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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Observations on Monaghan Deposition #1

Part 1 of the February 19, 2008 Monaghan deposition is a fascinating read. Here are my observations.

Pp. 6-8: Monaghan comes off as being very obstinate and difficult. Right from the start, Monaghan is asked about when he was last deposed, how often has he been deposed, and on what topics. These are routine questions which would not compromise Monaghan's position, yet Monaghan is evasive and uncooperative.

Pp. 8-19: Monaghan is questioned about where he lives. Normally, this should be a simple question with a simple answer, but Monaghan isn't quite sure where he lives and who owns his houses.
Q: What is your address, sir?
A: [redacted] Gulfside -- Gulf -- Gulfside or -- I thinks it's Gulfside Drive. ....
Q: And do you own a property located at the address you just gave us?
A: I don't know.
Q: Why don't you know?
A: Because I don't know what -- whose name it's in.
A few pages later, after he is told to look at his driver's license, Monaghan gets it right: Gulfshore Drive, in Naples. Monaghan also has a house in Ann Arbor where his wife lives, but he doesn't know who or what entity owns the Ann Arbor house. When Monaghan is asked who lives with him in the Gulfshore residence, Monaghan says that he doesn't live in Naples, but "in a dorm on campus." And Monaghan doesn't know the address or the name of the dorm.
Q: "Okay. So, if somebody approaches you on campus and says, "Hi, Mr. Monaghan. I'd like to pick you up this evening and take you to dinner," what do you tell them when they say, "Where should I come?" How do you do --
A: I've never had that occur.
Q: So, you live in a dorm, but you don't even know the name of the dorm?
A: That's true.
Pp. 20-21: Monaghan doesn't know how to spell the name of the library (Canizaro) where his office is located or his secretary's last name (Sintic).

Pp. 23-38: Monaghan says that Fessio was removed as provost at AMU "Because I didn't think he was doing a good job." When Monaghan is asked what he means by that, Monaghan is unwilling to answer the question. After prodding, Monaghan gives another reason "I just didn't feel he fit in." Another reason: "unsatisfactory results" in terms of numbers of students attrated to AMU. Another reason: "He was difficult to work with... He was argumentative."

Pp. 76-89: Several pages of questions, trying to figure out the nature of Monaghan's role as Chairman of the Board of Governors at Ave Maria School of Law.
Q: What is your role as Chairman of the Board of Governors?
A: That's one I don't think I know how to answer.
Q: Why?
A: Because I don't know.
Q: Why is it you don't know?
A: Because I don't know.
After multiple iterations of this line of questioning,
Q: Since you don't know officially what you're supposed to do, what do you actually do, sir?
A: I consider myself just another member of the Board.
Monaghan then displays ignorance of many of his duties as Chairman of the Board, as set out in the AMSL bylaws.

Pp. 90-91: Interesting discussion about the mysterious Executive Committee. (Remember, the Executive Committee is the entity which suspended Safranek by official action on July 26, 2007.)
Q: Is there an Executive Committee at Ave Maria School of Law at this time?
A: Yes.
Q: And who's on it?
A: I don't -- I don't know.
Q: You don't know? Are you saying, no, you don't know?
A: I don't know all the members of it.
Q: Well, who do you know?
A: I think myself, I think Kate O'Beirne, and then I don't know who else.
Q: Who has appointed the members of the Executive Committee?
A: I think it's -- I'm not exactly sure how it's done.
Q: You're not sure?
A: No.
Q: Well, have you appointed any members of the Executive Committee?
A: I don't think I've officially appointed any members. I think I've been -- I'm sure I've been in discussions about who would be on it, but I think that it was a team type of thing.
My question: If Monaghan doesn't know who is on the Executive Committee, who decided to terminate Safranek?

Pp. 91-98: Discussion about Dobranski's employment contract. It appears that Dobranski doesn't have an employment contract with the law school because his employment contract was created before the law school existed. Yet, Monaghan seems to think that Dobranski is being paid by the law school. It doesn't make sense to me and it doesn't make sense to Ms. Gordon, Plaintiff's attorney, who spends some time pleading with Monaghan and Fink (Monaghan's attorney), to turn over the employment contract, which Fink has refused to do since October 2007.

Pp. 104-105:
Q: You're familiar with the American Bar Association?
A: Yes.
Q: And you realize, obviously, that the Ave Maria School of Law went through a lengthy and probably tedious process in order to become accredited?
A: Yes.
Q: And that was a very important milestone for the law school, was it not?
A: Yes.
Q: Because if the law school is not accredited, the students cannot sit for the bar exam; correct?
A: They can be provisionally accredited.
THE REPORTER: I'm sorry?
A: They can be provisionally accredited ... and sit for the bar.
I think this is VERY revealing. Here, Monaghan, without prompting, blurts out that provisional accreditation is fine for graduates when it comes to sitting for the bar. I suspect that Monaghan knows that full accreditation acquiescence for the Florida move is probably not forthcoming from the ABA, and I suspect that Monaghan is banking on provisional accreditation status in Florida.

I look forward to Part #2.