April 11, 2011
Two McGeorge teams turned in a spectacular performance at the national championship round of the 32nd Annual ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition held April 7-9, 2011, in Chicago.
Kim Bowman, Jeremy Ehrlich, and Conness Thompson finished second in the country, losing in the finals to Duke. Their law school teammates, Caitlin Urie Christian, Jill Larrabee and Leo Moniz, won the Best Brief Award for the entire competition, advanced to the round of 16, and took ninth place.
It was the best showing ever in McGeorge history. In 1992, another year when McGeorge advanced two teams to the national championship, one took third place in the oral advocacy competition and another took third in the brief category. The school's last trip to the finals came in 2006 when a team also placed third.
Undefeated in the San Francisco regional round six weeks earlier, Bowman, Ehrlich and Thompson advanced unscathed through the preliminary rounds on the opening day. Then, in succession, they took the measure of teams from Indiana, Washington (St. Louis) and Texas Tech to advance to the finals. Duke pulled out a narrow national title victory before a five-judge panel composed of federal and state appellate court judges. Bowman, who was named the third best oralist, and Conness argued for the team throughout the competition. Ehrlich, only a second-year student, served as principal research and writing assistant and bailiff/timekeeper/scorekeeper.
The Best Brief Award captured by Christian, Larrabee and Moniz was another phenomenal achievement. Previously the winners of a similar award in the San Francisco regional, this time their writing faced an entire new battery of graders who read all 24 briefs for the competing teams in Chicago. To put the award in perspective, their work was judged the best out of 217 teams competing nationally.
"The McGeorge Moot Court program can now claim to be No. 1 in California and No. 2 in the nation," said Professor Ed Telfeyan,'75, commenting on the Chicago results coupled with another McGeorge team's victory the previous week in the Roger J Traynor California competition. "I cannot say enough about these six students, except to point out the obvious, which is that they have brought great credit to McGeorge and to our moot court program."
"My great appreciation goes to adjunct professor Erich Shiners and former moot court star Andrea Dupray for their invaluable contributions as my assistant coaches. This is a great moment for McGeorge and all students, faculty and staff should be proud."