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The Metaverse: A Brave New World for Lawyers

Read Time:2 Minute

Key Points:

  • ArentFox has boughtland in Decentraland for the purpose of establishing a law office in cyberspace.
  • The metaverse is the emerging cyberspace realm where people and entities will interact, engage in games, sports, and entertainment, buy and sell goods and services, and otherwise get into legal disputes.
  • The Horizon Worlds metaverse platform brought to you by Meta (FKA Facebook) was still in beta testing in December 2021 when a female beta tester asserted a complaint with Meta that she was groped andinappropriately touched in the virtual reality simulation.
  • Many lawyers will try to ignore the metaverse, but this is a shortsighted strategy because our clients will not be ignoring the infinite growth potential of this new realm of cyber existence.
  • It is anticipated that the future metaverse could accommodate virtually every kind of legitimate or criminal human activity, and so legal problems could arise from the metaverse relating to a huge variety of activities.
  • One of the main reasons ArentFox put down stakes in Decentraland was because several of its major clients, including PwC (PricewaterhouseCooper), had already staked out claims in the cyber frontier.
  • The list of areas of law could continue, but this only opens the door to a myriad of complications brought about by legal subject matter, transactions, and occurrences that happened in no particular place in the real world but very much happened in the metaverse world.
  • Basic questions about jurisdiction, venue, choice of law, and conflicts of law are not basic questions when the metaverse is concerned.
  • Lawyers will need to start thinking of answers to these questions if their clients are running full tilt to the metaverse.
  • One fact about the crypto community and the emerging metaverse that should be noted by lawyers is that many crypto natives are entirely antilaw.
lawyers posing for a photo
Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

ArentFox, one of the largest law firms in the world, is opening a law office in the metaverse. The move comes as clients increasingly engage in activities in the cyber frontier, including forming DAOs, participating in DeFi, and buying and selling NFTs.

With the increasing popularity of the metaverse, lawyers will need to start thinking of answers to questions about jurisdiction, venue, choice of law, and conflicts of law. The aversion to law in the crypto community means that many clients may eschew proper business association forms in favor of loosely organized clubs and coops.

The code is law philosophy will be the start of an interesting conversation for a future lawyer to have with a client someday. In conclusion, as the builders of the metaverse try to create a whole new world of opportunities for present and future clients, lawyers will do well to go at least a little way down the rabbit hole so we can help clients navigate this brave new world.

Lawyers will play an important role in the emerging metaverse, as they will be needed to help navigate the brave new world and advise clients on the legal implications of their activities. The aversion to law and authority in the crypto community means that lawyers will need to be prepared to handle a wide variety of legal issues, from fraud to securities regulation. The key to success for lawyers in the metaverse will be to stay ahead of the curve and be prepared to advise clients on the everchanging legal landscape.


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