The Legal Geeks: Year One

JoshToast_0852Thank you everyone for a very successful first year of The Legal Geeks.

Our adventure began last year when Jessica Mederson and I met over Tweeting my Bow Tie Law post Cowboys & Lawyers: Spaghetti Western eDiscovery.

Since that time, we have had a wonderful adventure across the legal issues in science fiction, comic books and pop culture.

Needless to say, I also have had a blast in going action figure and t-shirt shopping for “research.”

Rise of the Geek Lawyers

I have learned there are a substantial number of geek attorneys and in the United States. I was first alerted to this when a partner at a Big Law firm asked over lunch, “Hey, do you have the lightsaber app for your iPhone?”

How did the number of “geek” lawyers come to be?

Today, we have a substantial number of attorneys and judges from Generation X and Generation Y. We grew up with Gene Roddenberry/George Lucas/Steven Spielberg enriched childhoods. The stories from our youth that made a significant impact, from “I have been and always will be your friend” to “Throw me the idol, I’ll throw you the whip,” were truly important to many of us. We spent countless hours in the backyard with space ships and action figures. These were defining happy moments. Those memories without question would echo throughout our lives and practice of law.

So for every attorney who has considered making a Battlestar Galactica or X Files references in a points and authority, you are not alone.

Geek Discovery

The Legal Geeks has allowed me to go boldly beyond blogging about eDiscovery. In the past year, I have been able to research prenuptial agreements and the 6th Amendment right to counsel. Some of my favorite posts this year have included:

Han’s Legal Justification for Shooting Greedo First

Doctor Who & The Effect of Regenerations on the Validity of a Will

Assumption of Risk & Red Shirts on Star Trek

Jabba the Hutt & Employee Safety

Firefly & Lessons in Contract Law

I especially want to thank io9 for picking up my Firefly post and Above the Law for sharing multiple posts. I appreciate all of the Tweets and Facebook shares.

No, There is Another

JessicaMederson_9018Jessica Mederson is a wonderful blogging partner. A smart lawyer who has read the classic science fiction books for the last century, she was also into vampires before they were sparkling moody teenagers. Her post on judges who quoted Star Trek in opinions was brilliant and picked up by io9.

Jess has been a very good sport about podcasting in Sci Fi t-shirts and debating the finer points of legal geekdom.

We had an excellent adventure at the Paraben Forensic Innovation Conference and got to work with many other talented attorneys.

You Be The Judge

One of the greatest highlights this year has been getting to know Judge Matthew Sciarrino. He is a true civil servant who puts in long hours for the people of New York. People know of the newsworthy criminal cases he has presided over.

Gavel-on-White-SepiaWhat the Judge does not get credit for was checking on his courthouse after the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and performing a marriage ceremony for a couple.

No power, people struggling to get back to normal after the storm and Judge Sciarrino took the time to do something kind: performed a wedding ceremony for two people trying to get married.

Judges across the country do similar quiet good works. I have seen many local judges volunteer for the county high school mock trial tournament. There are many other examples as well.  Their contributions to society are usually done without fanfare, but are not be forgotten by those they help.

In the past year, I also had the good fortune to spend time with Magistrate Judge John Facciola, moderated a panel with District Judge David Nuffer and had a blast with our anniversary podcast with Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal this year. I really cannot state how much I respect our judges. They work hard to uphold the Constitution and their service to country is very appreciated.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

I attended the Alternative Press Expo and Big Wow! Comics Convention this year. In my opinion, attorneys attend legal conferences because they have to; people attend comic/geek conventions because they want to. I would like to find how we can make legal conferences events lawyers want to attend.

Presenting on Assumption of Risk & Red Shirts at PFIC
Presenting on Assumption of Risk & Red Shirts at PFIC

Part of the answer lies in the type of panel discussions that are held at conferences. The “geek” shows offer big names on topics and “how to” panels. While a Clarance Darrow cosplay panel would not likely be useful, focusing on how to conduct expert depositions, how to propound discovery requests for social media, or even how to balance billable hours to raising a family might be good starting points for conference organizers.

I am not sure the exact answers, but hope to have a better idea how to improve educational events for attorneys for the future.

Perhaps lawyers would like bow tie tying panel.

Your Honor, Your Honor

With due regard for Caddyshack, we were very honored to have an honorable mention by The Geekie Awards for our “fireside chat” podcast with Judge Matthew Sciarrino. I will attend the awards show on August 18 and look forward to meeting the extremely talented geek nominees and judges.

Which brings us to the ABA Journal Blawg 100. Nominations are now open and close on August 9 at 700pm EST.  If you enjoy our blog, please nominate us for the ABA Journal Blawg 100.

Again, thank you for a great Year One. I look forward to Year Two.