Boston University School of Law

April 27, 2012

moot court

Homer Albers Prize Moot Court Competition

Please join BU Law in congratulating this year’s Homer Albers Prize Moot Court Competition participants. Beau Barnes and Jared Cohen (both '13) won in both the Best Brief and Best Team categories. Esther Cho ('13) won Best Oralist. Cho and Tamara Rozina ('13) won as runner-up team.

The final round took place April 12. Its judging panel consisted of Judge Denny Chin (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit), Judge Norman H. Stahl (U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit) and Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson (U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit).

Cho and Rozina competed against Emily Nowlin and Paul Payer (both ‘13) in the semi-final rounds. Barnes and Cohen faced Victor Bieger and Christina Chung (both ‘13). Both rounds were extremely close, and all teams presented strong arguments.

The Homer Albers Prize Moot Court Competition is an invitational competition open to the top 32 Edward C. Stone competition participants. Advancement in the Albers competition is contingent on team—rather than individual—performance. It entails two preliminary rounds, a quarterfinal elimination round in which students argue before a BU Law faculty panel, a semifinal round in which they argue before a panel of both judges and professors and the final round.

Click here for more information.

Sutherland Cup

BU Law would like to congratulate its very own Ephraim Pierre, Jasmine Pierce and Jarrod Schaeffer (all ‘12) for winning the 2012 Sutherland Cup competition. The Sutherland competition was hosted by Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law on March 23 and 24 of this year.

The BU Law team handily defeated their two preliminary round opponents—Georgetown University Law Center and Howard University School of Law—before facing a particularly formidable team from The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law in the semifinals.

L-R: Justice Peggy A. Quince, Jarrod Schaeffer ('12), Ephraim Pierre ('12), Jasmine Pierce ('12), Judge Stephen H. Glickman and Colonel William E. Orr, Jr.

The BU Law team and its semifinal opponent were apparently evenly matched, as the judges advanced both teams to the final round. Incidentally, BU Law also argued against Ohio State in two semifinal rounds, meaning that we competed against the school on three separate occasions. Ultimately, BU Law prevailed in the final matchup and won the competition.

The competition’s problem was a First Amendment issue and asked the teams to consider whether large roadside memorial crosses, placed on government property by a private organization and meant to commemorate fallen patrolmen, are government speech and, if so, whether such speech violates the Establishment Clause. The judging panel consisted of Justice Peggy A. Quince (Florida Supreme Court), Colonel William E. Orr, Jr. (Chief Appellate Military Judge, U.S. Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals) and Judge Stephen H. Glickman (District of Columbia Court of Appeals).


John J. Gibbons Moot Court Competition

David Arnold and Julia Ong

Congratulations to David “DJ” Arnold and Julia Ong (both ’12) for receiving the award for Best Respondent Brief and advancing to the octofinal round at the John J. Gibbons moot court competition. The competition was hosted by the Seton Hall Law School on March 23 and 24 of this year.

Although the BU Law team did not ultimately win, it was one of only sixteen teams—out of a total of 42 teams—to advance out of the preliminary rounds. Arnold and Ong competed against teams from Pennsylvania State Law School and the John Marhsall School of Law in the preliminary rounds. In the octofinal rounds, they argued against a strong team from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and lost in a close contest.

The competition involved two criminal procedures questions—whether a dog sniffing at the front door of a home constitutes a Fourth Amendment search and whether a prisoner, taken from the general population and interrogated in a separate room by two FBI agents regarding matters outside the prison, is in custody for Miranda purposes.


moot court
L-R: Amanda Catalano, Rob Coniglio, Matthew Kugizaki, Andrew Dunning and Max Lee

American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Regional Competition

Congratulations to BU Law's two National Appellate Advocacy teams, both of which competed in the ABA regional competition between Feb. 23 and 25 at the United States District Court House for the Northern District of Georgia, in Atlanta. Students Matthew Kugizaki and Rob Coniglio (both '12) represented Petitioner on-brief, and students Max Lee, Amanda Catalano and Andrew Dunning (all '12) represented Respondents on-brief. The problem was particularly challenging and dealt with the interplay between the federal Medicaid Act and state law and between the federal Wellstone Act and a private insurance policy—specifically regarding the coverage of applied behavioral analysis treatment for autism.

In the first round, Kugizaki and Coniglio faced an extremely strong team from Faulkner and unfortunately lost the round. Catalano and Dunning argued against and defeated the team from Ave Maria. In their second round, Kugizaki and Coniglio argued against the LSU team and were narrowly defeated. Lee and Dunning argued against a strong FAMU team and lost their second round. Both teams had good positioning going into the third seeded round but unfortunately lost two extremely close matchups against the Barry and Mississippi teams.

Both of BU Law's teams gave exceptional performances before several panels of difficult judges and represented the school well.

Pace Environmental Moot Court Team
Lisa Liebherr, Carolyn Kendzia and Tom Faiella

Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition

Congratulations to Tom Faiella, Carolyn Kendzia and Lisa Liebherr, all '12, for their exceptional performance at the Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition on February 23 and 24 of this year. The students independently prepped for and attended the event.

The competition, which is hosted by Pace Law School in White Plains, New York, is recognized as the preeminent environmental law moot competition in the United States. The Moot draws more than 200 competitors from diverse law schools and 200 attorneys who serve as judges for three days of oral arguments, making for a rigorous academic experience. The Competition is distinctive in that three adverse teams argue the issues, reflecting the fact that environmental litigation frequently involves multiple parties: the government, a public interest group and a member of the regulated industry.

