March 31, 2009

Chicago-Kent cons way to win at Evans competition

No, not really. My friend Professor Kent Streseman at Chicago-Kent College of Law Illinois Institute of Technology runs an outstanding, clean program. It's just the best headline I could come up with for the Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition, so my apologies to him and his tremendous students for the cheap attempt at humor. They deserve better, especially after Professor Streseman kindly complimented my "cheesy jokes and funky puns" while pronouncing the death of his own blog today.

Anyway, Chicago-Kent took home its second-consecutive Evans trophy this past weekend, defeating South Texas College of Law in the final round. The John Marshall Law School (Chicago) and the University of Akron School of Law finished as semifinalists. Forty teams competed in the University of Wisconsin Law School-run tournament.

Both of Chicago-Kent's two teams swept the brief awards, with the championship team taking Best Respondent Brief, and a second team winning Best Petitioner Brief. Jay Reding of the University of St. Thomas School of Law claimed Best Oralist honors.

It was a good weekend for Chicago-Kent, which finished second at the Gibbons Criminal Procedure Competition in addition to its Evans championship.

Ohio State champs at Vale Corporate Law competition

THE Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law won the Ruby R. Vale Interschool Corporate Moot Court Competition, held March 12-15. Mercer University School of Law finished second. Semifinal finishes were enjoyed by Western State University College of Law and Mississippi College School of Law. Twenty four teams competed at the competition, which is hosted by Widener University School of Law.

Capital University Law School claimed the Best Appellant Brief award; William Mitchell College of Law won the counterpart award for the Appellee. Ohio State's Abigail Andre was named Best Oral Advocate for the Appellant, and Jon Straw of Western State University College of Law won Best Oral Advocate for the Appellee.

Ohio State's website write up is here. Here is Mercer's.

March 30, 2009

Albany first at Gibbons Criminal Procedure

Albany Law School won first place at this weekend's John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition, a 37-team tournament run by Seton Hall University School of Law. Albany narrowly defeated Chicago-Kent College of Law Illinois Institute of Technology in the final round. St. Thomas University School of Law in Florida (initially, this post indicated it was the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minnesota, but I was mistaken) and University of South Dakota School of Law rounded out the semifinalists.

New York Law School won Best Petitioner Brief; Florida State University College of Law won Best Respondent Brief. Matthew LaRoche won both oralist awards--Best Preliminary Rounds and Best Final Round.

Wagner championship goes to Loyola Chicago

Loyola Chicago University Chicago School of Law took top honors at the 34th Annual Robert F. Wagner Labor and Employment Law Competition March 12-15. Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law continued its strong year with a second-place showing. The John Marshall Law School (Chicago) and Southwestern Law School were the semifinalists of the 46-team competition, which is administered by the New York Law School Moot Court Association.

John Marshall Law School was awarded the Best Petitioner's Brief trophy, and Southwestern won Best Respondent's Brief. Matthew Dolan of Loyola Chicago won Best Oral Advocate.

Click here for more results, including video of the final round. Southwestern's website has a post here.

March 27, 2009

Duke wins Sutherland Cup

Although its undergraduate basketball team was embarrassingly bounced from the NCAA tourney last night by Villanova, it's not all bad for Duke University School of Law, which won the Sutherland Cup Moot Court Competition last weekend. The tournament, which claims to be the oldest moot court competition in the country (although the National Moot Court Competition started the same year), is run by Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. George Mason University School of Law took second place. Catholic and University of Virginia School of Law were the semifinalists of the nine-team tournament.

Catholic won Best Brief, and Jan Rybnicek of George Mason won Best Oralist.

ABA NAAC regional results up

The ABA has posted the regional results for the National Appellate Advocacy Competition on its Competitors Information Page. I won't link to it here, but only because the ABA has deemed it confidential and for competitors' eyes only -- I suspect that it's not that they don't want the general public lurking around, but rather that they don't want judges stumbling upon the site and then matching up team numbers with school names. In the past, the ABA has released its regional results to the public along with the national results once the competition concludes. So, if you really want to know the identity of the seventh-best advocate from the St. Louis regional, just sit tight a few weeks.

My post of a month ago revealed that at last year's ABA regionals, brief and oralist awards didn't necessarily translate into regional championships. This year's results? Almost identical to last year's.

Of the 24 regional champions, only 7 finished in the top five of briefs at their respective regional competitions. That's the same number as last year. Only one advancing team -- Seton Hall University School of Law -- won regional best brief. No second-place-brief teams advanced to Chicago. At the San Francisco regional, none of the five top briefs claimed championships.

