U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby asked graduates of the University of Maine School of Law to value and help preserve “…this country’s constitutional democracy and the rule of law.”
Hornby was the keynote speaker at Maine Law commencement ceremonies, held Saturday morning May 21, in Merrill Auditorium, Portland.
He was careful to draw a distinction between American democracy and American constitutional democracy, noting that the latter reflects the desire of the Founding Fathers “…to put limits on the power of the majority and to build in, through the wording of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, restrictions on majority power. It falls to judges and lawyers,” he added, “to enforce those constitutional limits, almost by definition, not a popular responsibility.” Hornby, a former associate justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, also said the rule of law “…means predictability in how law is enforced and equality and uniformity of treatment.” He asked graduates “…to explain to friends and clients at every opportunity what the rule of law means, why this country has a constitutional democracy rather than a direct democracy and why it is that judges must remain accountable to the Constitution and the rule of law, not to the political or popular pressures of the moment.”
The student commencement speaker, Paul Brunetti of Lewiston, told classmates that as a result of their Maine Law education, “We now are better prepared to face the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.” Brunetti, a graduate of Lewiston High and Bates College, worked on state legislative campaigns and held a policy development position for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.
David Evans, a 1978 Maine Law graduate and partner in the D.C. office of the global law firm, Clifford Chance, was named the 2011 recipient of the L. Kinvin Wroth Award for distinguished professional achievements and service to Maine Law. Evans represents clients involved in both international energy projects and domestic renewable energy projects. He is president of the Maine Law Foundation and a member of the school’s Board of Visitors. The award is named for the former, longtime Maine Law professor and dean.
Ninety students were awarded J.D. degrees, among them:
Matthew Cobb, a University of Maine graduate who returned to his hometown of Roque Bluffs in Washington County to work as a commercial fisherman. He graduates magna cum laude from Maine Law, and will clerk for Maine Supreme Court Justice Andrew M. Mead in Bangor and then join the Bangor firm of Rudman Winchell. Cobb was named a recipient of the Faculty Significant Achievement Award.
Kimberly Pacelli of Portland, a former resident of Connecticut and New Hampshire, served as a congressional staffer and director of residential life at Bowdoin. The magna cum laude graduate will be practicing law at the Portland firm of Drummond Woodsum. Pacelli received the ALI/ABA Scholarship and Leadership Award on Saturday for her achievements in the areas of scholarship and leadership.
Ryan Royce of Augusta, a Cony High and a 2006 USM graduate, spent two years working in Prague. Upon graduation (magna cum laude), he will spend the next two years clerking for an immigration judge in Dallas, Texas.
Muhamed Ali Khanzada of Los Angeles worked in his native California as a project engineer in the construction industry, manager of a family-owned uniform shop and as a research ethnographer for the Los Angeles Unified School District. At Maine Law, he has worked with the Portland Police Department, the school’s Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic and Pine Tree Legal. He will be taking the bar exam in California and hopes to start a career in Los Angeles or Washington D.C. Khanzada was named the recipient of the Student Bar Association Distinguished Service Award.
The full list of awards presented at the 2011 Commencement of the University of Maine School of Law includes:
Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Awards for outstanding academic performance in selected areas of the curriculum.
Business & Commercial Law:
Kristina Cerniauskaite, Kittery, Me.
Criminal Law & Procedure:
Michael A. Cahill, Stony Creek, N.Y.
Environmental & Marine Law:
Meghan Virginia Marie Ogren, Farmington, Me.
Michael Power Dixon, Newcastle, Me.; Timothy Joseph Mathews, Berwick, Me.
Remy Amanda Vazquez, Lake Worth, Fla.
ABA/BNA Award for Excellence in the Study of Intellectual Property Law:
Lisa Mae Mandrusiak, Two Hills, Alberta, Canada
ABA/BNA Award for Excellence in Labor and Employment Law:
Megan Elizabeth Magoon, Hampden, Me.
ABA/BNA Award for Excellence in the Study of Health Law:
Tracy Blisse Collins, Bangor, Me.
American Bankruptcy Institute Medal for excellence in bankruptcy studies:
Bodie Brier Colwell, New Sharon, Me.
Wernick Prize for Legal Writing for the best legal scholarship submitted by a student:
Lisa Mae Mandrusiak, Two Hills, Alberta, Canada - for her article, “Balancing Open Source Paradigms and Traditional Intellectual Property Models to Optimize Innovation”
Upper Level Writing Project Award for the best Upper Level Writing Project done by a member of the third-year class, judged by a committee of Faculty members appointed by the dean:
Darcy Anne Mitchell, Durham, Me. - for her article, “Suspect Classifications and the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage: An Analysis of the Same-Sex Marriage Debate Under Current Fourteenth Amendment Jurisprudence.”
Faculty Award for Trial Advocacy for outstanding performance in advocacy courses:
Darcy Anne Mitchell, Durham, Me.
The Clinical Legal Education Award: Awarded to a student nominated by the clinical faculty for excellence in clinical fieldwork based on ethical and high-quality representation provided to clients and the community, and for exemplary thoughtfulness in exploring lawyering issues and skills in an accompanying seminar:
Lauren Wille, Belleville, N.J.
Gignoux Award for Appellate Advocacy - This award is for the graduating senior who has demonstrated excellence in appellate advocacy skills through moot court, clinical practice, or other curricular or extracurricular programs:
Corey Scott Hadley, Durham, Me.; Lauren Wille, Belleville, N.J.
Faculty Award for Community Service – This award goes to a student who has done significant work in bringing together the law school community and the community at large:
Jason G. Howe, Gilford, NH; Shira Stephens Panelli, Salinas, Ca.
Maine State Bar Association Pro Bono Student Award - Awarded to a student whose law-related service to the community, without compensation or education credit, exemplifies the legal profession's tradition of pro bono service. The recipient is to be selected by the Dean and Faculty after consultation with the President of the Maine State Bar Association:
Angela Marie Hamlin, Augusta, Me.
National Association of Women Lawyers Recognition Award - Awarded to a graduate who has contributed to the advancement of women in society and promoted issues and concerns of women in the legal profession:
Bodie Brier Colwell, New Sharon, Me.
Edward S. Godfrey Leadership Award – This award goes to the student who has made the most significant contribution to a student-edited law journal during his or her years at the law school:
Claire Frazier DeWitte, Lake Oswego, Ore.
Faculty Significant Achievement Awards - These awards are presented to members of the senior class whose academic performance and overall contribution to the school have been significant:
Matthew Michael Cobb, Roque Bluffs, Me.; Colin Edward Howard, South Portland, Me.; Meghan Virginia Marie Ogren, Farmington, Me.; Robert W. Weaver, Belfast, Me.
Faculty Scholastic Achievement Award - This award is given to that member of the senior class who achieves, over three years of law study, the highest academic average:
Christopher Spencer Boulos, Cape Elizabeth, Me.
ALI/ABA Scholarship and Leadership Award - Awarded to the law student in the graduating class who best represents a combination of scholarship and leadership:
Kimberly Ann Pacelli, Portland, Me.
Law Alumni Association Award - The recipient of this award is that person who, in the determination of the faculty, is an outstanding member of the senior class:
Joseph G. Talbot, Windham, Me.
Student Bar Association Distinguished Service Award - Awarded by the SBA for contributions to the school:
Muhamed Ali Khanzada, Los Angeles, Ca.