The fall semester is well under way in Bloomington! In August we welcomed 250 first-year students -- the largest incoming class in the School's history -- and 91 international graduate students.
It's an impressive group. Our JD students come from 125 undergraduate institutions and three foreign countries. More than 100 of them have significant international experience, either through work, volunteering, or growing up in other countries. Their median LSAT score is 164 (the 91st percentile), with a median GPA of 3.78. Fifteen countries are represented by our international students, including China, South Korea, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Sri Lanka.
On October 8, I was pleased to present Distinguished Service Awards to three alumni who exemplify high standards of professionalism and service. The awards were made during our annual Alumni Summit, which brought together all of the Dean's Advisory Boards. We are most fortunate to have the benefit of their experience and counsel.
Indiana Law's faculty continues to lead the way in scholarship, teaching, and service. Be sure to read about them below and in the "On the Record" section of this newsletter.
Lauren Robel, JD'83
Dean and Val Nolan Professor of Law
Three outstanding alumni were honored with Distinguished Service Awards at a ceremony in Alumni Hall on October 8. This award honors alumni who have demonstrated exemplary service to the Law School, the profession, and the community.
Gregory A. Castanias, JD'90, is a partner at Jones Day in Washington, DC, where he heads the firm's Federal Circuit practice. Considered one of the leading intellectual property lawyers in the country, Castanias has argued three cases before the US Supreme Court and has enjoyed tremendous success in courts of appeals and elsewhere. Castanias has been a devoted volunteer for the Law School. He served on the Alumni Board for eight years, culminating in a term as president, and helped establish structures that have increased overall alumni involvement with the School.
Leroy W. Hofmann, JD'58, has been a highly regarded litigator throughout his 51-year law career. A 1958 graduate of the Law School, Hofmann began his legal career in Phoenix, where he clerked for Arizona Supreme Court Justice Fred Struckmeyer. Following his clerkship, Hofmann began a successful career in private practice that continues today. In addition to litigation work, Hofmann has been a dedicated servant to those in need. He has performed countless hours of pro bono work on behalf of The Beatitudes Campus, a Phoenix retirement community, and the Arizona Lost Boys Center, which provides assistance and guidance to hundreds of Sudanese boys orphaned through the Sudanese Civil War.
Laurie N. Robinson, JD'98, is senior vice president and assistant general counsel of CBS Corporation. Prior to joining CBS Corp., Robinson worked at two New York City law firms, Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Epstein, Becker and Green, P.C., where she represented management in labor and employment matters. A successful attorney, Robinson is also a strong advocate for diversity in the profession. In 2004, she founded Corporate Counsel Women of Color® (CCWC), a nonprofit organization of over 2,500 women attorneys of color who work primarily for Fortune 1000 and Forbes 2000 legal departments designed to promote diversity in the legal profession.
Law School seeks nominations to Academy of Law Alumni Fellows
It is time to nominate alumni for induction into the Academy of Law Alumni Fellows -- the highest honor the Indiana University Maurer School of Law bestows upon its graduates.
Established in 1985, the Academy of Law Alumni Fellows recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves in their chosen career fields through personal achievements and dedication to the highest standards of the profession. With careers ranging from US senators to federal judges to managing partners of national law firms, Academy fellows bring honor to the legal profession and enhance our school's reputation.
If you know alumni who deserve to join the Academy ranks, please help us recognize them. The nomination form is available at the Academy of Law Alumni Fellows website.
New members will be inducted into the Academy at a formal celebration that will take place on April 1, 2011. Nominations are due by November 19, 2010.
If you have questions, please contact Andrea Havill, Assistant Dean for Alumni Relations, at (812) 855-3015.
On September 13, the Indiana Supreme Court heard oral argument before a capacity crowd in the Law School's Moot Court Room. The case, Pfenning v. Lineman, involved a negligence suit arising from an errant golf ball during an outing at a Grant County club.
On October 4, the Indiana Court of Appeals heard oral argument in Arlton v. Schraut, a case involving admissibility of evidence, including digital evidence, in a medical malpractice case.The case was on appeal from the Tippecanoe Circuit Court.
Jayanth K. Krishnan, professor of law, Charles L. Whistler Faculty Fellow, and director of the India Initiative, Center on the Global Legal Profession, will serve as project director for a $261,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to a non-governmental organization in India -- the National Centre for Advocacy Studies -- to study the Indian judicial system.
Krishnan and his colleagues will conduct a pilot study of district courts in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Himachal Pradesh in order to arrive at a preliminary understanding of what is happening in these judicial forums.
