Congratulations to the 2016 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Winners

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition, Amardeep (Simi) Singh and Sara McNamara. Congratulations also go to finalists Samuel Draver and Alan Mazzulla, who additionally won the Franz C. Eschweiler Prize for Best Brief.  Simi Singh won the Ramon A. Klitzke Prize for Best Oralist.

The competitors argued before a large audience in the Appellate Courtroom. Presiding over the final round were Hon. Diane Sykes, Hon. Brett Kavanaugh, and Hon. Gary Feinerman.

Many thanks to the judges and competitors for their hard work, enthusiasm, and sportsmanship in all the rounds of competition, as well as to the moot court executive board and Law School administration and staff for their work in putting on the event. Special thanks to Dean Kearney for his support of the competition.  Thank you as well to the Moot Court Association for its work in putting this event together, and especially 3L executive board members Larissa Dallman and Andrew Otto.

Students are selected to participate in the competition based on their success in the fall Appellate Writing and Advocacy class at the Law School.

Here is a link to the final round video.

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Congratulations to the 2016 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Finalists

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Congratulations to this year’s Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition finalists: Samuel Draver, Alan Mazzulla, Sara McNamara, and Amardeep Singh. All the semifinalists presented strong oral arguments.

Thank you to the semifinal round judges: Atty. Gil Cubia, Atty. Cathy LaFleur, Prof. Jonathan Koenig, Atty. Steve Meyer, Hon. Paul Reilly, and Atty. Jan Rhodes.

The final round will be held on April 13 at 6:00 p.m. in the Appellate Courtroom. The final round judges will be Hon. Diane Sykes, Hon. Brett Kavanaugh, and Hon. Gary Feinerman. The Law School community is cordially invited to attend the final round. Here is a link to rsvp for the event. The teams will be matched as follows:

Samuel Draver and Alan Mazzulla versus Sara McNamara and Amardeep Singh.

Best of luck to the finalists.

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Congratulations to the 2016 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Semifinalists

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Congratulations to all who competed in the 2016 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition and special congratulations to this year’s semifinalists:  Samuel Draver, Alicia Kort, Alan Mazzulla, Kayla McCann, Sara McNamara, Amardeep Singh, Natalie Wisco, Samuel Woo. Teams are advancing after four rounds of preliminary competition this past weekend.

Thank you to the numerous judges who graded briefs and heard oral arguments, as well as to all the competitors, who prepared hard for the competition and fought good battles this weekend.

The semifinal round will be held on Thursday, April 7 at 6:00 p.m. The teams will be matched as follows:

Samuel Draver and Alan Mazzulla against Alicia Kort and Natalie Wisco in the Trial Courtroom; and Kayla McCann and Samuel Woo against Sara McNamara and Amardeep Singh in the Appellate Courtroom. Marquette students, faculty, and guests are invited to attend the rounds.

Good luck to the semifinalists.

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State Bar’s Appellate Practice Section Hosts Outstanding Brief Competition

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The Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin is hosting its first Outstanding Brief Competition for members of the bar. Any appellate opening or response brief from a case decided in the last year may be entered in the competition. Entries are due by March 31. As noted on the state bar’s website:

The brief writers (and their firms or agencies) will be publicly recognized, and the briefs will be posted to the Appellate Practice Section’s website to serve as models for appellate practitioners. Anyone can nominate a brief – author, colleague, friend, judge, clerk, or other admirer of great legal writing. Nominations will be kept confidential.

The website provides additional details about how to nominate a brief and other qualifications.  Here is a link to use to nominate briefs and to ask questions.  The Appellate Practice Section seeks through this competition to promote excellent brief writing among Wisconsin practitioners.

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2016 Mardi Gras Sports Law Moot Court Team Success

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2016 Mardi GrasThe Marquette Sports Law Moot Court team advanced to the final eight of the 2016 Mardi Gras Sports Law Invitational Competition hosted by Tulane University Law School. Please congratulate team members Alexa Callahan, Darius Love, and Nicole Ways. Professors Matt Mitten and Paul Anderson coached the team.  This year the competition included more than 50 competitors and 26 teams.

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Congratulations to the 2016 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competitors

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The Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition is the appellate moot court competition for Marquette law students and is the capstone event of the intramural moot court program.  Students are invited to participate based on their top performance in the fall Appellate Writing and Advocacy course at the Law School. 

Congratulations to the participants in the 2016 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition:

Barry Braatz
David Conley
Robert Copley
Samuel Draver
Isabelle Faust
Alexis Guraz
Christopher Hayden
Ashley Heard
Amber Horak
Megan Kaldunski
Alexandra Klimko
Alicia Kort
Jessica Lothman
Alan Mazzulla
Kayla McCann
Sara McNamara
Andrew Mong
Brittany Running
Rexford Shield
Amardeep Singh
Emily Tercilla
Natalie Wisco
Samuel Woo
Kiel Zillmer

 

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Marquette Quarterfinalists at NMCC Regionals

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Marquette hosted the Region VIII round of the 66th Annual National Moot Court Competition (NMCC) this weekend, which included fourteen participating teams.

