Boston Bar Association Interview/Profile

by Lee Gesmer on March 6, 2014

The Boston Bar Association has done a nice interview and profile of me on its blog, “Tipping the Scales.”

Lee Gesmer is a founder and partner of Gesmer Updegrove LLP, a Boston-based firm formed in 1986 that focuses on the representation of technology companies and emerging businesses. Lee’s practice focuses on litigation in the areas of business and intellectual property law. He is a former Council member and former Co-Chair of the BBA Intellectual Property Section, as well as the Computer and Internet Law and Business Litigation Committees.

1. What inspired you to take the leap and start your own firm?

My father owned his own business, and I worked for him summers in my teens. He taught me how important it is to work for yourself. He really believed America was the land of opportunity for people willing to take the risk of starting their own businesses. He embedded that idea in me at an impressionable age.

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Mass Moca Loses to Büchel Under VARA

by Lee Gesmer on March 10, 2010

Mass Moca Loses to Büchel Under VARA

Nice post title, eh?  Mass MoCA is the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation a contemporary art museum in North Adams, MA.  Christoph Büchell is a Swiss “installation artist.”  Think very large, very avant-garde.  The New York Times describes his work “dense, fraught creations, which compress masses of material and objects into historically charged labyrinthine environments through which viewers walk, climb and crawl.”   Wow.  Sounds just right for good old, left-leaning western Mass.  Not.

VARA is the Visual Artists Rights Act, a section of the U.S. Copyright Statute that gives grants artists “moral rights.”   For example, part of the law provides that the author of a “visual work” has –

the right to prevent the use of his or her name as the author of the work of visual art in the event of a distortion, mutilation, or other modification of the work which would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation

The First Circuit held that the Museum violated this right when, after installation of a work that called for, among other things, according to the Times, “a burnt-out fuselage of a 737 airliner” it displayed the work without the artist’s consent.  … Read the full article

Judge Young, Bulger/Flemmi and "The Government - Our Government"

U.S. Federal District Court Judge William Young has issued a lengthy decision, awarding $2.7 million in damages to the estates of three people murdered by James J. Bulger, Stephen J.

Flemmi, and their associates.  Judge Young describes the story as “harrowing,” which may be an understatement.

The key defendant in this case is the U.S. Government, which will foot the bill if the decision survives appeal.

Here are some quotes, pulled from the opinion, which is linked in all of its gory detail at the bottom of this post.  Judge Young:inst

Despite years of legal wrangling and an extensive factual
record, at its core this is a very simple case. Federal Bureau
of Investigation (“FBI”) agents actively protected a group of
murderers from apprehension and prosecution in order to use them as informants against La Cosa Nostra. The agents did this over a span of nearly twenty years, despite being on notice that their informants were killers and would, and indeed did, continue to murder.

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The Boston Area Technology Sector is a Lot Like Silicon Valley/Santa Clara County …. Not.

A table from Branko Gerovac’s website, Empirical Reality compares the technology areas of Massachusetts and Silicon Valley The two areas are far more alike, on the statistical level, than I had realized –

2008 Boston CSA* San Francisco CSA
Total population 7,514,759 7,354,444
Population 25 years and over 5,086,671 5,013,980
Bachelor’s degree 21.80% 24.70%
Graduate or professional degree 15.60% 16.60%
Population 16 years and over 6,047,131 5,888,844
In labor force 69.60% 67.60%
Unemployed 4.00% 4.10%
Median household income (dollars) 66,723 77,247
Mean earnings (dollars) 90,213 104,526
Per capita income (dollars) 34,324 39,069
Households 2,835,304 2,628,007
Owner-occupied housing units 64.60% 58.80%
Median home value (dollars) 345,000 656,500

(* CSA stands for “Combined Statistical Area”)

However, it’s no more accurate to say these two regions are comparable than it is to say that two 175 pound men are comparable – one may be all muscle, the other, well …..

Unfortunately, as Mr. Gerovac details in a number of other posts, Boston is far behind Silicon Valley in innovation, start-ups, and a variety of other key factors central to business development. … Read the full article