Miami Law Team Wins the John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition


Miami Law students David Coulter, 2L, and Bridget Schultz, 3L, won the John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition held at Seton Hall Law School. They also received 3rd Best Brief in the competition and Schultz was named Best Oralist in the final round.

“We knew going into the weekend that we were going to be facing fierce competition,” said Schultz. “Because the John J. Gibbons competition is one of the larger competitions in the country, we knew we had to work very hard to advance out of the preliminary rounds, let alone win. I am so happy that we were able to bring back a bunch of awards and points for the board and for our school. It was truly an unbelievable experience.”

The team was coached by Howard Srebnick, an adjunct Miami Law professor and a partner of Black, Srebnick, Kornspan & Stumpf, as well as recent graduate Frank Sardinha, III, JD ’13, who served as an assistant coach and traveled with the team to the competition.

“Dave and Bridget were the #1 seed out of preliminary rounds and never lost a head-to-head match,” said Sardinha.

The John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition, now in its 21st year, focuses on timely issues of criminal procedure and criminal law. Forty-six teams from around the country competed this year.

The competition “featured two very interesting issues of criminal law that were reflected in the Supreme Court's recent decisions in Fernandez v. California and Burrage v. United States,” explained Coulter. “The championship round was judged by an excellent panel featuring the former Chief Judge of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge John J. Gibbons, and current and former justices of the New Jersey Supreme Court. It was very special arguing in front of such distinguished jurists.”

“We were also fortunate to have Howard Srebnick, one of the top defense attorneys in the country, as our coach,” said Schultz. “It isn't every day you get to work with someone of that caliber. Frank, who was our traveling coach, lent us support and encouragement when the competition came down to the wire, and I truly appreciated his efforts.”

Past winners of the competition include New York University School of Law (2013 & 2012); William and Mary Law School (2011); Loyola University of Chicago (2010); Albany Law School (2009); Texas Wesleyan (2008); Boston College (2007/2006); Georgia State University School of Law (2005); American University-Washington College of Law (2004); New York Law School (2003); New York University School of Law (2002) and George Mason School of Law (2001).

“I was very proud to represent UM and the Moot Court Board. It means a lot to come home with a win from a tournament like Gibbons,” said Coulter. “Overall, Gibbons was an incredible learning experience and provided an excellent forum in which to continue developing our written and oral advocacy skills.”