Schmolesky graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1975, served as an assistant attorney general for the State of Wisconsin and supervised clinical programs at his alma mater before he joined St. Mary’s Law faculty.
Schmolesky was an expert in criminal law regularly teaching the first-year course on criminal law as well as many upper-level courses, including Constitutional Criminal Procedure and Federal Criminal Procedure. He often taught in St. Mary’s summer programs in Innsbruck, Austria, and Beijing. And he recently designed a cutting-edge curriculum for students interested in becoming criminal prosecutors.
The U.S. Supreme Court was among the many state and federal courts to quote or cite Schmolesky’s scholarship. For 28 years, he was the sole author of the weekly State Bar of Texas Criminal Law Digest. With Professor George Dix of the University of Texas, he co-authored a six-volume treatise, Criminal Procedure Law, published by Thompson/West, which he updated twice yearly. He recently published his two-volume Constitutional Criminal Law and completed his textbook on prosecution law.
As a Fulbright Scholar at a Pontificia Universidade Catolica Do Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, he taught constitutional criminal law to a panel of judges and lawyers who were drafting Brazil’s first democratic constitution, after 21 years of military dictatorship. Through this work, he was credited with introducing the right to protection from arbitrary search and seizure into the Brazilian Constitution.
A private family memorial service is planned, and a faculty tribute will be held for Schmolesky during the academic year.
The family has asked that those who wish to recognize Schmolesky’s life make contributions to the John M. Schmolesky Intern Scholarship Fund at St. Mary’s University, established to pay criminal law internships for St. Mary’s law students with financial need.
Please join us all in the St. Mary’s community, as we extend our deepest sympathy and prayers to his wife, Louise Cantwell (J.D. ’85), and her family.