1. 800. 973.1177
STATE OF MARKET
Is cyberlaw still alive? [by Jim Dunlap] Net-based litigation survives demise of many dot-com players.
It’s logical to assume that cyberlaw as a legal
“The Internet touches almost every area of
“[Cyberlaw] is still somewhat growing, but
specialty has gone the way of Internet-based
the law in some sense,” DeGidio said. How-
very slowly at this point,” Anderson said.
IPOs. Some might think the boom-gone-bust
ard Friedman, director of the Cyber Securi-
“Probably the market is collapsing in some
that was dot-com magic has left cyberlaw
ties Law Institute at the University of Toledo
areas, but our firm is prospering because of
attorneys with nothing to do but dust off
School of Law in Toledo, Ohio agrees.
our specialization and the fact we market our services extensively.”
worthless stock options. But the death of cyberlaw has been greatly exaggerated.
“Cybertech is finding its way into lots of
While some firms or individual practitioners
different areas that traditional uses of the
DeGidio was previously an associate in a
have downsized or de-emphasized the area,
Internet did not previously involve,” he said.
large firm, but went out on his own when he realized his cyberlaw business would support
others have stuck to their high-tech guns If there has been a trend in cyberlaw prac-
him quite nicely. He also markets his niche
tice, it has perhaps been most noticeable in
expertise aggressively - on a Web site at the
“It depends whether your practice was in
large firms. Many who boasted sizable cyber-
address www.cyberlawyer.com. DeGidio said
IPOs or intellectual property, but intellectual
law sections a few years ago have shifted as-
the dot-com demise affected large firms, but
property hasn’t gone away, and the need for
sociates into more lucrative practice areas.
there is still plenty of need for his expertise.
away,” said Al Hammond, a law professor
“I’ve seen my Internet practice go away - I
“From a big-firm perspective, it’s not so
at the University of Santa Clara in Santa
don’t even spend much time doing it any
much worth it, but it’s fine for me,” he said.
Clara, Calif. “It’s more prudent to think about
more,” said Ralph Losey of Katz, Kutter,
cyberlaw expanding - there are actually more
Alderman, Bryant & Yon in Orlando, Fla. “It
This story appeared in the October 2002
opportunities, rather than less.”
may be better in other parts of the country
edition of The National Jurist, www.nation-
- Orlando is not exactly a high-tech center
- and thrived.
people to do that sort of thing hasn’t gone
Cyberlaw is technically a sub-specialty of
- but there’s not a big local client base here
intellectual property law. Its basis is the
like there is in places like Silicon Valley.” On
Internet, and anything related to it.
the other hand, a number of medium-sized specialist firms and sole practitioners seem
Many of the companies who created the
to be right at home in cyberspace. Their
Internet buzz have struggled or disappeared,
clients are primarily small- to medium-sized
but the Net continues to re-invent itself with
businesses and individuals. Major corpora-
new uses and applications. That prolifera-
tions tend to use in-house or retained coun-
tion of uses - and its incredible worldwide
sel for cyberlaw issues, even though they
access - continues to create opportunities for
may not be well versed in the field, according
Anthony J. DeGidio Jr., a cyberlaw special-
Stephen Anderson is a principal in Newport
ist attorney in Toledo, Ohio, said his practice
Beach, Calif.-based Anderson & Shippey, a
involves litigation, trademark and domain
thriving cyberlaw specialist firm with other
name disputes, e-commerce, some crimi-
offices in San Francisco and Washington,
nal cases such as pornography, and First
D.C. Anderson said his firm has found a
Cyber legal specialty has gone the way of internet-based IPO. You are practicing in IPO or intellectual property.