Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Other Legal Writing

For those who might be interested in what I do with the rest of my time: I contributed an article to the most recent volume of the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy: Embracing New (and Old) Ideas, 53 Wash. U. J. L. & Pol’y 157 (2017).  The volume commemorates the law school’s 150th anniversary, and I was honored to take the invitation to get on my soap box write about some ideas for innovation and reform in legal education.

I also have a forthcoming article in the Boston University Journal of Science & Technology Law, so you can all look forward to a shameless plug for that one in a few months.

More News From My Day Job

As many readers may already be aware, my day job is a Lecturer and researcher at the Center for Empirical Research in the Law at Washington University in St. Louis.  Recently I became the lead developer for the Supreme Court Database, one of CERL’s flagship projects, and yesterday we released the newest version of the database, including coverage of cases from 1791 through today.  The database is used for a variety of legal research and journalism projects, so if you’re a stats & analysis nerd in addition to a comic book and legal nerd, check it out!

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