Appellate Moot Court Board garners wins at recent competitions

The School of Law's Appellate Moot Court Board recently participated in prestigious competitions, the WVU National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition and the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition - Boston Regional. Teams and individuals garnered success in these national events.

Two Appellate Moot Court Board teams competed at the WVU National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition during the weekend of March 5. Held annually, the competition focuses on the environmental impacts of energy production. Specifically, this year's competition problem involved four pressing issues about the Clean Air Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Forty-four teams from law schools across the country participated in the competition this year. Duquesne's team of Alexa Austin (2L), Nicholas Monico (2L), and Gregory Thomas (2L) advanced to the round of 16, then to the round of 8, and finally to the final four! After arguing on- and off-brief seven times, the team emerged as semi-finalists in a very close round.

Duquesne's team of Kebron Assefa (2L), Eva Campion (2L), and Antonia Gelorme (2L) argued on- and off-brief five times, and advanced to the top sixteen.

The teams were coached by Duquesne Law alum and former Appellate Moot Court Board president, Martin McKown (L'15).

The Appellate Moot Court Board also sent two teams to the prestigious ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition - Boston Regional during the weekend of February 26. Twenty-eight teams from across the country competed at the competition (via zoom).

After arguing on- and off-brief four times, Duquesne's team of Falco Muscante (2L), Daniel Smolsky (2L), and Aubri Swank (2L) advanced to the semi-final round. The team just narrowly failed to advance to the final round, losing in a very close split decision. The team ended the competition as Regional Semi-finalists.

Duquesne's team of Michael Bethune (3L), Jane Schleicher (3L), and Sarah Shumate-Connor (3L) also argued on- and off-brief four times and emerged as Regional Semi-finalists in a very close round. In addition, Michael Bethune was named 1st Place best advocate of the competition, with an average oral argument score of 97 out of 100.

Both teams received accolades from the judges along the way for their preparation, exceptional knowledge of the case law, extemporaneous ability, and professionalism. The teams were coached by adjunct professor Erin Karsman who also directs the Appellate Moot Court Program.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University’s academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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