Of the 60 students winning oralist awards, just 23 were on regional championship teams. That's up a bit from last year, when only 19 of the 61 regional winners (one regional had a tie for tenth place) enjoyed trips to Chicago. That's almost a seven percent increase, but still far short of a majority.

Last year's national results didn't seem to favor the regional brief and oralist winners, so it will be interesting to see if this year follows suit. The national finals take place April 2-4 in Chicago. I'll be there and will blog results at the end of each day. Although I've posted the regional champions in three separate posts, here they are all in one place:

Boston Regional:
Chicago Kent-College of Law
Marquette University Law School
University of Florida Levin College of Law
University of Oklahoma Law Center

Brooklyn Regional:
Michigan State University College of Law
New York Law School
Seton Hall University School of Law
Temple University Beasley School of Law

Miami Regional:

Samford University Cumberland School of Law
Texas Tech University School of Law (2 teams)
University of Texas School of Law

St. Louis Regional:
Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
St. Mary's University School of Law
Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

San Fransisco Regional:

UC Hastings College of the Law (2 teams)
University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
University of San Diego School of Law

Washington, D.C. Regional:
American University Washington College of Law
Duke University School of Law
Liberty University School of Law
South Texas College of Law

March 26, 2009

Busy weekend for advocacy

Airlines and hotels ought to be doing well this weekend, as I count at least 10 advocacy competitions going on across the country. In moot court, there's the Jessup International finals, Gibbons Criminal Procedure (where I'm at), Evans Constitutional Law, Thurgood Marshall, Brown Admiralty, International Environmental, Wechsler Criminal Law, Darras Disability, and Constance Baker Motley regionals. In mock trial, there's the national finals of the National Trial Competition.

Good luck to all the competitors on what is most certainly the busiest weekend of the year for law school advocacy!

No lie: Georgetown wins Ethics mock trial competition

Georgetown University Law Center won first place at this past weekend's 4th Annual National Ethics Trial Competition. Temple University Beasley School of Law won second place, with fellow mock trial powerhouses Chicago-Kent College of Law Illinois Institute of Technology (last year's champion) and Stetson University College of Law rounding out the semifinalists. The competition was hosted by the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law.

Chris Chin of McGeorge won Top Advocate in the opening rounds, and Brent Wisner of Georgetown was named Top Advocate of the final round.

Temple's trial advocacy blog has a post here, and its school website has one here.

March 21, 2009

"The Ranker" is now a blogger

Brian Koppen of lawschooladvocacy.com fame now has a blog to accompany his rankings site. It appears Koppen will use the blog to dispense various morsels of wisdom and self-promote his own asinine system.

His first few posts seem to be aimed at me or things I've discussed here, asking readers to give their opinion of this blog and topics about which I've written. I found particularly amusing the post in which he directly calls me out, asking how my own program's new "relatively good ranking" will affect my criticisms of his methodology. Umm, no need to think about that answer: NOT ONE BIT. As I said way back in September, I'd have the same problems with Koppen's system whether my program is 1st, 6th, or 60th. Frankly, I could really care less where Texas Tech (or anyone else, for that matter) sits. My bigger concern is trying to convince others not to care either, but admittedly, I'm losing that fight.

Anyway, my fave post has to be this one, where he offers some observations about his just-"locked" (i.e., "finalized") 2008 rankings. Specifically, he marvels at how South Texas College of Law and UC Hastings College of the Law managed to secure first and second place in both years' rankings. I don't think those finishes would surprise anyone who knows even the slightest bit about law school moot court. But it somehow managed to surprise Koppen, who claims that when he started the rankings two years ago, he had "never heard of" South Texas or Hastings.

What if I started a site/blog about college basketball, purporting to be the definitive answer on program strength, and in a post I say, "UCLA? Never heard of 'em. Duke? Who are they?"

Seriously, folks. South Texas is to law school advocacy what Notre Dame is to college football. And yet the dude had never heard of South Texas before he started his site, and was surprised to learn that they topped his rankings in both years of the site's existence. To start a site that purports to be the final say on which programs are good or bad, and yet have never even heard of the most successful moot court program of all time (by a long shot), is embarrassing. Good grief, people.

