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Some in-house attorneys lament a life devoid of excitement and limelight. But considering the plight of the in-house team at Michigan State University right now, those bored by their in-house drudgery should probably change those lamentations to celebrations.
In a recent post on Above the Law, whose editorial coverage and reader comments are second to none when it comes to legal snark, the university's in-house job was described as "The Absolute Worst In-House Job Right Now." The reason? Well, there are about ten, and each one is a different investigation or inquiry into just how MSU allowed the sexual predator, Larry Nassar, to do what he did, for as long as he did. Curiously though, ATL notes that an outside counsel is actually taking the lead for the institution, which probably makes the MSU in-house team's job even worse.
Investigations and Inquiries
For the MSU legal department, having to protect the institution might be a real ethical dilemma. Having to take that institutional stance of nonchalant innocence when there were clearly failures, as what Nassar did doesn't slip through the cracks without nearly total systemic failures, can often be the most soul wrenching part of defending an entity. But the Nassar fallout was a long time coming, and will probably be causing the university trouble for a lot longer.
This is especially true here, as even the work of a crisis control consulting firm led to controversy, simply for monitoring the social media of Nassar victims to help the university avoid future PR flubs.
As noted in the coverage at ATL, MSU is facing the following investigations and inquiries:
Clery Act Investigation
Title IX Investigation
Michigan Attorney General Investigation
Higher Learning Commission Inquiry
U.S. Senate Subcommittee Inquiry
U.S. House of Representatives Inquiry
Michigan Senate Inquiry
Michigan House of Representatives Inquiry
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