March 10, 2020
University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law students walked away with awards
and high praise in two moot court competitions in late February and early March.
The team of Dennis Eros ’20 and Shaelyn Stewart ’20 tied for first place with a team from California Western School of Law in the 13th annual UC Davis Asylum and Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition on Feb. 29 and March 1. Heather Domingo ’20 and Caitlin Franzen ’20 were quarterfinalists. Dan Warren ’21 was named the top oralist in the ABA National Moot Court Competition regionals in San Francisco and a McGeorge team made up of Kim Carrubba ’20 and Consuelo Amezcua ’20 received the second best brief award.
At the UC Davis competition, which provides law students from across the country the opportunity to participate in hypothetical appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court and highlights the importance of asylum and refugee law, both McGeorge teams won awards.
In the two-day competition, the team of Eros and Stewart secured an unprecedented tie for first place, defeating other top law schools such as Columbia, Cornell, UCLA and UC Hastings. The judges in the competition indicated they were impressed with the students throughout the contest.
“I’m thankful we were given the opportunity to represent McGeorge in this competition,”
Stewart said. “I’m going to miss working with this hardworking and supportive team.”
Her teammate agreed.
“It was great to hear feedback from reputable attorneys from the Sacramento area,” Eros said.
Stewart and Eros earned high praise from Kevin Johnson, the dean of the UC Davis School of Law, who acted as a supreme court judge in the final round.
The teams were guided by student coach Katie Bonin, Evan Gillespie as the team’s research assistant, Erin O’Neal Muilenberg, an adjunct professor who teaches a course focusing on persuasive writing and oral advocacy, and Blake Nordahl, the supervising attorney of McGeorge’s Immigration Law Clinic.
“I was impressed with how the students were quickly able to master challenging immigration law questions,” Nordahl said. “The problem this year involved the transit ban issued this past summer by the Trump administration. I was also struck by how the teamsupported each other and worked together throughout the many hours of preparation.”
Muilenburg praised “the team members’ remarkable hard work and growth over the course of practices and the competition in terms of their appellate advocacy skills, understanding of a complex area of the law, and confidence in their ability to respond to difficult and focused questioning by the judges.”
At the ABA National Moot Court Competition regionals in San Francisco, Kim Carrubba, Consuelo Amezcua and Warren were top-seeded after the first three rounds, ranking them ahead of teams from Hastings, Northwestern, UCLA and Berkeley in a field of 32 teams. They then lost in a heart-breaker elimination round by a total of six points on two of the five judges’ scorecards.
The second best brief award was especially noteworthy as it marked the second this year credited to Carrubba. She, along with Joshua Bailey and Flor Paz, also wrote the brief for the National Moot Court Competition in New York. The ABA team was coached by McGeorge alumni Gil Vega, Tim Kamermayer and Leo Moniz, faculty members Mike Vitiello, Dan Croxall and Ed Telfeyan, who is the director of the school’s moot court program, and student coaches Megan Humphries and Joshua Bailey. Jaycee Dean served as the team’s research assistant.
Follow the nationally ranked McGeorge School of Law Moot Court Team for more news and updates on its Facebook page.