A.B. (magna cum laude), 1987, Harvard College
The law of nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, the corporate and tax aspects of health care organizations, and trusts and estates.
Robert Katz joined the law school faculty in the fall of 2001, and holds a joint appointment with the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy. He is an expert in the law of nonprofit organizations and is president-elect of the AALS Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Section. His recent scholarship focuses on social enterprise and for-profit enterprises that seek to combine profitability with social mission. His article “The Truth About Ben & Jerry’s” (co-written with Professor Antony Page) was published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. He is currently researching the tension between the uses of social enterprise to mitigate human misery while also pursuing environmental sustainability. He has written on non-profit governance and the fiduciary duties of nonprofit directors, the charitable response to 9/11 and the role of charitable gifts in victim compensation, the interaction between nonprofit and for-profit organizations in the recovery and processing of donated human tissue for use in transplantation, and the historic role that Jewish hospitals played in combatting anti-Semitism.
In addition to courses in nonprofit law, Professor Katz teaches courses on the law of healthcare organizations, property theory, trusts and estates, and the First Amendment. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as comment editor for the University of Chicago Law Review. He clerked for the Honorable Stephen G. Breyer, formerly Chief Judge of theU.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Prior to his appointment to the law school, he served as a Bigelow Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School, and a trial attorney with the Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He also served as executive director of a charitable foundation in Massachusetts.
Books and Chapters
“The Means and Ends of Social Enterprise in the USA” (presentation at the University of Hong Kong, sponsored by the project for Excellence in Capacity-building on Entrepreneurship and Leadership for the Third Sector) November 2, 2012).
Discussant, Panel on "Social Entrepreneurship and the Law: The Role of Legal Policy in Promoting Social Change," as part of Randolph W. Thrower Symposium, hosted by the Emory Law Journal, Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, Georgia, February 9, 2012.
"People versus Planet: Under-explored Tensions in the Triple Bottom Line," presented at Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary, at symposium on "Managing Green Business: Defining, Regulating, and Supporting Environmentally Responsible Businesses,"organized by the William & Mary Environmental Law & Policy Review, Williamsburg, Virginia, January 28, 2012.
"Social Enterprise: Organizing for Social Change," presented at Law and Society Association's 2011 annual conference, San Francisco, June 5, 2011.
"Making Money While Making a Difference: Can Law Help Social Entrepreneurship Transform the World?," panel on Law & Entrepreneurship,Law and Society Association’s 2010 annual meeting, Chicago, Illinois, May 27, 2010.
"The Economic Role of Social Enterprise," presented at Vermont Law Review Tenth Annual Symposium: "Corporate Creativity: The Vermont L3C & Other Developments in Social Entrepreneurship," Vermont Law School, South Royalton, Vermont, February 19, 2010.
"The Economic Role of Social Enterprise: A Preliminary Inquiry," Workshop in Multidisciplinary Philanthropic Studies, Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, Indianapolis, January 26, 2010.
Presenter, “Notion Building: Giving Form to Social Enterprise,” Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington, November 30, 2009.
Presenter, "Channeling Towards Charity: Presumed Consent to Organ Donation as a Case Study in Pro-Social Default Rules," 2009 Annual Conference of the Association for Research Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), Cleveland, Ohio, November 19, 2009 (for panel on “Presumptions and Default Rules in Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law").
“Right Now It’s Only a Notion: Giving Form to Social Enterprise”(with A. Page), Midwestern Law and Economics Association annual conference, Notre Dame Law School, South Bend, Indiana, October 10, 2009.
Presenter, "The Community Benefit Standard as an Exercise in Legal Reasoning, Community Benefits Symposium, Hall Center for Law and Health, Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, October 22, 2009.
“You Make Me Sick: Repugnance and Efficiency in Human Tissue Transplantation,” Midwestern Law and Economics Association Annual Conference, Notre Dame Law School, South Bend, Indiana, October 9, 2009.
"THE ARTIFICE OF THE DEAL, or When is Competition Among Tissue Banks for Referrals of Potential Donors Illegal, Unethical or Otherwise Problematic?" Presentation at plenary session of the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Tissue Banks, Chicago, Illinois, September 7, 2008.
"A Critique of the Charitable Trust as a Model for Genomic Biobanks." 2008 Health Law Professors Conference. American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Drexel University College of Law, Philadelphia, PA. June 6-7, 2008 (for panel on "Cutting Edge Issues in Biomedical Research").
“`PAGING DR. SHYLOCK...':Jewish Hospitals and the Prudent Re-investment of Jewish Philanthropy." Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis. April 1, 2008.