March 20, 2009

Miami powers its way to championship at National Security Law competition

The University of Miami School of Law reigned supreme at the 2009 National Security Law Moot Court Competition, hosted by the George Washington University School of Law February 21-22. Fordham University School of Law took second place at the 26-team tournament, while West Virginia University College of Law and Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School enjoyed trips to the semifinals.

Miami won Best Brief; Elizabeth Kohut of George Mason University School of Law was named Best Oralist.

Miami discusses the win here, along with some general horn tooting. Miami references its moot court board's "#6 national ranking," which I presume is in reference to its pre-competition standing in the UH Moot Court National Championship held earlier this year. Fordham writes about its win here, which I posted earlier this week in connection with its second-place finish at the Cardozo/BMI entertainment and communication law tournament.

March 18, 2009

Wall Street Journal blurb on Duberstein

It's not much, but the Wall Street Journal has a short piece up on the Duberstein bankruptcy moot court competition awards banquet. The article's primary point is that the bankruptcy business among law firms is booming -- which would seem to be obvious in any down economy, but given that firm layoffs seem to be on everyone's mind and mouth, it's nice to know there's at least one bright spot in the legal market.

I did find it amusing that the article put quotes around "moot court" -- almost as if it's something illegitimate -- but given the quizzical looks I get from laypeople when I tell them what I do, I can't say I blame the editors.

Thanks to Prof. Robin Boyle (St. John's University School of Law) for the tip.

Northern Kentucky named champion at Child Welfare & Adoption Law tournament

Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law won its second championship of the year this past weekend, taking top honors at the National Moot Court Competition in Child Welfare and Adoption Law at Capital University Law School. Loyola University Chicago School of Law won second place. Seton Hall University School of Law and a second team from Loyola Chicago finished as semifinalists of the tournament, which hosted 22 teams from 16 law schools.

Best Brief went to Northern Kentucky. Danielle Ravencraft of Northern Kentucky won Best Oralist of the final round; Amy Gill of the University of Cincinnati College of Law won Best Oralist of Day One.

Click here for full results, including pictures of the winning team.

March 17, 2009

Miami bankrupts competition at Duberstein

The University of Miami School of Law topped 45 other teams at the 17th Annual Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Memorial Moot Court Competition this past weekend. The University of Kansas School of Law finished second at the tournament, which is sponsored by St. John’s University School of Law and the American Bankruptcy Institute. DePaul University College of Law and Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law were semifinalists.

SMU was also awarded Best Brief, and Ashley H. Nader of Mississippi College School of Law was named Best Oral Advocate.

The competition handed out some impressive prizes, including $5,000 to the first-place team, $3,000 to the second-place team, $1,500 to the semifinalists, and $1,000 each to the best brief and best oral advocate. This year's problem was incredibly complex, dealing with the issues of credit derivatives, total return swaps, and substantive consolidation of bankruptcy estates.

Texas first at HNBA moot court competition

The University of Texas School of Law won the Hispanic National Bar Association Moot Court Competition held March 5-7 at the HNBA's mid-year conference in Coral Gables, Florida. Loyola Law School Los Angeles finished second at the 31-team tournament. University of Miami School of Law took third, and Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law won fourth-place honors.

New York Law School won the Best Petitioner Brief Award, while Rutgers University School of Law won Best Respondent Brief. Rodolfo Segura of Texas won Best Oral Advocate.

John Marshall communicates well at Cardozo/BMI competition

The John Marshall Law School (Chicago) won first place at the 25th Annual Cardozo/BMI Moot Court Competition held March 5-8. The tournament, which is co-sponsored by the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University and Broadcast Music, Inc., focuses on communications and entertainment law. Fordham University School of Law took second place. University of Baltimore School of Law and UC Hastings College of the Law rounded out the semifinalists of the 30-team competition.

Seton Hall University School of Law won Best Brief; Ashley Senary of the University of Wisconsin Law School was named Best Oralist.

Fordham's website has a write up here.

Wash U wins McGee Civil Rights tournament

Washington University in St. Louis School of Law won the 24th Annual William E. McGee National Civil Rights Competition over the weekend of March 5-7 at the University of Minnesota Law School. South Texas College of Law finished in second place among a total of 27 teams. William Mitchell College of Law was third, and Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School finished fourth.

South Texas took home the Best Brief plaque, and Allison Lee of Wash U won both Best Oral Advocate of the Preliminary Rounds and Best Oral Advocate Overall.

