“Awe inspiring” is the best way to describe our second appearance at San Diego Comic Con. Our Star Trek panel brought together the most talented speakers I have ever moderated. I thank all of them for joining the adventure to discuss Star Trek and Supergirl at Comic Con. Star Trek is one of the greatest loves of my life. From the tearful car ride home after Wrath of Khan, to watching Deep Space Nine in college, or Voyager in law school, I have always stood a little taller whenever I hear, “Space, the final frontier.” It was an honor to have a small part in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek with our panel, “Star Trek: Where Lawyers Boldly Go.”
Comic Con is a lot like V’Ger: Huge. There are around a dozen panels an hour from 10am to 8pm (a few even later). There are contests, photo opts, and of course, the Exhibit Hall. There is no shortage of things to do. Here are some of our moments:
Star Trek: Where Lawyers Boldly Go
California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, Neel Chatterjee, Christine Peek, Paul Grewal, Megan Hitchcock, and Jessica Mederson, all had amazing legal analysis of the different trial episodes in Star Trek.
Christine Peek prepared a mind map connecting the different trial episodes. A huge thank you to special effects wizard Jesse Toves, who prepared a Star Trek themed mind map for our agenda.
Christine Peek’s material on Judgment could be used to teach a trial advocacy class. Christine covered everything from the duty of competency to how she would cross-examine Duras. We’ll post her material in a future blog post.
Neel Chatterjee prepared amazing case summaries and legal analysis. Neel also wore his love of Star Trek on his sleeve, presenting in full Starfleet Wrath of Khan era uniform.
Justice Cuellar is an extremely inspiring individual. He spoke on watching Star Trek as a young boy in Mexico on his grandmother’s black and white TV set. The Justice then shared his thoughts on how the Prime Directive has been applied throughout the series and movies. Justice Cuellar and Paul Grewal’s analysis of Measure of a Man was masterful on equal protection and artificial intelligence. The Justice also identified his favorite starship as the USS Voyager, because it is “svelte, sleek design, smart, fast, incredibly resilient, and wasted little space.”
Nearly 400 people attended our Star Trek panel. There were approximately 100 to 150 people who identified themselves as attorneys. One attendee in a Darth Vader dress introduced herself as a California Judge in Compton. There is no question that long before many attorneys and judges practiced law, they grew up watching Star Trek.
Paul Grewal explaining the similarities between the Klingon legal system and the United States.
Jimmy Olsen Asks the Tough Questions on Kryptonian Justice
Our second SDCC panel explored the legal issues in Supergirl. My brother Gabe Diani moderated the session as the Golden Age Jimmy Olsen.
We had a blast discussing whether imprisoning people in the Phantom Zone violates the 8th Amendment, liability for property damage in battling super-villains, and whether Supergirl’s super hearing could subject her to an invasion of privacy claim.
Thank you to all of our panelists and attendees. Our slides are available below.
Celebrating the Forrest J. Ackerman Centennial
Famous Monsters is pulling out all the stops to honor the first cosplayer and the man who coined the phrase “sci fi”: Forrest J. Ackerman.
FM had an all-star panel honoring “Uncle Forry” for his 100th birthday. Legends shared their memories of Ackerman, including Bjo and John Trimble, the couple who ran the “Save Star Trek” campaign. Without their campaign, there would not have been a third season of Star Trek, which would have resulted in the show never being syndicated. The Trimbles also met under Ackerman’s grand piano, which is its own unique story.
There were many great panels, including a tribute to Jack Kirby, one with the Women of Marvel, Super-Hero Therapy, and out-of-this-world Star Trek panels with NASA and the Smithsonian. I was extremely surprised to find out the official Jack Kirby biographer was the jury foreman at our Mock Trial of the Winter Soldier.
Dr. Janina Scarlet at the Super-Hero Therapy panel.
It’s “Legal Research”
San Diego Comic Con was an excellent opportunity to pick up props for future blog posts. I am ready for Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Doctor Strange, and other upcoming releases. I was especially impressed with the t-shirts from Red Chapter and will feature them in the fall.
Braving long lines for a purchase is always a reason to celebrate.
Always a Monster Party
No Comic Con is complete without Monster Party. It was great visiting with my friends Matt Weinhold, Larry Strothe, James Gonis, and Shawn Sheridan. I had a blast joining them for their SDCC recording to talk about our Comic Con adventures.
Yes, James did cosplay as Jor-El from the 1978 Superman movie.
Make It So
San Diego Comic Con 2016 was a career milestone. These were the most high profile panels I have ever prepared. I thank all of the attorneys who joined us for the adventure. I look forward to 2017.