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2012 Leadership in Law: Bruce G. Berner

Louis and Anna Seegers Professor of Law, Valparaiso University Law School, Valparaiso Valparaiso University Law School

April 25, 2012
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Bruce G. Berner (IL Photo/Steve Linsenmayer)

Professor Bruce Berner has been at the law school since 1971 and is a student favorite. He was repeatedly voted by students to address them at commencement – until he became disqualified because of his position as associate dean. While a student, Bruce helped found the “Valparaiso University Law Review.” His name may be familiar to those who kept up with the Ford Pinto case in the 1970s – he served as a special prosecutor. Today, he is working with the Indiana Supreme Court by evaluating a pilot project that will open certain court proceedings to the public through webcasting.

The best advice I ever received was
as I left for college, my father advised me to be a little suspicious of anyone who was certain about anything.  

I wish I had known when I graduated law school that
law school had only begun.  Many lawyers, including me, often have a hard time accepting legal principles which developed after we graduated.

My best stress reliever is
music.

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be
a math teacher (but only because I couldn’t hit well enough to be a major league baseball player). 

In 2012, I’d like to
live until 2013.

The three words that best describe me are
lucky, humorous and hopeful.

In the movie about my life,
Woody Allen would play me. (We look a little alike and both were born in Brooklyn.)

In my community, I’m passionate about
getting people to talk with each other and find that they agree about far more than they think they do.

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  1. November, 2014, I was charged with OWI/Endangering a person. I was not given a Breathalyzer test and the arresting officer did not believe that alcohol was in any way involved. I was self-overmedicated with prescription medications. I was taken to local hospital for blood draw to be sent to State Tox Lab. My attorney gave me a cookie-cutter plea which amounts to an ALCOHOL-related charge. Totally unacceptable!! HOW can I get my TOX report from the state lab???

  2. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

  3. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  4. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  5. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

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