Practice Notes

That Day Hacker News Generated 19K Page Views

Constitutional + Government + Media + Practice + Public + Tech

Reflections on GitHub for Lawyers climbing into the top-ten on Hacker News and sending 19,000 page views to this site.

Read Now

Adventitious Reading List

Education + Media + Practice

A collection of links saved over the last couple of years through Instapaper.

Read Now

My Engagement Letter

Practice

My engagement letter explained – paragraph by paragraph.

Read Now

Law Is Code

Business + Economics + Media + Practice + Tech

Coupling website and app building services with legal services offers small business clients a marked advantage in the modern marketplace.

Read Now

The Jurisdiction of Climate Change

Constitutional + Environment + International + Public

Rising sea levels will alter our coastlines – and they will just as certainly change the jurisdictional landscape.

Read Now

IRS Taxes Bitcoin as Property

Economics + Government + Tax + Tech

Treatment of convertible virtual currency as property triggers reporting requirements, including capital gains and losses, among other things.

Read Now

Scientific Research and GDP

Economics + International

Showing a strong correlation between GDP and scientific research, as well as ratios showing nations that manage scientific bang for buck.

Read Now

Correcting an Amicus Brief

Constitutional + First Amendment + Government + Litigation + Public

Correcting the summary of a research article I authored that was cited to the United States Supreme Court in a brief submitted by amici curiae.

Read Now

On Legal Education

Arts + Education + Media + Public

Learning is a literal changing of the mind, and we can’t go back. What implication for lawyers, for whom few mysteries of society remain?

Read Now

Gravity & Antigravity

Economics + Government + Public + Tax

An intriguing exploration of trends in public unionism across the 20th and 21st centuries, and why some jurisdictions respond to economic fluctuations contrary to general expectation.

Read Now

MA Tax on Software Services

Business + Media + Tax + Tech

An early look at Massachusetts’ new tax on software services.

Read Now

GitHub for Lawyers

Media + Practice + Tech

Version control is inescapably necessary to legal drafting, and law is the original code.

Read Now

RI Tax Exemption for Arts

Arts + Business + Media + Tax

A look at the expansion of Rhode Island’s tax exemption for a range of artistic endeavors.

Read Now

International Trademark Protection

Arts + Business + International + Media + Practice + Tech

A brief consideration of an international trademark registration project.

Read Now

Civil Rights Attorney Fees

First Amendment + Litigation + Practice

A preliminary injunction with settlement in §1983 civil rights suits can lead to an award of §1988 attorneys’ fees.

Read Now

The One Fund

Public + Tax

Notes on the fund for Boston Marathon bombing victims.

Read Now

Digital Asset Management

Copyright + First Amendment + Litigation + Media + Tech

As our lives become increasingly documented by digital means, the question of legacy and inheritance has too become digital.

Read Now

Public Unions & Democracy

Economics + Education + Government + Litigation + Practice + Public

A case study on public unions, public finance and education policy set in Rhode Island during the 2008 fiscal crisis.

Read Now

Electronic Discovery Process

Litigation + Media + Practice + Tech

An approach to massive digital document production and review processes, and whether they comport with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26.

Read Now

Electronic Discovery Fees

Litigation + Practice + Tech

On shifting the cost of electronic discovery under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1).

Read Now

First Sale Digital

Arts + Copyright + Media + Tech

A look at the first sale doctrine under 17 U.S.C. §109(a), as well as applicability of the fair use and first sale affirmative defenses.

Read Now

First Sale Imports

Arts + Copyright + International + Litigation + Media

Resolving three sections of the Copyright Act – 17 U.S.C. §§106(3) (exclusive rights), 109(a) (first sale exception), and 602(a)(1) (importation restriction).

Read Now

2012 Foreign Earned Income

Government + International + Tax

A heads-up to qualified individuals whose foreign earned income and housing costs are exempt from taxation under IRC §911.

Read Now

Federal Growth

Economics + Government + Public

Per capita and in constant dollars, we’ve seen a doubling of the Fed’s wealth in the last 50 years.

Read Now

Public Office

Government + International + Public

Thoughts on public service from a dinner with Felipe Calderón.

Read Now

Social Media Spoliation

Litigation + Media + Practice + Tech

A look at a case treating a jury instruction on an adverse evidentiary inference for failing to preserve a Facebook account.

Read Now

The New Media Space

Business + International + Media + Practice + Tech

Lawyers practicing in the new media space face cross-border issues, including representation of clients who offer globally accessible content and services.

Read Now

Recessionary Decline in Creation

Arts + Copyright + Government + Media + Public

The recession affected copyright filings like it affected the open market, dropping very roughly 50% from peak to trough between 2007 and 2009.

Read Now

Thank you – after years building a practice I cherish, and serving clients I esteem, I am merging into a firm to efficiently manage growth and work nearer to home on the South Shore outside of Boston. However, not much but the top-line name is expected to change. Do not hesitate to reach out with any questions – my integrated text/tele/fax number is perpetual.
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.