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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Moot Court: Bringing Home the Heavy Hardware

The teams, dubbed “Advocacy Machines” by one judge, are in the midst of another hot season.
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“UC Hastings Moot Court had a great start to the 2013-14 season!” says David Chang '13, Moot Court Board Co-Chair, pictured with California Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvin Baxter '66.

UC Hastings’ top-ranked Moot Court team is in the midst of another sizzling season, racking up trophies across the country.

Byron Huang ’14 and Joy Siu ’15 took home the National Championship at the Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition in Kansas City on Nov. 9, 2013. According to The Mootster, the team dominated by “barbecuing the competition and impressing the judges” through five rounds of oral argument. Joy and Byron also took home the award for the Best Brief in the nation.

This year’s Thomas Tang teams had incredible bench strength. UC Hastings sent three teams to compete in the Tang’s Regional Rounds, in San Francisco and Seattle, who stunned the crowd with “their creative arguments and calm demeanors.” At the Regional Competition, Hastings’ Tang teams won the Regional Championship in San Francisco and Best Brief awards in both San Francisco and Seattle. Look for additional details in the upcoming issue of The Mootster.

Nationals, and National Exposure

Sponsored by the New York Bar Association, the National Moot Court Tournament is one of the oldest and most prestigious appellate advocacy competitions in the nation. For the first time in four years, UC Hastings qualified for the National Rounds of the competition in New York City by winning the Regional Tournament in November.

These recent wins come during a heady season for the Nationals team. U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. offered tips and tactics to the team as it prepared for the National competition during a daylong visit to Hastings on Jan. 29.

Solicitor General Verrilli served as a distinguished guest judge at one of the final team practices for Michael LaFond ‘14, Nicholas Yu ’14, and Sean Juarez ‘14. Verrilli’s feedback contributed to the team’s finish as National Quarterfinalists at the New York National Final Rounds, one of the top eight of 139 teams in the country.

Specialty Competitions

Some Moot Court competitions are organized around a particular area of law. UC Hastings excelled at this year’s National Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition at Pepperdine. Brett Corbett ’14 and Greg Michael ’15 won the National Best Brief Award, and finished the competition as National Finalists. Brett was named Best Oral Advocate in the Final Round.

Teams focus on groundbreaking legal issues. At the John Marshall Law School’s International Moot Court Competition in IT & Privacy law, this year’s competition dealt with Google Glass. Matt Lusich ’15, Paige Pembrook ’15 and Barbara Tolbert ’15 received some of the highest scores in the preliminary and final rounds. One judge described the UC Hastings representatives as “advocacy machines.”

At the Whittier National Juvenile Law Competition, the team of Lauren Coleman ’15 and Jonathan Myers ’15 finished as National Semifinalists. Soha Jafarzade ’15 and Leah Kaufman ’15 finished as National Quarterfinalists.

Out of the Classroom, Into the World

The Hastings Appellate Project is entering its fifth year with a new slate of pro bono representation at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Allison Harms ’14 and David Chang ’14 are representing a Chinese refugee whose wife was subjected to multiple forced abortions. Allison and David will be arguing before the 9th Circuit on March 14. Patrick Burns ’14 and Jamie Cheng ’14 are representing a Chinese labor protester appealing the Board of Immigration Appeals’ denial of asylum. Patrick and Jamie will argue before the 9th Circuit in April. Reilly Stoler ’14 and Helen Luu ’14 represent a lawful permanent resident subject to removal for a misdemeanor. Helen and Reilly will also be arguing before the 9th Circuit in April.

Great Start to the Season

“UC Hastings Moot Court had a great start to the 2013-14 season!” said Chang, Moot Court Board Co-Chair. “Our team members’ hard work and commitment to making every practice count translated into significant hardware for Hastings. Special thanks to all of the faculty, alumni, and Moot Court Board members who contributed to our team’s early season success!”

Read more about the season here.

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