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Nearly 90 graduates to receive J.D. degrees at Maine Law 2012 Commencement Ceremony

PORTLAND, Maine – The Commencement Ceremony for the University of Maine School of Law Class of 2012 will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland.

Eighty-eight students will be awarded J.D. degrees. Also, more than two dozen merit awards will be presented to graduates. Family and friends are welcome to attend the ceremony, and tickets are not required. Following the ceremony, a reception will be held at the Merrill Auditorium Rehearsal Hall.

Keynote speaker: The Honorable Kermit V. Lipez

Maine Law is honored to welcome the Judge Kermit V. Lipez as the keynote speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony. Lipez is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He joined the Circuit Court in 1998 following his nomination by President Bill Clinton. He assumed senior status on the court at the end of 2011.

After graduating from law school in 1967, Judge Lipez started his legal career as Staff Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He subsequently served as Special Assistant and Legal Counsel to former Maine Governor Ken Curtis and as Legislative Aide to former U.S. Senator Edmund S. Muskie. In 1985, after a dozen years in private practice, Lipez was appointed to the Maine Superior Court and in 1994 as a Justice of the Maine Supreme Court, where he served until his move to the federal bench in 1998. On the First Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Lipez filled the seat vacated by the Honorable Conrad Cyr and held previously by the Honorable Frank M. Coffin.

A native of Pennsylvania, Judge Lipez is a graduate of Haverford College and Yale Law School, and he received his post-professional Master of Laws degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He is a longstanding friend of the University of Maine School of Law, where his wife Nancy Ziegler earned her J.D. degree. Judge Lipez is an active member of the Law School’s Board of Visitors and supervises Maine Law students in a judicial externship program.

L. Kinvin Wroth Award Winner: The Honorable Joseph M. Jabar

The Honorable Joseph M. Jabar, an Associate Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, is the recipient of the 2012 L. Kinvin Wroth Award. The award, named after former Dean L. Kinvin Wroth, honors a Maine Law graduate who has achieved distinction in his or her career by contributing as a leader, locally, nationally or globally, and who has helped advance his or her alma mater.

Jabar joined the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in 2009 when he was appointed by Governor John Baldacci. He earned his undergraduate degree from Colby College and is a 1971 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law.

After graduating from Maine Law, Justice Jabar served as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC. He returned to Maine and served for four years as District Attorney for Kennebec-Somerset Counties. He subsequently engaged in the private practice of law for 25 years as a member of the law firm of Jabar Batten Ringer and Murphy in Waterville.

During these years in practice, Justice Jabar served as Chair of the Executive Clemency Board for two different gubernatorial administrations. He served as a Workers' Compensation Commissioner and was elected to the Maine House of Representatives, where he served for two terms. He was Chairman of the Juvenile Code Revision Commission in 1977 and 1978 and also was on the Board of Governors for the Maine Trial Lawyers Association.

Governor Angus King appointed Justice Jabar to the Maine Superior Court in 2001. While on the Superior Court, he was a member of the Family Law Advisory Commission, Criminal Law Advisory Commission, Media and the Courts Committee, and the State Sentencing and Corrections Council. Justice Jabar served on the Superior Court for eight years before joining the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Student address: Devin W. Deane

Devin W. Deane of Troutville, Va., will deliver the student address on behalf of the Class of 2012. Deane came to Maine Law after graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2009 from the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech.

In 2010, Deane was an intern for the Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Maine. In 2011, he was named as the inaugural Charles Harvey, Jr. Trial Immersion Fellow. In that fellowship, Deane worked with eight of Maine’s leading trial firms. In the summer of 2011 he worked as an associate with the Portland firm of Friedman, Gaythwaite, Wolf & Leavitt. Deane has worked as a student-attorney at Maine Law’s Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic. He has also volunteered for Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Portland, and has been a volunteer instructor for the Maine Civil Liberties Union. Deane has been a key participant in the University of Maine School of Law Moot Court Team. He was the prize brief winner in 2010, and this year he competed in the Tulane Mardi Gras Sports Law Invitational Competition.

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Media contact: Trevor Maxwell, communications director at Maine Law
Office: 207-228-8037/ Cell: 207-286-4431/ email: tmaxwell@usm.maine.edu