moot court bu law

Sutherland Cup

sutherland cup bu law
L to R: Matthew Sloane, Zoë Sajor, Christopher Lyon

Christopher Lyon, Zoë Sajor, and Matthew Sloane (all ’13) put in a strong performance at this year’s Sutherland Cup competition, hosted by Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law on March 15-16.

This year’s problem considered whether a university could terminate a non-clergy professor under the ministerial exception to the First Amendment.

In a strong Friday performance by team members Lyon and Sajor, the team won in a round against Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law.

On Saturday morning, the team, including student coach Christine Han (’13), was forced to literally run through a section of the DC Marathon to reach Catholic University in time for the second preliminary round. They made it just in time, but Sloane and Lyon unfortunately lost to Georgetown Law.

We congratulate the team on their exceptional efforts to reach the competition and on their strong performance!


Oxford Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition

bu law moot court
BU Law students Amy Luo and Ari Sacharow

Congratulations to Ari Sacharow and Amy Luo (both JD ’13), who won Third Place, Best Written Brief Submission at the Oxford Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition, held at Oxford University on March 14-16.

The BU Law team lost three very close preliminary rounds against the teams from the National University of Singapore, the London School of Economics and the University of Ottawa before defeating the team from University of Western Ontario in an equally close match. Three of the teams BU Law faced—all but past moot champion the London School of Economics team—advanced to the Octofinal round, so we certainly drew tough competition. In fact, the team from the University of Ottawa ultimately won the competition.

The team argued extremely well, incorporating feedback from the judges to make changes to their style and presentation. (Typical appellate style in the United States is very different from appellate style in the United Kingdom.) Those changes and improvements ultimately led them to winning that final preliminary round.

The Oxford IP moot selects the top 20 teams to compete from among all the teams that enter written submissions. This year 36 teams entered written submissions, and BU Law and Indiana University Maurer School of Law were the only schools from the United States to be accepted to the competition.


John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition

bu law gibbons moot court
L to R: Matthew Bailey, Shaun Donnelly, Cory Rothbort

Matthew Bailey, Shaun Donnelly, and Cory Rothbort (all ’13) competed at the John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition, held on March 22 and 23 at the Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey.

In two preliminary rounds, the team faced Loyola University Chicago School of Law and Brooklyn Law School (second place winner of the best respondent brief).

Although the team did not advance, they enjoyed the experience and received good feedback from their judges.




ABA National Appellate Advocacy Regional Competition

L to R: Patrick Gilbert, Christine Han, David Matulewicz, Christina Chung, Carlos Hanco, and Jared Cohen

BU Law would like to congratulate both teams that competed in the 2013 ABA National Appellate Advocacy Regional Competition in Boston on February 28 – March 2. This year, the problem asked students to consider two complex issues. First, the students had to consider whether the actions of Respondent (a police deputy) during her investigation (which ultimately led to the improper arrest of the Petitioner in the case) were entitled to qualified immunity analysis, either because discretion is not actually a condition to such analysis or because the detective’s actions all fell within her discretion. Secondly, the students had to consider whether a grand jury indictment breaks the causal connection between an officer's allegedly unconstitutional actions and the post-indictment seizure of the Petitioner.

BU Law sent two teams to the competition this year. Patrick Gilbert, Christine Han and David Matulewicz (all ’13) faced strong teams in the preliminary rounds, narrowly losing to the teams from Emory Law and Case Western Reserve University School of Law, before defeating the team from the William H. Bowen School of Law at University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Jared Cohen, Christina Chung and Carlos Hanco, Jr. (all ’13) also narrowly lost their first two rounds to teams from University of Akron Law School and The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law before defeating the team from University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law.

Although the teams did not advance, they argued well and received strong praise from the judges during their feedback sessions.


American Association for Justice Regional Competition

mock trial
L to R: Alex Conlon, Jonathan Lautin, Monisha Chakravarthy, Thomas Markey, Christie O’Rourke, Andrew Byrd, Hon. Jack L; not pictured: Brian Balduzzi, Lucy Sun

After a long hiatus, the BU Law Mock Trial program was revived this year thanks to the diligent work of several students and one professor, the Honorable Jack Lu (’84) of the Massachusetts Superior Court. Brian Balduzzi (’13), Jonathan Lautin (’14), Lucy Sun (’14) and Monisha Chakravarthy (’14) served as board members, guiding the program. Alex Conlon (’14), Andrew Byrd (’15), Christie O’Rourke (’15) and Thomas Markey (’15) competed in the American Association for Justice’s regional competition in Boston.

The team had tremendous success in its inaugural competition with a record of 7-2, placing 6th out of 16 competing teams, narrowly missing the opportunity to continue to the semi-final round. The team split ballots with Suffolk Law, the team that eventually won the regional tournament, and prevailed over both Quinnipiac School of Law and Massachusetts School of Law.

