Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) --- Commencement Weekend 2011

AMSL Will Be Senator's First Commencement Address Since Taking Office 

Marco Rubio Commencement 2011
Please join the Class of 2011 and the entire AMSL Community for Commencement Weekend 2011:

Saturday, May 14

Baccalaureate Mass
1:00 p.m., St. Agnes Catholic Church


Alumni Cocktail Reception and Pinning Ceremony
5:00 p.m., St. Thomas More Commons
Alumni welcome the Class of 2011. Hors d'oeuvre reception and Induction Ceremony.


Sunday, May 15

Annual Commencement Exercises
1:00 p.m., The Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Naples, Florida


The Dean's Reception
Immediately following Commencement, The Philharmonic Center for the Arts  


All Alumni and their families are welcome.

RSVP here (positive replies only). More Info

Alumni Newsletter
Spring 2011


Douglas Hommel, '07 passed away on the morning of March 18, 2011. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Rogers Hommel. The funeral Mass was held on March 22nd at St. Patrick's in Bay Shore, NY and Mr. Hommel was laid to rest at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, NY. In lieu of flowers, the family asks loved ones to make a donation:


In Memory of Douglas E. Hommel, II
Class of 1998
Chaminade High School
Emory Road
Mineola, NY 11501


Mr. Hommel was remembered at Mass in the Chapel at Ave Maria School of Law on March 24th. Please keep the entire Hommel family in your prayers and may the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace.



Rebecca (LaMantia) Seibert and Kevin Seibert, '06, '06 celebrated the birth of their first child, Thomas Elliott, on January 27, 2011. 


Nathan Manni '04 and his wife Melissa of Oak Harbor, Washington celebrated the birth of Anne Katherine Manni on March 25, 2011. She weighed 6' 15'' and measured just shy of 20 inches. She was greeted warmly by her older brothers and sisters. Uncle and rising 3L, David Manni '12, looks forward to meeting his niece soon.

Anne Manni daughter of Nathan Manni' 04

Anne Katherine daughter of Nathan Manni' 04

Bill Baaki, '04 and his wife Julie celebrated the birth of Gemma Gianna Baaki on March 30, 2011. Little Gemma was also greeted by older siblings, Christian, Isabella, Andrew and Xaiver. Mr. Baaki is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council and focuses his practice on civil litigation in state and federal courts at the firm Phillips Lytle in Buffalo, New York. 


Elizabeth "Betsy" (McEwen) Rodriguez, '04 visted campus recently while on a business trip/vacation to Southwest Florida. She is seen here with her husband Heron and four beautiful children.

Betsy McEwen Rodriguez and family 2011
Betsy and Heron Rodriguez with Javier (3), Maria (3), Lucia (7) and newest addition, Adela (now 9 months)


Cindy (Kalar) Northon and Ian Northon, '04, '04 welcomed Madeline Veronica on April 20, 2011. Older siblings Noah, Lily and Natalie couldn't be happier with their new baby sister. She was baptized on campus by AMSL Chaplain, Fr. Michael Orsi, on May 3, 2011 at the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel.

Maddy Northon Baptism
Fr. Michael Orsi holding AMSL's newest little Christian, Maddy Northon



Other Honors, Promotions and News:

 AMSL's First Judge!

Judge John Baier 2011John Baier, '06 was appointed Municipal Court Judge in Delta, Colorado. After beating ten other attorneys in a competitive appointment process, Judge Baier is excited about this new challenge and is eager for the opportunity to serve.


His first full day on the bench was March 16, 2011. Full Article Here



AMSL Rising Star!

skinner 2011Joshua Skinner, '03 was named to the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list of Rising Stars in 2010 and 2011.  Article HereHe was also quoted in an article regarding "When can a Texas school ban religious proselytizing on its grounds?"


Joshua Skinner is a member (a/k/a "partner") of the firm Fanning Harper Martinson Brandt & Kutchin in Dallas, Texas. Full profile here


Major Gabriel Young!

Gabriel Young, '04 was promoted to the rank of Major in the United States Air Force. Major Young has served his country well as a JAG lawyer since his signed his first commissioning oath on September 21, 2004. AMSL has the highest percentage of JAG officers in the country and, as one of our finest examples of service, Major Young, you make AMSL proud. Personal Tribute Here

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mace and crucifix
AMSL Debates Same Sex Marriage at FIU
Fr. Orsi makes the case for traditional marriage
Fr. Michael Orsi, AMSL Chaplain and Research Fellow, debated Dean Jose Gabilondo of Florida International University-School of Law in Miami, Florida.  Link to iTunes Video Debate here Release date 2/28/11 (provided courtesy of The Federalist Society and FIU). With nearly 200 attendees, this was FIU's most well-attended and popular academic debate of the year.

