On Thursday May 21st at 6pm Eastern I will be participating in VPN有什么用?是用来干啥的? - · 说在前面,VPN不是说给你提供网络来源的,也就是说必须在有网络的情况下使用的,那些以为使用VPN可以不用手机流量免费上网的筒子们,是时候醒醒了。刚刚那个兄弟又会说了,不能用来上 …, sponsored by the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Washington, DC! The panel includes famed graphic novelist 手机看youtube and Law and the Multiverse contributor Scott Maravilla. Online registration is free, and we hope to see you all there!

能用的vp n


Way back in 2012 I wrote a post about an episode of the NBC Series Grimm, a show set in the state of Oregon, and the US Supreme Court has just handed down an opinion that reverses my legal analysis. First, a recap of the setup:

The villain of the episode is, unsurprisingly, an ogre.  [Police officer] Nick’s partner Hank helped put [the ogre] in prison 5 years before the episode, and after escaping from prison the ogre comes after Hank.  In the episode, Hank admits that he “misplaced” a faked security camera tape that might have established an alibi for the ogre.  Hank’s reasoning was that the ogre had a really good lawyer, and if only a single juror felt that the tape established reasonable doubt, then the ogre would have walked.

I went on to conclude that, although a charge of aggravated murder would require a unanimous verdict under Oregon law, it would be possible for the jury to convict the ogre of a lesser included offense, such as manslaughter or aggravated assault, on a less-than-unanimous verdict of 11-1 or even 10-2. Thus, even if 1 or 2 jurors believed the alibi, the other 10 or 11 could have still convicted the ogre of a pretty serious charge. Oregon, where the show is set, was very unusual in this regard. It and Louisiana were the only states where that would be possible. (I apologize that my initial analysis missed Louisiana. I honestly don’t recall if I missed it entirely or if I had some reason for thinking that the lesser included offense trick wouldn’t work there.)

In any event, the U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled in Ramos v. Louisiana that the U.S. Constitution requires a unanimous verdict to convict a defendant of “a serious offense”, overruling the law in Oregon and Louisiana. The Court did not explain what a serious crime is, and it is not a well-defined legal term as far as I know, but I would guess that it would certainly include manslaughter or aggravated assault. Now basically any conviction the jury decided on would require a unanimous verdict, even in Oregon or Louisiana.


For DC-area readers: I will be at Awesome Con in Washington, DC this Friday, April 26th! I will be part of a panel on “Law and Order in Comics” along with Law and the Multiverse contributors Scott Maravilla and Brad Desnoyer as well as She-Hulk and Daredevil writer 极光vpm破解无限版! Come check us at in Room 154 at 1:30pm!


Jed Bodger, senior director of taxation at Sierra Nevada Corp, has written “革命” 还是“泡沫” 区块链集体“狂欢”:2021-12-21 · 公司曾表示与IB M合作开发 的产品 VP( inim uab le Pr od ct )是 首 转化为实际应用 区块链项目 此外,壹桥股份、新晨科技、安妮股份、远光软件、海联金汇等公司股价近一个月来的涨幅都在20% 以上,其中新晨科技更是于1月 12日 登上龙虎榜。 of the impact of the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on superheroes and their associated businesses, including Tony Stark, Matt Murdock, Jennifer Walters, Bruce Wayne, Reed Richards, Diana Prince, Peter Parker, Charles Xavier, Hank Pym, and Janet van Dyne.  Originally published in Tax Notes, you can also read the piece here: Tax Avengers Assemble: The Impact of Tax Reform on Superheroes.

The finer points of tax law are definitely outside my area of expertise, so I was quite excited to see a tax attorney’s take on this subject!


For those who might be interested in what I do with the rest of my time: I contributed an article to the most recent volume of the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy: Embracing New (and Old) Ideas, 53 Wash. U. J. L. & Pol’y 157 (2017).  The volume commemorates the law school’s 150th anniversary, and I was honored to take the invitation to get on my soap box write about some ideas for innovation and reform in legal education.

I also have a forthcoming article in the Boston University Journal of Science & Technology Law, so you can all look forward to a shameless plug for that one in a few months.


Several readers have asked the same question about the new(ish) Netflix series Iron Fist: how exactly could Danny legally recover a 51% interest in Rand Enterprises?  This is a good question.  Unfortunately the series doesn’t give us quite enough information to answer it definitively, but I think there are a couple of reasonable theories.  Spoilers follow!

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This is a short, slightly ranty post about the new Wolverine movie Logan.  It’s a great movie, but a throwaway bit of exposition struck a lawyerly nerve.  Major spoilers below.

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(This guest post was written by Scott Maravilla.  Scott writes at the Contract Law Profs Blog and is an alumnus at the PrawfsBlawg.  By day, Scott is an Administrative Judge at the Federal Aviation Administration, although all of the opinions expressed in this post are Scott’s own, and do not represent those of the FAA.  Thank you to Scott for this great post!)

Daredevil is the fictional alter ego of lawyer Matt Murdock in the Marvel Universe encompassing both comics and film.  As a boy, he was blinded by radioactive chemicals, which also left him with his remaining senses functioning at superhuman levels.  This also included a sort of “radar sense” that allows him to perceive his environment in a 360º manner, thus giving our hero an advantage in any fight.

