Hi, my name is James Murphy, but you can call me “MetaLawMan.”
I am a lawyer and I provide objective research, analysis and commentary on legal and business issues arising in the metaverse. I am pro metaverse. I believe that the metaverse will be profoundly important to humanity. I believe the metaverse could provide us with new avenues for solving long-standing societal challenges like delivering first-class education and health care to everyone and yes, maybe even climate change.
I am passionate about promoting freedom and self-determination in the metaverse. I believe in a self-governance model in the metaverse, rather than having governments in the physical world dictating all of the terms for the whole metaverse community.
The focus of my legal career has been in the field of securities law. I started a law firm called “Murphy & McGonigle” in 2010 to represent institutional clients in the securities and banking industries. I recruited many talented lawyers who had worked at the SEC, CFTC and FINRA as well as a few former federal prosecutors.
In 2017, we pivoted the law firm toward representing emerging companies 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 speaker on the topic of U.S. regulation of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. My 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 other blockchain infrastructure providers, gaming platforms, creators and NFT issuers. We grew rapidly and by 2021, we had grown into offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and San Francisco.
We were honored to be recognized by US News/Best Lawyers in America as the “Law Firm of the Year” in Securities Regulation for 2021. And I was recognized as the “Lawyer of the Year” in Securities Regulation in 2021 and 2022 in the Richmond, Virginia market. This level of recognition for a law firm that had only been around for ten years was unprecedented. But we were simply in the right place at the right time with a team of truly outstanding lawyers who knew what they were talking about in a very hot new area.
In early 2020, I noticed that a lot of brilliant young people were dropping what they were doing to devote their energies to metaverse projects. So I decided to take a deep dive into the metaverse and “went down the rabbit hole” devouring any content I could locate and finding myself watching metaverse youtube videos at all hours of the night.
I learned quickly that there really isn’t any “the metaverse.” Instead, there are many metaverse projects being developed in parallel by teams spread all over the globe—just like crypto projects. But the thing that struck me as a lawyer was the enormity of the new, never-before-considered, legal and business issues implicated by the creation of these new worlds. These worlds are being built by humans from scratch, with their own communities, cultures, economies, currencies, rules and norms of behavior. There is no God or other Creator in the picture to establish baseline parameters for any of these worlds. There is no law of gravity or weather or Laws of Thermodynamics unless the human creators decide that it will be so. These human creators write on blank slates the rules that will govern the worlds they have created..
And that’s why MetaLawMan was born--to try to make sense of the fascinating, new legal and business issues that will arise as a consequence of the creation of the metaverse. If this interests you, then follow me.
I do not provide legal advice.
I am a lawyer—just not YOUR lawyer.