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Joan L. Lucas – Interim General Counsel 325-8131 jlucas@legal.msstate.edu


Civil Penalties

Criminal Penalties


 Mississippi Code Annotated Sections 25-4-101, et seq.  MSU Policy 60-416 and OP 70.09  Any “effort to realize personal gain through official

conduct” that would “raise suspicion among the public”


 You or YOUR SPOUSE have a direct or indirect financial

interest in a business (federal funding – immediate family members)  Ownership of more than 10% in a business where the annual net income is less than $1,000  Ownership of more than 2% where the annual net income is less than $5,000


 Be a contractor/subcontractor/vendor with MSU or have a

material financial interest in any business which is a contractor/subcontractor/vendor with MSU • Only exception is when your spouse is an employee of a

contractor/subcontractor/vendor that you have no control over either direct or indirect

 Perform any service for any compensation during

employment by which you attempt to influence a decision  Perform any service for compensation for any business AFTER LEAVING MSU with respect to which you were directly concerned or in which you participated while employed by MSU  Disclose any information gained at MSU that could result in a pecuniary benefit for yourself or ANY RELATIVE


 Intellectual Property Rights – who owns  Royalty income – how is it divided  Creator decides to leave MSU to solve the problem  Spouse - still part of you  Children – federal funding counts them too in the

conflict provisions  Often, your knowledge is tied directly to your work at MSU


 Be a contractor/subcontractor/vendor with MSU if:  Goods or services are available from 2 or fewer sources

and you comply with public purchasing laws  The contractual relationship involves the further research, development, testing, promotion or merchandising of IP created by you (not in connection with your work at MSU) – AGAIN, NO MONEY FLOWS TO YOU  Form a MURA company


 Created under Mississippi Code Annotated Section 37-

147-1, et. seq.  Mississippi University Research Authority  Goal of MURA is to facilitate the transfer of technology developed by an MSU employee from the university to commercial and industrial enterprises for economic development


ď‚— MSU employee can maintain a material financial

interest in the company and can provide or receive equipment, material, supplies, or services in connection with the university ď‚— Avoids the usual conflict of interest issues with doing business with MSU


 Get on the Office of Technology Commercialization

Website  Print off a draft letter for MURA Applications and fill it out  Let the Office of Technology Commercialization guide you through the process  They have the experience you are lacking!


Detailed description of your interest in the company 2. Nature of the undertaking 3. Demonstrate that the proposal may benefit the economy of the state 4. Demonstrate that the entity will not adversely affect research, public service, or instruction at MSU 1.

ď ś

In sum – sell your idea to MSU, to Dr. Shaw, and to Dr. Keenum - explain the reasons you should be allowed to do this, write persuasively


 It will go through the necessary approval process on

campus to ultimately be decided upon by Dr. Keenum  Next, the Research Authority will review the application for the same criteria.  MURA may recommend that your company share any royalties/equity/etc. with RTC


 Upon obtaining approval, your company is entitled to

do business with MSU without the usual concerns over conflicts of interest.  Yearly updates are required to continue your eligibility.  Must continually demonstrate that your work time on your company is independent from your work time for MSU.  Stay in touch with the Office of Technology Commercialization.


 Call or email me – Yes, I mean you can call or email me

and yes, I will respond.  325-8131  jlucas@legal.msstate.edu

MURA Companies and Conflicts of Intersest  

Presentation by the Mississippi State University General Counsel

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