McGeorge School of Law

Braniff, Pattas Shine At Lefkowitz Competition

February 14, 2011

Chris Braniff, Gianni Pattas

Chris Braniff, left, and Gianni Pattas

The McGeorge team won the Best Oralist Award and took second place overall in the Saul Lefkowitz IP Moot Court West Regional tournament, which was held February 12, 2011, at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Chris Braniff and Gianni Pattas made a strong run at the top prize claimed by Gonzaga University, a trip to the national finals in March in Washington, D.C. The intellectual property law tournament has been dominated by winners from the West Regional in the past few years. In 2008-2009, McGeorge won the national championship while UC Berkeley and UC Hastings have also claimed national titles in recent years.

The Lefkowitz tournament is sponsored by the International Trademark Association (INTA), the major international trademark organization for lawyers and trademark owners. The 20-year-old tournament is divided into four regions - West, East, Midwest and South. This year's powerful West Regional field included teams from UC Berkeley, Thomas Jefferson, UC Davis, Oregon, Golden Gate, Santa Clara, Hawaii, University of San Francisco, Gonzaga, and UC Hastings.

"I am very impressed with how well Chris and Gianni handled a very complex problem, one I believe might have been the toughest faced by competitors in the last three years of the event," said Professor Mike Mireles, the McGeorge coach. "They worked hard, faced some very tough questioning, and received well-deserved praise from the excellent judges."

"We owe a special thanks to Professor Ed Telfeyan for his support and care of the students, and to Mark Narveson — a member of last year's team and a very talented student — for serving as a practice judge," Mireles added.