ELIZABETH M. HYDE- J.D., 2019, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law; B.A. 2011, Hanover College – Hanover, […]
Although cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are often likened to the Old Wild West, that does not mean there are not any laws governing them. While many issues surrounding the decade-old digital asset remain unclear or unregulated, there are some practices that can get the average retail investor in trouble. For example, federal policies adopted in 2017 impact taxes on cryptocurrency and participation in initial coin offerings. More regulations are likely — and that could be a good or bad thing, depending on whom you ask. This plain-language primer provides an overview of the most common legal issues that investors need to be aware of and what the future may hold.
by Allan Griffey, 2L Note Candidate What has the reputation of being fair, competent, and independent? The federal […]
by Kelly R. Eskew, J.D.
Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Business Law & Ethics
Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
1309 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
This year, the Indiana General Assembly offered up Senate Bill 101 (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act or “RFRA”),  a law ostensibly intended to protect Hoosiers from having to violate their religious principles, but widely viewed as a discriminatory response to the Seventh Circuit’s ruling in 2014 that struck down the state’s prohibition on same-sex marriage.  RFRA raced through the Republican supermajority legislature and was quickly made law by Governor Mike Pence, one of the nation’s most conservative governors.  But soon after, Pence signed an amendment that not only affirmed the rights of gays and lesbians, but also those who face discrimination on the basis of gender identity. 
Business and grassroots advocacy leaders collaborated to try to defeat RFRA.  None expected to succeed,  but what they achieved surprised everyone – and this collaboration is not an outlier. Businesses worked with social justice advocates on marriage equality, which is now the law throughout the country.  In fact, businesses often engage in such initiatives.  Businesses have corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) programs of varying complexity that not only make charitable donations through their foundations, but also pioneer environmental projects and work to strength communities and schools.  CSR is also part of the syllabus in business ethics classes, which many business schools now require students to take.  In other words, social responsibility has moved from fad to policy. Businesses are also creating their own social movements that mirror the principles shared by grassroots advocates in areas such as poverty eradication, health-care access, and sustainability. 
So when and why does the American business community align itself with grassroots social movements? And is there a roadmap that shows each how to leverage the other to achieve shared goals? A fully fleshed response to these questions is beyond the scope of this post, but the RFRA experience suggests some answers.
by Robert A. Katz
Professor of Law (Faculty Profile)
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Lawrence W. Inlow Hall, Room 349
530 W. New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202-3225
[Editor’s Note: This article departs from the typical format and citation style of the Indiana Law Review Blog in the interest of providing commentary on the passage of Senate Bill 101, commonly referred to as the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” or RFRA. This article consists of abbreviated remarks presented by the author to the House Judiciary Committee of the Indiana General Assembly on March 16, 2015, 10 days before the bill was signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence.]
Good day. My name is Robert Katz. I am a professor of law at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law where I teach First Amendment law and law and religion. My research focuses on the tension between religious freedom and anti-discrimination law. It is one of my most profound concerns as a citizen, a parent, and a member of the Jewish community.
The freedom of religion is one of our most fundamental rights as Americans. Yet, also precious to us as citizens are our civil rights and, most relevantly here, our right to be free from discrimination.
As I understand it, this bill has two main goals.
by Fran Quigley
Clinical Professor of Law (Faculty Profile)
Health and Human Rights Clinic
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Lawrence W. Inlow Hall, Room 111N
530 W. New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202-3225
Proposals to raise the U.S. minimum wage have attracted a great deal of attention in the last several years. At the federal level, President Obama and many members of Congress have expressed support, via the Fair Minimum Wage Act, for an increase in the U.S. minimum wage. . The legislation calls for an increase to $10.10 per hour for most workers, compared to the current minimum of $7.25 per hour. . The bill also would increase the bottom level of pay for tipped workers from $2.13 per hour to 70% of the hourly worker minimum, and index both hourly and tipped worker wage levels for inflation. .
The federal bill has not passed, but twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have all raised their minimum wage above the federal level. . At least 140 individual communities have passed living wage ordinances, which raise salaries above the federal or state minimums. . Bills proposing an increase in Indiana’s minimum wage, currently set to mirror the federal level,  failed to get a hearing in the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly. .
