2013 Competition News

Burton D. Wechsler Moot Court Competition

Two 3Ls, Chris Brock and Anna Uhls, participated in the Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition on October 18, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The Moot Court Honor Society of the American University Washington College of Law hosted the competition, which has been taking place for over a decade.

Chris and Anna briefed and argued both a free exercise and a free speech issue, winning third place for best brief. On behalf of a fictional history teacher, the team argued that the teacher's free exercise rights were violated when his school implemented a policy prohibiting any extracurricular contact between teachers and students, which kept him from teaching Sunday school to his history students. The team next argued that the teacher's free speech rights were violated when he was fired after he wrote on Facebook about his suspension for violating the above policy. Despite winning third place in the "Best Brief" category, the team did not advance during oral arguments, and the University of Wisconsin Law School ultimately prevailed as the competition's winner.

The team was the first to ever represent CU Law in the Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition and hopes that CU will continue to participate in the competition in the years to come.

Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition

Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition, which is annually put on by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. The regional competition was held in Chicago, Illinois, where Leah and Manab advanced to the semifinals, guaranteeing them a spot to compete at the national competition. Leah won the Tang Competition in 2012-2013 and sought to defend her title in this year's competition.

Together, Leah and Manab took turns arguing two issues: (1) whether statutes precluding a public defender from withdrawing from representation because of excessive workload or lack of resources violated the right to effective assistance of counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment, and (2) whether sanctions imposed on a public defender for making a public statement considered political speech violate the Fifth Amendment.

At the national competition held in Kansas City, the team represented CU well, advancing to the quarterfinals.

Colorado Appellate Advocacy Competition

Colorado Appellate Advocacy Competition (CAAC) is CU's annual intraschool moot court competition for 2Ls and 3Ls. A total of 51 2Ls and 3Ls participated in this year's competition held October 10-11, 2013, of which 22 advanced to semifinals. The top 12 were then selected as members of the 2014 - 2015 Barristers' Council and advanced to finals. Participants briefed and argued two First Amendment issues: (1) What standard should be used to determine whether the First Amendment protects speech communicated by public school teachers in a classroom and (2) whether specialty motor vehicle license plates issued by a state government are subject to viewpoint neutrality restrictions imposed by the First Amendment.

The following students were awarded the top three honors based on performance in the first round.

Best Overall - Mike Havlik
Best Brief - Zachary Siegel
Best Oralist - Ethan Jeans

Also, the following 12 students were selected as finalists and named to the Moot Court Division of Barristers' Council for the 2014-2015 school year.

Kevin Blake
Cayla Crisp
Laurence Gendelman
Michael Fox
Ethan Jeans
Kelsey Peterson
Eden Rolland
Zachary Siegel
Ali Walker
Abigail Wallach
Alex White
Emilyn Winkelmeyer

Of the finalists, the following six students were chosen to represent Colorado Law on the 2014-2015 National Moot Court teams.

Team Buff:
Abigail Wallach
Zachary Siegel
Kelsey Peterson

Team Ralphie:
Kevin Blake
Cayla Crisp
Alex White

Schiabor and Cheney Win 2013 Carrigan Cup

The 2013 Carrigan Cup, CU Law’s premier intra-school mock trial competition, was a great success! This year’s Carrigan Cup was judged by the following panel of esteemed legal professionals: Judge Wiley Daniel, former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado; Sheila Carrigan, Esq., Shareholder, Carrigan Law, LLC; and Jessica Brown, Esq., Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. 

Thanks to the generosity, support, and commitment of the Carrigan Family to experiential learning and the development of trial skills in law students, The Carrigan Cup features CU Law’s top mock litigators. The Carrigan Cup is a unique opportunity for students to exhibit the trial skills and tactics they have learned at CU Law, and was established by family and friends in honor of judge and former faculty member Jim R. Carrigan. The competition is attended by members of the Colorado legal community to honor Judge Carrigan and his family as well as the student competitors.

