UCHastings Instagram

          The 134th UC Hastings College of the Law commencement is coming up fast! #Scrolls #UCHastings2015
          Instagram Photo Likes heywheresgina, aoverhouse, emiliol89 and 35 others like this.
          Thursday, January 30, 2014

          U.S. Solicitor General Critiques Winning Moot Court Team

          Students get advocacy tips from Obama administration’s top litigator.
          Sample alt tag.
          U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. offers tips to UC Hastings Moot Court team.

          U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. offered tips and tactics to one of UC Hastings’ most formidable Moot Court teams during a daylong visit to the College Jan. 29.

          He served as a distinguished guest judge at one of the final team practices for 3L Michael LaFond, 3L Sean Juarez and 3L Nicholas Yu.

          Verrilli was an avid questioner, complete with arching eyebrows, of LaFond and Yu, who will compete in the National Moot Court Competition in February in New York. The students argued a hypothetical case that involved potential First Amendment and Commerce Clause violations by a fictional state, Old York.

          Joining Verrilli on the Moot Court bench as mock Supreme Court justices were Stephen Tollafield, Associate Director of Legal Writing & Moot Court, and 3L Moot Court Board Co-Chairs David Chang and Cassandra Shryock.

          In his post-argument feedback, Verrilli coached LaFond and Yu on their presentations and offered rhetorical tips. In particular, he provided valuable insight into interpreting a judge’s questions to make on-the-fly strategic decisions during an argument.

          Overall, the students earned high marks. “You have mastered the art of distilling your argument down to the fewest possible words,” Verrilli said. He also offered tips on pacing. “The longer you hang in there on something that seems like a very aggressive position, the more you are dissipating rather than building your momentum.”

          Before the session, Verrilli had lunch with the Moot Court board, and students peppered him with questions about his career and tenure at the Justice Department.

          "A Lawyer's Lawyer"

          Verrilli, who successfully argued in support of the Affordable Care Act at the U.S. Supreme Court, has been called a “lawyer’s lawyer.” The New York Times noted that “he isn’t showy, but he is a deeply experienced and capable advocate who finds ways to make technical legal arguments that persuade a majority of justices.”

          The college’s ceremonial courtroom, the Justice Marvin and Jane Baxter Appellate Law Center, was packed with students and alumni, including Nathan Quigley ’05, who serves as one of the team’s alumni mentors along with David Kestenbaum ’07.

          1L Anthony Roselli, who is taking Moot Court this semester, appreciated the chance to see the Solicitor General in action. “This was a unique opportunity to see someone with this level of experience, and hear him judge the students’ arguments,” Roselli said.

          Later in the day, Verrilli was interviewed by Professor Rory Little for "Legally Speaking," co-sponsored with California Lawyer. He mingled with students at a reception following the program. 

          Go to News Archive

          Share this Story

          Share via Facebook
          Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

          Other Recent Stories/ RSS

          Tuesday, April 21, 2015

          Outstanding: Results from the 2015 Student Giving Campaign

          Campus groups benefit from matched donations of $9,000.
          Tuesday, April 21, 2015

          Justin Buell '09 Finds Truth in Photography

          Following his passion after running a successful political consulting firm.
          Monday, April 20, 2015

          3Ls Crowned National Champions at Prince Evidence Moot Court Competition

          It's the second win in three years for the moot court.
          Friday, April 17, 2015

          3Ls Hayley Reynolds & Daniel Zarchy Win at Ninth Circuit

          Case presents novel issue of whether witness tampering is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude for purposes of federal immigration proceedings, writes Stephen Tollafield, Professor & Associate Director, Legal Writing & Moot Court Department.
          Thursday, April 16, 2015

          HAP Students Argue Police Evasion Case at Ninth Circuit

          3Ls Gregory Michael and Dorothy Yamamoto argued their pro bono case, Medina Nunez v. Holder.
          Go to News Archive