Moot Court

The Moot Court Board of Advocates is a student organization that provides hands-on lawyering experience and further refines members’ communication and advocacy skills by exposing them to simulated appellate court experiences.  Moot Court is led by an executive board and faculty advisors.  Membership is competitive and students selected for the program complete an advocacy course and compete at internal and national competitions.

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    Moot Court Success

    The Moot Court Board is a student organization that develops skills in legal writing, research, analysis and advocacy. The program offers students a practical educational experience through participation in appellate oral arguments and brief writing competitions against top ranked law schools throughout the country. In past years, the Moot Court Board enjoyed success in numerous competitions, including:

    2018/2019: National Appellate Advocacy Competition Regional Rounds: Finalists; Third Place Brief Award; Top 10 Advocate in Preliminary Rounds.

    2018/2019: Gabrielli National Family Law Moot Court Competition: Octorounds.

    2017/2018: National Moot Court Competition Regional Rounds: Semifinalists, Best Brief Award, Best Oralist.

    2017/2018: Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Competition: Octorounds.

    2017/2018: National Child Welfare and Adoption Moot Court Competition: Semifinalists; Best Oralist in Preliminary Rounds; Third Place Oralist in Preliminary Rounds.

    2016/2017: Veterans Law National Moot Court Competition: Quarterfinalists, Second Place Brief Award.

    2016/2017: National Moot Court Competition Regional Rounds: Semifinalists.

    2013: Runners-Up, National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition.

    2012: Semi-finalists, Oralist Award, 2nd Place Best Brief (Team 1), 6th Place Best Brief (Team 2), New York City Bar Association National Moot Court Competition.

    2012: 4th Place Best Brief, ABA Appellate Advocacy Competition.

    2011: Quarterfinalists, NYU Immigration Law Competition.

    2010: Regional Semifinalist & 4th Place Best Brief, Jessup Super Competition.

    2010: Quarterfinalists, Gibbons Criminal Procedure Competition.

    2010/2009: Regional Quarterfinalists, New York City Bar Competition.

    2009: Quarterfinalists - The Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition – Intellectual Property.

    2009: National Champions - National Invitational Appellate Moot Court Competition.

    2009: Regional finalists, 2nd Place Best Brief, World Round Qualifiers (1st time in UDM history), Jessup Super Competition.

    2008: Champions - Chicago Bar Assoc. Moot Court Competition.

    2008: National Champions and Runner-Up National Champions - McGee Civil Rights National Moot Court Competition.


    National Competitions


    The ABA Law Student Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) emphasizes the development of oral advocacy skills through a realistic appellate advocacy experience. Competitors participate in a hypothetical appeal to the United States Supreme Court. The competition involves writing a brief as either respondent or petitioner and then arguing the case in front of the mock court.

    Team 1:           Kelly Carranza, Jenna Dafoe, Arianna Deskins
    Team 2:           
    Coaches:         Professors Karen Henning, Michelle Richards 


    The William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition is an inter-scholastic appellate moot court competition sponsored by the University of Minnesota Law School. Its mission is to promote interest, reflection and discourse among law students, law faculty and members of the practicing bar and bench in the substance, procedure and practice of civil rights law and to provide opportunity to interested law students to develop the oral advocacy and writing skills essential to be successful appellate practitioners.

    Team:              Kristina Joseph, Hussein Rahal, and Robert Berlin

    Coach:             Professor Deborah Paruch


    The Dean Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Competition is named in honor of the late Jerome Prince, renowned evidence scholar, teacher, and author of Prince on Evidence, who served as Dean of Brooklyn Law School from 1953-1971. The competition is hosted in the spring on Brooklyn Law School’s campus in the heart of Brooklyn Heights. The competition provides law students from across the country an opportunity to write an appellate brief addressing evidentiary issues in a contemporary context. Each year, distinguished scholars and judges join the competition’s final bench. 

    Team :             Conor Fitzpatrick and Hillary Zuzow

    Coach:             Professor Gary Maveal


    The UC Davis Asylum & Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition is the only competition in the nation devoted exclusively to the topic of asylum and refugee law. It is also the only immigration law moot court competition on the West Coast. The competition provides law students from across the country the opportunity to participate in a hypothetical appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Competitors will write a brief as either respondent or petitioner on an issue related to asylum and refugee law. Shortly after submitting their briefs, students will participate in oral arguments. Students’ briefs and oral arguments will be judged by prominent judges, attorneys and scholars that specialize in the areas of immigration law and/or appellate advocacy.

    Team:              Michael Marx, Brandon Warzybok, and Sydney Booth

    Coach:             Professor David Koelsch


    First organized in 2009, the National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition (formerly the Veterans Law Appellate Advocacy Competition) is the nation’s premier moot court competition focusing on veterans law.  Hosted every fall in Washington, D.C., the competition brings together teams of students from around the country to argue cutting edge veterans law issues before panels of distinguished practitioners and judges. The NVLMCC prides itself on it authenticity of it problems and the quality of its judges. The record on appeal for each competition is highly detailed and the documents included look like the evidence that would be found in a real veterans law case.  The judges for the briefs and the oral arguments are drawn from the ranks of experienced veterans law practitioners, which results in very realistic oral arguments.  In particular, the final round of each NVLMCC has been judged by a panel of actual judges of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in the CAVC's courtroom.  Few, if any, moot court competitions can boast an experience that is so true to actual practice.

