Congratulations to Marquette’s Spong Tournament Team

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This weekend 3ls Meredith Donaldson and Ben Lucareli competed in the 47th William B. Spong, Jr. Invitational Moot Court Tournament at William and Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia.  The team advanced to the quarterfinals amidst stiff competition.  Meredith and Ben were coached by three moot court alumni:  Attorneys Nicholas Chmurski, Stephen Cox, and Matthew Martz.  Their time and assistance is much appreciated.  Congratulations team!

 

Congratulations to the 2018 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 class at the Law School.  Tsz King Tse is the Associate Justice who is running this year’s competition.

Congratulations to the participants of the 2018 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition:

Claudia Ayala Tabares
Katie Bakunowicz
Killian Commers
Be’Jan Edmonds
Torrean Edwards
Emily Gaertner
Olivia Garman
Andrew Goldner
Elizabeth Grabow
Simone Haugen
Alexander Hensley
Zeinat Hindi
Tyler Kongslien
Austin Lower
Scott Lyon
Anna Meulbroek
Anne O’Meara
Sarita Olson
Jehona Osmani
Ian Pomplin
William Ruffing
Andrew Scarpace
Matthew Sowden
Kelsey Stefka
Christina Szocka
Chue Xiong

2017 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Finals

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition, Nate Oesch and Elisabeth Thompson. Congratulations also go to finalists A.J. Lawton and Ashley Smith.  Nate Oesch and Elisabeth Thompson additionally won the Franz C. Eschweiler Prize for Best Brief.  Ashley Smith 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. Paul J. Watford, Hon. James D. Peterson, Hon. Amy J. St. Eve.

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 Samuel (Micah) Woo, who organized the competition, and Chief Justice Barry Braatz.

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

The final round may be viewed here.

2017 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Finalists

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Congratulations to the 2017 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition finalists.  The teams advancing to the final rounds are as follows:

Nate Oesch and Elisabeth Thompson v. AJ Lawton and Ashley Smith

We appreciate the judging assistance in this round of the Hon. Nancy Joseph, Atty. Stephen Cox, Atty. Katherine Hartmann, Atty. Lauren Maddente, Atty. Hannah Schieber Jurss, and Atty. Mary Youssi.

2017 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Semifinalists

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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 on Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Appellate Courtroom and the Trial Courtroom to determine who will be advancing to the final round on April 11 at 4:00 p.m.

The teams will be paired as follows:

Nate Oesch and Elisabeth Thompson v. Meredith Donaldson and Ben Lucareli

AJ Lawton and Ashley Smith v. Mitch Bailey and Jacob Heuett

Congratulations to all the participants in the competition.  We also very much appreciate the judges who grade briefs and participate in the preliminary rounds.  This year we had a recent alum, Natalie Schiferl, who travelled all the way from Minnesota to judge the competition.  One of the great things about moot court is how active our alums and volunteers are, and we appreciate their time and assistance very much.  A special thank you to Samuel (Micah) Woo, Associate Justice in charge of the competition.

Best wishes to all of the competitors on Wednesday night.

Marquette Wagner Moot Court Team–2017 Semifinalists

Posted on Categories Labor & Employment Law, Legal Education, Legal Practice, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public1 Comment on Marquette Wagner Moot Court Team–2017 Semifinalists

Marquette’s labor and employment moot court team had an incredibly successful performance at New York Law School’s Wagner Moot Court Competition.  On March 24th and 25th, Carly Gerards, Nick Sulpizio, and Corey Swinick competed and performed very well in both their oral advocacy and brief writing.

After the preliminary rounds, the team advanced to the octofinals with the 8th best score of the 40 teams competing.  The team then advanced to the quarterfinals and eventually the semifinals–a Final Four team for Marquette.

In addition to advancing to the top four of the entire competition, the team took home the award for best overall Petitioner Brief.  The team worked exceptionally hard on the brief and in their advocacy practices, and that hard work paid off.  Great job, team!

The team is advised by Professor Paul Secunda and coached by Attorney Laurie Frey.

Congratulations to Marquette’s 2017 Jessup Team

Posted on Categories International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public2 Comments on Congratulations to Marquette’s 2017 Jessup Team

The 2017 Jessup Moot Court Team poses for a photo.Congratulations to Celeste Borjas, Alyssa Gemein, James Wold, and Dena Welden for their strong effort in the 2017 Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Midwest Regionals in Chicago last weekend.  This year’s Jessup problem involved international law issues related to transboundary water aquifers, cultural heritage and migrant/refugee rights.  Our Marquette team won the 2d place award for Best Memorial in the Midwest Region.  Big congratulations!

Attorneys and Marquette Law alumni Juan Amado (Jessup, 2011), Rene Jovel (Jessup, 2014) and Drew Walgreen (MU moot court, 2013), as well as Professors Megan A. O’Brien and Ryan Scoville served as team advisors.  Special thanks to Jared Widseth (Jessup 2014) and Margaret Krei (Jessup 2013) as well as Attorney Nathan Kirschner for giving so much of their time to judge practice rounds this year.