"India has one of the most backlogged, delay-ridden court systems in the world and the system has reached a crisis point," Krishnan said. He pointed out that between 30,000 and 40,000 cases are pending before the Supreme Court of India alone, and the number in the lower courts is thought to be in the tens of millions. Many of these cases have been pending for decades.
The study will also include an analysis of alternative dispute resolution forums in India.
Two distinguished legal scholars visited Indiana Law recently.
Dean C. Raj Kumar of the Jindal Global Law School was named the George P. Smith Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Law School. Kumar has a distinguished record as an academic, human rights lawyer, and now lead administrator and head of the JGLS. On October 12, he delivered the Smith Lecture, titled "Globalization of Legal Education and Institution Building: India's Challenges for Establishing a Greater Rule of Law Society in the 21st Century."
In September, Professor JaeWon Kim visited Indiana Law's Center on the Global Legal Profession, where he is an affiliated scholar. Kim is a professor of law at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, where he directs what is believed to be the first JD/MBA program between a US law school and a Korean university.
Federal Election Commission Vice-Chair Cynthia L. Bauerly, JD'98, visited the Law School on Sept. 30. Bauerly gave a presentation on "Recent Developments in Campaign Finance Law" in advance of the mid-term elections next month. She talked about her role at the FEC and gave in-depth perspectives on how federal elections are financed and the regulations used to enforce current campaign finance laws. Prior to her presentation, Bauerly met one-on-one with faculty members about her position. Bauerly was nominated and sworn in as an FEC commissioner in 2008.
Three Evansville alumni are being honored this month for their contributions to the profession and their community.
Jennifer Elston, JD'04, is receiving the Indiana Bar Foundation's Pro Bono Publico Award, presented by Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard on October 15. Elston and her colleague Jean Blanton were nominated for taking on two pro bono appeals -- and for winning both of them. Elston is an associate at Ziemer, Stayman, Weitzel & Shoulders in Evansville.
The Honorable Carl A. Heldt, JD'69, is receiving the Indiana State Bar Association's Outstanding Judge Award, presented by the ISBA's Young Lawyers' Section. Heldt is judge of the Vanderburgh Circuit Court, a position to which he was elected in 1998.
Charles E. (C.E.) Oswald, LLB'48, was named the Indiana Bar Foundation's 2010 Legendary Lawyer. Oswald, 88, a founder of Bamberger, Foreman, Oswald & Hahn in Evansville, has practiced for more than 50 years. According to Bamberger managing partner Terry Farmer, JD'80, Oswald continues to come into the office every day "and remains as dedicated as when the firm was first created." Oswald's expertise in real estate law has earned him the affectionate moniker "Titan of Titles."
The Law School's LinkedIn page is a great way for you to network with classmates, post your resume, and let alumni know of job openings in your firm or community. Click the icon above to view the school's profile, and join nearly 800 alumni and friends of Indiana Law on LinkedIn.
The Law School's Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research (CACR) will share in a $4 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help address ethical, legal, and social issues involved in the growing use of health information to facilitate treatment and research, improve health outcomes for patients and heighten accountability.
Fred H. Cate, Distinguished Professor and C. Ben Dutton Professor at the Law School and director of CACR, will co-direct the new Center for Law, Ethics and Applied Research in Health Information (CLEAR), which will leverage the resources of the university and the State of Indiana in health sciences, information technology, law, ethics and other disciplines. The center will also partner with industry and nonprofit groups in Indiana and elsewhere to advance the quality, efficiency and affordability of health care.
"Health information technology has been a major focus of the Obama Administration and of health care reform," Cate said. "While we are succeeding at building better and better systems, vexing ethical, legal and social issues remain. CLEAR Health Information will help to ensure that the right data are available at the right time for the benefit of patients today and in the future."
Charles G. Geyh, associate dean for research and John F. Kimberling Professor of Law, testified as an expert witness on September 15 in the Senate Impeachment Trial Committee's proceedings on four articles of impeachment against Thomas G. Porteous, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Appointed in 1994, Porteous has been accused of declining to disqualify himself from a case in which he solicited money from a lawyer with whom he had a longstanding, corrupt relationship; giving bail bondsmen preferential treatment in exchange for meals, trips and services; perjuring himself in his bankruptcy proceeding; and lying under oath during his Senate confirmation proceedings.
Geyh testified about the ethical standards governing federal judges and the extent to which Porteous violated them. On cross-examination, Porteous' attorneys tried to elicit testimony from Geyh that Louisiana operates under different ethical standards from other parts of the country. Geyh agreed that although local courts have their own customs and practices, the judicial code itself is based on national standards.