    Team:              Brett Vasicek, Cory Foglesong

    Coach:             Professor Margaret Costello


    Every year, over 150 law schools compete in the regional rounds throughout the U.S., and the winners advance to the final rounds held at the New York City Bar. This widely–recognized National Moot Court Competition allows law students to hone their appellate advocacy skills by arguing before prominent members of our profession.

    Team:             Zac Clark, Holly Lowe, and Michael Alvaro

    Coach:            Professor Michelle Richards


    Team Results

    2013-14 TEAM RESULTS


    National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition 

    Competition Runners-Up                                                                                                                                             Brett Vasicek and Cory Foglesong

    Coach: Professor Margaret Costello 

    2012-13 TEAM RESULTS


    New York City Bar Association National Moot Court Competition 

    TEAM B:  Semi-Finalists & Runner-up Best Brief
    Laura Gibson, Christopher Kwiecien, Dan Bonucchi 

    TEAM A:  6th Best Brief 
    Javon Hindo, Brian Smith, Erin Stafford 

    Coaches: Prof. Julia Belian, Prof. Richard Broughton, Prof. Karen Henning 

    2011-12 TEAM RESULTS


    ABA Appellate Advocacy Competition 
    4th Place Best Brief (Out of 40 Teams)
    Matthew Berard, Sara Lowry, and Erin Stafford

    NYU Immigration Law Competition
    Rachel Schefferly, Randy Samona, and Amanda Vintevogel

    2008-09 TEAM RESULTS


    Texas National Invitational 
    2009 Moot Court National Champions
    Jennifer Dukarski, Daniel Whittal, and Shannon Snee

    Chicago Bar Association National Moot Court Competition 
    Competition Champions

    2007-08 TEAM RESULTS


    McGee Civil Rights Moot Court Competition: 
    National Champions
    Runner-Up National Champions
    Runner-Up Best Brief and Best Oralist

    The Animal Rights Competition
    National Finalists

    The Jessup International Law Competition
    Super-Regional Semi-Finalists
    Fourth-place Best Brief Award

    The PACE Environmental Law Competition
    National Quarterfinalists
    Best Preliminary Oralist

    The Immigration Law Competition
    National Semi-Finalists
    Runner-Up Best Oralist

    NYC Bar National Moot Court Competition
    Reginal Semi-Finalists

    Prince Evidence Competition
    National Quarterfinalists

    Criminal Procedure Competition
    National Quarterfinalists
    Best Brief for Respondents

    State of Michigan Moot Court Competition
    Runner-Up Best Oralist

    ABA Appellate Advocacy Competition
    Regional Semi-Finalists
    Runner-Up Best Oralist

    2006-07 TEAM RESULTS


    McGee Civil Rights Moot Court Competition: 
    Best Oralist Award (Overall)
    Best Oralist Award (Preliminary rounds)
    Third-place Oralist Award
    Quarter-finalist Team (Team 1)
    Quarter-finalist Team (Team 2)

    Niagara International Law Moot Court Competition
    National Champions

    NYU Immigration Law Moot Court Competition
    Best Brief Award
    Quarter-finalist Team

    PACE Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
    Best Oralist Award (preliminary rounds)
    Semi-finalist Team

    State of Michigan Moot Court Competition
    Best Oralist Award
    Semi-finalist Team

    Jessup International Law Moot court Competition
    Fourth-place Brief Award
    Ranked 3rd in overall preliminary round raw points

    The National Moot Court Competition
    Advanced to first post-preliminary round

    Mardi Gras Sports Law Moot Court Competition
    Advanced to first post-preliminary round

    Jerome Prince Evidence Moot Court Competition

    2005-06 TEAM RESULTS


    Ernie Goodman Trial Tournament: 
    Brad French and Susie Mahoney

    Gallagher Professional Responsibility Competition: 
    Aminie Woolworth

    G. MennenWilliams First-Year Competition: 
    Samantha Boone (JD/LLB) and Jennifer Matic (JD/LLB), Runner-Up


    State of Michigan Moot Court Competition Team: 
    Leila Williford and Rich Rozicki

    Faculty Coaches: Pamela Wilkins and Michelle Streicher

    • Finalist Team
    • Second Place Best Team
    • Second Place Best Brief

    McGee Civil Rights Competition Team: 
    Sean Cowley, Kim Saks, and Breanne Smith

    Faculty Coaches: Alan Saltzman and David Koelsch

    • Won 2 of 3 Preliminary Rounds and Kim Saks was ranked among the top oralists for the Preliminary Rounds

