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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

O'Beirne Deposed: A Lack of Due Diligence?

AveWatch has gotten its hand on Kate O'Beirne's October 29, 2008 deposition in the Ave Maria Law wrongful termination suit. In AveWatch's first post, AveWatch notes that based on O'Beirne's testimony:
-O'Beirne did not view, nor seek to have made, any legal or written document confirming Monaghan's financial commitment to AMSL.
-O'Beirne did not ensure that there was any kind of plan to fulfill the institution's operational or financial obligations if Monaghan changed his mind about funding the institution or if he became incapacitated or died (i.e. "had something terrible happen"). Further, O'Beirne agreed that there was "not nearly enough [money] to support even just a few months of operation of the law school" outside of Monaghan's day-to-day decision to fund it.
-O'Beirne relied only on verbal reports concerning the funding stream that would support the move of AMSL to Florida.
-O'Beirne did not see any written commitment from the Ave Maria Foundation for building the Law School in Ave Maria Town. Yet, she voted for the move.
-O'Beirne did not see, nor expect to see, any financial projections from Ave Maria Town developers prior to her voting in favor of the Florida move... a move where the Law School's operations would be dependent upon that unknown income stream.
-O'Beirne took no steps to ensure that AMSL could survive in Michigan if the ABA decided to not grant acquiescence to a Florida move.
AveWatch provides lots of quotes from the depositions. It is stunning to see the lack of due diligence on the part of Kate O'Beirne.

There is so much interesting stuff in the depositions, but I wanted to highlight one little exchange:
Q: Well, does he have the money to build the [law school building in Ave Maria Town] or does he just - did he literally not have the money?
O'Beirne: I believe he has - I believe he has a number of obligations, and we have an alternative way for him to fulfill his commitment to the law school by moving to Vineyards campus, which I think winds up being wholly satisfactory.
Q: So your view is that the move to Naples is just as good as the move to Ave Town?
O'Beirne: Yes. I think we talked about this before. Okay.
Whoa, there. Some of the most important reasons given in favor of a move to Florida was the "synergy" from being a part of the Ave Maria University campus and the community from being a part of Ave Maria Town. The Naples location does not satisfy these reasons and has always been described by the administration as a temporary location. If O'Beirne's perspective is the same as the other Board of Governors, then a massive lie is being perpetrated on the Ave Maria Law community.

Go and check out the rest of the deposition.

AveWatch, any chance that you'll be posting the entire deposition as a PDF?