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'Social business' among discussions

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Law School Briefs

Law School Briefs is Indiana Lawyer’s new section that will highlight news from law schools in Indiana. While we have always covered law school news and will continue to keep up with law school websites and press releases for updates, we’ll gladly accept submissions for this section from law students, professors, alums, 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 Rebecca Berfanger, rberfanger@ibj.com, along with contact information for any follow up questions at least two weeks in advance of the issue date.

This year’s Program on Law and State Government at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis Oct. 1 will focus on three main topics for lawyers, businesses, legislators, government employees, and academics: education about entrepreneurship at the undergrad, graduate school, and law school levels; the idea of “social businesses,” also known as L3Cs or low profit limited liability companies; and how government entities use data to improve services to citizens.

Each year, the program is designed by two law school students and professor Cynthia A. Baker. This year, students Erin Albert and Melissa Stuart chose the speakers and topics.

It’s important to have a discussion about L3Cs in Indiana, Albert said, because there is already legislation or legislation in process to recognize the distinction in Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan.

The concept isn’t brand new that a company would exist to fulfill a mission that wasn’t focused on making a profit, but she said a specific distinction in the laws that do exist help define tax issues and how much profit is too much profit to fit into the classification of a “low profit” company. She added there has been research about L3Cs that focus on the triple bottom line, or what is known as the three Ps. In addition to profit, companies also focus on place, including the environment and sustainability; and people, including employees, customers, and shareholders. These companies tend to not only thrive but are also more profitable than companies that only focus on profit, she sad.

An example of someone who has been successful focusing on people and not on profit has been Muhammad Yunus, a 2006 Nobel Prize winner, who started Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Albert said. The point of the bank was to give microloans mostly to women in India who didn’t have any monetary capital but wanted to start small businesses and had enough social capital to get their businesses off the ground.

The bank has had a payback rate of more than 98 percent, Albert said.

Speakers for this section of the event include Antony Page, a professor at the Indianapolis law school; Robert Lang, CEO of Mary Elizabeth & Gordon B. Mannweiler Foundation, and CEO, L3C Advisors L3C; John Tyler, vice president and corporate secretary of Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; and Elizabeth Carrott Minnigh, an attorney at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney who represents L3Cs.

The speakers are national experts on the topic, Albert said, and will likely spark some controversy among the lawyers, legislators, and entrepreneurs in the room.

She said it was also important to include education for entrepreneurs as a topic in the conference because it’s something more people are doing, either as someone who has always wanted to start her own business, as someone who is unexpectedly unemployed due to the economy, or as a way to have a side business to keep one’s options open.

Albert, herself an entrepreneur, will moderate that discussion between Mark Need, a professor and director of the Elmore Entrepreneurship Law Clinic at Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington; and Mark Stewart Long, instructor of entrepreneurship and management at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington.

The third major topic, obtaining and effectively using data to improve systems, will be particularly relevant to program participants who work in government, she said.

For the luncheon and keynote address, Doug Chapin, director of Election Initiatives for the Pew Center on the States will discuss the role of election data. Stuart will present “Legal Frameworks for Performance-Driven Government.”

Stuart will also moderate the afternoon panel discussion that will address if law is an obstacle to data-based governing in Indiana. The panel will feature David Griffith, staff attorney for the Indiana Supreme Court, Division of State Court Administration, who will discuss Judicial Technology and Automation Committee; Becky Selig, director of the Bureau of Quality Improvement Services for the Division on Disability, Aging, and Rehabilitative Services of the Family and Social Services Administration; Molly Chamberlin, director of data collection, analysis and reporting for the Office of Learning Choices in the Department of Education; and Gary Huff, town manager for Fishers.

More information about the conference, which includes 5.5 hours of CLE, is available at http://indylaw.indiana.edu/ under Events. Registration is $100, or $55 for state government attorneys, judges, legislators, and non-attorneys.•

 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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