Bio and Interests
Even though my professional life has morphed significantly since I became an attorney, it has always revolved around programming and technology. Starting at age 12, I fell hard for computing and had a Commodore 64 the first year it came out. I learned to code mainly because there wasn't much you could do with a C-64 unless you wrote code, at least until I got involved with local user groups and began trading software. Before I could afford the C-64's floppy disk drive, I even wrote my own TOS (tape operating system) to better manage all my programs using the 1530 cassette tape storage drive. My wife thinks of me as her own taller version of Matthew Broderick from WarGames.
Before I became an attorney, I spent almost two decades working as a software engineer and architect, product designer, technology executive, and entrepreneur. I worked for Microsoft as a principal technology specialist, where I architected numerous large technology implementations for Honeywell, Intel, American Express, and the University of Phoenix. I was also a research and development manager at Nationwide Insurance and founded my own commercial software company. I have experience in commercial software design and development, database systems, project management, and technology strategy. I also taught C++, Windows, and Visual Basic programming as an adjunct professor for several years.
After helping design technologies that were integral to addressing key scalability challenges during the rise of the Internet, I became interested in the impact technological advances have on law, policy, legal automation, human rights, and access to justice.
I am now an intellectual property, patent, and technology law attorney focusing on innovative technologies in software and computer engineering, cybersecurity, data privacy, algorithm law, and other cutting-edge issues. As different as software engineering and practicing law seem, the law doesn't feel like that radical of a step for me. I still deal with cutting-edge technologies and the legal issues that surround them every day, just from a different angle.
My diverse technical, legal, academic, and business background means that most of my work—whether in law, privacy, computing research, social science, or software—has an interdisciplinary flavor.
PRACTICE: As the managing attorney of Labyrinth Law PLLC, I help clients evaluate and develop the best strategies to commercialize important advancements in technology, as well as apply legal strategies that will help protect both their organization and the consumer. My job requires that I understand what my clients are talking about and I do, since I used to write code, design systems and think through the same issues and concerns they have.
SOFTWARE ENGINEERING/ARCHITECTURE: In my role at Microsoft I served as a chief architect at the University of Phoenix on a project that became one of the first ventures into online learning technologies—UOP Online. The groundbreaking scalability architecture was utilized in designing and developing Microsoft’s Site Server product. At American Express I designed a system to provide customers with online access to customer investment transaction data utilizing cryptographic certificates for security, a fairly new technology at the time. The resulting architecture was one of the first examples of a large online service implementing the system scalability architecture later known as n-tiered architecture to connect the user to mainframe data and other services.
I documented many of my experiences in confronting the scalability challenges of the early Internet in my book Professional NT Services (Wiley/Wrox 1998). The book was for many years considered a standard reference text for the design and implementation of highly scalable multi-tiered systems in the Microsoft environment.
RESEARCH: My research and scholarship interests transformed as I moved into the legal field, and I now write about topics at the intersection of law and technology. I have authored several legal articles on topics related to cybersecurity, cybercrime, and cyberaggression, the privacy and human rights concerns surrounding big data and opaque algorithm-based decision-making, and predictive crime technology.
I also pursue a number of technical interests in Robotics, Blockchain, and other areas as a Principal Researcher at Labyrinth Research. I have several patents pending related to my work. My latest research project relates to the design of a new architectural framework for unified privacy in a multi-actor environment. It is an interdisciplinary approach to understanding privacy culturally and contextually in the new era of robotic and IoT devices. In April 2017 I presented the seminal ideas for this research at WE ROBOT 2017 at Yale University. I was invited to present further formulations of this research at the DATA FOR POLICY 2017 Conference in London, England on September 6-7, 2017.
Several years ago I began work on the design and architecture of a software application to improve the way attorneys find and manage discoverable legal evidence from social media. Myself and several well-known experts in privacy law, electronic discovery law, and computing research founded a company to commercialize this innovative technology, and I currently serve on its Board. The company currently has two patents pending.
BLOCKCHAIN INITIATIVE: In 2017, I cofounded Privaceum, which was born out of my research and design of a unified privacy framework. Backed by patent pending technologies, Privaceum is a privacy trust platform that aligns device behaviors with individualized privacy expectations. By using the blockchain, our vision is to standardize the delivery and processing of privacy preferences, mediate conflicts between groups and individuals based on contextual norms, and monitor device privacy observance without reducing the usefulness of these devices for their intended purposes.
EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATIONS: I have a J.D. from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law, a Bachelor's in Philosophy and Computer Science, and an M.B.A. in Technology Management. I am a member of the Florida Bar and I am a Registered Patent Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I am also a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) and a Consensys Certified Blockchain Developer.