Space Lawyers in St. Louis

Last year they invaded Canada.

This year, they're back in the states, as the
ABA Forum on Air and Space Law's 2006 Annual Meeting brings a bunch of high-flying lawyers to the bright blue skies of St. Louis, Missouri, July 27 and 28.

I'm not sure I can find Missouri on a map, but the aviation lawyers certainly can. (Of course, Charles Lindbergh's Ryan NYP "Spirit of St. Louis," which he flew 5,810 kilometers between Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York -- a short drive from my beach house where I happen to be blogging at the moment -- to Paris, thereby winning the $25,000 Orteig prize, was named in honor of folks in St. Louis, Missouri, who paid for Charles' plane. And I'm sure the air lawyers know all about the spacecraft that won the X Prize. But never mind that.)

The theme for the Forum's 2006 gathering: "Changing Business Models in a Shrinking World."

And alas, as always, the Forum's emphasis is on air, not space. Cherchez la air lawyers. I counted 8 panels (not to mention both keynotes) focusing exclusively on aviation law and business.

And one panel, yes one, devoted to space law:
Space-based, Earth-based Profits: Changes and Challenges.

According to the brochure, this panel will address:
- consolidation of satellite manufacturing and services at the national level;
- alliances at the international level;
- NASA and the private sector;
- commercial satellite imagery and geospatial data: the challenges in developing a successful business model.
Its moderator, Prof. Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz of the National Remote Sensing and Space Law Center, University of Mississippi School of Law, hosts a hot panel: Pamela Meredith of Zukert, Scoutt & Rasenberger, LLP; Kevin D. Pomfret of McGuire Woods LLP; and Michael C. Wholley who is, of course, NASA general counsel.

A good offering; we'll take it. (Joanne, Pamela and Michael also carried the space law ball at the forum's annual meeting last year.)

But really, air law is sooo 20th century. Mark my words. This millennium, the space lawyers will blow the wings off the ABA's so-called Forum on Air & Space Law, and take over.

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