Adventitious Reading List

Education + Media + Practice
October 12, 2016
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There is nothing that cannot potentially bear on the practice of law. So being informed across disciplines is of distinct advantage to an attorney. Hard law itself is only half the practice — the other half is fact. To avoid being cornered by reality, a lawyer must be as broadly schooled as all time allows. No case, no matter and no issue occurs out of context, and no context is truly siloed or divorced from any other. Law is a web of reference, and reality is a single affair. I therefore consider it a duty to read widely without artificial topical restraints.

Over the last couple of years I have saved more than a few links to read later (precisely 160, in fact). I use Instapaper for that purpose. Expand the “Saved Links” list below for an itemized compilation, enumerated in no particular order.

This is not a comprehensive inventory of my reading, and this index does not necessarily represent a fair cross-section of my reading – it merely covers an overlapping domain of (1) pieces I thought I might like to read at (2) a juncture when I could not set time aside to read them.

In addition to those two limiting parameters, there are a few more. The time period covered here is relatively brief — certain kinds of things are bound to catch our attention at certain points in time. Also, I tend to read new and relevant legal content (including cases and hard law) immediately and not set it aside for later – so that half of lawyerly life is nearly unaccounted for in the list. Finally, the most glaring omission is in the context itself – there are no books listed, and I spend at least 50% of my reading time (which occupies at least 20% of every day) reading books, ordinarily of the old-school physical sort, but certainly not exclusively.

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Media + Arts + Tech

Attributes

I am native to media, arts and tech – as a former touring musician, as one who can and does code, and as a maker fluent in design and multimedia content development (audio, video, photo, graphic, analog, textual). This overlap of niche and background allows me to efficiently and peerlessly integrate legal and creative for clients working in expressive spaces.

Corporate

They are called organizations for good reason. Getting and staying documented, well-papered, compliant, and aligned with pragmatic protocols is prime among best practices. General counsel and correct governance are as important to closely-held companies as they are to those seeking or deploying external funding. There are few investments more sound than a solid foundation.

Contracting

Optimizing a deal requires focussed and technical drafting. What multiple collaborators have in mind when they begin does not automatically manifest when a concept is translated into the physical world. Get ahead of junctures, pivots and transitions. Reflecting on the page what is intended at heart is the ultimate efficiency.

Copyright

There are few disciplines as relevant and fluid as copyright. The media space has enjoyed rapid development over recent decades. Law is not always so quick to follow. Navigating ownership of content is a primary concern for creative enterprises.

Trademark

Impact and impression are salable and demand attention, from protecting to capitalizing. Define your brand, put on a search, definitively document, and enforce with intent – or share, collaborate and cross-pollinate.

Trade Secrets

Assets come in variegated forms – not always capitally quantifiable or neatly captured by intellectual property regimes. But proprietary information can be of principal, or even singular value. Safeguard, manage and leverage such resources prudently and productively.

Licensing

One of the most important tools in the kit of creative profit is the flexibility and extensibility that adept licensing affords. Do it well – do it right.

Regulatory

Interfacing with public agencies is a vastly different experience than cutting deals in the private sector. Conventions, ethics, regulations, policy, and sinuous procedure need not block your path forward. Additionally, the First Amendment was written for you – stand on it.

Litigation

There will almost certainly come a time when dispute crops up and grows entrenched, or rights and obligations are transgressed or ignored. Less talk, more action – bring deft advocacy and mastery of process into play.

Strategic

Creation is nothing if uninspired. Your vocation is to deploy vision and bridge the gap between what is known and unknown, what is possible and impossible. Apply the very same foresight to your company and your career. Chance favors the prepared mind.