ILNews

Leadership in Law 2013: Gary R. Roberts

Dean, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis Stanford Law School

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gary-roberts01-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Gary R. Roberts’ six-year tenure at the law school has been called transformational, with the most obvious sign the renaming of the Indianapolis school in 2011 after $24-million donor Robert H. McKinney. Gary has also overseen the addition of 15 faculty members and a doubling of the student financial aid budget. The nationally recognized sports law expert teaches several classes at the school, including labor law and, of course, sports law. Despite his demanding schedule, he has immersed himself in the legal community and community-at-large. He often attends Indianapolis Bar Association board meetings, bar retreats and events. He dedicates time to several community organizations, including the International School of Indiana and the Indianapolis Humane Society.

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose?
Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

If you could meet and spend a day with one lawyer from history, who would it be and why?
Bill Clinton, because he seems to enjoy life to the fullest every day in every sense of the word.

What class in law school did you find the most difficult?
I really didn’t find any class to be that difficult. I loved law school, but perhaps it’s just been so many years ago that I can’t remember. Like the song says, “What’s too painful to remember we simply choose to forget.”

What civic cause is the most important to you?
The Indianapolis Humane Society. (I’m on its board.) I truly love animals, especially dogs, and cannot imagine why people are neglectful or cruel to them.

You’re a leading expert in sports law. What’s your favorite sport to watch?
This is a tough one. I’d like to say curling (at least it’s the most amusing), but really it’s probably either NFL football or college basketball.

In life or law, what bugs you?
Hands down, stop and go lights. I’d publicly like to tar and feather the fools who time those lights and who leave them operating all hours of the day and night when there is almost no traffic. A close second is the bureaucracy within Indiana University that creates unnecessary hurdles, delays, and paperwork for almost everything one tries to do.

What do you find scary?
Professor Jegen.

Would a world without 24/7 technology be a good or bad thing?
A bad thing. As frustrating (and even scary) as it can be sometimes, technology has made our lives so much richer and allowed us to do and learn so many more things than would be conceivable without it.

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  1. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  2. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  3. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

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