Technology innovation constantly challenges law to meet the needs of today’s society.  If we rely solely on law to solve the problems of refugees, justice will be delayed. Why?  With the refugee crisis reaching a feverish level in the United States, laws are aspirational from the refugees’ point of view, and US state sovereignty ‘trumps’ any of these aspirations. Citizen pushback, as massive as it is, can only provide very limited legal impact for refugees: (1) finding lawyers to connect to refugees one to one to enter an antiquated court system and make a case for asylum. Resolution of these cases takesRead More →

On May 31, I spoke at USIP on how our PeaceTones music projects use innovation in the ways we make and enforce laws to help musicians in the developing worlds earn money from themselves and their communities. (See powerpoint slides.) PeaceTones runs programs which teach Intellectual Property laws in the developing world to gifted and aspiring musicians. We also use technology tools to open up global markets for musicians from places like Haiti, Sierra Leone, Brazil, Kenya, Liberia, and Afghanistan. The problem we encounter everywhere, as do musicians all over the world, is that the global norm for IP law is an outdated IP systemRead More →

http://ning.it/zL1634 The False Ideals of the Web – op ed piece by Jaron Lanier “The proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, which is being considered in the House while the Senate looks at a similar bill, is deemed the worst thing ever. Popular sites like Wikipedia staged a blackout on Wednesday to protest the bills. Google put a black banner over its name. Nothing quite like that has ever happened before. This is extraordinary, because it shows that belief in the priority of fighting SOPA is so absolute as to trump the stated nonpartisan missions of these sites.” Absolute positions are not the foundationRead More →

The American Bar Association plays a key role in setting a policy framework that States look to when regulating the conduct of lawyers.  The current Ethics commission debates have reached an impasse on the topic of virtual practice.  See  20120619_draft_release_for_comment_rule_5_5_comment_4_virtual_practice . But as any tax lawyer or any international business lawyer will tell you,  jurisdictional boundaries for the practice of law are problematic when either your subject matter or your clients’ business crosses state boundaries.  Tax lawyers advise on the consequences of 50 state tax laws and federal tax law routinely.  International business lawyers structure global transactions taking into account the laws of multiple jurisdictions.  I am not familiarRead More →