Moot Court teams conquer the competition

By Michelle Kellogg, Moot Court Honors Board President

California Western’s Moot Court Honors Board and the Competitive Advocacy Program sent nine competition teams to five competitions this trimester. Students proudly represented CWSL in trial, appellate, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) competitions.

CWSL’s five trial teams collectively included 20 team members (five former competitors joined by fifteen enthusiastic rookies this season!). Four teams competed locally: two teams competed in the San Diego Defense Lawyers (SDDL) trial competition, and two teams competed in the Association of Business Trial Lawyers trial competition. Our fifth team had the privilege of representing CWSL at the Tournament of Champions trial competition, held in Philadelphia this year. The Tournament of Champions is invitation only, and CWSL’s team faced schools from around the country.

This year we are proud and impressed by rookie competitors Abrey Zora and Schaefer Whiteaker, who partnered with veterans Micha Mesure and Amanda Shayota. Under the guidance of coaches Jason Conge, Ashley Sanchez, and Javier Rios, the team took first place in SDDL.

This year CWSL’s two appellate teams consisted of four rookies: Caitlin Van Voorst, Elizabeth Dimaano, Arlena Parmar, and Amanda Thom. Amanda Thom and Arlena Parmar, coached by Grant Porter and Taylor Fuentes, advanced to the top 16 teams in the 30th Annual National Criminal Procedure Tournament held at the University of San Diego.

ADR, led by coaches Dan Rawlings and Javier Rios, took new competitor Ashley Orjiako and returning competitors Nick Aliquo, Jacquelyne Crockett, and Jessica Colburn to the ABA’s Regional Negotiation Competition, held at Pepperdine University this year. We are proud to announce that Ashley Orjiako and Jessica Colburn advanced to the finals.

ADR is sad to announce that Colburn and Aliquo, both 3Ls, will not be competing next semester. However, we remain excited about bringing on new ADR team members.

All the competitors and their coaches have already set their sights on the competitions for spring. Next trimester’s competitions include the American Association of Justice trial competition, the Texas Young Lawyers Association trial competition, the UC Davis Asylum and Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition, and the National Sports Law Negotiation Competition. We are wishing all of our competitors the best of luck.

Upcoming Moot Court Honors Board Events
Gafford Workshop (January 19, 2019) — This is an opportunity for all students, 1L through 3L, to work with trial team coaches who are former Cal Western competitors. These alumni will train students on the strategies they use in everyday trial work. Even if you aren’t sure litigation is for you, the Gafford Workshop is a great way to determine if it might be. For those of you who know litigation is in your blood, the workshop is your chance to gain valuable skills to stand out in the Gafford or Gill competitions.

Gafford Competition (February 2, 2019) — 1L trial competition, open to all second-trimester 1Ls. Competitors present an opening or closing statement. Finalists are eligible for a Distinguished Advocate award.

ADR Competition (February 25 & February 27, 2019) — All students, 1L through 3L, can participate in this negotiation-based competition.

Legal Skills II Workshop (March 7, 2019) — Workshop for Legal Skills II students preparing for the Legal Skills II Competition.

Legal Skills II Competition (March 11-14, 2019) — Required for second-trimester 1Ls. Finalists are eligible for a Distinguished Advocate award.

Gill Trial Competition (March 24, 2019) — 2L/3L competition. Competitors present an opening or closing statement. Finalists are eligible for a Distinguished Advocate award.

Questions? Email mchb@law.cwsl.edu.

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