"The Code of Conduct is a national document. And while there may be some variations, the ethics of judicial conduct are uniform," he said.
As Geyh noted in his recent book, When Courts & Congress Collide: The Struggle for America's Judicial System, only seven judges have been removed through impeachment in the history of the United States. The last judge, Walter Nixon of the Southern District of Mississippi, was removed in 1989.
When you receive mail with an Indiana University Foundation return address or an evening phone call from the IU Telefund, just respond, "I want my donation to go directly to the Maurer School of Law Fund for Excellence." That's all you need to do to put your gift to work for Indiana Law. To contribute online, visit our website.
Hannah Buxbaum, executive associate dean and professor of law, and Seth Lahn, senior lecturer in law, moderated a panel discussion at the fourth Indiana Legal Education Conclave, held in Indianapolis on September 24-25. This year's conclave was titled "The New Normal: How our Profession is Facing the Challenges Posed to its Structures, Values, and Diversity by Transformational Change in the Legal Economy."
The panel featured Professors Fred Cate and Carole Silver, JD'80, as well as Steve Badger, JD'92 and Michael Blinn, JD'09. Dean and Val Nolan Professor of Law Lauren Robel and Professors Amy Applegate, Jeannine Bell, and William Weeks also participated in the panel discussion, along with Hon. Randall Shepard, Chief Justice of Indiana; Hon. Sarah Evans Barker, US District Court Judge for the Southern District of Indiana; and Hon. Edward Najam, Judge, Indiana Court of Appeals.
The conclave is convened every three to five years by the Supreme Court and the State Bar Association (under the executive direction of Tom Pyrz, JD'80).
More than 100 Maurer School of Law students took to the field on Oct. 1 as part of the Law School's eighth annual Socctoberfest event. The brainchild of Professors Bill Henderson (right) and Lisa Farnsworth (left), Socctoberfest brings together American and international students on the soccer field.
Henderson said soccer, one of the world's most popular sports, was the perfect way to tear down the invisible barrier that sometimes separates JD students from their SJD and LLM counterparts. Four teams were drafted for this year's competition. Each team played two games, then enjoyed a German-style cookout. Those who didn't play cheered on their friends and family members from the sideline.
Henderson said the event was a "tremendous success," as students from a host of different nations learned to communicate and interact with each other through the international language of sport.
Alumni Board officers elected
The Maurer School of Law's Alumni Board elected the following officers at its October 8 summit: Angela (Karras) Neboyskey, JD'00, Chicago, president; Joseph D. O'Connor III, JD'78, Bloomington, president-elect; Gregory J. Jordan, JD'84, Chicago, vice president; Andrew B. Buroker, JD'89, Carmel, treasurer; M. Scott Bassett, JD'86, Irving, Tex., secretary; and Brian P. Williams, JD'81, Evansville, past president.
Judges host Evansville alumni luncheon
On Friday, August 27, Evansville-area alumni gathered at the Winfield K. Denton Federal Courthouse for an alumni luncheon with Dean Robel. Hosted by Hon. Carl Heldt, JD'69, Hon. Richard Young, and Maurer School of Law Alumni Board Past President Brian Williams, JD'81, the gathering proved a great success by bringing together 55 of the roughly 200 area alumni.
On April 16, 2010, Blake C. Thomas, JD'09, passed away after a short illness. Randy Riggs, JD'77, senior partner at Frost Brown Todd, where he worked with Blake, prepared the following tribute:
"Blake's career as a practicing lawyer with Frost Brown Todd in Indianapolis was just beginning, but it was already obvious that his future would bring great accomplishment. Blake was of high character and exhibited infinite hope, promise, wisdom and grace. He lived each day with a determination to be the best person he could be, and in the process, he invited us to do the same. Put simply -- he was inspiring.
"Law school and a legal career were intellectual challenges, which would provide plenty of room for growth and increased enjoyment in his daily life. He did not shy away from such challenges, nor was he one-dimensional. Blake was bright, thoughtful, deliberate and fun. He most certainly was fun. Whatever he did, he did full measure. Scavenger hunter, pie eating contest winner, karaoke singer, salsa dancer. He enjoyed life, and we enjoyed him.
"He will be missed by his family, friends and colleagues, for we have all lost someone very special. We will never forget his brilliant smile or his easy, infectious laugh. Blake Thomas is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and his children, Blair, Blake, Jr., and Nicholas Alexander, who was born on April 23, 2010."