Results of the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Final Round

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition, Jay McDivitt and Mathias Rekowski. Congratulations also go to finalists Michelle Knapp and Wynetta McIntosh. A video of the final round is available here.

This year, Jay McDivitt won the Jenkins Competition’s Ramon A. Klitzke Prize for Best Oralist, and he and teammate Mathias Rekowski won the Franz C. Eschweiler Prize for Best Brief. Kelley Roach and Ashley Rossman were awarded second-place brief, and Xavier Jenkins and Wynetta McIntosh won third place in the briefing scores among the twelve teams in the competition. Continue reading “Results of the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Final Round”

Marquette’s First Virtual Appellate Oral Arguments

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This weekend the Law School hosted its first ever virtual appellate oral argument competition.  The Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition went forward virtually this weekend on the Microsoft Teams platform.  The oral arguments, originally planned for the spring, had been initially canceled due to the outbreak of COVID-19.  Students and judges did a fantastic job of adapting to the new format.  Students who competed had a unique opportunity to practice a skill that will likely become a more regular part of legal practice.  Congratulations to the competitors, and thank you to the judges who graciously offered their time.

Story-telling and the Law

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Tens-of-thousands of years ago human beings would gather near fires to keep the nightly darkness and danger at bay. Under the faint light of long-gone constellations, they would share stories. Stories of long-ago hunts and happenings that could no longer be remembered by any living soul. Dramatic stories of the beginning of the world, of gods big and small and the conflict between them all. Some of these stories were told with cave paintings, a smear of ash and suddenly a herd of elk would materialize on a cave wall.

Story-telling is fundamental to being human. As a collective species we surround ourselves in them and use them to relate to one another. The stories we tell can be light-hearted and full of levity. They might be tragic and heart wrenching. Usually, they are some sort of combination. Whether we realize or not we tell and retell stories every day. We relate the stories of our day to our significant others and friends after a day of work. We bond with our friends over stories of past exploits. Spend ten minutes with any child and you will be inundated with stories.

We use stories to make the complex simple and to craft narratives and mythos of the everyday. We judge the entertainment we consume based on how the stories contained within make us feel and award little golden statutes to those stories we deem best. The overwhelming majority of us will never receive a statute for the story of our own lives, but that doesn’t make them any less important.

From the criminal defendant to the corporation, there is always a story to tell. Which makes the legal profession’s aversion to stories and story telling all the more puzzling. The legal profession prides itself on brevity and regrettably this can sometimes lead to squeezing the humanity out of their story. A human being reduced to a mere two-dimensional caricature is a disservice to everyone. It reduces the humanity of the client and it embitters the attorney to see every client as a transaction, rather than someone who needs help with the complicated legal system. Much like an off-brand powdered juice mix the de-humanized, non-story recitation of a client’s issue can leave one wanting something more substantial.

It is easy to see why this happens. Attorneys at some firms live their lives 15 minutes at a time, constantly aware of the amount of time they spend on a given task. With limited space in written briefs and limited time in front of a judge to make their arguments it is tempting to jettison the human story that brought the suit in the first place. The U.S. Supreme Court for instance imposes a word limit of 9,000 words for Petitions for Writs of Certiorari and generally limits oral argument to an hour total on issues that affect the entire nation.

But despite the limitations placed on how an attorney has to advocate, we shouldn’t forget to tap into the human instinct. I didn’t realize the power inherent in stories until the spring semester of my second year of law school. Up to that point I had dogmatically followed the CREAC, (conclusion, rule, explanation, application, and conclusion) format and could never figure out why my legal writing was never as compelling as my peers. The answer was quite simple. I wasn’t writing a story for the fictional client, I was writing an instruction manual. There was no passion, no emotion, and as a result my writing suffered. I am glad to have learned that lesson. I had forgotten that everyone looks to the faint glow of constellations at night; that we seek out stories to help us understand the world.

NAAC Teams Collect Accolades in DC

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3 law students posing in courthouse professional dress
Jake Rozema, Darrin Pribbernow, and Christin Saint Pierre at the NAAC Washington DC regionals.
3 law students posing in a courthouse in professional dress
Charlie Bowen, Julie Leary, and Alex Sterling at the NAAC Washington DC regionals

Thirty-two teams from across the country arrived in Washington, D.C. at the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse on February 27, all prepared to present oral arguments in the National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) regional. Two Marquette Law teams were among those and both made their presence known. Continue reading “NAAC Teams Collect Accolades in DC”

Marquette Moot Court Association Names Participants in the 2020 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition

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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 2020 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition:

Adam Best
William Brookley
John Fuller
Kaitlyn Gradecki
Xavier Jenkins
Naomie Kipulu
Michelle Knapp
Nicholas Lubenow
Colleen Mandell
Jay McDivitt
Aleina McGettrick
Wynetta McIntosh
Marilyn McQuade
Tori Nanstad
Kelsey Pelegrin
Jessica Puetz
Annalisa Pusick
Mathias Rekowski
Kelley Roach
Ashley Rossman
Adam Roznowski
Lucas Schaetzel
Natalie Sobierajski
Foley Van Lieshout
Haley Wentz

The Jenkins preliminary rounds begin in March 2020, with the winning teams progressing through the quarterfinals, then semifinals, to the finals. All rounds are open to the public. Stay tuned for more information.

