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Law School Briefs - 9/14/11

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Law School Briefs

Law School Briefs is Indiana Lawyer’s section highlighting news from law schools in Indiana. While IL 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 send it to Jenny Montgomery at jmontgomery@ibj.com, along with contact information for any follow-up questions at least two weeks in advance of the issue date.

IU biomedical conference

Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis has planned its inaugural Biomedical and Health Industry Law Compliance Conference for Sept. 21. The keynote speaker is Joyce R. Branda, director of the Fraud Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Commercial Litigation Branch. Branda oversees civil fraud matters and federal litigation under the False Claims Act and other laws.

Topics on the agenda include health care reform, health care-life sciences business relationships, and HIPAA privacy.

The fee to attend – $50 for government attorneys and $100 for private attorneys – covers six hours of CLE, lunch, and refreshments. Attorneys not interested in pursuing CLE may register for $50. Up to 10 students will be allowed to attend, on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, contact Carsandra Knight at 317-274-1912 or at calknigh@iupui.edu. Additional information is available on the “upcoming events” page of the school’s website at http://indylaw.indiana.edu/news.

IP colloquium

Four scholars from around the globe will visit the Indiana University Maurer School of Law this fall to share their recent work during the Center for Intellectual Property Research IP Colloquium.

Titled “Protecting Intellectual Property: A Global Perspective,” the colloquium will focus on recent developments in IP law in the United States and other countries. The following people are scheduled to speak:

On Sept. 8, Mira Sundara Rajan, an independent scholar and IP consultant and honorary member of Oxford University Magdalen College, spoke on the subject: “Authors or Auteurs? Moral Rights in Film.”

Carys Craig of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School will present “Copyright, Communication, and IP Culture: Towards a Relational Theory of Copyright Law” on Sept 28.

Pierre-Emmanuel Moyse, McGill University Faculty of Law, will address “Intellectual Property Rights and ‘Abuse of Rights’ Theory, a Jurisprudential Inquiry” on Oct. 13.

Peter Yu, Drake University Law School, will discuss “The Graduated Response” on Oct. 27.

Daniel Gervais, Vanderbilt Law School, will talk about “The Changing Landscape of Collective Rights Management” on Nov. 3.

All talks are scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. and end at 3:25 p.m. in Room 213 of the Maurer School of Law. Indiana continuing legal education credit has been applied for. The public is welcome, and more information about the colloquium and the Center for Intellectual Property Research can be found on the center’s website: http://ip.law.indiana.edu/.•

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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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