    PACE Environmental Law Competition Team: 
    Bhavna Bhandari, Samuel McCrimmon, and Andrew Strahan

    Faculty Coach: Jacqueline Hand

    • National Runners-Up
    • Andrew Strahan - Best Oralist in the first preliminary round
    • Sam McCrimmon - Best Oralist in the third preliminary round

    Philip C. Jessup International Law Competition Team: 
    Samia Alam, Sonal Kulkarni, Cayley Rodd, and Jayson Thomas

    Brief Writer/Student Coach: Bob Entwisle

    Faculty Coach: Cara Cunningham

    • Finalist Team - Regionals
    • Runner-Up Best Team - Regionals
    • 4th Place Best Brief

    William B. Spong Invitational Constitutional Law Moot Court Tournament Team: 
    Chip Baker, Nick Kurk, and Michelle Moon

    Faculty Coach: Drew Becker

    Child Welfare and Adoption Law Moot Court Competition

    Team 1: Erin Badovinac and Kate Sharkey; 

    Team 2: Danielle Grassmyer and Michael Naughton

    Faculty Coaches: Michelle Streicher and Deborah Paruch

    • Erin Badovinac received 10th Place Best Oralist in the Preliminary Rounds

    Dean Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Competition Team: 
    Andrea Bradley and Janet Conigliaro

    Faculty Coaches: Gary Maveal and Richard Kriscuinas


    Advanced Advocacy Course

    Advanced Advocacy is a two-credit course that is taught from the perspective that advocacy is more than an applied skill; in its purest form, advocacy is a form of art. This class takes students beyond the traditional moot court curriculum and thoroughly examines the art and various techniques of persuasion through innovative exercises and guest lectures. Although the class is required for all moot court members and external moot court competitors, the persuasion techniques taught in this class are so universal to the practice of law that all upper-class students are encouraged to enroll.

    Competitive Opportunities


    The School of Law hosts both an internal trial and appellate moot court competition. The competition format recognizes the importance of teaching material in a practical setting, where students have an opportunity to learn then apply discrete skills. If you are interested in judging any of these competitions, please contact the ALTA faculty at

    Fall Semester:

    • Ernie Goodman Mock Trial Tournament
      The Ernie Goodman Mock Trial Tournament is hosted by the Moot Court Board of Advocates and named for one of Michigan’s finest trial attorneys and civil rights advocates, Mr. Ernie Goodman. Competitors, in teams of two, are required to attend trial workshops, to produce a trial notebook, and to try the competition case at least twice (once as plaintiff and once as defendant) in the preliminary rounds of the tournament. The trial will be evaluated by judges and attorneys who act as judge and jury. Two teams will then advance to the final round, with cash prizes available. Regardless of whether students enroll for credit, the prerequisites are Evidence and Trial Practice (either the traditional course or the NITA intercession course). Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above to enroll for academic credit.

    Spring Semester:

    • Patrick A. Keenan Appellate Advocacy Competition 

    The Keenan Competition is an annual tournament administered by UDM's Moot Court Board of Advocates.  The tournament is a two-person team competition in which both students write the brief and compete in oral rounds.   Students participate in a series of workshops and are assigned a coach from the Moot Court Board of Advocates to prepare for oral argument.  The topic of the tournament is an issue taken from a case currently pending and/or up for writ of certiorari before the Unites States Supreme Court, or an issue that is generating attention among the federal circuits.  The competition is open to ALL upperclassmen that have a minimum GPA of 2.5.  Further, students can receive one (1) credit for completing the tournament.  This competition is mandatory for all Junior Moot Court members, with the exception of those serving on national teams.

    • G. Mennen Williams Moot Court Competition
      This is the mandatory first-year moot court competition and is part of the Applied Legal Theory and Analysis course. Students will draft a dispositive motion and brief in support as part of their writing course. They will then argue their position before a mock tribunal. Students will receive in-class oral advocacy training from their ALTA professors as well as from the Moot Court Board of Advocates.


    Each year the Moot Court Board of Advocates sponsors competitive teams that travel across the country to argue mock appellate cases against law students from other American and Canadian law schools. In the past, substantive law topics have included Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Employment Law, Entertainment Law, Environmental Law, International Law, and Tax Law. Team members are selected in the second week of the fall semester to serve on a competitive team the following spring. In the spring semester, two- to four-member teams will write an appellate brief and prepare oral arguments that will be heard before a mock appellate court. Students will then travel to the host school and present their arguments over the course of one weekend. Advanced Advocacy is a pre- or co-requisite, and students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.8 or above to tryout and compete.




    These exhibitions give Detroit Mercy Law students a first-hand look at what it is like to practice before a trial or appellate court.  In the past several years, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan have held official court sessions at UDM. During the hearing day, attorneys present their arguments, and the Justices and attorneys frequently take extra time to give advice to students.  These events are always well attended and touted as a tremendous learning opportunity.


    Contact Us


    Professor Karen Henning -

    2019 - 2020 EXECUTIVE BOARD