Monday, November 15, 2021

Noble v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. - Nov. 10, 2021)

The (successful) attorney for the real party in interest in this opinion is Skye Emery. That's a classic millennial name: Skye.  I wondered how many lawyers in California shared that first name.

The answer:  Nine.

Not surprisingly, almost all of them joined the bar within the past decade (i.e., after 2010); indeed, all but two.  Apparently the name "Skye" became popular after a character named "Skye Chandler" was added to various popular soap operas in 1987.  If you're born -- or conceived -- around or after 1987 or 1988, you typically graduate law school and pass the bar post-2010.  Makes sense.

The earliest California "Skye" attorney -- Skye Gibson -- joined the bar in 1998 and is now inactive and lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.  The other pre-2010 "Skye" involves a very sad story:  that of Skye Donald, who joined the California bar in 2004, started teaching legal writing at UCLA Law in 2009, was diagnosed with a brain tumor the next year, and succumbed to cancer in 2006, at the age of 43.

I'm sure we'll see more California attorneys with the first name of "Skye" at some point, though the most recent admittee was five years ago, in 2016.  I guess there was a big blip of popularity there once the soap opera character was added.  (Though, interestingly, the name appears to have stayed popular thereafter, but not for future attorneys.  I know there's a small sample size here, and we're only talking about a single name, but I wonder if parents who give their baby -- or at least daughter -- a newly-popular first name are more likely to end up having that child become an attorney than parents who give that same first name to babies who are born when that name is still relatively novel but a little well-worn.  Maybe there's a slight demographic, or educational, or parent-raising difference between the two groups?  An area just waiting for extensive empirical research, I'd say.)

Finally, yeah, yeah, there are (relatively) plenty "Skyler" and "Skylar" attorneys -- and even a couple of "Sky" ones -- but those don't count.  (Plus, even among those names, the earliest member of the bar was in 1998).  We're only talking "Skye" today.