Books, Money, Videos, Weirdness

Whoa, This Zombie Law Thing Is Kind of Taking Off

A few months ago, I wrote a post entitled “Welcome to Zombie Law 101″ about a professor’s law review article that dealt with zombies. It was a fun, quirky piece, but I figured that would be the start and end of zombie law. Well, I was wrong. A new Kickstarter project helmed by attorney Joshua Warren is raising funds to create a zombie law case book. Yep.

Part of me thinks this is pretty cool. Nerdy, but cool nonetheless.

Although, I’m a little worried that continuing to cover zombie law could eventually lead to zombie lawyers, and no one wants that. (I object, Your Honor! Counsel is eating the witness’s face.) I guess we’ll cross that bridge, and loot liquor stores for food and weapons, when we come to it. For now, let’s learn more about the project….

Here’s the video pitch from Warren’s Kickstarter page:

Not gonna lie, I’m a little disappointed in the production value of the video. For the uninitiated, the video teaser might be the single most important part of an aspiring Kickstarter project. It can often be the difference between an awesome project and a “meh” one. (For what it’s worth, this is not the first attorney Kickstarter project we’ve covered. Remember Deidre Dare?)

That said, we can forgive the not-quite-Bruckheimer production value (where was the baseball bat to a zombie’s dome? Or the shovel-based decapitations?), because we’re simply amused at the concept. Here’s what Warren writes on the page:

This project is to create a beautiful bound book that is an edited collection of the 330+ real case opinions in U.S. Federal Courts in which “zombie” appear (also “zombies” and “zombi” and “zombified” and “zombielike” and “zombified” and “zombism” etc ). The book will appear like a traditional law school case book and fit in well on any legal bookshelf. It will also be appropriate for use in any advanced reading context (high school or undergraduate) or any basic law course aimed to improve case reading skills and/or exposure to U.S. Federal law.

Of course, the other major component to Kickstarter projects is what donors receive for contributing. If you donate to the zombie casebook cause, you can get a slick zombie flash drive. A zillion points to the Biglaw attorney who shows up to a deposition with one of these things:

Warren does make an interesting point: “Unlike other works of zombie academia, the zombies in this book are all real.” Intellectual zombie fans (I’m one, if you hadn’t noticed), as Warren calls them, can analyze the Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, and The Crazies all they want. But at the end of the day, it’s all fake. So yay for real American case law!

This Zombie Law book is different because it does not use zombies as hypotheticals to teach law. It is not conjecture about what zombies are or might be. This book is a compendium of real usages of the actual word in American jurisprudence. This book is a collection of real legal cases that literally include “zombies” (or similar word) in US Federal Court opinions.

The basic outline of the book will separate most cases into issues of corporations, medications, criminals and, of course intellectual property. Major sections will be devoted to Social Security (disability) law, corporate fraud and issues of criminal intent. There are noteworthy cases referring to post traumatic stress disorder and many recent Social Security cases regarding of fibromyalgia. The intellectual property cases are about popular zombie fiction and also so-called “vicious zombi” patents. In general, the idea of zombies in a mall is public domain for copyright but particular forms of zombie products are protected by trademark.

If you think this is totally stupid, feel free to not give any money and mock the project in the comments. But if you feel compelled, throw this young gentleman a few bucks. He’s still got quite a ways to go before reaching his funding goal.

We did reach out to Warren, and he sent us a little more information about himself:

I am a solo practitioner with a small practice of mostly minor criminal and immigration matters referred from other attorneys.

Feel free to make fun of the fact that my J.D. is from Cardozo (’04) and that I am now a floundering doctoral student at Teachers College where they sometimes let me serve as instructor (statistics and psychology). My college degree was in animal science from Cornell University and I was briefly a high school science teacher before becoming a law zombie.

My interest in zombies arose from studying the word creativity while at Teachers College and thinking about forms of legal creativity.

Well, I’ll leave that first part to the commenters, but kudos for owning your Cardozo background.Haters gonna hate. And besides, there’s no law saying lawyers can’t have a little fun with their profession. Just talk to Adam Reposa if you need evidence of that.

Zombie Law: Zombies in the Federal Courts, a casebook [Kickstarter]

Earlier: Welcome to Zombie Law 101
Deidre Dare Wants $$$ For Her Sexy Little Adventure Story

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