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Advocacy Teams Shine in Competitions

Client Counseling Team Impresses National Judges

(Boston, Revised 11/13/09) New England Law | Boston: Four New England Law | Boston advocacy teams put in top performances at regional and national competitions in February and March.

The Client Counseling Competition team, consisting of Bethany Parsons (‘09) and Adonia Simpson (’09), placed first in the regional rounds of the American Bar Association Client Counseling Competition and eighth out of a total of 149 teams at the national level.

Competing against student teams from throughout New England, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec, Ms. Parsons and Ms. Simpson won out over 11 teams in the regional competition. The national finals, on the topic of Negligence & Related Tort Claims, were held March 14-15 in Durham, NC.

Professor Louis N. Schulze, Jr., director of the Academic Excellence Program, was the team’s advisor. “Although our team just missed advancing to the championship round, for which just three of the fourteen national finalists qualified, both Ms. Parsons and Ms. Simpson did an excellent job in the national finals," Professor Schulze said. "Each of their three rounds was well done, and they ended up winning their final round outright. Judges in each group gave very positive feedback, especially in the last session in which judges commented that our team's presentation was the most organized and fluid they had seen all day.”

Other New England Law advocacy teams also performed well. Jessica Babine (’09) and Robert L. Hassett, III (’09) advanced to the quarter-finals in the 2009 National Tax Moot Court competition, an annual event sponsored by the Florida Bar Association Tax Section. The issues briefed and argued by the team include federal tax procedure, partnership taxation, federal estate and gift taxations, and income tax controversies, as well as tax policy.

Sixteen teams compete, and a team must win two rounds to make it into the quarter-finals. Mr. Hassett and Ms. Babine won two rounds but lost the quarter-final round in a 2-1 split decision. Professor Kent Schenkel coached this year’s team. The New England Law tax moot court team has a history of success in this competition, including winning awards for briefs in six of nine consecutive years.

Two New England Law teams competed in the northeast regionals of the National Mock Trial Competition. Alex Zane (’09) and Kristen Scanlon (’09) advanced to the semi-finals from a pool of 22 teams, representing 12 law schools, which competed in the three preliminary rounds. This competition, sponsored by the Texas Young Lawyers Association, is the only mock trial competition, with student competition involving litigation at the trial level, in which New England Law participates every year. The teams were coached by Professor Victor Hansen.

Two teams competed in the northeast regional Frederick Douglass Moot Court competition, with Alaina Ramsey (’09) and Marie Giraud (’10) advancing to the quarter-final round. Thirty teams from across the region participated. This is the second time since a New England Law team first entered the Frederick Douglass Moot Court in the 2002-2003 academic year that New England Law students have distinguished themselves. Sponsored by the National Black Law Students Association, the competition problem addresses contemporary legal questions relating to the status of minorities in the United States. Professors Caryn Mitchell-Munevar and Barbara Oro are the team coaches.

Advocacy teams work with one another in preparation for their respective competitions. Other teams included:

Client Counseling Competition: Ryan Couch (’11) and Olga Cheryatvuk (’11); Caitlin Delphin (’11) and Laura Maistrosky (’11), alternates

National Mock Trial: Grace Kim (’09) and Adrienne Russo (’09)

Frederick Douglass Moot Court: Alicia Bartley (’10) and Vaughn-Clai Marsh (’10)


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