Monday, September 19, 2016, 3:46 PM

Roanoke Is Back On The Map

Politico Magazine has published a very good story about the rebirth of Roanoke's downtown and its transformation from a railroad ghost town to a vibrant, outdoorsy, high-tech city.

I have commented before about how the changing economy in cities like Charlottesville and Roanoke would change the legal community as well as the reputation and docket in the Western District of Virginia.  Just as UVa has played a large role in Charlottesville's "innovation" economy, Roanoke's economic growth is fueled in large part by nearby Virginia Tech and its investment in the new medical school and neuroscience institute.  This technology driven growth means that the Western District of Virginia will continue to see more complex business litigation and intellectual property related disputes.

On a personal note, this sentence in the article's lede took me by surprise: "A decade ago, the U.S. Census counted 15 people living in Roanoke's downtown."  It seems I was one of those 15 people.  Actually, it was more than a decade ago, while clerking for Judge Wilson, I lived in a small apartment a couple blocks away from the federal courthouse, close to Center on the Square.  Back then, most people thought I was crazy to live downtown, but now I look like a trendsetter!  

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