It's all in the family for Wake Forest at Gabrielli competition

Wake Forest University School of Law took the top prize at the 21st Annual Domenick L. Gabrielli National Family Law Moot Court Competition, which took place February 26-28 at Albany Law School. University of Baltimore School of Law finished second, with Appalachian School of Law and Stetson University College of Law finishing as semifinalists of the 22-team competition.

Widener University School of Law was honored with the Best Brief Award. Amanda Perticone of Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center was named Best Oral Advocate.

Wake Forest has a website report here, and Widener has one here.

Columbia tops at Native American Law Students Association competition

Columbia Law School was named champion at the 17th Annual National Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition, held February 27-28 at the University of Colorado Law School. The University of Hawai'i Law School won second. The tournament hosted 42 teams from 17 schools. A second Columbia team won third place, and University of Idaho College of Law (cue Napoleon Dynamite music) finished fourth.

University of South Dakota School of Law was awarded Best Brief and Diane Wehrman of the University of North Dakota School of Law won Best Oralist.

Columbia's web report is here; Hawai'i's is here (which includes a link to a Honolulu Advertiser story; and North Dakota's is here.

March 16, 2009

Northern Kentucky taxes competition at Mugel tourney

Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law won the Albert R. Mugel National Tax Moot Court Competition, held February 26-28. The John Marshall Law School (Chicago) won second place at the 10-team competition, which was hosted by the University at Buffalo Law School. Temple University Beasley School of Law and Gonzaga University School of Law were semifinalists.

Gonzaga won the Best Brief Award, while Dawn Danley-Nichols of Northern Kentucky was named Best Oralist.

This marks Northern Kentucky's second Mugel win in three years, having also taken the trophy in 2007.

Website write-ups: Northern Kentucky; John Marshall; Temple; Gonzaga.

AAJ trial competition finalists

Congratulations to the 28 teams that will compete for the top prize at the AAJ National Student Trial Advocacy Competition April 2-5 in West Palm Beach, Florida. The 28 teams constitute the winners and runners up of the 14 regional competitions held across the country February 27-March 1. I've listed the qualifiers below, sorted by regional city. The first team under each city was the champion; the second team listed is the runner up.

Albuquerque, N.M.:
University of New Mexico School of Law
Tulane University Law School

Atlanta:
Samford University Cumberland School of Law
Loyola University New Orleans College of Law

Boston:

Suffolk University Law School
Suffolk University Law School

Charlotte, NC:
Duke University School of Law
Charlotte School of Law

Chicago:
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
The John Marshall Law School (Chicago)

Cleveland:
University of Akron School of Law
University of Akron School of Law

Dallas:
Baylor University Law School
Baylor University Law School

Las Vegas:
Stanford Law School
Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law

New York:
New York University School of Law
Rutgers University School of Law

Pittsburgh:
Duquesne University School of Law
University of North Carolina School of Law

Providence, RI:
Stetson University College of Law
Quinnipiac University School of Law

Santa Monica, Cal.:

Loyola Law School Los Angeles
Golden Gate University School of Law

Seattle:
University of Colorado Law School
University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Washington, D.C.:
University of Maryland School of Law
University of Maryland School of Law

Incidentally, my teams returned from the Dallas regional with some horror stories. Aside from rounds running extremely late and courthouse personnel apparently having no idea they were even hosting a competition that weekend, most of the preliminary rounds only had one judge (the rules prescribe three-judges panels). In one round, a judge fell asleep and then apologized after she woke up, claiming she had been out late the night before. In another round, the judge admitted at the outset that she didn’t know the rules of evidence, and in addressing objections, she continually said that she didn’t know how to rule because she had no idea what the rules actually said. In critique, another judge told my team--in all seriousness--that he “had tried five cases and won two of them, so I’d listen up if I were you.”

For what is supposed to be one of “the big two” mock trial competitions, that’s a shame. Did anyone at other regionals have similar experiences?

March 14, 2009

Advancing teams from Miami and St. Louis NAAC regionals

The regional rounds of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition concluded tonight in Miami and St. Louis, the fifth and sixth stops on the NAAC's circuit. The four advancing teams from each region are:

Miami:
Samford University Cumberland School of Law
Texas Tech University School of Law (2 teams) (yes, I'm very proud)
University of Texas School of Law

St. Louis:
Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
St. Mary's University School of Law
Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

I've previously posted the results of the Boston and San Francisco regionals here, and the Brooklyn and Washington, D.C. regionals here. Although I have some information on regional brief and oralist awards, it's not nearly complete enough to bother posting. Instead, I'll wait until the ABA posts a complete listing of regional results, which I suspect will occur within the next two weeks. I'll link when they do.

