Moot Court finishes in top four of 50 teams in national competition

Published: March 19th, 2012

Category: Awards, News, Students

By Alex Landback (3L)

Florida Moot Court Team members Amanda Finley (3L), Bob O’Linn (2L) and Nick Andrews (2L) traveled to the 20th Annual Honorable Conrad B. Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition hosted by St. John’s University in New York March 10-12.

Duberstein is the largest one-site Moot Court competition in the nation, with well over 50 teams from across the country competing. Finley, O’Linn, and Andrews survived the gauntlet with an impressive display of advocacy and cruised into the semifinal round, as one of the top four teams, where they eventually fell short against the eventual champions from UT-Austin, finishing in a tie for third overall. In addition to their remarkable run, the trio took home the coveted Best Brief Award for the competition, which is the first for the Florida Moot Court team since Fall 2010.

This honor was not without merit, as Finley, O’Linn, and Andrews worked tirelessly on the brief, fine-tuning it to near perfection. For Finley, this will be a tremendous warm-up as she will be competing with her fellow classmates next month at the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot competition in Vienna, Austria. Meanwhile, O’Linn and Andrews are well-prepared to carry the mantle for the Florida Moot Court Team into 2012-2013.

While the team has demonstrated a promising growth in written advocacy, the team continued its dominance at oral advocacy at the American Bar Association’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition last month at the Atlanta Regional. There, the Florida Moot Court Team sent two teams of competitors: Leigh Anne Siddle (3L), Dan Lazaro (3L), and Jordan Peterson (3L) consisted of one team, while Andrew Labbe (3L), Dylan Shea (2L), and Kelsey Veitengruber (2L) were the second team. Each survived to the Quarterfinal round of the Regional. From there, the team of Labbe, Shea, and Veitengruber advanced to the Regional Final.

As expected, they did not leave empty-handed, as Dylan Shea brought home the Best Oralist award for the Regional, and Labbe was named Runner-up to Shea. These accomplishments were not surprising, as both Labbe and Shea consistently finished with the top scores in every round. This success wasn’t just limited to Shea and Labbe, as each of the competitors received high scores in each of the rounds.

For the team of Siddle, Lazaro, and Peterson, they could not overcome an unlucky matchup with the team that ultimately received the Best Brief award. Meanwhile Labbe, Shea, and Veitengruber found themselves on the wrong side of a tie-breaking vote in the final round.

Nevertheless, the Florida Moot Court Team is well positioned to make another run at a Top 16 ranking nationally with several competitions left in a variety of subjects before the year is over. This past weekend, the Florida Moot Court Team sent two teams to competitions in New York City (Entertainment Law) and Boston (Intellectual Property). Soon, the team will travel to competitions focusing on Evidence, Criminal, and Constitutional Law. For 1Ls who are interested in litigation or possess an insatiable competitive-streak, the Florida Moot Court Team will be holding informational and tabling sessions in the near future regarding tryouts this summer and will soon have a TWEN page with more details.