3L Moot Court Team Sweeps Preliminaries at Elon University Competition

Posted on Categories Appellate Advocacy, Legal Education, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Moot Court, Public1 Comment on 3L Moot Court Team Sweeps Preliminaries at Elon University Competition
Moot Court students in front of Elon Law sign
From left to right: Luis Gutierrez, Terreea Shropshire, and Nicholas Wanic

In Marquette Law’s first appearance at the Billings, Exum & Frye National Moot Court Competition at Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina, three Marquette Law students showed that Team Marquette is a force to be reckoned with.

Luis Gutierrez, Terreea Shropshire, and Nicholas Wanic were one of 40 teams at the competition. Though their brief was not one of the top two in the competition (the only ones awarded honors), they earned a high score that was nearly ten points above the median. Further, they won each of their three preliminaries rounds and advanced to the octofinals.

This competition had a tight turn-around time between problem release, brief deadline, and competition. All three team members stepped up and showed how hard work pays off. Professor Rebecca Blemberg served as the team’s faculty advisor and coach. Other coaches were Attorney Courtney Roelandts (L’18), who also accompanied the team to the competition, and Attorneys Jessica Delgado (L’19) and Sarita (Sadie) Olson (L’19), with Professor Lisa A. Mazzie assisting. Thank you, too, to Attorney Greg Helding (L’14), who served as guest judge.

Congratulations, team, on your accomplishments!

 

 

 

 

MULS Legal Education: Following Footsteps and Forging Your Own Path

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Legal Education, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public, Student ContributorLeave a comment» on MULS Legal Education: Following Footsteps and Forging Your Own Path

Sensenbrenner Hall

zilber forum
From Sensenbrenner Hall (left) to the Zilber Forum at Eckstein Hall.

When I was asked if I would—together with my daughter Micaela—write a blog for the Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog, I wanted to make sure it was known I haven’t practiced law full-time in fifteen years.  So, fair warning, this is not going to be a technical legal discussion.

Let’s start with a short background: I graduated from MULS in 1989.  In fact, I just celebrated my thirty-year reunion (quick shout out to my classmates:  You guys rock!  We had the highest turnout of any reunion class!).  It was wonderful catching up with old friends, some I have kept in touch with; regrettably, some I have not.

As I stood in the Zilber Forum (as I have done several times previously, more on that later), I reflected on my law school experience at Sensenbrenner Hall, and, despite feeling envious of the students who are privileged to study law in such a marvelous facility, was transported in back thirty years to the year I graduated from MULS.  I remember the hope, the promise, coupled with the uncertainty and anxiety I was feeling at the time. Not to mention the excitement of my impending marriage one month later to my beautiful wife of thirty years, Ellen, whom I met while we were both studying at Marquette (she was earning her Masters in Analytical Chemistry at the time).

Flash forward thirty years and imagine my pride when Micaela announced to us that she would be attending MULS. In fact, Micaela is officially a 3L and is on track to graduate in May 2020. While it may not be shocking for a child to follow in a parent’s footsteps, it didn’t look like that would be happening with Micaela. Continue reading “MULS Legal Education: Following Footsteps and Forging Your Own Path”

Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competitors Advance to Semifinals

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Congratulations to the students in the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition who have moved on to the semifinal round of the competition. The students will be competing tomorrow, Sunday, April 7 at 10 a.m. to determine which two teams will be advancing to the final round on Thursday, April 11, at 5:15 p.m.

The following teams will be competing in the semifinals:

Nicholas Wanic and Luis Gutierrez

Julie Leary and Elizabeth Elving

Brooke Erickson and Micaela Haggenjos

Cole Dunn and Peter Klepacz

The final round of the Jenkins competition will take place on Thursday, April 11, at 5:15 p.m. in the Lubar Center. The final round will be judged by The Honorable Charles Wilson (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit), The Honorable Daniel Kelly (Wisconsin Supreme Court), and The Honorable Lisa Stark (Wisconsin Court of Appeals).

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. You can register with this on-line registration link.

Congratulations to all the participants in the competition. Thank you also to all the alumni and other attorneys and judges who volunteered to grade briefs and serve as judges in the four preliminary rounds and in the quarterfinal rounds. We appreciate their time and assistance every year.

Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competitors Advance to Quarterfinals

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Congratulations to the students in the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition who have moved on to the quarterfinal round of the competition. The students will be competing on Saturday, April 6 at 2:30 p.m. to determine which teams will be advancing to the semifinal round on Sunday, April 7 at 10:00 a.m.