In the meantime, congrats to the 24 regional champions, which will meet up in Chicago April 2-4 to determine the national champion.

March 8, 2009

Advancing teams from D.C. and Brooklyn NAAC regionals

Last week I posted on the eight regional champions from the Boston and San Francisco regionals of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition. This weekend saw the ABA travel to Washington, D.C. and Brooklyn for the third and fourth of six total regional rounds. And the winners are...

Washington, D.C. Regional:
American University Washington College of Law
Duke University School of Law
Liberty University School of Law
South Texas College of Law

Brooklyn Regional:
Michigan State University College of Law
New York Law School
Seton Hall University School of Law
Temple Law School

Next week: Miami and St. Louis...

March 5, 2009

Georgetown first at Luke Charles Moore civil rights competition

Georgetown University Law Center brought home a national championship last weekend at Howard University School of Law's Luke Charles Moore Invitational Moot Court Competition. Duke University School of Law won second place; Florida State University College of Law and Vanderbilt University Law School finished as semifinalists in the 11-team competition, which focuses on civil rights law.

Vanderbilt won Best Brief and Duke's David Mansfield won Best Oralist.

March 3, 2009

Flurry of activity on Moot Court Advisors Listserv

My post on the statistical vagaries of last year's ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition seemed to spark a whole lot of posting on the Moot Court Advisors Listserv, which currently sits at 167 subscribers. If you're missing out, e-mail Professor Jim Dimitri at University University School of Law-Indianapolis (jddimitr@iupui.edu) to climb on board. We've had some great discussions and ideas, including Professor Barbara Kritchevsky's (University of of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law) suggestion of starting an AALS section on Advocacy, and Professor Kent Streseman's (Chicago-Kent College of Law) idea of a national organization of student advocacy boards, similar to the National Conference of Law Reviews. If your school is interested in either or both of those efforts, e-mail Professor Evelyn Calogero (Thomas M. Cooley Law School) at calogere@cooley.edu.

On a related note, Professor Dimitri and Melissa Greipp (Marquette University Law School) are heading up an effort by the Legal Writing Institute to draft model guidelines for moot court judges. The underlying concept, which is also the driving force between the AALS section and national organization suggestions, is to eventually settle on a set of "best practices" for administering moot court competitions with the ultimate goal of reducing the degree of subjectivity. If you have any suggestions on the model guidelines, Professor Dimitri would love to hear them.


Florida State scares off competition at Craven Moot Court Competition

I think I associate the James Braxton Craven, Jr. Moot Court Competition with slasher movies because Wes Craven is a famous horror film director, and the name "Craven" is kinda scary in its own right (which says a lot about the field of work Wes Craven chose). In any event, Florida State University College of Law won this year's Craven Competition, which is hosted by the student moot court board at the University of North Carolina School of Law. Elon University School of Law came one step closer to a national championship by finishing second at the 24-team contest. Fordham University School of Law and George Mason University School of Law finished as semifinalists.

University of South Carolina School of Law won the Best Brief trophy, with Ramona Thomas of Florida State winning Best Oralist.

Elon's website write up is here.

March 2, 2009

Advancing teams from Boston and San Fran NAAC regionals

I don't have any information on briefs or advocates (and probably won't until the regional rounds conclude), but I do have the important info: Which teams advanced from this past weekend's ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition regional rounds to the national finals in April.

Boston Regional:
Chicago Kent-College of Law
Marquette University Law School
University of Florida Levin College of Law
University of Oklahoma Law Center

San Fransisco Regional:
UC Hastings College of the Law (2 teams)
University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
University of San Diego School of Law

The Brooklyn and Washington, D.C. regionals will get underway this Thursday, with the Miami and St. Louis regionals set to start the following week.

Case Western Reserve takes Niagra Cup

Case Western Reserve University School of Law was the top team at the Niagra International Moot Court Competition this weekend in Toronto. University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law finished second among 19 teams. American University Washington College of Law and Washington University in St. Louis School of Law (last year's champion) rounded out the semifinalists of the tournament, which is run by the Canada-United States Law Institute.

The University of Windsor Faculty of Law won the Institute's award for "team best representing the spirit of the Niagara International Moot Court."

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law won the Best Team Memorial award for the Applicant, while Queens University Faculty of Law took home the Best Team Memorial award for the Respondent. Alex Stepick of WashU won Best Advocate.