IndyLaw Net is an independent weblog written and managed by students and alumni of the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, serving the IU Law-Indy community.
We welcome and encourage comments... Please check out ILN's commenting policy
Nathan Van Sell
Prof. Jeff Cooper
In the Agora
Jelly Beans & Corduroy
The Sleepy Sage
Waiting for the Punchline
Other Law Students
The Kitchen Cabinet
letters from babylon
Letters of Marque
Notes from the Underground
Three Years of Hell
D. Gordon Smith
The Volokh Conspiracy
White Collar Crime prof blog
Andrew R. Cline
Daniel W. Drezner
Mark A. R. Kleiman
History News Network
Program for Judicial Awareness
Howard J. Bashman
Tech Law Advisor
Math Class for Poets
Statutory Construction Zone
Indiana Law Blog
Stop the Bleating
CNN - Law
Sapere aude - dare to be wise
Friday, February 27, 2004
The Judge Orders You To Smile
Sooner or later we are going to be practicing attorneys that appear before a judge. Do yourselves a favor and follow the led of the judge! I intern with a great judge who has a good sense of humor. During an oral argument yesterday an attorney with the etiquette of Rambo just would not relax when arguing. We should argue zealously for a client, but it's okay to chuckle if the judge is lobbing a joke at you. We may be wannabe lawyers, but it's okay to still be human.
Thursday, February 26, 2004
News From the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court in a new rendering on separation of church and state, voted Wednesday to let states withhold scholarships from students studying theology.
The court's 7-2 ruling held that the state of Washington was within its rights to deny a taxpayer-funded scholarship to a college student who was studying to be a minister. That holding applies even when money is available to students studying anything else.
The case is a departure from recent church-state fights in which the Supreme Court has gradually allowed greater state sponsorship of religious activities. Rehnquist is usually a supporter of that idea.
Wednesday's case has implications for President Bush's plan to allow more church-based organizations to compete for government money, and the Bush administration argued that the state had been wrong to yank the scholarship from former student Joshua Davey.
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
YOU ARE RULE 11!
You were designed to make sure that attorneys in
federal cases make reasonable inquiries into
fact or law before submitting pleadings,
motions, or other papers. You were a real
hardass in 1983, when you snuffed out all legal
creativity from federal proceedings and
embarassed well-meaning but overzealous
attorneys. You loosened up a bit in 1993, when
you began allowing plaintiffs to make
allegations in their complaints that are likely
to have evidenciary support after discovery,
and when you allowed a 21 day period for the
erring attorney to withdraw the errant motion.
Sure, you keep everything running on the up and
up, but it's clear that things would be a lot
more fun without you around.
Which Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Monday, February 23, 2004
You know what happens to people who try to take money from Tony...
A federal judge has thrown out a claim by a municipal judge in New Jersey to proceeds from the HBO mob drama "The Sopranos," saying a verbal agreement with the show's producer was not a legal contract.
Prospect Park Municipal Judge Robert Baer claimed in a 2002 lawsuit he deserved a share of the show's profits because he suggested the idea of the show and provided ideas and access to underworld contacts.
Baer said he received verbal promises from series creator David Chase that he would be compensated.
But in a written decision released Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Joel Pisano dismissed the case, saying there was no binding legal agreement that would entitle Baer to money.
Thursday, February 19, 2004
"Mars Hill College has accepted the resignation of a longtime professor after he challenged students to disrobe in exchange for an A in his sociology class and one of them took him up on the offer.
"College President Dan Lunsford said the professor didn't expect the student would actually take off his clothes during the class last Thursday evening. The instructor's offer was intended to illustrate cultural differences and that public nudity is unacceptable in American society, he said."
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Same-Sex Marriage Injunction to be Heard Today
A group opposed to same sex marriage has requested an injunction to stop San Francisco from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. That hearing is scheduled for 11am today and a second request is scheduled to be heard at 2pm.
If the judge orders the city to stop issuing same-sex licenses, it is unclear whether he will also void the hundreds of licenses that have been issued since Thursday.
Pictures of couples who have been married since Thursday can be found here.
Monday, February 16, 2004
Show Him the Money
When Peyton Manning chose an agent in 1998, he knew what he was doing and why. He picked Tom Condon, former player, attorney, the tough-smart president of IMG Football.