This year, the problem focused on the legality of dumping munitions into a transient lake. The three parties consisted of the EPA and two states.  During the competition, Boston University's team competed in three preliminary rounds and argued against University of San Diego - School of Law, Rutgers School of Law - Camden, University of Maryland School of Law, Indiana University Mauer School of Law, Brooklyn Law School and New York University School of Law.  Although the team did not advance to the next round, they gained invaluable first-hand experience in environmental litigation and oral advocacy by competing.

Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

BU Law congratulates the students who participated in the Jessup moot court competition for their outstanding performance in the competition’s preliminary rounds. Shearman and Sterling, LLP hosted the U.S. Northeast regional competition in its New York City office February 17 through 19.

The BU Law team consisted of Alexander Sarnowski ('13), Buck Haddix ('13), Kevin Gregg ('13), S. Sherry Xia ('12) and TaeHyung Kim ('13) and was advised by lecturer and Pardee Center fellow Rachel Thrasher, who also teaches the "Problem Solving in International Law" course. The one-year course prepares students for and ultimately entails their participation in the competition.

The students competed in four preliminary rounds before finding out about the quarter final round. “They worked hard and did well, responding aptly to some pretty severe judge badgering in some cases,” wrote Thrasher. Unfortunately, the students did not move on to the advanced rounds, “but both they and I learned quite a bit about the Jessup process and about international law more generally,” Thrasher continued. “I hope that this has whet their appetite to pursue international law further both within and outside of the Jessup competition.”

Students who would like to learn more about the Jessup course and competition can email Rachel Thrasher at

First Amendment Competition

BU Law congratulates the National First Amendment team, Emma Clark and Hao Wang (both '12), on their strong performance at the 2012 National First Amendment Competition, hosted by Vanderbilt University Law School and the First Amendment Center. Hao and Emma prepared extensively for this competition, and it showed in their four strong preliminary round performances. Their fourth preliminary round was especially exciting, as they argued before an extremely distinguished panel of judges: Justice Kent Jordan of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals; Vanderbilt Professor David Hudson, who supervised the creation of this year’s problem; and Jan Neuharth, the Chair of the Freedom Forum board of trustees.

The First Amendment competition is unusual in that all teams have the opportunity to argue four times before any eliminations take place, and throughout those four rounds, the teams are at no point told their scores or standing. After that fourth round, however, the field is drastically cut from 38 teams down to only eight. The BU Law team did not make the cut this year, however, three of the teams faced in those preliminary rounds did move on to the top eight, and one reached the final round (ultimately placing second), which indicates just how strong BU Law's competition was.

American Bar Association National Negotiation Competition

After placing first in the Negotiation Competition's Regional Competition, held November 5 and 6 last year at the Roger Williams University School of Law, David Ginensky ('14) and Julie Fogarty ('14) competed in the national competition in New Orleans February 3 and 4 of this year. Ginensky and Fogarty did not advance from the nationals competition, though they performed admirably.

BU Law faced Texas Wesleyan School of Law in the first round and Cardozo School of Law in the second round. The topic of both negotiations was real property. In the first round, BU Law's team was able to bring the other team to its "bottom line," by judging early on that the other team was willing to give away much more than had been originally anticipated. In the second round, the Cardozo team was extremely organized and regimented and attempted to dominate the negotiation. BU Law struggled to get the upper hand but ultimately ran out of time.

In the end, the team did well and came away from the competition having learned a great deal about negotiation strategy. BU Law congratulates the team on its strong efforts!

moot court team
Mark Eisen, Zeke Davisson and Rebecca Delfiner


National Moot Court Competition

Following on the heels of last year’s success, BU Law’s team once again competed in national round of the National Moot Court competition, which took place at the New York City Bar between January 30 and February 2 of this year.

This year’s National Moot Court team, Zeke Davisson, Rebecca Delfiner and Mark Eisen (all J.D. ’12) presented a solid argument and won the first preliminary round against the team from the Loyola School of Law in New Orleans. Unfortunately, they lost a very close matchup against Seattle Law School in the second preliminary round and narrowly missed advancing.

The competition's final argument represents more than six months of preparation and is the culmination of arguments delivered by more than 191 teams from over 128 law schools. Thirty teams from fifteen regions competed in the final rounds, with the winning team coming from Texas Tech University School of Law.

Last November, the team earned a strong second-place finish at the regional competition for Region 1. At the regional competition, hosted by Suffolk Law School, the team faced and defeated the teams from Syracuse University College of Law and the University of Connecticut School of Law in the preliminary rounds. BU Law prevailed after arguing against a very strong Boston College Law School team in the semi-final rounds.

The BU Law team also earned the second-highest brief score in Region 1.

American Bar Association Regional Negotiation Competition

BU Law congratulates David Ginensky (’14), Julie Fogarty (’14), Russell Neldam (’14) and Jeff Hoffmann (’14) on their performance at the regional American Bar Association Negotiation Competition, held November 5, 2011 at Roger Williams School of Law. The teams were selected after they won the BU Law intraschool rounds of this competition in September.

Neldam and Hoffmann competed against teams from Seton Hall Law School and New England Law School. While they did not advance to the final round, they competed strongly and represented BU extremely well, particularly in their second round that day. They tied for fifth place, the next in line to advance to the final round. Hoffmann said, “The competition was an amazing experience. The coaches were awesome and did a great job preparing us for each negotiation. I would recommend it to anyone, regardless of the type of law they're interested in pursuing."

Ginensky and Fogarty earned the highest overall score during the preliminary rounds against Boston College Law School and New England Law School. In the final round, the students faced the same team from New England Law School and prevailed again. Of the four teams who competed that morning, Ginensky and Fogarty received the top scores from the entire panel of judges, qualifying them to represent the Northeast region at the ABA National Negotiation Competition in New Orleans in February 2012.

Reported by Jennifer Taylor and Lydia Jenkins

             Print  |