The program allows students to gain important advocacy skills and abilities as competing team members perform a full, fictitious jury trial, judged and critiqued by prestigious trial attorneys. This year, the fact pattern mirrored the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State saga as the mother of a girl who committed suicide sued a university for allegedly allowing its baseball coach to sexually harass children, including her daughter, on school premises. The claims against the university were wrongful death, negligent supervision and negligent retention.

The judges gave encouraging comments to the team after the tournament, frequently remarking that the skill level displayed by our members was often higher than practicing attorneys. The program plans to build on this year’s great success heading into next year, for which tryouts will be held in the near future. Please contact Jonathan Lautin with any questions.


National First Amendment Moot Court Competition

bu law first amendment moot court team
BU Law students Sean Locke and Tyler Cullis (both '13)

BU Law congratulates the National First Amendment team, Tyler Cullis and Sean Locke (both '13), on their excellent performance at the 2013 National First Amendment Moot Court Competition, hosted by Vanderbilt University Law School and the First Amendment Center February 21 and 22, 2013. Tyler and Sean prepared extensively for this competition, which was apparent in their four strong preliminary round performances.

This year’s problem involved two related questions: first, whether the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment protects the act of tattooing and, second, whether a city ordinance restricting tattooing to medical professionals or individuals with a special permit violates it.

The First Amendment competition is unusual in that all teams have the opportunity to argue four times before any eliminations take place, their scores or standings are revealed, or from which schools the opposing teams hail. After that fourth round, however, the field is drastically cut from 38 teams to only eight. The BU Law teamjust missed the cut this year, placing a competitive 15th; however, two of the teams faced in those preliminary rounds did move on to the top eight, one ultimately placing second, which indicates just how strong the competition was.

Moreover, during the final round, two of the judges from our fourth “power-matched” round sought out the team to congratulate them on their excellent performance. Jan Neuharth, the chair of the Freedom Forum board of trustees, told the team she was extremely impressed with their thoughtful answers to the judges’ questions. Gene Policinski, the executive director of the First Amendment Center, likewise sought out and complimented the team on their performance.


Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition

bu law moot court
BU Law students Brian Balduzzi ('13) and Laura Goldsmith ('14)

Congratulations to Brian Balduzzi (’13) and Laura Goldsmith (’14) who represented BU Law at the National Native American Law Students Association (NNALSA) Moot Court Competition in Portland, Oregon. Balduzzi and Goldsmith competed against 60 teams on February 22, 2013, at Lewis and Clark Law School.

The issues included the existence and extinguishment of aboriginal title for a non-federally recognized tribe in Oregon and criminal jurisdiction under Public Law 280 for a member of this tribe’s actions to reclaim sacred tribal artifacts.

The BU Law duo competed against teams from Oklahoma City University School of Law and Lewis and Clark Law School. Tribal judges and attorneys practicing in Native American law praised Balduzzi and Goldsmith for their responsive and thoughtful answers, advocacy, and courtroom etiquette and demeanor. The judges also commended their brief as exhibiting “outstanding and highly professional written advocacy.”

Balduzzi and Goldsmith thank Professor Robert Volk, Associate Director Jen McCloskey, Professor Jay Wexler and BU Law’s Native American Law Student Association, especially Jenny Small, for their help, support and advice in preparing for the competition.


Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

bu law moot court
BU Law students (from L to R) Sam Hughes, Amber Charles, Adrienne Zack, Brian Goodrich and Kelly Soltis

February 14-17, 2013, BU Law competed in the Northeast regional round of the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the world’s largest moot court match, with over 550 schools from more than 80 countries participating. The competition deals with current issues in international law; this year’s topic regarded the impact of climate change migration on statehood and sovereign debt.

Lecturer Jill Goldenziel led BU Law team captain Amber Charles ('13) and team members Adrienne Zack ('13), Brian Goodrich ('14), Samuel Hughes ('14) and Kelly Soltis ('14).

“One of the best things about the Jessup competition is the opportunity to work closely with other like-minded students passionate about international law and willing to commit the time necessary to really understand law from a global perspective,“ the team said in a statement.

Twenty teams from law schools such as Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Boston College and NYU competed in the qualifying Northeast regional tournament. BU Law faced Seton Hall, St. Johns, Rutgers-Camden and New England School of Law in the first round, winning all four matches.

BU Law was ranked third going into the second round, defeating Rutgers-Newark to move on to the semi-finals as one of the final four competitors.

Described by the judges as a “very close” round, BU Law was narrowly defeated by NYU but was awarded First Place Memorial, equivalent to Best Brief in other moot court competitions.

“Having spent most of winter break in the library finalizing our memorials, receiving the Best Memorial Award was probably the highlight of the competition for our team,” the team says. "This award was in every way a team effort, and it truly reflects the diversity of knowledge and skills that come with being part of BU's international law community."


