SJQ Moot Court Team Roundup 2022-2023

Apr 20, 2023 | General

Congratulations to all of our Moot Court team members and coaches! We know a lot of hard work and effort goes in to prepare for and compete in the competitions. You have done SJQ proud!

Here is a roundup of all the different teams who were able to compete this year.

All Star National Challenge and the Texas Young Lawyers National Trial Competition
October 7-9 & February 3-5

Coach: Richard McKelvie
Team: Charles Campbell, Charles Rasmussen Goodwin, Shelby Stender, Hannah Sakalla

Result: The S.J. Quinney College of Law Trial Advocacy team of Shelby Stender, Charles Campbell, Charles Rasmussen Goodwin and Hannah Sakalla participated in two national competitions this academic year. In October, they competed in the National All-Star challenge, hosted by Quinnipiac University’s law school. This was a remotely-held competition with schools from across the country competing. Our team advanced to the 4th round before losing a spot in the quarter-finals.

In February, the team competed in the Texas Young Lawyer’s Association National Trial Competition. Although it is normally conducted in person, the competition this year was also virtual, due to problems associated with the aftermath of COVID-19. Again, the team reached the 4th round before missing a seat in the quarter-finals.

These competitions attract the best and best-coached teams in the country, and our team represented the S.J. Quinney community well. Congratulate these students when you have a chance!

National Moot Court Regional Competition
November 17-19
Missoula, MT

Coaches: Elizabeth Kronk Warner and Jason Harmon
Team 1: Callen Aten, John McIntyre, Jesus Salazar
Team 2: Niklas Simmons, Alex McFarlin, Donovan Jones

Result: Both Utah teams performed extraordinarily well. They scored some of the highest scores in oral argument during the preliminary rounds. Both teams advanced to the quarterfinals where they, unfortunately, had to argue against each other. Callen and Jesus did very well, but lost to Nik, Alex, and Donovan by a very small margin. Nik, Alex and Donovan advanced to the semi-final round. They won the oral argument but were eliminated by 0.58 of point because the team from Montana had a slightly better brief score. John was unable to travel and compete because he came down with an illness. His contribution on the brief, however, was essential to the team. We are proud of all these competitors. Not only did they represent the University very well, they also demonstrated lawyering skills at the highest levels. We can’t wait to see what they do in the practice of law.

The team and coaches would like to thank all of their volunteer guest judges– Brady Nash, Jackie Morrison, Paul Cassell, Alex Allred, Amos Guiora, Cate Vaden, Whitney McKiddy, Jordan Miller, Beth Jennings, Tamara Lemmon, Justice Hagen, Judge Bennett, and Judge Gibson. Without out the help of so many talented lawyers, professors, alumni, and jurists, the teams would not have been so well prepared. Thank you!

Pace Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
February 22-25

Coaches: Beth Parker and Judge Jared Bennett
Team 1: Lauren Hawkes, Rachel Heathcote, Jensen Liliquist

Result: Three students, Jensen Lillquist, Lauren Hawkes and Rachel Heathcote, competed in Pace University School of Law’s 2023 National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition (NELMCC). The NELMCC is one of the largest interschool moot court competitions in the nation, with over 350 law students and attorney judges. It involves the preparation of appellate briefs and presentations of oral arguments before panels of judges and practitioners. This year, the competition was an all-virtual format.

The oral argument portion of the competition consists of three preliminary rounds, with each student competing in two of the three rounds. Jensen Lillquist won best oralist in both of the rounds in which he competed. During the feedback sessions for the rounds in which they competed, both Lauren Hawkes and Rachel Heathcote were commended by the judges for their excellent performance. While the team did not advance to the quarterfinals, they wrote a persuasive brief and gave strong and well-developed oral arguments.

Prior to the competition, the team presented bi-weekly oral arguments before panels of guest judges. The team would like to thank the efforts of multiple guest attorneys, judges and S.J. Quinney College of Law alumni who helped prepare the team for the competition during mock oral arguments in the weeks leading up to the competition. The instruction and feedback received by the guest judges is already producing dividends. Coaches Judge Jared Bennett and Beth Parker would like to highlight the incredible work the team dedicated over the course of the year, including drafting a brief and a bench memorandum, participating in bi-weekly mock oral arguments and preparing for the oral argument portion of the competition. The team exhibited strong written and oral advocacy skills and immense growth over the course of the year. Congratulations on a job well done.

