Biography of Dr. Standler

Atmospheric Physics

During 1967-77, when I was a full-time physics student in a university, I took the usual physics classes to prepare me to do research and solve problems in almost any area of classical physics.   There are some themes in physics, such as oscillations and motion of waves, that occur in many areas of physics (e.g., mechanics, acoustics, optics, electromagnetism, plasma physics, etc.), and understanding these themes make it easier to learn new areas of physics.

In 1969, I purchased a copy of a technical book on lightning by Prof. Martin Uman, and became interested in research in lightning. I selected graduate schools to attend, based on their research program in lightning. Essentially, I chose my thesis advisor first, then went to the university where that advisor was a professor. During 1971-79, I did scientific research in atmospheric physics, including lightning and electrical discharges in gases.

Electrical Engineering

After earning my doctorate in physics in 1977, there were few jobs for physicists, because of drastic decreases in funding for pure scientific research.   Because I had designed and built electronic instrumentation, using both analog and digital circuits, I switched careers to electrical engineering.   I was a professor of electrical engineering for 10 years and an employee of, or consultant to, industry for 7 years.   My career in engineering built on my previous experience in physics research, in which I designed and built electronic instruments and protected them from lightning.

electrical surges

Since 1973, I have designed and built numerous surge suppressors for ac power circuits, analog and digital data lines, and telephone lines.

During 1982-93, I did engineering research in protection of electronic circuits from electrical surges (i.e., transient overvoltages), such as caused by lightning, switching inductive loads, and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from nuclear weapons.

I continue to consult part-time in the design and application of surge suppressors and surge arresters.   For that reason, I continue to maintain my collection of catalogs of components for surge-protective devices.

conclusion of my scientific & engineering research

During 1971-93, I wrote more than 35 archival papers in science and engineering, plus one book that has been in print since 1989, and I am an inventor on three U.S. Patents.

In 1990, at the end of the cold war, the U.S. Congress declared a "peace dividend" and annihilated funding for research in all of my areas of electrical engineering and physics.   (See my detailed remarks on U.S. Government funding of scientific research.)   Simultaneously, there was a recession that ended funding for research in my areas by corporations and electric utilities. Concurrently, design and manufacturing of surge suppressors moved from the USA to Asia, mostly Communist China. All of these events together ended my career in engineering research.


My teaching experience includes: All of this teaching experience helps me solve disputes about grading, acceptability of a thesis, and similar academic issues.


I had been interested in privacy law and First Amendment law since the 1960s and I had worked as a consultant on scientific evidence to litigators, so I decided in 1994 to become an attorney.

When I was a full-time law student during 1995-98, I broadly studied torts, contracts, and constitutional law, as well as intellectual property law.   I used the same broad, general approach to law that served me well in my previous careers as a physicist and electrical engineer.   An attorney who has a narrow focus in only one specialty can miss analogies from other areas of law when novel or nonroutine cases arise. In the areas of computer law and technology law, new technologies are continually creating cases with novel legal issues.

My earlier career as a professor for 10 years helps me understand and solve problems in higher-education law.   My writing computer programs since 1968, and my being a webmaster since 1997, helps me understand and solve problems in computer law.   My experience in scientific and engineering research for more than 16 years helps me understand torts involving technology and also appreciate the importance of intellectual property law.   In this way, my current career in law builds on my experience in my previous careers in physics and electrical engineering.

Since becoming an attorney in Massachusetts in December 1998, I have continued to learn law, mostly by assigning myself legal research projects on topics that interest me.   Some of these self-assigned projects became essays at my website with citations to statutes, cases, and law review articles.   You can see my intense interest, enthusiasm, and scholarly approach to law in the more than 97 essays at my websites.   I have also gained experience through work for my legal clients in Massachusetts, and from my nationwide consulting to litigators.

Science vs. Humanities

In 1959, C.P. Snow gave an influential lecture titled "Two Cultures" that described the growing chasm between scientists and people educated in humanities. (This famous lecture was published as a book by Cambridge University Press.) I can straddle this cultural division, because of my education and experience in scientific research, and my education and experience in law, with also my interest in history.

Most lawyers and legislators, and nearly all judges, are educated in the humanities, and they have great difficulty understanding science and technology, even when it is explained to them. There are many important topics in litigation in which understanding of science or technology is essential, such as products liability, medical malpractice, torts involving technology, and computer law.

Science and technology gives us many new ways to improve our lives. But some people devote their effort to creating repressive laws that prohibit or restrict use of modern technology. Other people delight in using technology to harm victims, by either criminal conduct or torts. All of this misuse is properly the domain of law.

My Credentials

My curriculum vitae gives my credentials, a bibliography of my publications, and a summary of my professional experience.

I shall personally do all work on my client's case or problem, so that my client gets the full benefit of my education and experience.

this document is at
text first posted 16 May 2009, revised 15 May 2024

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