A few legal threads to weave into your plots

This week I’m linking to a few NPR stories with legal implications and story potential:

This piece on ethical hacking, called “Banks Reluctant To Use ‘White Hat’ Hackers To Spot Security Flaws,” explores “bug bounties,” why tech companies invite them to show where the weaknesses are, and the apparent reluctance of the banking industry to follow suit.

NPR posted this piece on Loretta Lynch, the potential New AG, before her nomination. The Washington Post shares this profile. The U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn isn’t well-known outside law enforcement, but her story is intriguing. Maybe one of your fictional lawyers shares some traits with her — or worked on cases like her. How is your fictional prosecutor affected — personally and professionally — by handling the nationally-publicized case of violent sexual assault by police of a Haitian immigrant, or by hearing first-hand accounts of people who survived mass shootings in Rwanda by hiding under piles of dead bodies?

Another NPR report: Harvard secretly photographs classrooms in a study on attendance — following last year’s report that the university searched e-mail accounts in investigating allegations of cheating. Might make a good subplot, eh? Or perhaps one of your characters was the unwitting target — or the techie who set it up and is now being shunned by friends who were targets, or accused of complicity with immoral or illegal acts. Or maybe your techie learned some skills in the process that he can use now to blackmail someone — or to investigate a blackmail claim.

And finally, a story on California’s prison dairies. Here in Montana, inmates at the men’s state prison run a cattle ranch. Women prisoners can train dogs or work in a culinary arts training program. Where can those skills take your inmate once she or he is released? Do you have a character whose skills can take her into the prison, where she hears all kinds of things while training inmates to train dogs? Will she learn something that sends her investigating? Or seeking revenge?

Stories are everywhere. Take a pinch of this, twist it with a dash of that, and create a whole new story line.