Condon is negotiating Manning's second contract with the Indianapolis Colts. It figures to be a landmark. Colts owner Jim Irsay has repeatedly said he intends to make Manning the highest-paid player in NFL history.
The Sporting News ranks him the most powerful agent in sports. Condon was a starting guard from 1974 through 1984 with Kansas City and in 1985, his last season, with New England. That means something to prospective clients. He earned his law degree during offseasons and began representing teammates while he still was playing. He involved himself with the players association, of which he served as president, 1984-86, then joined forces with IMG in 1991.
Biology class dissections have become so common in schools across the country, they almost seem like a right of passage. But now an alternative method for learning is being pushed by animal rights groups and others who are squeamish about the practice.
"Digital Frog" is a teacher-approved electronic dissection that lets students perform the procedure using a mouse and a computer screen. PETA and the Humane Society have each asked students to refuse to perform dissections.
But the National Association of Biology Teachers and others in the science community stand by the importance of the study of real animals, saying no alternative can substitute for the actual experience of dissection. The NABT does accept the use of other methods for studying biology when the teacher deems them more effective.
Are you interested in joining the Sapere aude team? Just drop me a line with your interests, etc. we'll see what we can do.
Gunning for the Gunners
Going into law school, I knew the Socratic method would play a fairly large roll in the learning process, but I've been surprised by just how controversial the whole thing has been. Jason Hannagan, in his first foray in the blogosphere, addresses this topic. On one extreme, there are the "gunners," who really need no definition. They're those that speak often and rarely hesitate to raise their hand, either to ask a question or answer one the professor posed. On the other extreme, there are students who I literally can't ever remember hearing speak once in class since school began.
So what would drive an individual to turn to one of these extremes? There are a number of possibilities. The most frequent to come from gunner critics is that they're out to show off, either for professors, fellow students, or both.
But gunners and their defendants will argue that the professor doesn't have to call on them if they don't want to. If the professor thinks it stalls class discussion, he or she can choose not to call on the gunner. Indeed, that often happens. Some gunners feel they need to ask questions to fully grasp the material, but their detractors counter they should ask them after class. It's a strong counter, and one that I happen to agree with, but that still leaves the seemingly valid act of answering questions posed by professors. This doesn't stall class and it actually furthers what the professor believes to be an educational exercise.
In the end, the professor has complete discretion on who to call on, for both questions and answers. If the professor thinks it delays class or is unnecessary, he or she can simply ignore it.
Yet there's one remaining question - is this "sucking up" or "brown nosing?" Anytime I hear someone complaining of this I genuinely feel sorry for the one complaining. I don't think they comprehend that they're spending thousands of dollars a year to learn the law under some of the brightest legal minds in the world. Those who don't take advantage of it are missing out in a big way. Too many students seem stuck in a grade school mentality of being scared to participate because a few students will "make fun" of them.
Nevertheless, there's a strong argument to be made that too much participation, even that which has the professor's blessing, can have a negative impact. Garrett Moritz makes these and other arguments in his case against gunners. But I prefer to leave that discretion with the professor. I'm positive that, as a general rule, they know the fine line of class participation much better than any complaining 1L.
Sunday, February 15, 2004
We're all far too familiar with the infamous US News and World Report rankings. Everyone seems to hate them, but realize the necessity of respecting their influence. The Thomas Cooley college complains,
Each year, the publication US News and World Report surveys lawyers, judges, and academics, allowing them the opportunity to rate all approved law schools and place each school in one of five categories - distinguished, strong, good, adequate, marginal. Although the opportunity is presented for these raters to say "don't know," no controls in that regard are included. So the US News reputation raters are not required to actually know anything about the schools they rate.In response the school has done its best to rank output, placing the Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis at number 50 in the nation, much higher than US News' 64 spot.
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Ever notice the similarities between Prof. Karlson and Ronald Lacy, who played Toht in Indiana Jones?
Half-steps to reform
My dear friend Paul Musgrave, who will likely play a role in any possible Indiana constitutional convention, has interviewed Chief Justice Shepard about the possibility of significant state reform.
Claremont Institute's Ethan Davis writes this, among other things:
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will speak on "Constitutional Interpretation" at Amherst College today, and his reception won't be a merry one. Sixteen Amherst professors, including most of the law department, published a letter in the student newspaper last week announcing their refusal to engage Justice Scalia in debate or dialogue. The Justice, according to the professors, engages in "vitriolic name-calling" and does not subscribe to the "liberal ideas of constructive disagreement and debate." By boycotting his lecture, they wrote, they would avoid lending their "tacit endorsement of this man's presence on campus."