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Please send us news such as births, marriages, new employment, and promotions.  We also welcome press releases, story ideas or articles you've written. Contact me


Any Big Ideas? Please join AMSL's strategic planning process by submitting your suggestions here.


Jane Adolphe Heading to Eternal City

Associate Professor Jane Adolphe has accepted a very special appointment by the Vatican.  On February 2011, Professor Adolphe was invited by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for the Holy See's Relations with States to work with the Secretariat of State.  Professor Adolphe has been working as a human rights consultant to the Holy See since 2003, attending various international conferences and meetings in Rome, New York, Geneva, The Hague, Vienna, Rio de Janeiro, and Le´┐Żn. Her new assignment with the Secretariat of State, which commences this summer, differs from her previous consulting work because she will now be assigned within the Secretariat of State itself, which is based in Rome.  The prestigious invitation recognizes Professor Adolphe's growing stature in the international community, and reflects great credit upon her and Ave Maria School of Law.


Professor Adolphe will be assigned to the Vatican office that has the special task of dealing with heads of government, since the Holy See is a subject of International Law, with international legal personality equivalent to other States.  In other respects, the Holy See is a special entity in that it is both the governing organ of Vatican City State, and the Roman Catholic Church.


During her assignment with the Holy See, Professor Adolphe will remain a tenured member of the Ave Maria School of Law faculty, and she will continue to publish as well as perform some activities at and for the law school. In particular, she will continue as co-advisor to the International Law Journal, and she will periodically return to the Naples campus for teaching, lectures and presentations.    


Please join us in congratulating Professor Adolphe on this important new appointment.  We know that she will represent the Ave Maria School of Law family well in her forthcoming work with the Holy See.


Law Review Continues to Grow in Stature

A Special Message from Ave Maria Law Review Editor-in-Chief


It is my pleasure to address the members and supporters of Ave Maria School of Law.  Though it has been a trying year for all the editors of the Ave Maria Law Review, under the guidance of James W. Devine, Editor-in-Chief, Volume 9, we succeeded in publishing Volume 9, Issue 1 entitled Symposium: The Future of Rights of Conscience in Health Care: Legal and Ethical Perspectives, and we will publish Volume 9, Issue 2 in early summer.  Both of these issues contain cutting-edge legal discussions authored by distinguished academics here at our school and nationwide.  We are confident that the entirety of Volume 9 will be cited frequently by various members of the legal community in years to come. 


The hard work and dedication of our editors has certainly paid off.  Using the Washington and Lee ranking database-an esteemed law journal ranking method-the Ave Maria Law Review is ranked 277 amongst 1,665 legal journals currently available worldwide.  Further, when the criteria is limited to "general" journals-which includes only the main flagship journal of a university that is not subject-specific-we are ranked 125 amongst 314 journals available worldwide.  Finally, after only two years in the State of Florida, we are ranked number four in the state behind only University of Florida, Florida State University, and University of Miami.  These rankings are far from inconsequential, and they are a great objective indicator of how often our journal is being cited and how outstanding the scholarship is at this school.  I am very proud of these rankings, and we have all the prior members of the Law Review and its supporters to thank for them.  We hope to improve our ranking this year and for years to come.

In the coming year, we are publishing Volume 10 of the Ave Maria Law Review.  This volume not only marks the tenth anniversary of our Law Review, but it will be the first volume published exclusively by editors who started law school at our new Florida campus.  Additionally, it is expected to be one of-if not the-largest volumes in the Law Review's history.  Volume 10, Issue 1 will consist of articles from the International Society of Family Law Caribbean Regional Conference, which was hosted by the Council of Legal Education Eugene Dupuch Law School in the Bahamas.  More precisely, the articles are from panel discussions at that conference relating to Assisted Reproductive Technology, Adoption, and the Rights of Children.  This particular topic is highly relevant in today's legal climate, as there are particular legal consequences associated with it; among the most notable, is the potential for dozens of individuals to have a legally-valid claim to parental rights concerning the child.

