Moot Court Teams Experience Unprecedented Winning Streak in Competitions

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International Moot CourtJoseph Matthews (3L), Coach Andrew Riccio, Benjamin Keime (2L) & Abirami Ananthasingam (3L) in Frankfurt, Germany. Full-Size Photo

From Las Vegas, Nevada to Frankfurt, Germany to Madrid, Spain, the moot court teams of Miami Law are experiencing an unprecedented winning streak in competitions all over the world. The Charles Papy, Jr. Moot Court Board and the International Moot Court have distinguished themselves this year with outstanding competition results at the national and international levels.

Throughout 2014, students took home the top spot in six prestigious competitions:

Miami Law students also finished in the top 4 percent at the National Appellate Advocacy Championship held in Chicago, Illinois and advanced to the semifinals of Tulane Law's Annual National Baseball Arbitration Competition. In addition Miami Law’s International Moot Court Program sent a team to the prestigious MOOT Madrid in arbitration and commercial law, and two members came in second place and at a competition in Peru - Competencia Internacional de Arbitraje - Kristy Alvarez, was named “Best Oralist” and Kevin Correa placed 10th out of 200 students, most of whom were native Spanish speakers.

The International Moot Court team of Benjamin Keime, 2L, Abirami Ananthasingam, 3L, and Joseph Matthews, 3L, tied for first place with the team from Sciences Po (Paris Institute of Political Studies) at the Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court competition hosted by Goethe-University Frankfurt in Germany. With this win, Miami Law is the only law school team in history to win this prestigious competition twice.

L Andrew Riccio, JD '11, whose team competed at Frankfurt in 2011 and won, helped coached this year's team. "It was an honor and a pleasure for me to return to Frankfurt after competing for the 2011 Miami Law winning team," said Riccio, an associate with Assouline & Berlowe, where he practices international arbitration and litigation. "Coaching this talented team was a fantastic experience and I am, of course, so thrilled with the outcome."

The team of Blaze Douglas and Thomas White, both 3Ls, won the Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition held at the University of Wisconsin Law School. The team was coached by Eduardo Sanchez, JD '90, from the United States Attorney's Office, and came out on top over 23 teams from around the country. Miami Law beat the team from Chicago Kent in the finals.

"This competition was one of the most rewarding experiences of my law school career and we owe all of our success to the support of the Moot Court Board and our coach, Ed Sanchez, in particular," said Douglas.

Law students Kyle Ohlenschlaeger and Renee Kramer won the 39th Annual Irving R. Kaufman Memorial Moot Court Competition held at Fordham University School of Law. They beat out 24 teams from around the country and were coached by attorney Justin Prociv, JD '03, of the law firm Lapin & Leichtling.

"Competing in various moot court competitions is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in law school," said Ohlenschlaeger. "Countless hours of work went into preparing for the Kaufman Competition and I could not be happier with the outcome."

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, a Miami Law adjunct professor and partner of Black, Srebnick, Kornspan & Stumpf, and Frank Sardinha III, JD '13, served as an assistant coach and traveled with the team to the competition.

The 2L team of Donald "D.J." Hodson and Erica Haft finished in the top 4 percent at the National Appellate Advocacy Championship held in Chicago, Illinois. They made it to quarterfinal round, losing to Georgetown Law in the single elimination rounds. Georgetown went on to win the whole competition.

Hodson and Haft were the oralists and brief writers, and Hodson received awards for second-place Best Oralist in the Regional, second-place Best Oralist in the Preliminary Rounds of the Finals, and sixth-place National Best Oral Advocate. The team also won the third-place Best Brief in the Regionals in Las Vegas.

"We were honored to represent the University of Miami School of Law at the prestigious National Appellate Advocacy Competition, both at the regional and national level," said Haft.

"Quite frankly, it was impossible for us not to have been successful given the amount of support we received from Miami Law's incredible faculty, students, and alumni," said Hodson. "Next year, we're winning the whole thing."