UCHastings Instagram

          Join #UCHastings and millions of others around the world as we celebrate ‪#‎GivingTuesday‬ today: Every donation made to UC Hastings, no matter the size, makes a big impact for our students! opportunity.uchastings.edu/givingtuesday
          Instagram Photo Likes skarakash, drysdalerobin, neceyh and 11 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

          Monday, November 30, 2015

          Walter Moore ’92 is the Vanguard of Open Spaces

          As the president of Peninsula Open Space Trust, Moore has helped protect 75,000 acres of land in the Silicon Valley Area.
          Monday, November 30, 2015

          Maggie Goodrich ’04 Serves the Community as CIO of LAPD

          “A law degree gives you the foundation to do an unlimited number of things.”
          Monday, November 23, 2015

          UC Hastings Trial Team Wins ABA San Francisco Regional

          “There are teams that script themselves, with a speech they memorize word for word, and there are rare teams like ours, that don’t come with scripts.”
          Thursday, November 19, 2015

          Wu to Step Down as UC Hastings Chancellor and Dean

          Joint announcement from the UC Hastings Board of Directors and Chancellor and Dean Frank H. Wu
          Wednesday, November 18, 2015

          Manoj Viswanathan to Join UC Hastings Faculty

          Professor Viswanathan's research focuses on tax policy, economic development, and the regulation of tax-exempt organizations.
          Go to News Archive