Harvard has given clearence to a student-run magazine that will feature nude pictures of Harvard undergraduates and articles about sexual issues.
Duke Univ. Dept. Chair: Conservatives too stupid to hire
The Duke University Conservative Union, a student group, took out an ad in Monday's Duke Chronicle, the campus paper, claiming that the university lacks intellectual diversity because politically conservative professors are practically not to be found.
In the advertisement, formatted as an open letter to President Nan Keohane, DCU alleged that a number of humanities departments "have become increasingly politicized over the past few decades" and, furthermore, that this politicization has had "a significant impact on the daily workings of their faculty members."In response, the chairman of the philosophy department, Robert Brandon, said that conservatives are too dumb to be professors at Duke.
"We try to hire the best, smartest people available," Brandon said of his philosophy hires. "If, as John Stuart Mill said, stupid people are generally conservative, then there are lots of conservatives we will never hire.Interesting proposition.
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Deadly force not allowed
The law school's Prof. Henry Karlson thinks a 1985 U.S. Supreme Court decision might make it harder for Ball State University to justify a police action shooting in a $100 million lawsuit.
Henry Karlson of the Indiana University School of Law said the federal court lawsuit filed Tuesday by attorneys for the family of slain Ball State student Michael McKinney was similar to a previous case, Tennessee vs. Garner.
Wyatt Wasicek was so outraged by the recording industry's legal assault on users of free music-downloading sites that he decided to ride to the rescue. He created a program called AnonX that masks the Internet address of people who use file-sharing programs such as Kazaa.
Available for $5.95 per month, AnonX sets up a virtual private network, or VPN, between a user's computer and the company's computers. The AnonX computers act as proxies, and actually do the Web surfing for the subscriber.
Wasicek, 29, promises not to divulge his 7,000 users' Internet addresses and believes he can't be forced to do so.
RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy declined to comment on AnonX.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
New Zero Tolerance Policy
Public Safety Director Robert Turner and Mayor Bart Peterson announced Tuesday that IPD officers will from now on not be allowed to drive their take-home cars after drinking alcohol.
This is long overdue. I know it may seem like alot to ask for a person to have a blood alcohol level of zero before they can drive. Dinner and a beer or glass of wine shouldn't necessarily prevent people from driving themselves home.
But our IPD officers are in a position of authority and should set an example for the citizens they both protect and serve.
I suppose a "no driving like a maniac in my squad car just because I can" policy is out of the question.
Food For Thought
In 1960, there was one lawyer for every 627 people in the United States. In 1988, there was one lawyer for every 339 people. During the last half of this twenty-eight year period, the number of lawyers in the United States increased at a rate that was more than five times faster than the rate of growth for the general population.
I calculate that if we keep going in this way, by the year 2023 there will be more lawyers than people.
--Clark, "Why So Many Lawyers? Are They Good Or Bad?" 61 Fordham L. Rev. 275 (1992).
Monday, February 09, 2004
Keepin' 'em on their toes in Texas
Friday, February 06, 2004
Well third years, the time has come. We can now download and print out our bar application.
I just did and I HIGHLY recommend starting soon. It's crazy how detailed they want the information--everywhere you've lived since you were 18, everywhere you've worked since you are 18, etc. In addition to filling out the application itself, you have to get fingerprints, letters of recommendation, driving record for the past 5 years, and affidavit from the Dean. Oh yeah, and it costs $250.
To download the application, click here.
Thursday, February 05, 2004
Kelly, one of our very own Sapere Aude contributors, has started her own blog.
So, head over to Just Playin'!!
Glad you're getting started, Kelly!
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
The Supreme Court of Massachusetts has ruled that same sex couples must be allowed to marry; civil unions are not enough. The ruling (with both majority and dissenting opinions) can be found here. I haven't had a chance to read through it all, but from first glance it seems the court based its opinion on the belief that the pending Mass. legislation for "civil unions" violates the equal protection and due process requirements of the state Constitution and Declaration of Rights.
I am up to my ears in law review.
The first third of my law review note was due last month, the next portion is due a week from yesterday, and the final product is due March 8th.
