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My Geek Credentials

I wear bow ties. I watch Dr. Who. I think Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan is one of the greatest films of all time. Why, you ask? Because it involves themes of aging, loyalty, sacrifice and redemption of a father to a son. Plus space ships.

I am also a lawyer. I know Civil Procedure and Evidence exceptionally well. It enabled me to save thousands of dollars not dating while in law school, but made me popular at finals.

I know a lot of US History. I found an error at the Smithsonian’s Presidential Exhibit where it stated President Andrew Johnson served as a United States Senator after he was President. Not true. While the Redeemer Government in Tennessee elected him to the Senate, Johnson died before taking the oath of office, thus never served.

Some of you might wonder if I could be deemed a geek expert under Federal Rules of Evidence Rule 702. Well, here are my credentials:

I have watched Doctor Who since elementary school, long before it was cool or remotely socially acceptable by “the in crowd.”

I attended my first TimeCon in 1985.

I read my fair share of comic books.

Leonard Nimoy sent me a get well card in 1990 when I was deathly ill and hospitalized.

To Boldly Go

Nimoy is a class act. In 2009, Nimoy was the keynote at legal technology conference. I was one of the first 20 in line to meet him after his speech. When my turn came, I shook his hand and stated, “You sent me a get well card when I was 15 and in the hospital. That really meant a lot and I just wanted to say, thank you.”

I started to move away (because the needs of the many dictated not holding up the 900 people behind me) and he put his hand on my shoulder to stop me. No, Nimoy did not do the Vulcan Nerve Pinch. He stated, “I was very glad I did that.” I started to move again, and again he stopped me two more times, asking what had happened and if I was ok now.

Class act. A wonderful human being.

I Remember It Differently 

Two weeks before meeting Leonard Nimoy, I was in Los Angeles to see the opening of Star Trek with my brother. Prior to the show, we saw a high school stage production of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog. I was very impressed many of the actors from Dr. Horrible attended to support the high school students, including Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day.

Fillion was extremely gracious, signing autographs and talking with students. Kindness to others is a wonderful virtue.

Not being shy (I was actually terrified), I decided to talk to Felicia Day. A very cool woman. My brother violated every Man Law by saying it was time to go to dinner while she was asking me questions about my career.

No, I Am Your Father

My mother took me to see Empire Strikes Back the day it opened. I was 5. We waited for hours in the movie theater parking lot sitting on a blanket. As the story goes, I watched that Sci Fi epic with my feet barely going to the end of the seat, completely enthralled by that masterpiece. I reportedly did not blink the entire film.

There are few other movie shockers than Darth Vader saying, “No, I am your father.” I can still recall the gasps and total shock of the entire movie theater, as if thousands of voices screamed out in terror, then nothing.

Today, that is forever engrained in pop culture to the point where the shock has been heavily diluted to common knowledge. At the time, it was masterful storytelling that threw every moviegoer a sucker punch they did not see coming.

A good friend of mine honored this film in the geekiest way possible: He named his son Luke. That’s right, he can honestly say, “Luke, I am your father.”

Bow Ties Are Cool

I love the law. I also love being a Geek, because Sci Fi is one of the best parables for describing the human condition. It also usually involves space ships.

I hope you enjoy The Legal Geeks, as Jessica and I analyze the Law and all things Geek.

And who knows, the future isn’t written. We might have an eDiscovery/Geek panel at Comic-Con one day.

Hello. My Name is Jessica and I’m a Legal Geek

Okay, it’s 2012, so I guess it isn’t that brave to identify myself as a geek (on the other hand, it still takes guts to admit to strangers that I’m a lawyer).  In fact, because it’s now cool to be a geek (at least to other geeks), I feel required to establish my geek credentials:

It all started in 1977, when I saw Star Wars: A New Hope in the theater, sitting on my dad’s lap.  Transfixed by Darth Vader, I fell in love with Star Wars (the original three movies, anyway) and soon became a fan of Star Trek (both the movies and the first two television series) as well.  I don’t know if I’m technically supposed to like both – according to Fanboys I’m breaking the rules but can’t help myself!  Despite my love affair with both Star Wars and Star Trek, I wouldn’t call myself a TV or movie sci fi geek.  I’ve never seen Dr. Who, Blade Runner, Battlestar Galactica, or even Avatar.  Superhero movies, on the other hand, I adore.  I would love a quality Wonder Woman film, but once they rejected The Great Joss Whedon’s script I gave up hope of it happening in my lifetime.

And yes, I have a huge geekgirl crush on The Great Joss Whedon (I think “The Great” is an official part of his name).  Buffy is one of all the time great TV series – I own the entire series on DVD, buy the comic books, and devoured the Watchers Guides.  Angel was also awesome (what lawyer doesn’t love Wolfram & Hart)?  I haven’t seen Firefly yet, however, which is a completely wrong for somebody who calls herself both a geek and a Whedon devotee, so I’ve got it on my Netflix list and plan to watch the entire series very soon!

Meanwhile, I could talk sci fi books all day.  The first sci fi book I ever read was my dad’s copy of A Princess of Mars, the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs book that was a $200 million disaster for Disney earlier this year.  I fell in love with Barsoom, John Carter, Tars Tarkas, and Dejah Thoris then and never looked back.  After reading all of the Barsoom series my dad introduced me to Isaac Asimov, with his robot detectives and three rules of robotics and psychohistory.  After that, I read the Dune series for the first time.  To me, that is the ultimate science fiction series, so good and so deep that I’ve read the original six books at least five times and I’ve even read all of the new books put out by Frank Herbert’s son.  Since then I’ve consumed several of Robert Heinlein’s adult fiction, some Octavia Butler works, and most of Terry Pratchett’s hysterical while still depressingly insightful Discworld books.  I also love the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  I’ve downloaded a Neil Gaiman book to my Kindle but haven’t read it yet.  I know I’m missing others but that’s all I can think of right now.

So that’s it – my geek girl credentials.  It’s a work in progress, and I hope to continue to develop my geekiness through this blog and in my spare time.  And if I can ever work a Buffy or Star Wars reference into a legal brief I will be able to say that I have reached the pinnacle of legal geekiness (okay, a panel at Comic-Con would be the true pinnacle, but I’m trying to set realistic goals).

Introducing The Legal Geeks: Jessica Mederson & Josh Gilliland

Two attorneys discussing why they are geeks, covering topics from Star Wars, John Carter of Mars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, comic books and the law.

Thank you for checking out our blog.


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