Who’s Who of Jesuit Alums Welcome Juniors to Federal Court on Law Day

Posted May 5, 2017 / Last updated May 11, 2017

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Jesuit alums Jay Quinlan Jr., Maurice Landrieu, Claude Kelly, Peter Mansfield, The Honorable Jay Zainey '69, Gary Schwabe, and Doug Farrell welcomed 32 Jesuit juniors to Law Day at the federal courthouse on May 2.

Jesuit alums Jay Quinlan Jr. ’86, Maurice Landrieu ’84, Claude Kelly ’79, Peter Mansfield ’96, the Honorable Jay Zainey ’69, Gary Schwabe ’82, and Doug Farrell ’87 welcomed 32 Jesuit juniors to Law Day at the federal courthouse on May 2.

Thirty-two Jesuit juniors had an opportunity to visit the U.S. District Court room of the Honorable Jay Zainey ’69 in conjunction with the New Orleans Bar Association’s annual Law Day on Tuesday, May 2.

Zainey, along with local attorney and Law Day chair Taylor Stone, assembled a veritable plethora of Jesuit alumni into his fourth-floor courtroom to discuss the workings of the federal court system.

A criminal court primer was first on the docket, with Assistant U.S. attorneys Maurice Landrieu ’84 and Jay Quinlan Jr. ’86 speaking about the role of prosecutors in the system.

They were followed by assistant federal public defender Gary Schwabe ’82 and Claude Kelly ’79, the head of the federal public defender office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Mansfield ’96 then spoke of his role as defender of government agencies and personnel in civil litigation.

After that, Doug Farrell ’87, the Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana, educated the students about the role of the U.S. Marshals Service.

U.S. Magistrate Janis van Meerveld, the mother of Jesuit junior Robert Cerise, then outlined the role of magistrates in the federal court system.

After the introductory remarks, the students were able to witness some real court business. Judge Zainey conducted a sentencing hearing for a defendant involved in a conspiracy conducted through the U.S. Postal Service. Schwabe represented the defendant, who avoided prison time.

The floor was then opened for questions and answers, after which Zainey took the students into his chambers for a quick tour.

Greg Ernst ’83, a practicing attorney who teaches Jesuit’s law class, chaperoned the trip along with classmate and civics teacher Jay Combe ’83.

Jesuit teacher Greg Ernst '83 talks to students.

Jesuit teacher Greg Ernst ’83 talks to students.

“It was a fantastic experience for the boys,” said Combe. “I think it was eye-opening for some of them to see how many Jesuit alumni are walking the halls of the federal courthouse, as well as how all of them were willing to clear their schedules just to spend some time with fellow Blue Jays.”

“I also hope they appreciated the collegiality of the relationships between the prosecutors and the defenders,” added Ernst. “The need for civility is something I stress in my classes. Jay and Maurice go at Claude and Gary all the time. But you could tell the respect they had for one another was genuine, as are their friendships outside of the courtroom. We could all learn from that.”