This year’s competitors tried a 1st-degree murder case, State of Nita v. Sanchez, and the parties were represented by the following students:

For the Prosecution: Tim Galluzzi, 3L, and Matt Montazzoli, 3L;
Representing the Defendant: Amanda Schiabor, 3L, and Kevin Cheney, 3L.

The students thoroughly prepared their cases, and all of the judges were highly impressed with the students’ trial skills. Ultimately, the Defense prevailed, and the winners were:

The 2013 Carrigan Cup Champions: Amanda Schiabor and Kevin Cheney.

Congratulations to all who participated in The Carrigan Cup for a job well done in representing our school with such quality performances.

Colorado Law Wins National Moot Court Competition Regional

Colorado Law’s Moot Court Board of the Barristers’ Council proudly hosted Region 11’s competition for the Regional Round of the nation’s most prestigious moot court competition—The National Moot Court Competition sponsored by the New York City Bar and the American College of Trial Lawyers. Eight teams competed in this year’s Regional Competition: University of Colorado (2); University of Utah (2); Arizona State University; Phoenix School of Law (2); and the University of Wyoming. 

The two issues were 1) whether a state regulation of compelled commercial speech violated the First Amendment and 2) whether a state regulation requiring a unique mark on beverage containers violated the Dormant Commerce Clause.

Colorado Law’s Petitioner’s team of Matt Molinaro, Xakema Henderson, and Lewis Turner performed well and advanced to the semi-finals of the competition.

The Respondent’s team of Mary Sue Greenleaf, Kevin Cheney, and Tim Galluzzi won First Place and wrote the Runner-Up Best Brief. Galluzzi won the competition’s Best Oral Advocate Award, arguing both sides of the First Amendment issue.

The final round against the University of Utah was judged by Federal Magistrate Judges Boyd N. Boland and Kristen L. Mix for the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, and by attorney and CU Alum Jordan Bunch.

Greenleaf, Cheney, and Galluzzi will travel to New York City in February to represent Region 11 at Nationals. More than 50 attorneys, judges, and faculty participated in the competition, as judges and in scoring briefs.

Colorado Law Team Wins Regionals of ABA National Mock Trial Competition

The Colorado Law team of Ryan Tamm, Jon Greenlee, and Mathew Shoettle won their regional round in South Dakota for the ABA National Mock Trial Competition.  The team progressed to the national competition in San Antonio, Texas.

Swain Wins National Writing Competition

Hunter Swain’s ('13) recent paper won first place in the Louis Jackson Memorial National Student Writing Competition in Labor and Employment Law, earning Swain a prize of $3,000. The competition, sponsored by the national labor and employment law firm Jackson Lewis, is the top writing competition nationwide for labor and employment law.

"I’m interested in helping regular people with their problems," said Swain. "Employment law is important because it touches everyone—everyone has to work. I really believe that people want to work if given the chance. I want to help them get that chance, and I want to make sure that everyone who works will get paid a fair wage."

Garg and Smith Win 2013 Rothgerber Moot Court Competition

Surbhi Garg (’13) and Kayla Smith (’13) won the 2013 Rothgerber Moot Court Competition, arguing before a prestigious panel of judges. 

Held on Monday, February 25th in the Wittemyer Courtroom, Garg and Smith teamed up against Tim Galluzzi and Martina Hinojosa to argue a fictional case about free speech.  Galluzzi and Hinojosa represented the publishers of a manual detailing how to commit murder, while Garg and Smith represented the families of victims murdered by a man who purchased the book.  The question turned on whether the book was protected speech under the First Amendment. 

These four law students argued in front of an impressive panel of judges, including:

  • The Honorable Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • The Honorable Paul Watford, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • The Honorable Diane Wood, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Goswami Wins Best Oralist award at the National Telecommunications Moot Court 

Manab Goswami ('13) won the Best Oralist award in the National Telecommunications Moot Court competition in Washington D.C. held in February 2013.  Coached by Associat Professor Brad Bernthal, the team consisted of Manab Goswami ('13), Megan Rose ('13), and Ilias Politis ('13).