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New England Law | Boston advocacy teams impress at regional, national competitions

Rigorous practice schedules, extraordinary efforts pay off

(Boston, Revised-3/18/14) New England Law | Boston:  New England Law | Boston advocacy teams finished strongly in recent competitions that tested their presentation and analytical skills. The National Trial Competition team reached the regional finals in Boston, and the ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition and the Tax Moot Court teams both advanced to quarterfinals.

National Trial Competition

The regional National Trial Competition team of Cody Costello ’14 and Wendy Hansen ’15 was one of four teams to reach the finals out of a total of 22. The law school also fielded a second team, composed of Dan Strollo ’14 and Simon Caine ’14, which narrowly missed the semifinals. Heather Bruha ’15 and Krystal Ibarra ’15 served as team alternates.
 
National Trial Competition Team
National Trial Competition Team.  Bottom:  Hon. Gerald Alch (retired), adjunct professor; Hon. Barbara Dortch-Okara (retired), professor; Tyson Ence '07, adjunct professor.  Top:  Cody Costello ’14, Simon Caine ’14, Krystal Ibarra ’15, Heather Bruha ’15, Wendy Hansen ’15, Daniel Strollo ’14
 
The National Trial Competition is sponsored by the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA), which supplies the case and case file for the teams’ arguments. This year’s case was a negligence action, Wendy White-Hill v. Pipe Test, Inc. 

Team coaches included Hon. Barbara Dortch-Okara, professor (retired); Hon. Gerald Alch (retired), adjunct professor; and Tyson Ence ’07, adjunct professor. Alumni and former trial team members, including Karla Heine Goodale ’13, Leigh Ann Johnson ’13, and Sara Peeling ’13, had active roles in the practice rounds and served as witnesses in the competition. William Lane ’11, another practice-rounds participant, also was a competition judge. Associate Dean Victor M. Hansen, a former team coach, served as a practice-round judge.  
 
“We have been working with the students since tryouts in September,” said Professor Dortch-Okara. “They worked extremely hard.  This was their first and only competition, and they prepared for it through a rigorous practice schedule, which required extraordinary effort on their part.  We are enormously proud of their work.”

National Tax Moot Court Competition

The National Tax Moot Court team of Tyler Greaves ’14 and Keith Richard ’14 advanced to the quarterfinal round, the fourth year in a row that a New England Law squad has reached at least that level. The competition is sponsored by the Tax Section of the Florida Bar.
 
“New England Law has become a perennial powerhouse in this competition and this year was no exception,” said coach Professor Kent Schenkel. “Keith and Tyler worked very hard to represent New England Law so admirably in this very competitive event, practicing seven days per week, sometimes twice a day.”
 
Professors Wilton Hyman and Eric Lustig also helped prepare the team, and alumni, including Christopher Beck ’06, Bill Driscoll ’04, Justin Kesselman ’13, and Ryan Vital ’01, served as judges during practice rounds.

ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition

Sam Altiero ’14 and John Feloney ’14 took part in the ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition, held at Touro Law School. The competition topic was the First Amendment, and students had to conduct initial client interviews that implicated a potential First Amendment issue.
 
“They did a terrific job in representing New England Law | Boston and the judges were genuinely impressed with their professionalism, preparation, and interaction with the clients,” said coach Professor Lisa Freudenheim.

Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

Katerina Hazimihalis ’15, Megan MacGillivray ’14, Nicole Miller ’14, and Julia Parker ’15 participated in the regional competition administered by the International Law Students Association. Jessup is the world's largest moot court competition, simulating a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations.
 
“While the team did not advance to the next stage, it performed exceptionally well,” said coach Lisa Laplante, associate professor and director of the Center for International Law and Policy. “It wrote and practiced arduously over the past several months and its hard work was evidenced by a remarkable performance.”
               
Other team coaches and contributors included Victor Hansen, associate dean; John Cerone, Dina Francesca Haynes, and Charles Sorenson, professors; Sarah Salter, retired professor; Steven Morrison, visiting professor; Sidra Vitale ’07, legal research and writing professor; Nancy Kaufman, adjunct professor; Brian Flaherty and Ermal Frasheri, lecturers on law; and Kelli Antes ’13, Chris Henderson ’13,and Seena Pidani ’13.

National Environmental Moot Court Competition

Erin Glynn ’15, Caitlin Keiper ’14, and Shiela Nevells ’15 researched and analyzed current and challenging legal environmental issues, wrote persuasive arguments advocating how the issues should be resolved, and argued the issues orally in the largest interschool moot court competition of any kind under one roof. 
 
“While we did not win the trophy, we were complimented in all the preliminary rounds on our performances and received top speaker award in one of the rounds,” said Professor Stanley Cox, team coach.
 
The team was also coached and guided by Hon. Barbara Dortch-Okaraand Tigran Eldred, professors; Sidra Vitale ’07; and Hon. Michael Brooks, Julie Cahill, and Ermal Frasheri, lecturers on law.

 



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