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Students Excel in Advocacy Competitions

June 20, 2012

More than 50 students took part in advocacy competitions in the 2011–2012 academic year, with many participants earning awards for their performance and four students advancing to national semi-finals.

Maria-Theresa Peralta 3L (left) with Michael Marcello ’12 at the Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition Semi-Finals.

Six students participated in the regional Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition held Oct. 28 and 30 in Denver, Colo. Eric Wu ’12, Ryan Jang ’12, Derek Turbin ’12, Katie Liu ’12, Michael Marcelo ’12, and Maria-Theresa Peralta 3L delivered oral arguments on issues concerning the First Amendment and equal protection.

Marcello and Peralta advanced to the national rounds in Atlanta, where they joined 15 other teams from across the country. At nationals, they were one of four teams that advanced to the national semi-finals and received an award for National Best Brief.

Mark Sentenac ’12, Jayson Sohi 3L, Priya Brandes ’12, and Charles Bahlert 3L represented USF at the Western regional of the Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court Competition in Silicon Valley in March.

Sentenac and Sohi placed second at the regional competition and advanced to the semi-finals at the national competition held at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. The American Intellectual Property Law Association sponsors the patent law competition.

Brian Raynor ’12, Alexis Katibah ’12, Kate Emminger ’12, Rhiley Hernandez-Keegan 3L, and Kelly Kristal 3L represented USF at the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Portland, Oreg. The Jessup competition, the world’s largest moot court competition with participants from more than 500 law schools and 80 countries, requires a two-year commitment by students due to the complexity of substantive law relevant to international legal issues.

USF team at the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

With Katibah as brief specialist, the Jessup team was awarded the Second Best Memorial Award. The team’s strong oral arguments also earned them a place in the regional semi-finals, where they placed third.

In Boston, two USF teams competed at the National Appellate Advocacy Competition in March. Both teams, comprised of Theodore Dayno ’12, David Rubin ’12, Lauren Ziegler 3L, Claire Bellefleur ’12, John Shannon ’12, and Kasey Hawkins 3L, advanced to the regional quarterfinals. Competing against more than 40 teams, Bellefleur, Shannon, and Hawkins won an award for third best brief.

National Moot Court Competition (NMCC) team members T. Jay Pitchford ’12, Talia MacMath 3L, and Yael Nadel-Cadaxa 3L advanced to the regional quarterfinals. Pitchford placed as the second oralist in the preliminary rounds. Brent Robinson ’12 and Jamal Anderson 3L also participated in NMCC, which is co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the New York City Bar Association and was regionally hosted by UC Hastings in mid-November. Anderson’s scores placed him in the preliminary’s top 10 oralists.

At the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association trial skills competition in November, Leslie Fales ’12, Richard Owen ’12, Allison Melarkey ’12, and Jessica Shavers ’12 earned second place. The competition took place at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In addition, USF teams competed in the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Trial Advocacy/Moot Court Competition; the Roger J. Traynor California Appellate Moot Court Competition; the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the International Trademark Association; the Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition in New Orleans; the State Bar of California Environmental Negotiations Competition; and the Robert F. Wagner National Labor and Employment Law Moot Court Competition.

“Our students never fail to amaze me with their level of dedication and skill. They represent USF with nothing but integrity and excellence,” said Brandi Crippen Hannagan, advocacy competitions coordinator.