170 episodes

Listen to the ABA Journal Podcast for analysis and discussion of the latest legal issues and trends the first Monday of each month. Also hear discussions with authors for The Modern Law Library books podcast series.

ABA Journal: Modern Law Library Legal Talk Network

    • Business
    • 4.8 • 32 Ratings

Listen to the ABA Journal Podcast for analysis and discussion of the latest legal issues and trends the first Monday of each month. Also hear discussions with authors for The Modern Law Library books podcast series.

    Do you have what it takes to break into esports?

    Do you have what it takes to break into esports?

    Are you a lawyer who plays League of Legends late at night? A World of Warcraft warrior who engages in courtroom combat during your daytime gig? And have you ever wished you could break into esports on a professional level–whether you're armed with a game controller or a briefcase?
    Well, esports is a growing industry, and if you'd like to make it part of your legal practice, a background in gaming can help, says Justin M. Jacobson, author of The Essential Guide to the Business & Law of Esports & Professional Video Gaming. Jacobson started in sports and entertainment law, and he says when representing musicians and athletes, knowing how to engage with your clients and speak in a vernacular they're accustomed to is key to forming a productive–and long-term–relationship with them.
    In this episode of the Modern Law Library, Jacobson speaks with the ABA Journal's Lee Rawles about his own career journey into esports management and legal representation, tips for law students on what classes could be useful for this practice niche, and the common mistakes he sees inexperienced clients make. 
    When writing his manual, Jacobson wanted it to be useful not only to lawyers looking to practice in this area, but also people who are involved in the esports industry in other ways. In addition to a history of the video game contests that eventually developed into the multimillion-dollar esports industry, Jacobson breaks down the major stakeholders in the sector, including the event organizers, the game publishers, the teams and the talent. From contract writing to immigration issues, intellectual property disputes and tax write-offs, The Essential Guide to the Business & Law of Esports & Professional Video Gaming touches on many different areas of law.
    Esports athletes or their friends, loved ones and business managers could also be served by Jacobson's clear breakdowns of issues that crop up for professional gamers. Tune in for Jacobson's advice for parents of talented young gamers who are looking to make a career in esports.
     

    • 44 min
    Work for Canadian residential school survivors informs lawyer's debut novel

    Work for Canadian residential school survivors informs lawyer's debut novel

    As a lawyer, Michelle Good spent years investigating the trauma that Canada’s residential school system inflicted on Indigenous people. As an author, it took her nine years to write her first novel about the lives of five teenagers who leave a church-run school and coalesce in Eastside Vancouver, British Columbia. For Good, it was imperative that she took her time to get the story right. Her patience paid off.

    • 48 min
    Wiretapping's origins might surprise you

    Wiretapping's origins might surprise you

    On the cover of Brian Hochman's book The Listeners: A History of Wiretapping in the United States is a martini cocktail, complete with skewered olive. Someone attempting to judge a book by its cover may think this is a riff on James Bond and his brethren in espionage. But international espionage is not the primary use of wiretapping in the United States; it's a longer, stranger tale than that.
    Hochman shares the real story that inspired the cover in this episode of the Modern Law Library with the ABA Journal's Lee Rawles. It involves a private detective with a showman's instincts, a congressional hearing and an electronic bug hidden in a martini olive. It was an incident that spooked the legislature so much that in 1968, they banned the "martini olive transmitter"–even though a working prototype had never been built.
    In this episode, Hochman also talks about America's long history of wiretapping, from Civil War saboteurs to confidence tricksters, from suspicious husbands to rival corporations, from drug dealers to district attorneys. Wiretapping was often seen as "a dirty business," as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes opined in Olmstead v. United States (1928), but also as a necessary tool in the arsenal of law enforcement, particularly once the War on Crime kicked off in the wake of civil rights protests. In the late 1950s, wiretapping was considered by some to be so necessary that New York district attorney Edward S. Silver compared being asked to prosecute criminals without it to being asked to "hunt lions with a peashooter."
    Hochman kicks off the episode by telling the tale of the first American to be jailed for tapping a wire–and it's a tale with a twist.
     
    Special thanks to our sponsor, Posh Virtual Receptionists.

    • 42 min
    How–and why–Kazakhstan gave up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons

    How–and why–Kazakhstan gave up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons

