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”
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.
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.
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”
Congratulations to the participants in the 2020 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition:
Foley Van Lieshout
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Congratulations to the participants in the 2019 Jenkins Honors
Moot Court Competition:
Colin (Cole) Dunn
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.