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Moot Court Intra-Team Championship

August 23, 2011

Moot Court Intra

By Professor Paul Spiegelman

On Saturday, August 20 and Sunday, August 21 the Moot Court Honor Society held the oral argument portion of its second annual Intra-Team Championship. The overall champion was Ashok Pathi and runner up was Sarah Davidson. Overall semifinalists were Jessie Allen, David Meyer.  Overall Quarterfinalists were Ruthanne Bergt, Rane Casalegno, Sevy Fisher and Samantha Massau Ciriaco. The Best Brief award went to David Meyer and Sarah Davidson was runner up for best brief. Best oralist was Elizabeth Knowles; Ashok Pathi won 2nd best oralist, Meghan Buckner won 3rd best oralist, and Ruthanne Bergt won 4th best oralist. If you see them on campus, please congratulate them for their fine performances.  

The Intra-Team Championship is part of the Moot Court Honor Society’s Advanced Appellate Advocacy program which gives our new members the opportunity to write a brief and argue a case to give them experience in a real competition. It also allows them to get feedback and work on improving their skills. The panel of judges included a sitting judge, numerous alumni practitioners and distinguished professors. Professor Paul Spiegelman, the faculty advisor to the team, reads and comments extensively on each brief and then meets with each member to develop a plan to better their writing skills. We also have classes and exercises based on our briefs to address common problems. We believe that the program gives a leg up in competitions where we have won Best Brief awards, for example, in competitions with other schools.

The weekend oral argument competition was judged by distinguished panels. On Sunday, Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett acted as Chief Judge, with Attorney Robert Semmer, Professors Robert Knowles, Steve Semeraro, Bill Slomanson, Ken Vandevelde and Paul Spiegelman, alumnus Sean Smith ‘11 and Moot Court Board Member Howard Marsilio as associate justices. On Saturday, the judges included a distinguished panel of alumni including Ben Barlow ’10, Melodie Dan ‘09, Colin Harrison ’10, Patrick Kearns ’05, Julie Wilbur Kearns ’06, Reena Patel ’09, Brian Ray ’09, Marty Ready ’05, Sumit Raghuvanshi ‘11, and Sean Smith ’11. Also judging on Saturday were Moot Court Co-Chairs Kim Carter and Xavier Carr and Howard Marsilio and Professor Spiegelman. 

Saturday’s oral argument marked the first meeting of the newly formed Thomas Jefferson Moot Court Alumni organization. The idea, hatched by Brian Ray ’09, is to provide support for our past and current members in the Moot Court Program. In addition to judging the oral arguments on Saturday, there was a lunch meeting after the arguments attended by over 20 current and future alumni. The whole program was tirelessly coordinated by Moot Court Co-Chairs Kim Carter and Xavier Carr. Kathryn Markey and the Indigo Café assisted in making the event run smoothly and deliciously.  Thanks to all for a wonderful event!