My name is James Murphy, but you can call me “MetaLawMan.”
I am a lawyer and I provide research, analysis and commentary on legal and business issues arising in the metaverse.
The focus of my legal career has been in the field of securities law.
In 2010, I started a law firm (Murphy & McGonigle) to represent clients in the securities and banking industries.
I recruited many talented lawyers from the SEC and CFTC, as well as a few former federal prosecutors.
In 2017, we pivoted toward representing emerging companies that were leveraging blockchain technology to disrupt the world of traditional finance.
I went “all in” on digital assets, learned everything I could, and eventually became an authority and lecturer on the topic of U.S. regulation of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.
My law firm even got into mining Bitcoin! Our pivot toward blockchain disruptors paid off. Our clientele came to include most major crypto exchanges in the U.S. as well as blockchain infrastructure providers and gaming platforms.
By 2021, we had grown into offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and San Francisco.
We were honored when the law firm was recognized by US News/Best Lawyers in America as the “Law Firm of the Year” in Securities Regulation for 2021.
Along the way, I came to notice that brilliant young people around the world were dropping what they were doing to devote their full energies to metaverse projects.
So, I decided that I would take a deep dive into the metaverse to see what it was all about.
I quickly became convinced that the metaverse would eventually become enormously important to humanity.
So, I too dropped what I was doing, retired from my law firm, and decided to bring my legal perspective to developments in the metaverse. And that’s why MetaLawMan was born—to be a source for objective information and commentary on the fascinating, new legal and business issues that will arise as a consequence of the development of the metaverse.
MetaLawMan. I don’t provide legal advice. I am a lawyer–just not YOUR lawyer.
I would address the surprising rules governing metaverse projects that are buried in the terms of service.
When you enter a metaverse and check that little box that says “Agree,” you form a contract with the metaverse operator that establishes the rules governing your relationship with that metaverse–even though you probably didn’t read a word of it. MetaLawMan studied the terms of service for 82 metaverse projects, including the largest ones operating in the English language.
The results of that research are quite surprising. Little know fact: in many metaverses, you may not actually “own” that virtual asset NFT that you thought you bought. And you may have agreed that any dispute you may ever have with the metaverse operator will be litigated in Panama City, Panama or the British Territory of Gibraltar.
Something to think about before you deploy serious capital into a metaverse project–whether you are a hedge fund, a Fortune 500 company or an individual gamer.
So, my talk probably would fit in either bucket #4 commerce or #5 universal laws in the Metaverse?