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Law School Briefs - 10/23/13

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Law School Briefs

Law School Briefs highlights news from law schools in Indiana. While Indiana Lawyer has always covered law school news and continues to keep up with law school websites and press releases for updates, we gladly accept submissions for this section from law students, professors, alumni, and others who want to share law school-related news. If you’d like to submit news or a photo from an event, please email it to Marilyn Odendahl at modendahl@ibj.com, along with contact information for any follow-up questions at least two weeks prior to the issue date.

IU Maurer to participate in national study of mediation

The Indiana University Maurer School of Law and IU’s Department of Psychological Brain Sciences have been awarded a four-year, $763,686 grant from the National Institute of Justice to study safety concerns in family mediation.

The project will examine whether mediation is a safe alternative to court-based litigation in cases with a history of domestic violence. Experts are divided on whether family mediation is a useful alternative or whether the parties with a record of violence can be adequately protected from physical and emotional harm during mediation.

Amy Applegate, director of the Viola J. Taliaferro Family and Children Mediation Clinic, is a member of the research team.

“Despite the use of protective measures such as shuttle or videoconferencing mediation, the appropriateness of mediation has been a source of controversy in cases involving intimate-partner violence,” Applegate said. “The NIJ’s generous grant also makes it possible to measure the effectiveness of mediation in these cases.”

The study, to take place at District of Columbia Superior Court’s Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division, will consist of a randomized control trial of family mediation with couples that have a history of violence which Multi-Door would generally consider inappropriate for alternative dispute resolution. The cases will be randomly assigned to one of three study conditions: traditional court-based litigation, shuttle mediation or videoconferencing mediation.

Results of the study will be published in interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journals, reports and presentations to stakeholders.

IU McKinney hosts delegation as part of human rights study

A delegation from the Philippines visiting the United States made a stop at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law on Sept. 27. Law professor George Edwards hosted the group, which was visiting the country as part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

The program’s objective is to help participants study U.S. methods for effective investigation and prosecution of human rights cases. It also aims to examine the best practices to investigate and build cases, specifically regarding extrajudicial killings, and to compare the challenges of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines to human rights concerns in the U.S.

Edwards is the founding director of the Program in International Human Rights Law. Created in 1997, the PIHRL has placed 170 law students in internships in 55 countries worldwide.

Lawyer returns to Valparaiso to deliver Seegers Lecture

Valparaiso University Law School welcomed a return visitor for the 2013 Seegers Lecture on Jurisprudence held Oct. 3.

Randy Barnett, professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, gave the address “Popular Sovereignty and the Judicial Duty to Assess the Rationality of Laws.”

This was Barnett’s second time speaking at the law school. Twenty-two years ago, he came to the school to present a paper.

The Seegers Lecture Series is sponsored by the late Edward A. Seegers, who made various contributions to Valparaiso University.•

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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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