"`I Only Have Eyes for You': Exclusive Agreements for Referring Tissue Donors to a Tissue Bank." IUPUI Consortium for Health Policy, Law & Bioethics, Indianapolis, Indiana. March 28, 2008.
"The play’s the thing: Shakespeare at law school sparks conversation," Indiana Lawyer, March 5-18, 2008.
"When Tissue Banks Compete for Transplant Tissue, Who Wins?”, Midwestern Law and Economics Association, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 12, 2007.
"Does Tax-Exempt Law Discriminate Against Religiously-Affiliated Hospitals - or Should Hospitals that Render More Unto God Render Less Unto Caesar?," 2007 Health Law Professors Conference. American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Boston University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts, June 2, 2007.
Panelist, “On a Collision Course?: Nonprofit Advocacy, Campaign Finance Reform, and the First Amendment.” for Symposium on “No Strings Attached?: The First Amendment and Tax-Exempt Organizations.” University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, February 16, 2007.
"Does the First Amendment Protect Nonprofit Tissue Banks from the Mandatory Disclosure of Information to Potential Donors?" Workshop in Multidisciplinary Philanthropic Studies, Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana, February 20, 2007.
Panelist, “Roundtable on Teaching Nonprofit Law,” Section on Nonprofit Law and Philanthropy, Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, Washington, D.C., January 6, 2007.
In an interview with WTHR Channel 13, Professor Katz called for increased oversight of tissue recovery industry.
"Gimme Some Skin: Defining and Enforcing the Tissue Donor’s Intent in the Absence of `Informed Consent'” Annual Conference. Association for Research Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). Chicago, Illinois. November 17, 2006. (for panel on "Charitable Donors and the Legal Construction and Enforcement of Donor Intent").
"Legal Basics of Grantmaking Foundations for New CEOs," Seminar for New CEOs of Foundations. Organized by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and the Council on Foundations. Indianapolis, IN. September 27, 2006.
“Tissue Donation and the Mandatory Disclosure of For-profit Involvement in the Tissue Industry.” New Scholars Workshop. Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS), Palm Beach, FL. July 18, 2006.
“When For-Profit Firms Profit by Processing Donated Human Tissue: An Economic and Legal Analysis.” ARNOVA Annual Conference. Washington, D.C. November 19, 2005. (for panel on “Contracting, Services and Quality”)
“Legal Issues Facing the Nonprofit Sector.” Conference on Philanthropy and the Media. McCormick Tribune Foundation. Wheaton, IL. September 12-14, 2005. (for panel on “Tensions in the Nonprofit Sector”)
“The Tissue Transplantation Industry: A Nonprofit Law Analysis.” Annual Health Law Teachers Conference. American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Houston, TX. June 3-4, 2005. (for panel on “The Sale and Trade of Human Organs and Tissues”).
“Change in Charitable Purpose in Commercial Nonprofit Enterprises.” ARNOVA Annual Conference. Los Angeles, CA. November 19, 2004. (for panel on “Legal Approaches to Nonprofit Accountability”)
“The Relationship Between Nonprofit and For-profit Firms in the Tissue Transplantation Industry: A Nonprofit Law Perspective.” Health Law Scholars Workshop. Saint Louis University School of Law. Saint Louis, MO. September 18, 2004.
“Sticker Shock: The Controversy Over Hospital Discounts, Collections, and Charity Care for the Uninsured.” Department of Values and Ethics, Clarian Hospital. Indianapolis, IN. May 20, 2004.
On October 14 and 15, 2010, Professor Katz joined a small group of experts for a 1 1/2 day workshop on compensation for victims of terrorism, convened by Syracuse University's Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, to explore programmatic alternatives for compensating victims and develop policy recommendations. Katz contributed his expertise on charitable assistance and its interaction with compensation schemes that make payments to the same group of victims.
Member, Indiana Attorney General’s Nonprofit Advisory Committee. Fall 2005-present.
WTHR(NBC affiliate). Interviewed for "13 Investigates" report on "Experts call for oversight of tissue recovery industry," Indianapolis, IN. November 20, 2006.
American Bar Association Section Advisor to Drafting Committee to Revise the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, organized by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Fall 2004 - Summer 2006.
Secretary, Section on Nonprofit Law and Philanthropy, Association of American Law Schools (AALs).
Visiting Scholar, National University of La Plata (UNLP), Buenos Aires, Argentina, Faculty of Law and Social Sciences. Summer (pursuant to a Fulbright Educational Partnership between UNLP and School of Law). Summer 2003.