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Ohio Northern University to hold 2014 law commencement ceremony

May 8, 2014

Ohio Northern University’s Pettit College of Law will celebrate its 2014 commencement ceremony in the ONU Sports Center on Sunday, May 18, at 2 p.m. Approximately 100 students will be awarded degrees, and Daniel DiBiasio, Ohio Northern University president, will preside.

The ONU Sports Center is scheduled to open for the commencement exercises at 12:30 p.m. A musical prelude will begin at 1:30 p.m., followed by the procession of faculty and Juris Doctor candidates.

In addition to Juris Doctor degrees, ONU will confer LL.M. degrees to 14 lawyers from transitional and emerging democracies who have completed a yearlong course of intensive study in the Democratic Governance and Rule of Law program. There also are five students who concurrently earned a J.D. and LL.M.

Benjamin Brafman, a 1974 ONU graduate of the Pettit College of Law and principal partner of Brafman & Associates P.C. in New York City, will deliver the commencement address. A prominent criminal defense lawyer, he has represented celebrities, business leaders, and political figures in complex criminal and civil litigations across the United States. The former assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office entered private practice in 1980. Brafman is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and was named the “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in New York” by New York magazine. He has also been recognized for outstanding achievement by the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the New York Council of Defense Lawyers.

Andrew Drilling of Amherst, N.Y., will deliver the student address. Drilling is a graduating law student who will accept an associate position with Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP in Buffalo, N.Y., after passing the bar. Drilling graduated from Canisius College with a Bachelor of Science in economics. He spent his first summer of law school serving as a law clerk to Jeremiah J. McCarthy, United States magistrate judge for the Western District of New York. During his second summer, and continuing through his third year at the ONU College of Law, he worked for his current employer, Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak. During Drilling’s three years at ONU, he was actively involved in many aspects of the University. He served on Ohio Northern Law Review for two years and currently has two articles in publication with the ONU law journal. He served as a teaching assistant for a criminal law class and as a research assistant focusing primarily on employment discrimination law. He was a recipient of a judicial scholarship and the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award all three of his years at ONU. Subsequent to law school, Drilling will pursue a career in insurance defense litigation.

Honorary degrees will be presented to Brafman and John H. Genovese, who received his Juris Doctor from ONU in 1979 and is a partner at Genovese, Joblove & Battista in Miami, Fla.

Genovese is head of the group’s reorganization and insolvency practice. His areas of legal proficiency and practice include troubled loan workouts, bankruptcy and insurance insolvencies, with an emphasis on complex litigation in Bankruptcy and U.S. District Court and other complex commercial litigation. Genovese has been listed in each edition of Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America since 1989, and he has been named to the Legal Media Group’s guide to the World’s Leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers. Genovese is active in the Bankruptcy/UCC Committee of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar and has served as co-chair of the South Florida Court and U.S. Trustee Liaison Committee. Additionally, he was appointed to the Florida Judicial Nominating Commission and elected to the board of directors for the Bankruptcy Bar Association for the Southern District of Florida.

Richard Bales, dean of the Pettit College of Law, will give remarks. Assisted by members of the tenured law faculty, Bales will next place the academic hood upon each candidate, which will be followed by DiBiasio’s presentation of the diplomas.

A reception for graduates and families will take place in the College of Law immediately following the ceremony.

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