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Law school’s Egypt program temporarily shut down due to protests

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In light of recent protests in Egypt which have resulted in looting and fires in the streets as demonstrators demand the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, the Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis program, in association with the Alexandria and Cairo University Faculties of Law has halted operations, at least for the time being.

The only program of its kind in Egypt where an American university teaches courses to students that result in the Egyptian students receiving the same master of laws degree as the students who attend courses at the school’s American campus, cohorts of about 65 students each have started each January since 2008. The 2011 cohort started classes earlier this month.

Frank Emmert, executive director of the law school’s Center for International and Comparative Law and director of the Egypt program, left Cairo on Friday and arrived in Indianapolis Saturday morning. He taught the first block of classes for the Egypt program for almost three weeks, up to and including Thursday, when he expected to leave Cairo due to the instability of the area, but that flight was delayed and he was booked on a Friday flight instead.

He said he did not expect the protests to fizzle out until the president resigned, and added the protestors, mostly middle-class, educated citizens, had grown more confident each day since the violence erupted a week ago.

Swadesh S. Kalsi, a retired attorney who practiced at Krieg DeVault and was scheduled to teach a course in Egypt starting today, left Cairo Sunday. As of this morning, the latest Emmert had heard was that Kalsi and his wife made it to Frankfurt, Germany, but had experienced delays on his flight back to the United States due to the weather. The important thing was that Kalsi was out of Cairo and safe, Emmert said.

While there were no other American professors for the program who were still in Egypt as of today, he said he and others involved in the program were concerned for their Egyptian colleagues.

The unrest in Egypt had been building, Emmert said, partially due to the economy and difficulties faced by the middle class.

Part of the reason for the law school’s program, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development and has received funding for the 2011 cohort of students, was to help the country’s economy by training business lawyers. While many of the students who have started since the program’s first class in 2008 have had a connection to or interest in practicing business law, a large number of students also enrolled due to their interest in rule of law issues, including judges in the court that is equivalent to the federal Circuit courts in the United States.

“They don’t want to do it to help their government, they want to do it to help their country,” he said.

Because courses for the program are taught in blocks, Emmert said those involved with the program have decided to wait and see how things are going closer to mid-February when the next block of classes is scheduled to start.

A more in-depth article about the Egypt program will be published in the Feb. 16-March 1, 2011, print edition of Indiana Lawyer.
 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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