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Friday, April 13, 2012

UC Hastings Moot Court #1: 2011-12

UC Hastings College of the Law continues to earn its ranking as the No. 1 moot court program in the country with a winning 2011-2012 moot court season.

The ranking comes from two separate ranking systems, which tally points earned over the entire moot court season. Thus, the rankings reflect UC Hastings’ deep bench, as well as the number of competitions entered. “We think of this as ‘sport’ for lawyers,” said Toni Young, Director Moot Court, Appellate Advocacy, Legal Writing & Research. It also means tryouts, intense training and a laser-focus on building skills, particularly brief writing.

This spring, UC Hastings teams brought home victories in national and international championships, including numerous best brief and best oralist awards. The 2L team of Kendra Chapman and Rebecca Formanek won the Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition in Madison, WI, and captured the award for Best Respondent Brief in the country. Tom Fay and Ryan McLaughlin also competed very strongly at Evans, placing as semifinalists and winning Second Best Petitioner's Brief award.

In addition, the UC Hastings 3L team of Madihha Ahussain, Julia Heming and Judy Yang were National Finalists at the Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Competition in Brooklyn, NY. Madihha also won the award for the Best Oralist in the final round of the tournament.

UC Hastings teams brought home victories from recent international competitions as well. UC Hastings students Lance Cidre, Megan Havstad, Carolyn Lee, Ken Nabity and Jessica Owen were International Quarterfinalists at the prestigious Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition after winning the U.S. Pacific Regional Competition. Lance won the Second Best Oralist award at the International Rounds and Megan Havstad won Second Best Oralist at the Regional Rounds. Additionally, Justin Biolo, Patience Ren and Milan Sundaresan were International Finalists after going undefeated into the final round of the Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition. Justin was also the Best Oralist at the Regional Rounds and the Second Best Oralist in the International Rounds.

In all, UC Hastings teams won three national championships and four regional championships. UC Hastings teams placed in the top 16 or better in 23 moot court tournament rounds.

The teams continued a strong tradition of excellence in written advocacy with 11 total brief awards, including two national best brief awards and two regional best brief awards. UC Hastings advocates also won a total of 13 individual oral advocate awards, including five best oralist awards at regional and national competitions.

The program relies heavily on alumni coaches and judges, who donate time as well as sponsor competitions, which helps underwrite travel costs. Students, faculty, staff and sponsors will celebrate at a victory banquet April 17, where additional awards, including the Best Oral Argument and Best Brief in each 1L moot court section, will be acknowledged.

Young and her faculty team just wrapped up try-outs for next year’s teams. They will be announced at the awards banquet.

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