it is time to reject the politics of exclusion and, instead, embrace the politics of unity!”  “It will be a major goal of this administration to weed out the corruption and white-collar crime that drain our economy.  And on the matter of the economy…we must begin an all-out war on the deficit!”

Legacy: Reducing the national debt, rescuing a captive diplomat, founding the Civilian Ecology Corps, establishing an orbital solar energy program, creating low cost housing in Gotham, uniting the world’s superheroes in the pursuit of world peace, and eliminating the global arms trade.  Clearly a one term President if there ever was one.