Managing Partner, LeifLaw
Apr 2013 - Present
LeifLaw is a full-service virtual law firm representing clients in a wide array of fields, but with a particular focus on digital content creators, consumers, and innovators. LeifLaw operates on the core underlying philosophy that legal services should be accessible to everyone -- from a major AAA studio to an indie developer with big dreams. As an attorney at LeifLaw, my focus is on digital content creators (especially in the games industry), cyberlaw/internet law, computer fraud and abuse, traditional (casino/table/parimutuel) gaming and software licensing. I particularly focus on MMO Games and virtual worlds; especially issues centered on the intersection of traditional (casino/parimutuel-style) gaming/gambling law, virtual intellectual property, and game design systems.
Also serving as the firm's Director of Business Operations, I counsel clients on matters including executive management, studio management, business planning, business development/sales operations, and corporate communications. I also am the firm's resident crowdfunding counsel, advising clients on matters such as Kickstarter and IndieGogo campaigns.
Analyst and Contributing Editor
Dec 2009 - Present
I regularly discuss legal issues facing the games industry as a contributing editor for Gamepolitics.com, the largest and most popular news source for political and legal discussion in the games industry.
Drawing on my experience as a game developer, and journalist, I've been featured on several panel discussions and speaking engagements. Specifically, I developed and moderated the panel discussions on "Legal Issues in the Games Industry" for Penny Arcade Expo 2008, 2009, 2010, and GEEX Show; and was selected as an International Game Developer's Association Scholar at GDC 2009. I was elected to the IGDA IP Rights SIG Steering Committee, and co-hosted the IP Rights SIG Roundtable at GDC 2010.
I am co-authoring a chapter in INTERNATIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & RELATED LEGAL ISSUES IN VIRTUAL WORLDS (forthcoming 2014) for the American Bar Association.
United States Department of State
Foreign Service Officer
Mar 2011 - Jun 2013
I will be departing this position in June 2013 to return to work at LeifLaw, my law practice, full-time.
I am serving as Economic/Commercial Officer at U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia. In my economic role, I advise the Ambassador and other senior officials on economic issues in Ethiopia and serve as the post's anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing, and civil aviation officer. I prepare Ethiopia's entry for nearly a dozen Congressional reports, and provide input to the Trafficking in Persons Report, Human Rights Report, and International Narcotics Control Strategy Reports. I worked closely with the defense attache and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) on military issues, holding a military rank equivalency of Captain (O-3).
In my commercial role, I serve as the local representative for the Foreign Commercial Service, representing U.S. companies in Ethiopia in advocacy/disputes with the Ethiopian government, and promoting U.S. products and services abroad. The commercial attache position can be thought of as a U.S. government business development/sales position, and in this role I was responsible for pulling together several international deals collectively worth over $1 billion for Fortune 500 clients.
Overall, my portfolio includes: Civil Aviation, Intellectual Property Rights, Terrorist Financing/Anti-Money Laundering, Financial Intelligence, Military Sales, Logistics Policy, Extractive Resources, Fiscal Transparency, Macroeconomics, Bilateral Trade, Power Generation and Transmission, and WTO accession.
I also serve as post's representative for AFSA, the Foreign Service employee union. In this role, I assist foreign service officers with filing grievances and seeking administrative redress, as well as counsel on benefits and procedures for AFSA members.
Game Law Partners
Jan 2011 - Mar 2013
I worked as an IP attorney, focusing on the game industry. I practiced in all areas relevant to the industry, including contracts, technology licensing, copyright/trademark registration and litigation, and entertainment/technology related business practices advisement. I also used my PR and business experience to counsel clients in those regards. In March 2013, Game Law Partners became LeifLaw.
Veterans of Modern Warfare
Board of Directors
Nov 2010 - Apr 2011
VMW is an emerging voice of advocacy for veterans of modern military conflicts such as Afghanistan and Iraq, working in Washington and around the country. VMW serves as a voice for the media to turn to for information and examples of current issues regarding modern military service. The organization prioritizes issues related to deployment and redeployment, continuing long after veterans have returned home; as well as appropriate benefits and services, health and mental health care, employment and readjustment issues.
I served as an early board member of the organization, and left in 2011 to avoid a conflict with government service.
Associate Community Officer
May 2007 - Feb 2011
(Note: I still work with Wikimedia in several volunteer and pro bono capacities).
I was a Community Associate with the Wikimedia Foundation, working on the 2010 Fundraiser. My focus areas are primarily outreach, social media, community management, banner/campaign data analysis, and developing new donation forms.
Prior to the 2010 fundraiser, before I came on the Community Associate staff, I was a Communications Committee member and as of 2013 I continue to serve as a US press contact for the Wikimedia Foundation. In this role, I answer media requests and conduct interviews with national media sources, including NPR, CNN, the New York Times, Washington Post, Politico.com and other top-tier print, radio and internet sources. Selected media interviews available on request.
In 2006 and 2007, I was a legal intern, and after the completion of the internship, I stayed on as a community representative specifically dealing with legal issues. I regularly handled privacy issues and release/protection of sensitive data, and researched/responded to requests from law enforcement agencies and private parties.
Glushko Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic
Clinical Student Attorney
Aug 2009 - May 2010
My focus within the clinic was copyright, trademark, and licensing agreements, including high-profile litigation. In addition, I helped represent a coalition including game industry clients in administrative proceedings before the FCC.
The Clinic represents individual creators and users of intellectual property, small businesses and communities of rights-holders and consumers, not-for-profit institution and associations, and other entities - all without fee. Student attorneys with the clinic handle the full spectrum of intellectual property cases including patent, trademark, and copyright, in all aspects of practice from transactional lawyering to litigation and patent prosecution.
Jan 2008 - Feb 2010
GamesLaw.net was formerly an internet community that analyzed trends in the games industry from a legal, financial, and business perspective, with a gamer's touch. Our stories have been covered in popular gaming and law news sites such as Kotaku, GamePolitics, IP Watchdog, and others.
In addition, I was a frequent guest contributor for legal articles on games at other popular gaming news sites (including the above), and live podcasts. In January 2010, I became a regular guest columnist at GamePolitics.com and a contributing editor at Negative Gamer (now NukeZilla). GamesLaw.net became the website for my law practice, while new content continued to appear at GamePolitics.com
Rosenthal Levy and Simon, PA
Apr 2008 - Sep 2009
Acted as liaison between labor/employment firm’s senior partners and nationally recognized medical experts. Performed legal research on mass litigation matters using Westlaw and Lexis, as well as medical databases such as SSRN, PubMed, etc. Provided on-call intellectual property consultancy and research remotely.
Iraq War Veterans Organization
National Legislative Director
Jul 2004 - Oct 2008
*Developed position statements and coordinated public response to current events.
*Advocated on behalf of veterans to promote a more effective system of benefits and compensation for veterans and servicemembers.
*Educated veterans on their rights and responsibilities under DOD and VA systems.
*Continued to hold same position in Iraq War Veterans Organization's parent organization, Long War Veterans Organization
Note: This position has since been retitled "Director of Legislative Affairs".
Infantry (Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition)
Dec 2001 - Jul 2006
I was an Infantry NCO with 3/124th Infantry and 1/152 Cavalry, a RSTA (Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition) company. I deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. A list of military awards and honors can be found below on the page.