Four students from Miami Law's International Moot Court team advanced to the semifinals, and one student was awarded best oralist, at the fourth annual Moot Madrid competition. From May 28 to June 1, second-year students Jessica Marroquin, Estefania Nasielski, Carlos Nunez and LL.M. Yosef Shwedel participated in the oral phase of the international commercial arbitration in Spain. Nasielski was awarded best oralist.
The international commercial arbitration competition is similar to the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot but the case, memorials, and oral augments are all presented in Spanish.
"The students were great in every oral argument presented; the other moot competitors, the judges and even attorneys outside the moot were talking about the Miami team during those days, it was amazing seeing them to grow with every round," said Paula Arias, director of the International Moot Court Program. "The leading coach, Luis O'Naghten, and I were very pleased seeing them become attorneys during the months of work. The Moot Madrid and the team's success is the best way of closing the IMCP's academic year of 2012."
The moot began in December 2011, when the case was published. Throughout the spring, the students studied the case, decided the best strategy to arbitrate the case, researched the issues, and wrote two memorials.
This year's case was about construction of mega projects, the nature of construction contracts and involved issues of independent guarantees and force majeure due to strikes.
The students orally presented the case in front of different panels of "arbitrators" – practicing attorneys. For over six months, the students acted as skilled attorneys, and represented their "clients" like any other professional litigator.
Moot Madrid is a unique competition that provides the students with the opportunity to learn not only about arbitration but also about principles of unity of the law. Additionally, the competition took place in some of the biggest law firms in Spain – Cuatrecaseas and Uria-Menendez, among others – and their attorneys sat as judges during the oral phase.
"If I had to define my experience as a participant of Moot Madrid in a few words, I would describe it as surreal and inspirational," said Carlos Nunez, President of the International Moot Court Board Organization. "Competing against students from all corners of the world, visiting renowned law firms and presenting a case in front of experts of the law is not a privilege that many law students enjoy. We had an opportunity to learn the difficulty and complexity of preparing a case. Personally, I am proud to say that I gave my all and it paid off. Our efforts translated into success, as we were one of the best teams in the competition. Our achievements are not a coincidence; we were fortunate to have devoted coaches that pushed us in a daily basis. More importantly, we grew as a team and we found a way to laugh and enjoy every step of the process. I am glad and fortunate to have been part of this team and I look forward for my next competition."