I was pleased to work with two strong, dedicated teams.  Larissa Dallman, Jeremy Klang, and Chal Little advanced the quarterfinal round.  Attorneys Emily Lonergan, Jason Luczak, and Max Stephenson coached the team.  Alexandra Don, Christopher Guthrie, and Lauren Maddente also competed and were coached by Attorneys Sue Barranco, Jesse Blocher, and Mike Cerjak.  Both teams put in many hours preparing for competition.

The NMCC is sponsored by the New York City Bar and the American College of Trial Lawyers. Over 180 law schools compete across the country.  I am grateful for the time donated by the Marquette Moot Court Association, and in particular, Alex Ackerman, who chaired this event.  Numerous judges and attorneys from around the state (and even from around the country) took their weekend time to travel to Marquette to judge the oral arguments, or earlier, to grade briefs.  We rely each year on their dedication to this event, and we truly appreciate their help.

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Marquette Quarterfinalists in Criminal Procedure Moot Court

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Mary Ellis and Natalie SchiferlCongratulations to 3Ls Mary Ellis and Natalie Schiferl for placing in the quarterfinals and being awarded the third place for their Petitioner’s brief in the National Criminal Procedure Tournament this past weekend in San Diego.  The team’s advisors are Professors Susan Bay and Thomas Hammer, and the team coaches are Attys. Brittany Kachingwe, Sarah McNutt, and Jennifer Severino.  Special thanks to alum Jennifer Severino, who has been a tremendous volunteer with the Marquette moot court program as a coach and competition judge.  Atty. Severino is moving to Las Vegas and will be missed at Marquette.

 

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Ashley Heard Wins Legal Writing Society Writing Contest

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At the end of October, Marquette University Law School’s Legal Writing Society sponsored a fun writing contest, looking for poetry submissions that combined law and Halloween themes. Ashley Heard’s poem does precisely that:

There once was a law school demon

summoned by a 1L heathen.

It gave students hell

until in love it fell

with the writings of Justice Stevens.

Heard, a 2L, won a $10 gift card to the Tory Hill Café. To find out more about the Marquette Legal Writing Society, contact Lauren Maddente at lauren.maddente@marquette.edu. For other fun law-related poetry, click here. Also, check out law-related book spine poetry here and here.

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The Best Punctuation Day Ever. Period.

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GrandpaHappy National Punctuation Day—the 11th annual of this festive event. Get out your red pens and Strunk and White and get ready to have some fun today.

This Time article claims that punctuation is changing: some would say not for the better. Among other things, says this post, the apostrophe appears to be phasing out in some circles. I think that’s a shame. One problem is that some technology autocorrects apostrophes improperly, adding them where they are not supposed to be, or removing them. Perhaps tech programmers should work with editors to catch those programming errors.

Read more »

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Gender-Neutral Pronoun on the Rise?

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In English, there are three main singular pronouns: he, she, and it. When we’re talking or writing about people, we eschew it; after all, it suggests a non-human subject. This leaves us with he or she, which often are easy to use. We use he for male subjects and she for female subjects.

This is all easy enough, but there are two times when neither he nor she seems the right word choice. The first is where the gender of the subject does not matter. This situation comes up frequently in legal writing. In explaining a rule of law, we often need to include a pronoun. For example, For a plaintiff to maintain a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress, he must prove the defendant’s conduct is extreme and outrageous. In that sentence, we want a singular pronoun to “match” our singular subject noun of “plaintiff.”

Writers are conscious of which pronoun to choose. Many are afraid if they pick the male pronoun—he­—they will be perceived as sexist. One easy fix to avoid picking a pronoun at all is to make the subject “plaintiff” plural so that we can use the plural pronoun “they” (e.g., For plaintiffs to maintain a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress, they must prove the defendant’s conduct is extreme and outrageous.). But sometimes that doesn’t work well or we’d rather keep the subject singular. What to do then? Read more »

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Who Needs Words Anymore?

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emoji press releaseMy worst fear has been realized: we can now stop writing in words.

Last week, Chevy issued a press release written entirely in emoji (except for its hashtag line #ChevyGoesEmoji). Emoji are the little graphics that appear all over the digital world. You’ve probably gotten emails or text messages that include them: a thumbs up sign; a little yellow smiley or angry or sad face; a dog; etc. I’ve done a screen capture of a portion of that release that you can see above. According to one journalist, the press release was “utterly incomprehensible.”

The press release introduced the 2016 Chevy Cruze and seemed to be an attempt to appeal to millennials—the younger generation generally born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s. While the company released its English translation the following day, those in media attempted to decipher the emoji version. Read more »

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