McGeorge School of Law

McGeorge Moot Court Campaign Ends With Top Prize in Traynor Competition

April 16, 2014

McGeorge Traynor Team

From left: Eurik O'Bryant, '14; Division Six Associate Justice Steven Z. Perren, Second District Court of Appeal; Division Four Presiding Justice Norman L. Epstein, Second District Court of Appeal; Elizabeth Ramos, '15; Division Seven Presiding Justice Dennis M. Perluss, Second District Court of Appeal; and Chelsea Tibbs, '15.

The McGeorge moot court program capped off its spring season with a first place trophy in the Roger J. Traynor Moot Court Competition the weekend of April 12-13, 2014, at UCLA School of Law.

Eurik O'Bryant and Elizabeth Ramos teamed with writer Chelsea Tibbs to claim the top prize of the competition — The Roger B. Traynor Award, in the state's oldest and largest moot tournament. O'Bryant was recognized as one of the top five oralists recognized for individual achievement at the event, which culminated in a McGeorge final-round win over UC Berkeley. Professor Adrienne Brungess coached the team, which took second place in the Bernard E. Witkin Award for excellence in appellate advocacy, with UC Davis finishing first. It marked the sixth straight year that the McGeorge entry has finished in the top three for the Bernard E. Witkin Award that combines oral argument and brief scores.

Earlier in the spring, McGeorge students scored several individual and team successes in five national moot court events. On February 20-22, 2014, at the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition regional in San Francisco, Jake Smith, Anastasya Uskov and Tiffany Wan received the overall award for the best brief. They also advanced to the final round of the competition before losing a 3-2 decision. Smith took fifth-best oralist honors while Uskov finished ninth. Sarah Schumacher, Mike Heumann and Nick Kump comprised a second McGeorge entry in the event with Schumacher earning third oralist honors. Professor Ed Telfeyan, Erich Shiners, '06, and Haley Cose coached the two squads.

On the same February weekend, Kyle Clawson, Justin Cutler, Havi Jogani and Kiel Yager advanced to the quarterfinals of the Niagara International Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C. Yager was named the second best advocate in the 21-team competition, which was won by American University. Professors Hether Macfarlane and Mary-Beth Moylan coached the Niagara team along with Jordan Maurer. Another McGeorge team received plaudits at the Northwest Regional of the 55th Annual Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, held Feb. 27-March 2 at Lewis & Clark's Northwest School of Law in Portland, Oregon. The McGeorge team's memorial took sixth place in a strong, 19-team field beating out four of five UC law schools entered. The team of Brian Wiltshire, Vignesh Ganapathy, Julianne Triphon and Yolanda Vo did not advance to the quarterfinals, but Wiltshire took fifth among the 76 individual advocates. Professor Kojo Yelpaala coached the team. UC Hastings and Denver advanced to the nationals.

Earlier in February, Kevin Heitz and Michelle Pai represented McGeorge at the Saul Lefkowitz IP Moot Court West Regional in San Francisco. Coached by Professor Mike Mireles, they performed admirably but did not advance. UC Berkeley won and USD also qualified for the 10-team nationals next month. In mid-March, Jeffrey Hammer, Elizabeth Smutz, Theresa Shriever and Nikole Omotoy represented McGeorge in the Seventh Annual Asylum and Refugee Moot Court Competition at UC Davis School of Law, where the team reached the quarterfinals in the competition.