Volume 10, Issue 2 will be comprised of articles from the conference on The Foundation of Human Rights: Catholic Contributions, which was held at Ave Maria University in March 2011.  The articles at this conference were authored by faculty at Ave Maria University, Ave Maria School of Law, esteemed members of the Catholic Church, and various other legal scholars.  The Law Review anticipates over thirty submissions from this conference; and thus, we have decided to split the issue.  The second half of the conference will be published in Volume 11, Issue 1.  The foundations of human rights, as it relates to modern lawmaking, has always been a prevalent issue worldwide, and we are hopeful that many will read this issue and gain some insight into how human-rights decisions should be made.

As the newly elected Editor-in-Chief, I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by so many capable and diverse editors on the Law Review.  Without the dedication of each and every member of this organization, past and present, it is unlikely that we would be ranked as high as we are in comparison to much older journals from higher-ranked law schools.  The Law Review is this school's voice to the legal community at large, and I believe that-as long as we continue to strive for excellence-the school will climb the rankings alongside us.


Matthew H. Brown


Ave Maria Law Review, Vol. 10

AMSL Moot Court Teams Thrive at National Level


American Bar Association's National Appellate Advocacy Competition

An AMSL team reached the Regional Finals at the American Bar Association's National Appellate Advocacy Competition - the nation's oldest and largest moot court competition with over 200 teams competing in six regional events around the country. No Ave Maria School of Law Moot Court team has ever reached the semi-finals, let alone the Finals at an ABA National Appellate Advocacy Regional Competition. Congratulations to the following students: Katlyn Cinelli; Maria DeMoya; and Maria Vigilante. Maria Vigilante was also recognized as the Ninth Best Oralist at the Competition! Cleandria Chevalier served as team manager and she was outstanding in keeping the team on task and setting up numerous practice rounds with faculty. The ABA team was coached by Professors Milliron and Miller.


This year's team swept the first four rounds of the competition, defeating Georgetown, two teams from Charleston, and Drexel. In advancing to the Finals, Ave Maria School of Law also beat out teams from Harvard, University of Maryland and Temple.


Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition

jessup moot court 2011 BAMSL students competing in the 2011 Jessup Competition made the best showing in school history, advancing to the quarter finals of the South Super Regional Competition and beating 20 law schools with our brief.


The Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition is the world's largest moot court competition, with participants from over 500 law schools in more than 80 countries. This competition is widely recognized by the legal community as one of the most prestigious moot court competitions in the world.


The AMSL team, comprised of Majel Braden, Jessica Hoyt, Christopher Koopman, Jessica Palombi and Preston Talanda-Fisher, finished 6th out of 24 teams in the overall scoring, defeating in head-to-head competition Southern Methodist, Georgia State, and St. Thomas University School of Law, and scoring higher than 19 other teams, including Duke, Florida A&M, Louisiana State University, Southern Methodist University, William & Mary, University of North Carolina, and Washington & Lee. Their brief was judged third best overall defeating all the above schools plus University of Virginia and Wake Forest.


Majel Braden scored 18 out of 82 oralists, and Preston Talanda-Fisher scored 27 out of 82 oralists. The team manager was Cleandria Chevalier, and the Faculty Coaches were Professor Isanga, Professor Govern, and Professor Sturm.


Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition

giles moot court 2011AMSL advanced to the finals in the Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition. The finals of this patent competition were held in Washington, D.C. on April 13-15, 2011, and will be comprised of 2 teams from each of the 4 regionals.


At the Houston Regional on March 11-13, our team of Arthur Brown and John Watson defeated Drake in the first round, defeated the University of New Hampshire in the second round, defeated the University of Tennessee in the third round, and (according to usually reliable sources) narrowly missed defeating a second team from University of New Hampshire in the final round. Teams competing and not advancing also included teams from Georgia State, the South Texas School of Law, the University of Houston, University of Denver, University of Richmond, and University of Texas schools of law. Our team came in second out of 15 teams at what is the nation's premier patent moot court competition.


Our teams were comprised of Arthur Brown & John Watson, Danielle Simmons & Nicole Randazzo, and team manager Maria Vigilante. Faculty Coaches were Professors Frank Fodale and Eric Leach.

Ian A. Northon, Esq.

Special Assistant to the Dean and

Director of Alumni Relations (Class of 2004)

239.784.7940 (cell)

239.687.5401 (office)


Ave Maria School of Law

1025 Commons Circle

Naples, Florida 34119