The minimum wage debate has often been characterized by misstatements of facts and forecasts that are not supported by evidence. In an effort to separate the myths from the reality, here are four arguments for raising the minimum wage:
by Drake T. Land
J.D. Candidate, 2015, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Indiana International & Comparative Law Review: Executive Articles Development Editor
B.S., 2007, Ball State University; Muncie, Indiana
Editor’s note: Mr. Land’s article was selected from submissions in the Indiana Law Review‘s first writing competition.
Following the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (“GMOs”) into the food market in 1994,  consumer groups and multiple legislative bodies have fought to restrict their sale and label GMOs differently than traditionally developed foods. . This push to restrict the sale, or label, of GMOs is born of the fear that GMOs will have unforeseen consequences to human health and/or the environment. . These fears have been shown to be unrealized after twenty years of market availability  and, although restrictions on the sale of GMOs and mandatory labeling is the law in most European countries,  labeling initiatives have not achieved the same success in the United States’ federal and state governments. . The European Union “has probably the strictest GMO regulations in the world though these derive rather from political considerations, rather than being based upon scientific principles.” . Unlike the European Union (“the EU”), the United States Constitution explicitly “promote[s] the progress of science,”  and under this framework the United States has provided more protection to the development and retail of GMOs.
All currently grown crops have been developed through genetic modification. . “By selectively breeding plants and animals with the most desirable traits, our predecessors transformed organisms’ genomes, turning a scraggly grass into plump-kerneled corn, for example.” . Following Mendel’s discovery of the inheritance of genetic traits, farmers and scientists alike have been using selective breeding and hybridization to alter food crops to make them more reliable and marketable. . “Today, there are virtually no food products in supermarkets that have not been improved in some manner by selective breeding.” .
by Burnell K. Grimes, Jr.
J.D. Candidate, 2016, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
B.A., 2013, Indiana University – Bloomington; Bloomington, Indiana
Editor’s note: Mr. Grimes’s article was selected as the winner of the Indiana Law Review‘s first writing competition. You can read more about it here.
The Indiana State Legislature has established a statutory rule allowing a court to appoint an attorney to represent an indigent person in civil matters, upon application by the litigant. . In Sholes v. Sholes, the Indiana Supreme Court held that (1) Indiana Code section 34-10-1-2 requires appointment of counsel for civil indigent litigants, and (2) the appointed counsel must be compensated. . However, the Court did not specifically decide who would be responsible for compensating those attorneys who are appointed as counsel to indigent citizens. . While the Court suggests that the county courts use their authority to require payment as part of the functions of the court’s administrative duties, this has placed a significant burden on courts that are already constrained by tight county budgets. .
While there are many possible solutions to the funding problem associated with civil legal aid in Indiana, there is a need to establish one funding source responsible for all civil legal aid matters. . This article will discuss one possible solution to the funding problem for civil legal aid in Indiana, with a specific focus on the Indiana Civil Legal Aid Fund and the Indiana Pro Bono Commission. These funds may be used to address the funding and participation shortage for both civil indigent litigants and pro bono efforts and legal aid projects in Indiana.
Keyword advertising is not a new phenomenon. Some believe that various forms of keyword advertising have been around since as early as 1996. . Generally defined as a “form of advertising on the Internet in which a business pays to have an advertisement [for] a website appear on [a consumer’s] computer screen when [the consumer] uses a particular word or phrase to search for information on the internet,”  keyword advertisements play a very important role in the marketing and advertising of many businesses.
On November 14, 2014, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a $1.44 million jury verdict against Walgreen Company (“Walgreen”) for a pharmacist’s breach of privacy obligations. . The opinion began, “[i]n this case, a pharmacist breached one of her most sacred duties by viewing the prescription records of a customer and divulging the information she learned from those records to the client’s ex-boyfriend.” . That brief summary of the case’s fact pattern provides the foundation of what ultimately led to a large jury verdict against Walgreen, derived solely from the acts of its employee.