I'm a procrastinator extraordinaire. It may be the classic rationalization, but I work better under pressure. I have been working on my note, but I have much work to do before it is an acceptable (and perhaps publishable) product.
Yesterday I received a new editing assignment. Editing articles and notes of other contributors is the main function of 2L members of law reviews. (Aside from writing your own note). I actually don't mind the editing, but the problem is that they always seem to come at the worst time. This edit is due, of course, on the same day as my next note draft. Ugh.
Why did I decide to join the law review? Many reasons. I knew almost nothing about law school when I entered last fall. I had never even heard of law review. But friends and classmates soon clued me in to this opportunity.
It is a chance to improve your writing skills, hone your editing skills (and BlueBook knowledge!), and develop relationships with other members of the law review. (Mostly by commiseration).
Many law firms often either require or prefer that their prospective associates be members of the law review. Why do some firms place such importance on this? Some think it's snobbery. Firms will tell you it is a way to ensure future associates have decent writing skills, can work under pressure, can juggle many different obligations, and have had some experience working with others toward a common goal.
Read one student's reasons for why law review is pointless. And another view that it is an opportunity.
For those in Indy, come see your talented classmates strut their stuff.
Saturday, February 7th 7pm-11pm in the law school Atrium.
Five bucks gets you in the door, a door prize entry, and 2 free drinks. A reception with snacks, beer, and wine is to follow the show.
Proceeds will benefit our worthy LRAP (Loan Repayment Assistance Program).
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
In my torts class with Prof. Magliocca, we're currently discussing product liability and, specifically, warning labels. Perfectly coinciding with this discussion, the Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch has announced their 2004 Wacky Warning Label Contest winners:
1st: Warning on a bottle of drain cleaner: "If you do not understand, or cannot read, all directions, cautions and warnings, do not use this product."Hat tip to Hoosier Review.
Administrative Law in Action
Oh, brother. This is just ridiculous. Michael Powell, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, ordered an investigation Monday into the Super Bowl halftime "Janet & Justin" incident. Now, I understand that the FCC has a job to do. And if they find that regulations were violated, then fines will be in order.
However, the outcry that has ensued is completely out of proportion to any possible damage the stunt may have caused. Most of the people I have talked with who actually watched the halftime show didn't realize what had transpired until television news programs told them the next day.
Powell stated, "Like millions of Americans, my family and I gathered around the television for a celebration. Instead, that celebration was tainted by a classless, crass and deplorable stunt." A celebration? NFL football is one of the most violent mainstream sports in our culture. We cheer for the team who can inflict the most pain upon the other team. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching football. But to make the argument that the violent contest is wholesome family fun and at the same time claim that the exposure of one female breast is deplorable borders on bizarre.
It's a breast, people. No, I don't particularly wish from now on to be exposed to naked men and women every time I turn on network television. Yes, the appropriate entities should be fined if necessary. But the sanctimonious stance of CBS and others is outrageous.
This is the same network that invited Richard Hatch, the perpetually naked Survivor contestant, back to compete in the new episode. It is the same network that airs the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, an hour of half-naked women prancing around for the cameras. It is the same network that has several successful crime-related shows full of graphic images.
(And then, of course, there are the commercials, often more eagerly anticipated than the outcome of the game. Every other commercial is for Budweiser or some related product; wonder what Powell's family thought of the farting horse? Good family fun!)
I know, people will claim families aren't gathering around the set to watch the above shows. Nevertheless, I simply can't take seriously CBS's cries of shock and outrage. Not to mention that if the stunt was planned, CBS and the FCC are playing right into Janet's plan and providing her with all the free publicity that a woman with a soon-to-be-released new album could possibly want.
Get over it.
Monday, February 02, 2004
Another law school controversy?
As most denizens of the law school already know, numerous flags hang from the third floor that can be seen from the law school atrium and elsewhere. Most of the flags are usual suspects such as China, Italy, etc. While it's not out of the ordinary to have a flag for the Palestinian National Authority (which isn't a recognized State by the UN or most Western countries), it does seem a bit odd to include one for Palestine but not Israel. Indeed, numerous students have raised objections regarding Israel's absence from the display and consider it a significant offense that such "disrespect" is shown to the Jewish people.
In December, a Christmas tree was removed from the atrium after a faculty member argued it excluded non-Christian faiths and cultures.