The Stegner Center would not be able to support sending teams to moot court competitions without the generosity of our donors. The donors for our 2023 teams include Clyde Snow Attorneys at Law, Lear & Lear PLLC, Parr, Brown, Gee & Loveless, Parsons, Behle & Latimer, Mason Baker and Kristina Rand, Jason Groenewold, Robert and Stacy Hughes, Jim Moore and Kathryn Lindquist, and Mark Rodney Smith, Jr. and Jenifer Tomchak.

National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition at West Virginia University
February 24-26
Morgantown, WV

Coaches: Matt Moscan and Brigham Daniels
Team: Lauren Cormany, Carter Moore

Result: Carter Moore and Lauren Cormany should be very proud of their performance in the Sustainability and Energy Moot Court Competition. They represented the University of Utah with distinction. Of the 45 teams competing, they were chosen among the top sixteen teams to advance to the elimination round. Ultimately, they were eliminated in the very first of these, but the team who eliminated them (from Georgetown) ended up winning the whole competition. They faced teams from Georgetown, Northwestern, Virginia, Duquesne, and Cincinnati. (Duquesne and Georgetown were finalists in the competition.) In every one of their arguments, they made a very compelling case for the judges.

The Stegner Center would not be able to support sending teams to moot court competitions without the generosity of our donors. The donors for our 2023 teams include Clyde Snow Attorneys at Law, Lear & Lear PLLC, Parr, Brown, Gee & Loveless, Parsons, Behle & Latimer, Mason Baker and Kristina Rand, Jason Groenewold, Robert and Stacy Hughes, Jim Moore and Kathryn Lindquist, and Mark Rodney Smith, Jr. and Jenifer Tomchak.

Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition
March 3-5

Coach: Jacqueline Morrison
Team: Liz Cook, Samuel Flitton, Andy Miller, Landon Moore, Hannah Pickett

Results: The team from the College of Law performed admirably well in the Pacific Regional rounds of the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Our students demonstrated excellent knowledge of the law and facts associated with this year’s complicated problem about use of force and armed conflict, prisoner of war status, unilateral sanctions, and the disposal of environmentally hazardous waste. They wrote strong briefs and showcased persuasive advocacy in their oral arguments. While the team unfortunately did not advance to the international rounds, their individual and collective strength was incredibly impressive (and even more so because two of the team members were very ill at the time of the competition). We are so proud of all of their hard work. Special thanks to our alumni Michael Henderson and Pam Schools, and current 3L and former team member Jessica Arthurs, for helping the team prepare before the competition.

National Patent Application Drafting Competition
March 4

Coaches: Sam Tahmassebi and Jorge Contreras
Team: Jordan Cobabe, Victoria Carrington, Spencer Fennemore

Result: Congratulations to the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law team that participated in the US Patent and Trademark Office’s 2023 National Patent Application Drafting Competition. The team did an amazing job and reached semifinal level, finishing third overall out of a pool of ten regional teams.

Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial IP Moot Court Competition
March 17-19
Palo Alto, CA

Coach: Dave Johnson
Team: Devin Geier, Ashton Ruff

Result: Congratulations to Devin Geier and Ashton Ruff! They wrote an appellant and appellee brief on claim construction and enablement issues and participated in oral argument against teams from around the country. They advanced to the quarterfinal round where they lost to the ultimate champion of the regional competition.

Not pictured: Shelly Potter and Jasmine Harouny.

Traynor Moot Court Competition
March 31 & April 4

Coaches: Elizabeth Kronk Warner and Jason Harmon
Team: Maria Fernandez & Shelly Potter
Team: Drake Walker & Alex McFarlin
Team: Michael Meszaros & Anthony Tenney
Team: David Ostrowski & Jasmine Harouny

Result: After a several year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Traynor in-house moot court competition was held again this spring. Eight law students were able to participate in the competition this year: Maria Fernandez, Jasmine Harouny, Alexander McFarlin, Michael Meszaros, David Ostrowski, Shelly Potter, Anthony Tenney, and Drake Walker. All teams submitted a brief and participated in the three rounds of oral competition on March 31, 2023. Judges were impressed with the students’ professionalism, poise, and knowledge of the record.

Ultimately, the team of Michael Meszaros and Anthony Tenney argued for Petitioner against the team of Alexander McFarlin and Drake Walker for the Respondents in the final round judged by Justice Diana Hagen, Judge Dianna Gibson, Judge Jared Bennett, and Judge Dustin Jansen. Alexander McFarlin and Drake Walker won the final round, as well as the Best Brief award. Shelly Potter won the Best Oralist award. We are exceptionally proud of all the students who participated.

Well done SJQ!