The following teams will be competing in the quarterfinals:

Nicholas Wanic and Luis Gutierrez

Julie Leary and Elizabeth Elving

Allison Mignon and Mikal Roberson

Emily Turzinski and Brighton Troha

Brooke Erickson and Micaela Haggenjos

Adam Vanderheyden and Jason Findling

Cole Dunn and Peter Klepacz

Marnae Mawdsley and Mitchell Kiffmeyer

Congratulations to all the participants in the competition. We also very much appreciate the alumni and other attorneys who volunteered to grade briefs and who served as judges in the four preliminary rounds. We appreciate their time and assistance every year.

The final round of the Jenkins competition will take place on Thursday, April 11, at 5:15 p.m. in the Lubar Center.

Congratulations to Marquette’s Sports Law Moot Court Team

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The Marquette Sports Law Moot Court team advanced to the Octofinals of the 2019 Mardi Gras Sports Law Invitational Competition hosted by Tulane University Law School. Please congratulate team members Killian Commers, Hannah Compton, and Alexander Hensley. Professors Matt Mitten and Paul Anderson coached the team.  Kara Coppage and Tyler Coppage, who are former MU Mardi Gras Competition team members, coached and traveled with the team.  Tyler is pictured with the team.

NAAC Teams Win Third and Fourth Best Briefs, Advance to Regional Semifinal Rounds at Boston Regional

Posted on Categories Legal Education, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public1 Comment on NAAC Teams Win Third and Fourth Best Briefs, Advance to Regional Semifinal Rounds at Boston Regional
one woman and two men, all law students, stand before a courtroom door
Lizzy King, Jad Itani, and Travis Yang
three women, all law students, stand in front of a courtroom door
Anna Meulbroek, Zeinat Hindi, and Libby Grabow

Thirty teams from across the country arrived in Boston at the Boston Municipal Court Department on February 28, all prepared to present oral arguments in the National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) regional. Two Marquette Law teams were among those and both made an impact.

Jad Itani, Elizabeth (Lizzy) King, and Travis Yang were seeded 13th after three rounds of argument. They advanced to the fourth (regional semifinal) round but faced a tough bench while arguing respondent’s side, a tough argument in the context of the Eighth Amendment issues presented. They lost that fourth round. King had a strong performance at oral argument in the second round, despite battling some unfortunate shellfish poisoning; Itani had to sub in for her in the third and fourth rounds, despite not having argued that side at all. Their team’s brief was named third best in the region.

Elizabeth (Libby) Grabow, Zeinat Hindi, and Anna Meulbroek were seeded 3rd after three rounds, but they, too, faced a tough bench in the fourth round. Unfortunately, they lost that round, but delivered consistently high-quality oral arguments in every round. After the third round, the judges commended them for their winning performance and encouraged each of them to continue with litigation work. Their team’s brief was named fourth best in the region.

This year was the first in memory where both teams advanced to the regional semifinal round and both teams received brief awards. Marquette has much to be proud of.

Both teams were assisted by practitioner coaches Elleny Christopolous, Kate Maternowski, and Zachary Willenbrink (L’11). Thank you, too, to practice judges Professors Ed Fallone and Elana Olson; Judge J.P. Stadtmueller (L’67), law clerk Nathan Bader and law clerk Joan Harms; City of Milwaukee attorneys James Carroll (L’08), Bill Davidson (L’17), Patricia Fricker, Katryna Rhodes; Meredith Donaldson (L’18); and former NAAC competitors Lucas Bennewitz (L’15), Ali Klimko (L’17), Andrew Lawton (L’18), and Adam Woodside (L’18).

Congratulations to team members for their outstanding representation of Marquette Law.

 

 

 

Moot Court Association Names Participants in the 2019 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition

Posted on Categories Legal Education, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, PublicTags Leave a comment» on Moot Court Association Names Participants in the 2019 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition

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 2019 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition:

Charles Bowen

Colin (Cole) Dunn

Elizabeth Elving

Brooke Erickson

Jason Findling

Luis Gutierrez

Micaela Haggenjos

Mitchell Kiffmeyer

Peter Klepacz

Julie Leary

Marnae Mawdsley

Alison Mignon

Kieran O’Day

Kylie Owens

Darrin Pribbernow

Mikal Roberson

Jacob Rozema

Caleb Tomaszewski

Brighton Troha

Emily Turzinski

Alexander Sterling

Adam Vanderheyden

Nick Wanic

Sadie Zurfluh

The Jenkins preliminary rounds begin March 30, 2019, with the winning teams progressing through the quarterfinals, then semifinals, to the finals. The final round will take place April 11, 2019. All rounds are open to the public. Stay tuned for more information.

Correction (1/4/19): Earlier, this post said the final round was April 7, 2019; however, the correct date is April 11, 2019.