International Moot Court Team Comes in Second at Spanish-Only Moot Madrid Competition

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Kevin Correa (3L), Anabel Fernandez (LL.M), Barbara Cabrera (3L) and Zacarias Quezada (2L).

Four students from Miami Law’s International Moot Court team placed second at Moot Madrid 2015, an international commercial arbitration competition that is conducted entirely in Spanish. Third year student Kevin Correa also received an honorable mention as best oralist.

The team, which also included Barbara Cabrera, 3L, Zacarias Quezada, 2L, and Anabel Fernandez, LL.M. student, was coached by Paula Arias, director of the International Moot Court Program and Luis O’Naghten, a partner in Baker & McKenzie’s North American Litigation Practice and International Arbitration Group and an adjunct professor at Miami Law.

The Miami Law team - the only American school to participate - competed against 29 teams from Latin America, Spain, France, Poland and Russia.

"The long and arduous road to Madrid, which first began nine months ago, was daunting and the numerous obstacles faced this year at times seemed insurmountable,” said Quezada. “However, with the support of my team, professors, and the tireless hours dedicated to preparing, I learned what a cohesive group of ambitious young professionals could achieve. The journey to Madrid resulted in life-long friendships, and mentors who I know I will always be able to turn to."

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.

"Participating in Moot Madrid was one of the best experiences in my law school career,” said Cabrera. “I learned an entire area of law that was unfamiliar to me, and gained a better understanding of the practice of arbitration in a global context. It is unbelievable how much my Spanish writing and speaking skills have improved. When I joined Moot Madrid, I never imagined I would be able to argue a case in Spanish, and it amazes me how much I have been able to accomplish in only a few months."

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. The competition was judged by a distinguished arbitration court made up of José Antonio Moreno Rodriguez, director of the Center for Law, Economics and Politics (CEDEP) and president of the American Association of Private International Law in Asuncion, Paraguay; Elena Gutierrez Garcia de Cortazar, Secretary-General of the Madrid Court of Arbitration; and Jorge Oviedo Alban, professor at the University Sergio Arboleda (Colombia) and lawyer and president of the Bogota Commercial Law Society.