Volume 1, Issue 3

Chair’s Welcome

Practice Edge

• BioBlurb

• Cultivating Effective Trade Secret Protection Program

E-Discovery and Digital Evidence Case Digest

• Rights and Responsibilities of Scientists' SciStatus Update

• Social Networking through Legally Minded

• Stopping the Collision

• Ten Interesting Places to Visit in Second Life


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• Attend Upcoming Student Lunch & Learn Programs

• Cleantech Committee Seeks Student Leader

• Future of Evidence Committee Seeks Contributors

• Join a SciTech Committee Today for Free!

• Law Student Writing Contest

• SciTech Co-Sponsors CLE Tracks at Upcoming RSA Conference

• Submit Articles to The SciTech Lawyer

• Upcoming SciTech CLE Teleconferences

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SciTech Lunch & Learn
February 11th, 2009
12noon - 1:30pm
Suffolk University Law School
Main Function Room, 1st Floor
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2009 ABA Mid Year Meeting
February 12-14, 2009
Boston, MA

The Benefits and Barriers to International Science Collaboration
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
1:00-2:30pm EST

4th Annual Homeland Security Law Institute
February 26-27, 2009
Washington, DC, L'Enfant Plaza Hotel

SciTech Lunch & Learn
March 10, 2009
Fordham University School of Law
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Redefining the Legal Standard for "Reasonable" Security: The Far-Reaching Impact of the New Massachusetts Regulations
March 31, 2009
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24th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference
April 1-4, 2009
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April 2-4, 2009
Chicago, IL

ABA TECHSHOW 2009 -- The World's Premier Legal Technology Conference and EXPO

Forensic Science for the 21st Century: The National Academy of Sciences Report and Beyond
April 3-4, 2009
Tempe, AZ

2009 RSA Conference
April 20-24, 2009
San Francisco, CA

2009 ABA Annual Meeting
Swissotel Chicago
July 29 - August 2, 2009


 This book provides you with a legal and practical approach to the new world of digital information. It has been described as a must have  for litigation lawyers, corporate counsel and records managers who want to understand how to appropriately handle the digital information of an enterprise. Learn more.

The SciTech Lawyer

 This book clearly explains and discusses 13 applied scientific disciplines in jargon-free language that is specifically geared toward lawyers. If you are a lawyer who is ever called upon to defend, proceed against, examine, cross-examine or even consult a scientist, this book is for you. Learn more.

 The Section’s quarterly magazine features practical and timely articles on a diverse range of science and technology law issues. This issue focuses on biosecurity.

Contact Us

The SciTech e-Merging News is published quarterly as a Section member benefit. Click here to join the Section. The material published reflects the views of the authors and has not been approved by the Section of Science & Technology Law, the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the ABA. © 2009 American Bar Association. All rights reserved.

Practice Edge

ten interesting places to visit in second life
by Benajamin duranske


Many attorneys are staking out territory on the emerging 3D internet in "Second Life" ­– the first virtual world to offer unfettered user content creation, real money transactions, and user retention of most intellectual property rights.  Many experts believe that Second Life is a harbinger of the 3D internet, and that 3D networked interaction will soon become the dominant mode of online communication. 

If you want to explore this new world, you’ll need to download the software from www.secondlife.com.  Once you’ve set up a Second Life "avatar" (a digital representation of yourself) you'll want to start exploring the nearly limitless landscape of user-created content. 

You will find everything from underwater business parks to zero-gravity hockey rinks – anything that residents imagine can be built.  Be aware that there is some adult content in Second Life, but it is easy to avoid if you use common sense.  If you get lost, just ask someone for help.  Most Second Life users are more than willing to help new users find their way around.
There are a number of places where lawyers will feel right at home in Second Life.  Here are a few good starting points.  The Second Life "Region" and map coordinates for each location follow the description.

Center - The Justice Center is a huge complex modeled on the Federal Courthouse in Miami.  Many attorneys and a number of the Second Life legal groups highlighted below call the complex home.  Free space set aside for real life nonprofits and Second Life legal groups, and attorneys can rent office space here as well.  (Malfelonius - 148, 98, 24.)

SL Bar Association
- The SL Bar Association is an informal professional organization that helps attorney and scholar members navigate the Second Life legal landscape. Meetings and social events are held regularly.  I founded the SL Bar Association in late 2006.  It has since grown to over 150 members.   Attorneys, legal scholars, and other legal professionals are encouraged to join.  Annual dues are L$500, about US $2.00.  (Malfelonius - 212, 66, 61.)

Pro Bono Second Life
- Pro Bono Second Life supports and encourages a commitment to pro bono across the legal profession. The group is a forum for lawyers who undertake or wish to undertake pro bono work in Second Life and in real life.  The group's headquarters is in a lighthouse on a small, private island.  (Depo Park 1 - 70, 67, 23)

SL Lawspot
- SL Lawspot is an in-world library offering links to legal resources, with a focus on law and virtual worlds.  It's a great starting point for learning about the various legal issues that are emerging from these spaces.  The first chapter of my book, Virtual Law, Navigating the Legal Landscape of Virtual Worlds (ABA, 2008) is available at SL Lawspot.  (Malfelonius - 208, 63, 37.)

Virtual Intellectual Property Organization
- The Virtual Intellectual Property Organization was created in June 2007 to support and assist residents in the protection of virtual property.  VIPO members have assisted Second Life users with trademark disputes and presented seminars on in-world intellectual property issues.  (Malfelonius - 211, 64, 33.)

Confederation of Democratic Simulators
– The CDS is one of the oldest Second Life self-governance projects, consisting of four Second Life regions, each of which is governed by a covenant dictating the appearance of buildings and various rules of resident interaction.  Representatives are elected from among the citizens of the CDS every six months.  (Neufreistadt – 160, 172, 182.)

Capitol Hill
– The Second Life mockup of real life Capitol Hill was created by content creation and marketing company Clear Ink as a nonpartisan meeting place for discussions of politics and government.  Many groups use the area for meetings.  The virtual seasons change in accordance with real life Washington D.C., making for some beautiful settings depending on the time of year you visit.  (Capitol Hill 1 - 172, 17, 30.)

The Independent State of Extropia – An ambitious Second Life microgovernment identifying itself as an “independent technocratic city-state” that stands as an “exemplar of the future we want, today, where technology is used exuberantly in the service of beauty and fun.”  Picture Star Trek’s San Francisco of the future.  It’s a beautiful build and Extropia residents are among the most interesting avatars on the grid.

eJustice Centre –Portugal’s Ministry of Justice, in cooperation with the University of Aveiro and the Faculty of Law of the Lisbon New University, provides mediation and arbitration services for all avatars in Second Life including resolution of disputes resulting from consumer relations or any other contract-based relations signed between parties.  All mediation and arbitration processes are overseen by the Alternative Dispute Resolution Laboratory of the Faculty of Law of the Lisbon New University. (eJustice Centre – 42, 142, 27.)

Metaverse Republic – The Metaverse Republic is a non-profit organization attempting to respond to the increasing need for self-regulation in Second Life and similar platforms. It hopes to eventually provide a functioning, professional justice system with real powers of enforcement backed by an elected Parliament.  (Tabula Rasa – 142, 167, 27.)

Benjamin Duranske is the author of Virtual Law: Navigating the Legal Landscape of Virtual Worlds (ABA, 2008). He recently joined the Silicon Valley office of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP, where he is helping to found and build Pillsbury’s new Virtual Worlds and Video Games practice.