First Moot Court Tournament: Barcus on Fire!

Standing in front of the podium in front of a panel of three judges, the entire Moot Court Executive Board to his left, and Moot Court Associate Board and guests behind him, Matthew Barcus took a deep breath, gathered his papers, and began with his roadmap.  Barely making two sentences into his introduction of the arguments, Barcus was peppered with questions from the judges, which did not end for the thirteen minutes of his oral argument and followed into his two minutes of rebuttal.  By the end of the evening, Barcus was crowned the season’s first Overall Winner, and he also accomplished a rare feat of winning all categories of awards offered: Best Overall Advocate, Best Oral Advocate, and Best Brief.

September 21 was the first day of oral arguments for the 2010 Alumni Corporate Torts Moot Court Tournament, led by tournament coordinator Janet Chen and Problem Writer Tyler Lopez.  This year’s issue dealt with tort liability of successor corporations.  Lopez began writing the problem by researching treatises and “stumbled across a couple of narrow areas of corporate tort liability” that sparked his interest and bloomed into a full tournament problem.  Tournament Coordinator Chen noted that the tournament hosted 40 competitors, more than 120 judges, 50 bailiffs, and 36 courtrooms at the San Diego Superior Court in Downtown San Diego.  For months leading to the competition, Chen planned, stayed organized, developed a close love/hate relationship with Microsoft Excel, and thanked goodness for her iPhone.  She utilized the support of her Executive Board and Associate Board members to tirelessly plan and promote the program to competitors, judges, and 1L bailiffs.

The Alumni Torts Moot Court Competition is the first intramural tournament of the year and a favorite for many of the Executive Board members and for the competitors.  As noted by finalist Matthew Stephens, the competition helps to “expand [his] knowledge in [an] area of the law” that he is interested in.  Furthermore, as the first competition of the year, “2Ls eager to get back behind the podium after their end-of-the-year oral arguments for Lawyering Skills can brush up, hone, and show off their writing and advocacy skills,” said Chen.  As the first competition of the year, the tournament has no true pressure or expectations, just pure fun and excitement, as noted by Executive Board member Miriam Milstein about her favorite intramural competition.

The University of San Diego Appellate Moot Court Team is a student-run program that hosts three intramural tournaments each year and a National Criminal Procedure Tournament. The National Team competes in tournaments across the nation and is currently ranked as one of the top 16 Moot Court programs in the United States.  This year’s Executive Board is led by Chair Cody Payne, Vice Chair of National Teams Mehtab Sandhu, and Vice Chair of Intramural Tournaments Kianne Holnagel.  “Moot Court is one of the most practical outlets to apply the skill set[s] that [law students] are developing while in law school,” said Payne.  This program allows students “an opportunity to develop and refine [their] research, brief writing, and oral advocacy skills” and to also “take a legal problem and present a tangible legal response.”  

The next intramural tournament is a partner Intellectual Property Tournament to be held on November 8 and 10, with finals on November 12, at the Hall of Justice in Downtown San Diego.  The IP Tournament is led by Tournament Coordinator Nick Fox and Problem Writer Ted Sanders.

2010 Corporate Torts Moot Court Tournament Results

BEST OVERALL

First Place:          Matthew Barcus
Second Place:    Aminta Raffalovich
Third Place:         Noah Buxton
Fourth Place:      Matthew Stephens

BEST ORAL ADVOCATE

First Place:           Matthew Barcus
Second Place:     Christina Phan
Third Place:          R.J. Pinto
Fourth Place:       Kaitlin Reilly

BEST BRIEF

First Place:            Matthew Barcus
Second Place:      Aminta Raffalovich
Third Place:           Noah Buxton
Fourth Place:        James Baumann

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