The Undead Bar Association is:
- a series of fictional books and stories, examining the gray zone of life where law and the supernatural collide
- a group of characters in the UBA books, who focus their legal practice on the undead and their lives on survival.
Genesis of the idea
In 2007, a bunch of law students with brains fried from over-studying, started to talk about zombies. The thing you should know about law students is that even when they take study breaks they still think about law. So what began as a light-hearted conversation about zombies turned into a serious conversation about zombie rights. Here's an excerpt (WARNING - the italics below contains legalese and other scary law type stuff):
While it's certainly true that prior to being undead, the undead-to-be was dead, you're implying that those so raised have no legal protections or rights, and that such will not be forthcoming. If this is true, then I would contest that our association has failed in some respect. We should make it one of our objectives to establish those sorts of protections.
Also, I don't know of any existing public policy against the re-killing of the dead, if that is the remedy sought.
The undead need not always be on the plaintiff side of litigation. We may have difficulty recovering traditional damages if the deceased defendant has not acquired any property since rising and intestacy or probate has already occurred, but I don't think those are insurmountable problems.
An informal group was started to continue such discussions, but it didn't expand beyond already existing friendships. After everyone in the group graduated, the idea of a bar association for the undead faded away.
Dug Up, Dusted Off, & Revived in 2010
In May of 2010, UBA members Maryanne Wells and Naomi O'Conners had an online discussion about the realities of practicing law. They had each begun to question their career paths, wondering traditional legal careers were the right fit. Aside: within a few months of their conversation, Naomi left law and the US to teach English in Japan, while Maryanne left her law firm to rejoin the business world.
Maryanne mentioned her need for a creative outlet, and Naomi suggested her friend start writing again. So Maryanne sifted through old story ideas and different projects she'd done in the past. While sorting through files, Maryanne found note about the bar association for the undead. She wondered what life would be like, if the old circle of law school friends really did take on legal cases for the undead. Then Maryanne pulled out her laptop, and began to write.
Who is writing this stuff?
The writers of the original UBA stories on the blog were Maryanne Wells and Naomi O'Conners. In 2012, the blog began conversion to e-books. Maryanne took charge of revising existing material and writing new material for the e-books. To learn more about Maryanne Wells, visit her web-site: www.maryannewells.com
Some articles and movie reviews on the blog were written by guest authors. The UBA continues to accept pieces on undead law and short stories from other writers. If you have an article or short story you would like to submit, please send it to mamcwells at gmail dot com (replace at and dot with appropriate symbols). Please send only original, previously unpublished work. At this time, we do not pay for material submitted by writers outside the UBA.
You don't really believe in this stuff, right? I mean, you don't actually make a career out of handling legal cases involving vampires, ghosts, and zombies. Do you?
We make a living.