Transactional Negotiation Competition

BU Law would like to congratulate the two winning teams—Andrew Flippo/Megan Foscaldi (both ’13) and Emmanuel Filandrianos/Chris Han/Ilan Ronay (all ’14)—after an excellent transactional negotiation competition. The panel of experienced transactional practitioners—two from Boston firms and one from Verrill Dana in Portland, ME—who served as judges were very impressed with all the teams.

The winning teams will represent BU Law at the Regional Transactional LawMeet in February 2013 at Western New England School of Law in Springfield. At that competition, teams will be selected to advance to the National Transactional LawMeet in March 2013 at Drexel’s Earle Mack School of Law in Philadelphia. Lecturer in Law Michael Frankel will continue to give guidance and advice as the teams prepare their drafting submissions and negotiation strategies for the Regional Meet.

More information about the Transactional LawMeet at BU Law can be found on their blog.


National Moot Court Competition

Please join BU Law in congratulating Victor Bieger, Emily Nowlin and Tamara Rozina on advancing to the semifinal round of the Region 1 National Moot Court competition, sponsored by the New York City Bar and America College of Trial Lawyers. They competed against nine other teams in this regional match.

This year's problem involved an “Occupy” protester, who was prohibited from filming an exchange between someone he suspected of being an undercover officer and a uniformed officer. The office, who stopped the recording, also searched the protester’s cell phone for the video he suspected him of recording. The protester brought a section 1983 claim against the arresting officer, alleging violations of his First and Fourth Amendment rights.

In the first round, Bieger and Nowlin argued in support of the Respondent, the protestor, and defeated the team from the University of Massachusetts School of Law. In the second round, Bieger and Rozina argued on the Petitioner arresting officer’s side, and lost a close matchup against a strong team from the Vermont Law School. Because of the BU Law team’s high score in the first round, however, they advanced to the semifinal round.

The semifinal round opponent, the team from Roger Williams University School of Law, chose to argue on Petitioner’s side. Bieger and Nowlin argued extremely well for the Respondent. Although the teams received very close oral argument scores, Roger Williams advanced to face Syracuse University College of Law in the final round. Roger Williams won the round, but both teams will represent Region 1 at the national rounds in New York this February.

Although our team did not advance to the national round, they received high praise from the judges in each of their rounds and had a strong brief score. We congratulate them on their efforts!


Edward C. Stone Moot Court Competition

During the weekend of November 17, 94 BU students completed the Edward C. Stone Moot Court Competition, open to all second-year students.

Frank Ren, Sarah Pickering, Grant Gendron, Ramon Galiana, John Maslind and Helen Yan (all '14) were all awarded Best Brief for their problems. In addition, Brendan Jarboe, Laila Tafreshi and Lynette Elam (all '14) were awarded Best Oralist. Thirty-two students from BU were invited to participate in the 2013 Homer Albers Prize compeition in the spring.


National Health Law Moot Court Competition

BU Law would like to congratulate Michael Rugnetta (’13) and Will Pezzolo (’13), who competed in Southern Illinois University’s National Health Law Moot Court Competition on November 2-3. Emily Westfall (’13) wrote the brief with Rugnetta. The competition was held in Carbondale, Illinois.

The competition problem involved the issues of constitutional right to confidentiality in patient medical records that are maintained by a municipal government, and if the accidental release of such records violate the due process rights of a patient.

One of 29 teams from 22 schools, Rugnetta and Pezzolo faced University of Tulsa and Faulkner University School of Law from Montgomery, Alabama. They were unable to advance in the competition but received encouraging feedback from the judges.


Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition

BU teams sent to 2012 Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition
From top L clockwise: Jeng, Wang, Cho and Woo

Congratulations to Daniel Jeng (’14), Michael Wang (’14), Esther Cho (’13) and Theodore Woo (’13), who represented BU Law at the Northeast Regional round of the Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition on October 13 at Northeastern University School of Law. Both teams proved strong competitors, and Jeng and Wang were able to advance to the semifinal round, winning Third Brief overall.

Issues included the advocacy of genocide under the Alien Tort Statute, corporate liability under the Statute, and the role of the First Amendment in protecting corporate conduct.

The Honorable Angel Kelly Brown, associate justice of the District Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, presided over the semi-final round. Justice Brown praised Jeng and Wang on their strong presentations and specifically commended their adaptability to questioning, good intonation and pacing. Jeng and Wang argued on-brief as Respondent against Sabena Auyeung and Diana Chen of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, who went on to win the Regional Competition.

The two BU Law teams extend their thanks to Professor Robert Volk, Associate Director Jen McCloskey, Esdaile Moot Court Director Brian Balduzzi, National Appellate Advocacy Team member Christine Han, and all personal mentors and friends who supported their efforts.

The Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition is an appellate advocacy competition sponsored by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. For more information on the competition please email

Reported by Elyssa Sternberg


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