Brooklyn Law School’s Moot Court teams started the 2009-2010 competition season strong, becoming Regional Champions at the ABA Labor & Employment Trial Advocacy Competition; Runners-Up at the St. John's National Civil Rights Trial Advocacy Competition; Semi-Finalists at the San Diego Defense Lawyers National Mock Trial Competition; Octo-Finalists at the Wechsler First Amendment Appellate Competition and the John Marshall Law School International Moot Court Competition; and Winners of the award for Best Direct Examination at the MSU College of Law National Trial Advocacy Competition.
ABA Labor & Employment Trial Advocacy Competition
For the third year in a row, we were Regional Champions at the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law Trial Advocacy Competition. The team of Paul Carson, Carolyn Davis, Danielle Moss, and Sasha Pemberton were unbeaten at the competition and defeated Fordham University in the final round.
The competition started with 16 teams from the New York Region trying the case of Chris Smith v. Fast Software Inc. The case was brought by a former employee of Fast Software, Inc. who claimed that she was fired in violation of the whistleblower provision of the Sarbanes Oxley Act. The claim hinged on whether or not Fast Software was precluded from firing Ms. Smith after she reported discovering that the company was reporting false financials to the SEC. In it defense, the company maintained that Ms. Smith was terminated as a result of a decline in her work performance.
The Honorable Andrew J. Peck, U.S. Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, presided over the final round. The team was coached by Grover Francis and Justin Pomerantz. They move on to represent the New York region at the national round of the competition in January in Washington, D.C.
Peter James Johnson-National Civil Rights Trial Competition
Brooklyn Law School also took home Second-Place at the Peter James Johnson-National Civil Rights Trial Competition hosted by St. John’s University. The team members were Christopher Bouriat, Nathaniel Norman, Matthew Thomas and Kirstin Oswald.
|L to R: Christopher Bouriat, Nathaniel Norman, Kirstin Oswald, Matthew Thomas.
The competition started with 18 teams from around the country trying the case of Gardiner v. Greenwood City. The case was a class action civil rights case asserting the unequal treatment of persons arrested at political demonstrations for low-level offenses. Specifically, plaintiffs claimed that the Greenwood City Police Department refused to issue Desk Appearance Tickets to protesters arrested for low-level offenses and instead processed them "on-line," forcing the demonstrator-arrestees to spend a night in custody before seeing a judge. The team was coached by Kelly Kraiss, Kadion Henry, and Steven Helfont.
We are extremely proud of all our teams and the tremendous job that they have done. The judges at these competitions constantly comment that our students are better advocates than the lawyers appearing before them in court. This is remarkably rewarding, especially since Brooklyn Law School’s Moot Court program is one of the few student-run organizations in the country.
By Sparkle Alexander
President, Moot Court Honor Society