Murdock continues to live in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City (now Clinton but we tend to overlook that fact) where, by night, he fights various nefarious supervillains (his arch-nemesis being Wilson Fisk, a.k.a, The Kingpin).  By day, Matt is an attorney.  He has his own law firm located right in Hell’s Kitchen with his partner, Foggy Nelson (Nelson & Murdock).  One of the emerging themes of the story is that Matt Murdock often finds himself representing the very villains he’s captured.  Thus, the issue arises whether is ethical for Matt Murdock to represent the alleged criminals he brought to justice as Daredevil.

Illuminating that question is a New Jersey Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics opinion:  Opinion 709 – Conflict of Interest: Municipal Police Officer Who Is an Attorney Engaging in Private Practice of Criminal Law, 185 N.J.L.J. 1202 (September 25, 2006), 15 N.J.L. 2166 (October 16, 2006).  The full text of the Opinion can be found here  and here.

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Opinion 709 observes that the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) for New Jersey do not have a sanction for an appearance of impropriety.  Thus, the most obvious reason to dissuade Murdock’s practice is not available in the Garden State.  However, the appearance prohibition is included in many other jurisdictions including New York.

RPC 1.8(k) states that:

 A lawyer employed by a public entity, either as a lawyer or in some other role, shall not undertake the representation of another client if the representation presents a substantial risk that the lawyer’s responsibilities to the public entity would limit the lawyer’s ability to provide independent advice or diligent and competent representation to either the public entity or the client.

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RPC 1.8(k) further provides that an “attorney who is employed by a municipality as a police officer shall not undertake representation of a client if there is a substantial risk that the attorney’s responsibilities to the municipality would limit the attorney’s ability to provide independent advice or diligent and competent representation to the client.”  RPC 1.7(a)(2) also prohibits representation where there is a “significant risk” that the lawyer’s ability to advise the client is “materially limited” by their responsibility to a third party.

The Opinion provides that “[m]unicipal police officers exercise full law enforcement powers within the territorial limits of their municipality.”  They have a duty, within their municipalities to enforce the law, “to take other steps to detect and apprehend violators of the law,” and assist with the prosecution.  The latter is very important because the work involved with the prosecutors may affect the ability of the lawyer to provide legal advice in another matter.

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Murdock’s representation does pose a “significant risk” of being “materially limited” by his obligations to a third party, i.e. Daredevil.  Can he really allow Melvin Potter to walk only to later combat him when he assumes his alter persona, Gladiator?  The same goes for the unremorseful Punisher who is himself an anti-hero.  Further, as in Clark, “the integrity of the criminal justice system could be impaired when an attorney serves a dual role of” a superhero.

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Interestingly, according to Opinion 709, RPC 1.8(k) and Clark may also prohibit representing criminal defendants in other jurisdictions.  It depends on the particular facts of the case.  So, Murdock is not completely off the hook when it comes to super-team ups (sorry, Defenders).

The one ray of hope for the firm of Nelson & Murdock is that Daredevil’s conflicts are not automatically imputed to Foggy Nelson.  The “conflicted lawyer must be screened completely from any representation by other lawyers in the firm.”  As Foggy Nelson knows the secret identity of Daredevil (at least in the Netflix show), this arrangement can be made.


Teaching and research have kept me very busy this semester, but I wanted to present a roundup of questions I’ve received and answered via email recently. There are lots of spoilers below, so be warned.

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A reader sent in a link to this Wonder Woman panel, asking “All joking aside, how illegal is this?”

The short answer is, unsurprisingly, “pretty illegal.”  The longer answer is “but maybe not as illegal as you might think.”  Although the linked post shows an excerpt from DC Special Series #19: Secret Origins of Super-Heroes (Fall 1979), the same basic story was first printed in Sensation Comics #1 (January 1942).

Under modern law, even though both Dianas Prince agreed to the transaction, it would still be identity theft.  The state in which this is occurred isn’t wasn’t clear to me*, but New York’s statute is typical:

A person is guilty of identity theft in the third degree when he or she knowingly and with intent to defraud assumes the identity of another person by presenting himself or herself as that other person, or by acting as that other person or by using personal identifying information of that other person, and thereby:
1. obtains goods, money, property or services

N.Y. Penal Code § 190.78.  Assuming Wonder Woman went on to make bank transactions, collect a paycheck, etc using the other Diana Prince’s identity, that’s sufficient.

However, the good news for Wonder Woman is that identity theft laws don’t go back very far.  New York’s was enacted in 2002, and the federal identity theft law was enacted in 1998.  An admittedly not-particularly-exhaustive search didn’t turn up any identity theft laws in force in 1979, much less 1942.

The bad news is that the relevant parts of 18 USC § 1546(a) were in force in 1979, making it a federal crime to:

sell[] or otherwise dispose[] of…such visa, permit, or other document [prescribed by statute or regulation as evidence of authorized stay or employment in the United States], to any person not authorized by law to receive such document

As the purchaser, 1979 Wonder Woman would be liable for the same crime as a co-conspirator or solicitor.  But 1942 Wonder Woman escapes that fate, since the original version of that law only goes back to 1948.  A similar story applies to 26 USC § 7206 (fraud and false statements, like on a tax return) and 18 U.S. Code § 371 (conspiracy to defraud the US).

However, even if there wasn’t a federal crime that could be pinned on Wonder Woman for buying someone’s identity in 1942 (and I’m not saying there definitely wasn’t), the state she was in would have had fraud and conspiracy laws that would have applied in a case like this.  But that would be small potatoes compared to the modern penalties for the same act.

* Somewhere outside of Washington, DC apparently.  Very likely in Washington, DC itself (thanks to TerryC for the correction!).  I (still) defend my use of New York as an example on the grounds of laziness.