M E M O R A N D U M
To: Computer Law Section Governing Council
From: The Name Change Task Force: Jim Blomquist, Chip Brink, Dan Tysver, and Kari Wangensteen
Re: Name Change Recommendations
Date: November 1, 2006
The Task Force’s charge was to recommend action regarding a name change for our Section. We recalled that while surveying our members four or five years ago, there was a general consensus that our Section’s name was inaccurate. For this reason, the Task Force did not thoroughly investigate whether or not a name change should be done (although this was discussed). Rather, we researched what the new name should be.
From our discussions, the two names that garnered the support of the Task Force were:
▪ Technology Law Section
▪ Computer and Technology Law Section
We would like to ask for the impressions and thoughts of the Governing Council
before we make a final recommendation.
1. Name Change. Committee members recalled that John Sumner surveyed all of the Section members four or five years ago as to a possible name change. While Mr. Sumner’s research relating to that survey is not now available, there was a general recollection that there was a consensus for a Section name change, but that there was no consensus as to what that name should be.
2. Name that is Descriptive of What We Do. While the Task Force discussed what our Section does (i.e. privacy, hardware, software, internet, etc.), what it attempts to do throughout the year, and what should or should not be included in the new name regarding these items, the Task Force concluded that as long as the name was not misleading, we do not need to thoroughly describe everything we do or be all-inclusive in the name of the Section.
3. Survey of Other State Bar Association Section Names. In our informal survey of other State Bar Section names, we found most states attempted to differentiate this section from the Intellectual Property Sections of their association by naming it either Computer Law Section (in most cases) or Technology Law Section (in New York). However, what was interesting was that most of the CLE’s in these states named their annual CLE lecture a “Technology Law” Seminar, rather than a “Computer Law” Seminar. In our discussions, we concluded that there was probably more draw towards the “Technology Law” name and we surmised that maybe some of the Sections had not yet gotten around to changing their names.
4. Variety of Names. While we discussed a variety of names for our Section, the two alternative recommendations that the Task Force agreed on making to the Section Council members are “Technology Law Section” and “Computer and Technology Law Section.” While neither name is perfect, it was the Task Force’s belief that most state bar associations will eventually move towards the “Technology Law” moniker, but that the “Computer and Technology Law” moniker pays tribute to our past while also allowing us to move forward by including the term “Technology.” This name could be an interim name, or it could be the permanent name of the section.
These are our recommendations to the Council, given in order to get your thoughts and input. We will then meet again to make a decision as to the Task Force’s final name change recommendation and, before that final recommendation, research what must be done with the State Bar Association in order to change our Section name.
Please feel free to contact any of the Name Change Task Force members if you
have any questions on this report.