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[By The Judge]
Someone in heaven must be looking out for me. A week ago, if someone had asked me to create my ideal job, I would have tried to come up with something
involving all of my passions: ice cream, Three’s Company reruns, and napping. But since no one will pay me to vegetate on my parents’ sofa, eat fudgesicles,
and exchange knowing glances with Mr. Roeper (Why is he always looking straight into the camera? Is he trying to tell me that he knows Jack isn’t really
gay?), I had to come up with Plan B. And what a glorious Plan B it was: to find work that involved surfing the Internet and learning about the trials and
tribulations of my beloved colleagues. But could I make it happen? The answer: a resounding YES. When LawCrossing offered me the opportunity to take
over Inside Legal Blogs, I naturally jumped at the opportunity. (Well, maybe I just nodded my head, but who’s really keeping track?)




Moving on, this week in the world of legal          land taxes (in the form of real money, not          Over at isthatlegal, I learned about JAIL
blogs has been full of good old-fashioned           imaginary lindens) on these virtual real            for judges. JAIL, the Judicial Accountability
family fun...well, maybe not family fun in          estate transactions; players can cash in            Initiative Law (How long do you think it took
the case of Tonya Barnhart (discussed               their lindens for real money, as well. Bragg        someone to come up with that acronym?),
at Overlawyered), who sued Paisano                  brought suit, alleging that Linden seized his       may be passed by Amendment E on South
Publications, LLC, claiming unreasonable            virtual land and $2,000 (again, real money,         Dakota’s Election Day ballot. JAIL would
intrusion, false light invasion of privacy,         not lindens). Linden claims Bragg’s land            allow boards of volunteer citizens to hear
and appropriation of her likeness, after            was seized because he purchased it via an           complaints from disgruntled litigants and
it published a photograph of her “baring            unauthorized auction.                               criminal defendants who are unsatisfied
her breasts at a pig roast for motorcycle                                                               with the results of their trials. This volunteer
enthusiasts.” (Yes, you read that correctly).       “The case is one of the first lawsuits              committee would have the power to subject
U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz               involving virtual property, but many more           judges to criminal and civil liability. Okay,
of Maryland ruled against Barnhart on               are likely to follow,” said assistant professor     people, what’s scarier: abolishing judicial
summary judgment. Her behavior “cannot              at Rutgers School of Law, Camden, Greg              immunity or the idea that people would
reasonably be said to have constituted a            Lastowka. He added, “The idea of property           actually volunteer for something that sounds
private act,” Motz wrote. “She exposed              in virtual worlds is not a stretch.” The            a lot like jury duty?
herself at an outdoor fundraising event open        case hinges on whether property rights
to any member of the public who purchased           are outweighed by user agreements. “The             And, finally, because Halloween passed by
a ticket.” Well, jeez, give the girl some credit;   question is: ‘Do the non-negotiable contracts       too quickly, I thought I’d throw something
at least they had to purchase tickets.              that let you participate and buy things in          truly frightening into the mix. According to
                                                    games…do they trump any possible property           LegalBlogWatch, Walter Seward of West
Jamiroquai was right: the future is made            interest you might acquire in the game?’”           Orange, NJ, enjoyed legal practice so much
up of virtual insanity, complete with virtual       Lastowka said.                                      he stuck with it for 80 years. Like I said,
property. Law.com reports that Internet-                                                                truly frightening. On a brighter note, he
based game company Linden Lab is being              For me, the idea that real property exists          just celebrated his 0th birthday. Happy
sued by Marc Bragg for the seizure of               in virtual worlds is kind of a stretch. Then        Birthday, Walter!
virtual real estate. In the Internet game           again, physics was never my forte; that’s
Second Life, players accrue imaginary               why I’m a lawyer. On a side note, kudos             Until next week...
currency called “lindens” (which they can           to anyone who can convince people to use
purchase using real money) by partaking in          real money to buy fake money. That’s what
real estate ventures with virtual property.         I call true genius.
Linden Lab profits by collecting sales and




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