What’s in a Name? Pt. 2

In the immortal words of Han Solo, “Here’s where the fun begins.”

The rules that govern the courtroom and the contract are, at the end of the day, not so different from the rules that govern our sports, our video games, our card games, and even our stories.  Explicit legal rules are more complex and the impact of failing to understand them more significant, to be sure, but the act of analyzing them, of thinking about how they affect the world of the “game”, of working through how they might govern thought processes and behavior, is very similar…if not exactly the same.

And that’s where the “Game” in “Rules of the Game” comes in.

My friends and family would be quick to tell you that  I play a new board game like I negotiate a $10M deal. (Believe it or not, this is not always seen as a plus when folks are deciding whether to invite me to couples game night.)  When I look at a game, each rule is analyzed and re-analyzed, each nuance argued over, each attenuated possibility contemplated and discussed.  In many ways, it’s where I get my kicks.

Before I was a lawyer, I was trained as an economist;  all demand curves, all supply curves, all incentive structures, all the time.  I have always been fascinated by that last concept… “incentives”, how a set of rules or circumstances helps encourage a person to do (or not do) something, and that fascination has most certainly proven a boon to my own practice and to my clients’ growth.  (At the end of the day, much of thinking about contracts is fundamentally an exercise in determining who is incentivized to do what.)   It has also proven a boon in restaurants and bars;  arguing about the latest holding or interference penalty, declaiming the policies and procedures that annually politicize the BCS championship race, or discussing (a bit closer to home) the nature of the NFL’s CBA and how it incentivizes Roger Goodell to…act the way he does.

Here at “Rules of the Game” we hope to take not infrequent breaks in the legal discussion to talk about the sports, games, culture, and rules that make up and govern some of our more frivolous (but oft fulfilling) pursuits.

Whether its the latest iOS phenomenon (I hear Pokemon Go is quite the thing), a controversial set of calls in last Saturday’s Michigan football game, or the ways in which a summer blockbuster’s finale achingly squanders all of the promise presented by its first act, my hope is that readers will get both an interesting and thought-provoking read, while also gaining insight into the myriad ways in which the structures we take for granted can impact our thought processes and behaviors, or at least insight into the thought processes and behaviors of we here at Hoeg Law.

After all, we at Hoeg Law are very passionate about achieving great outcomes for our clients, but we also have passions that go outside the boardroom and the contract page. Many times its easy for big corporate counsel to forget that the clients they serve are people too.  Its our fervent hope that by keeping our passions and pursuits out there, we can help cultivate discussion and community.  And in some small way, make this law firm blog site, well, a bit more fun and a bit less dry.

We hope you’ll visit often.

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