    During its time as a Soviet republic within the USSR, Kazakhstan was the site of massive nuclear tests, both above and below ground. The cost to the environment and health of the Kazakh people and livestock was likewise massive, though the full scale of the effects was under-studied and suppressed for decades. Through massive public protests in the 1980s, nuclear-weapons testing in the Semipalatinsk region of Kazakhstan was brought to a halt.
    But when the Soviet Union dissolved and Kazakhstan became a sovereign state, it now had a conundrum: Should the country—which had no military of its own—retain the nuclear weapons and become the world’s fourth largest nuclear power, or relinquish them in return for international commitments?
    This is the story that Togzhan Kassenova was born to write. The nuclear policy and nonproliferation expert grew up in the capital city, Almaty, in a family with deep ties to the Semipalatinsk region. Her father, Oumirserik Kassenov, was the head of the country’s first think tank, now known as the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies, and he was charged with helping the fledgling Kazakh government make nuclear policy decisions in the 1990s. Kassenova—who now lives in a different capital city, Washington, D.C.—was also able to access and interpret archival documents from the United States, Kazakhstan and Russia.
    The result is Atomic Steppe: How Kazakhstan Gave Up the Bomb. In this episode of the Modern Law Library, Kassenova and the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles discuss the challenges of writing about top-secret nuclear test programs; the brave Soviet-era medical professionals who sought to record the sicknesses and birth defects caused by nuclear radiation; and the connections between the communities in Kazakhstan and the United States impacted by nuclear testing. She also sheds light on the real international diplomacy that took place that led to Kazakhstan giving up its nuclear arsenal, which was not a foregone conclusion.
    Atomic Steppe was released only nine days before Russia invaded Ukraine. Kassenova also discusses the parallels between Ukrainian and Kazakh experiences, the Russian attitudes towards the former Soviet republics, and what the international community can do about the threat nuclear weapons still pose today.
     
    Special thanks to our sponsor, Posh Virtual Receptionists.

    • 50 min
    Ex-Tesla attorney leveraged her contract expertise into a book and thriving LinkedIn community

    Ex-Tesla attorney leveraged her contract expertise into a book and thriving LinkedIn community

    In August 2020, contract attorney Laura Frederick accepted a challenge: Post to LinkedIn once a day, every day, for a month. Frederick thought she might be able to keep up a string of several days in a row. Instead, her daily posts became a way to connect with colleagues, build business, create a brand identity, and have a social lifeline during the isolation of the pandemic. A selection of those posts also found their way into her self-published book, Practical Tips on How to Contract: Techniques and Tactics from an Ex-BigLaw and Ex-Tesla Commercial Contracts Lawyer.
    Frederick says that she's never been the sort of person who enjoyed the cocktail party circuit way of rainmaking. When she launched her own law practice after years of working in BigLaw and as an in-house attorney for companies including Tesla, she relied for the first year entirely on referrals. But the connections she was able to make through LinkedIn has rapidly expanded opportunities for her legal practice and for her training and skill-development company, How to Contract.
    Frederick tells the ABA Journal's Lee Rawles that one of her driving motivations for posting daily tips to LinkedIn has been her desire to pass along knowledge gained over the course of her career to younger attorneys. When she was a beginning attorney in the 1990s, she says she gained tremendously by being able to shadow more experienced attorneys at her firm, learning at the side of longtime contract attorneys. The same opportunities are not available now, particularly when so many young attorneys are launching their own solo or small firm practices. 
    She hopes that both Practical Tips on How to Contract and her continuing daily posts to LinkedIn–she's now written more than 400–can help fill that gap. She adds that engaging with her commenters has also taught her lessons that improved her own legal work. 
    In this episode, Frederick talks about the practical steps to building a brand and self-publishing; how she expanded into creating legal cartoons; and what it was like to be an attorney for Tesla.
     
    Special thanks to our sponsor, Posh Virtual Receptionists.

    • 36 min
    'No Equal Justice' shares George Crockett Jr.'s civil rights legacy

    'No Equal Justice' shares George Crockett Jr.'s civil rights legacy

    Detroit has been the site of many civil rights and labor rights battles, and many notable Black attorneys have called the city home. The first Black president of the ABA, Dennis Archer, came from the Detroit legal community, as does the current ABA president, Reginald Turner. But the full story of one of the city's pioneering legal figures has not been told–until now. 
    In No Equal Justice: The Legacy of Civil Rights Icon George W. Crockett Jr., co-authors Edward J. Littlejohn and Peter J. Hammer have filled in this blank with an absorbing history of Crockett's Floridian childhood, his law school years at the University of Michigan, his defense of Communist activists at the height of the Red Scare, his harrowing search for the murdered Freedom Riders in 1964, his time as a judge on Detroit's Recorder Court, and his election to the U.S. House of Representatives. 
    For this episode of the Modern Law Library, Hammer joined the ABA Journal's Lee Rawles to discuss the research that went into the book, some of Crockett's most high-profile cases, how Crockett ended up serving four months in prison for contempt of court, and to explain why Crockett was one of the Detroit police department's most-hated public figures.
     
    Special thanks to our sponsor, Posh Virtual Receptionists.
     

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

Sully99 ,

Valuable interviews

Lee Rawles is great. Well prepared host and well arranged programs.

Yeits ,

Cogent and thoughtful with a great host

Superb podcast. Host Lee Rawles is whip-smart and a great interviewer. Glad to have this in the rotation.

JRScrapple ,

Thanks!

The episode with Mary the epidemiologist was really well done. Warm and human and informative. Lots of good science and fiction recommendations. Thanks for this.

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