Congratulations to the 2017 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 2017 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition:

Ambrose (Mitch) Bailey
Bryn Baker
John Binder
Meredith Donaldson
Corinne Frutiger
Jacob Heuett
Hayley Kresnak
A.J. Lawton
Ben Lucareli
Nathan Oesch
Robert Ollman
Courtney Roelandts
Anjali Sharma
Ashley Smith
Elisabeth Thompson
Tsz King Tze

Not Just Another Email

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My first legal writing assignment in law school was an e-mail memo. For the first few weeks or so of my introductory legal writing course, our professor guided my classmates and me through thorough examination and crafting of effective e-mail memos.  At the time, I found the exercise mundane—lacking the excitement and wonder of a full memo or brief.  It seemed more like diet legal writing that was focused on beginners. Boy was I wrong.

As a new associate, I spend much of my time researching developments in the law.  One effective way to communicate and document my research and conclusions is to submit an answer by e-mail. Looking back now, I wish that I had had the principles we learned in that legal writing class in mind when submitting my first such e-mail memo to a more senior associate at our firm.

My first version of an e-mail memo in practice was a disaster.  The question was simple: Whether there had been any new case or other law on a narrow issue. The answer, as I saw it based on my research, was just two sentences of text. So, I wrote down my answer in a colloquial e-mail, fired it off, and moved on to another matter. Oops.

Shortly thereafter, the senior associate that I sent that e-mail to walked into my office and politely asked me whether I had a copy of The Bluebook.  Then it all came back: Identify the question; give an answer; justify and support the answer by stating what the law is and how it would likely apply to these facts; consider counter answers where applicable; offer further discussion; check your cites. Needless to say, my first e-mail memo in practice did not follow this blueprint.

Now, my experience might not be everyone’s, but if I could add to the heap of advice law students receive, it would be to refresh that recollection of how to write a superb e-mail memo before pressing the send button as a new associate in practice. E-mail memos are not mere introductions to legal writing.

Marquette Teams Win Best Petitioner Brief and Best Respondent Brief at NMCC Regionals

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I had the privilege of working with two outstanding National Moot Court Competition (NMCC) teams again this year. The Region VIII round of the NMCC was hosted by Marquette November 19-20, 2016.

Please congratulate team members Kayla McCann, Emily Tercilla, and Samuel (Micah) Woo, who received the highest brief score in the competition and award for best Petitioner’s brief. Attorneys Jason Luczak and Max Stephenson coached the team.

Please also congratulate team members David Conley, Andrew Mong, and Kiel Killmer for their performance at the competition. The team had the top placing Respondent’s brief and advanced to the quarterfinals (top eight teams). Attorneys Jeremy Klang, Jesse Blocher, and Michael Cerjak coached the team.

Continue reading “Marquette Teams Win Best Petitioner Brief and Best Respondent Brief at NMCC Regionals”

The Aesthetics of Brief Writing

Posted on Categories Legal Writing, Public, Uncategorized1 Comment on The Aesthetics of Brief Writing

aesthetics-1Conversations around aesthetics are generally found in the context of the arts. As visual aesthetics are highly important in the context of interactive work (be it music, sculpture, paintings, and the like), it seems only natural to have those conversations. However, when we think of a legal brief, it is rare to ever hear mention of aesthetics. This is because we often are more concerned about the content of the brief rather than the physical appearance—this is a critical flaw. We should concern ourselves with the aesthetics of our brief just as much as we are concerned about the content. We are all aware that judges are busy. Let’s make their job easier: make them want to read your brief.

A brief, much like music, sculpture, paintings and the like, is interactive. A brief is argument that an attorney prepares specifically for the court to interact with. The court’s first impression of the attorney will be how the brief looks. Regardless of what I have been told, I always judge a book by its cover. The judge can and will judge your brief based on how it looks, too. There are simple steps to ensure your brief is the belle of the ball:

1 . Although obvious, do not screw up the basic formatting. Don’t miss the easy ones. Call the clerk and ask what the local rules are if you are not aware of requirements and cannot find the formatting requirements on your own.

2. Leave white space. Why do we need white space? It gives the eyes a break. There is nothing more daunting than flipping the page to see nothing but a wall of text. Your reader will thank you for the white space. In addition, white space can improve the legibility of the document, increase the attention of the reader, and lead to higher overall comprehension of the point you are asserting. A writer can create whitespace by:

  • breaking up a paragraph into multiple paragraphs
  • using point headings
  • using bullet points
  • inserting charts
  • inserting graphics

Continue reading “The Aesthetics of Brief Writing”

When is it Plagiarism?

Posted on Categories Higher Education, Legal Education, Legal Ethics, Legal Research, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public1 Comment on When is it Plagiarism?

trump obamaLast night’s Republican National Convention has thrust “plagiarism” to the forefront of the news. One of last night’s speakers was Melania Trump, the wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. Trump’s speech sounded to many strikingly similar to one given eight years earlier—by First Lady Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

How similar?

Incredibly so. Not just identical words, but nearly identical context and sentence structure. At one point, Trump says, “Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them” (emphasis added). Eight years earlier, Obama had said, “Because we want our children — and all children in this nationto know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them” (emphasis added).

That is plagiarism.

(You can see a side-by-side text comparison here and here and side-by-side video comparison here.) Continue reading “When is it Plagiarism?”