McGeorge School of Law

Moot Teams Crisscross Continent

March 14, 2013

The 2013 Jessup Team

The 2013 Jessup Team: From left, Professor Kojo Yelpaala, Michael Coleman, Keith Banks, Allison Pease, Carlos Ramirez and Professor Maureen Watkins

Four McGeorge Moot Court teams were in action the first weekend of March 2013, and each squad acquitted itself well against stiff competition.

In the Pacific Regional of the 54th Annual Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, the McGeorge finished third in the preliminary rounds. The team lost to eventual champion UC Hastings in the quarterfinals, but Allison Pease received a top 10 oralist award. Keith Banks, Michael Coleman and Carlos Ramirez had strong performances. Professors Kojo Yelpaala and Maureen Watkins coached the team.

In the 46th Annual Niagara International Moot Court Competition, in Toronto, Canada, McGeorge's team — Catherine Bonanno and Ali Rakhshanifar representing applicant Canada, and Ariana Van Alstine and Vivian Cho representing the respondent United States — was ranked fifth out of 15 teams in the prelims. They then defeated the University of Western Ontario in the quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion SUNY Buffalo in the semis. Bonanno took fourth in the individual top advocates while she and Rakhshanifar were recognized as the "Runner-Up Team Argument, Applicant." Professors Hether Macfarlane and Mary-Beth Moylan coached the team.

Meanwhile, two McGeorge teams were busy at a regional of the 33rd Annual ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition last weekend in San Francisco. Justin Giovannettone, Ashley Connell Bryden and Michael Heumann advanced to the semifinals of the tournament. The team of Megan Beaver, Elliot Karlin and Jacob Smith did them one better, making it to the finals before being eliminated in a closely scored battle against the University of San Francisco's team. The Beaver-Karlin-Smith triumvirate also received the fourth best brief award in the tournament. Professor Ed Telfeyan and former Global Lawyering Skills adjunct professor Erich Shiners coached the NAAC teams.

At the Ninth Annual International Criminal Court (ICC) Americas Regional at Pace Law School in White Plains, New York, Matt Percey, James Roberts, Tiana Walkowsky, and Liz Smutz competed in a complex tournament involving representation of three different parties to a dispute — prosecution, defense, and victims. Facing very stiff competition in the early rounds, the team looked sharp but failed to advance to the quarterfinals. Pace, American University and Yale emerged victorious in that order. Professors Linda Carter and John Sims coached the ICC team.