Loyola's Trial Advocacy & Moot Court Teams Continue Legacy of Excellence
In February 2023 Loyola’s inaugural National Sports Moot Court Team of Stephanie Lamb ‘24, Dante Matera ‘24 and Shannon Skrzynski ‘24 competed in the Tulane Mardi Gras Moot Court Invitational competition. Mardi Gras Invitational is the only annual moot court appellate competition that focuses on contemporary legal problems confronting the sports industry. The team travelled to New Orleans and argued in the courtrooms of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Although the team missed advancing to the semi-finals by one ballot, Shannon Skrzynski won best petitioner oralist for the competition besting students from 25 teams across the county. The team was coached by Stefanie Yee ‘16
In March Loyola’s Latinx Law Student Association team of Evelyn Escamilla ‘24, Christopher Luna ‘24, and Denise Mungia-Salazar ‘24 competed against teams from 29 other law schools in the Hispanic National Bar Association’s Uvaldo Hererra Moot Court competition held on Phoenix, Arizona. Loyola’s team won best respondents’ brief, an honor that came with a $3,000.00 scholarship award. The team was coached by Monique Alarcon ‘16 and Professor Gary Williams served as the team’s faculty advisor.
Loyola's moot court team of Benjamin Shin '24 and Ezequiel Gurule '24, were declared champions of the 2023 Roger J. Traynor Moot Court Competition.
The Traynor competition is a nationally recognized appellate moot court competition focused exclusively on California law that has existed for more than 50 years. Only judges and certified specialists in appellate law are eligible to serve as oral argument judges at the annual event. This year's competition included 60 advocates from 20 California law schools. The Loyola team was unbeaten in all rounds of the competition and went into the championship round, defeating a UC Berkeley Law School team. The final panel included appellate court justices from the California Court of Appeal. The team also won:
- Roger J. Traynor Award for Oral Argument (winner of the final round)
- Excellence in Appellate Advocacy Award (highest combined brief and oral argument score): 2nd Place
- Geoffrey Hall Wright Award for Best Oralist in the competition: Benjamin Shin
- Individual Merit Award for Oral Argument: 3rd Place, Ezequiel Gurule
Alum coaches led the team, Albert Sheen '12 and Jessica Vogel '12.
Loyola’s National Moot Court Team won the Regional competition of the National Championship of the National Moot Court Competition in November 2021. The team of Candace Hart and Kathyrn Richards bested more 20 teams to win Regional Competition. This LLS team went undefeated throughout the regional competition. They advanced to the National Finals in January 2022. Out of more than 120 teams from across the country they were “quarter finalists” in the National Finals. The National Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the New York City Bar and the American College of Trial Lawyers, is the country’s oldest moot court competition. Every year, over 100 law schools compete in 15 regional competitions throughout the United States, with winners advancing to final rounds sponsored by the New York City Bar Association. This LLS team went undefeated throughout the regional competition. They also won 8th Best Brief in the nation. LLS alums Jackie Young 15’ and Stefanie Yee 16’ coached the team.
The Federal Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition team: Keith Osentoski and Hannah Kim, won every preliminary round of the competition and narrowly lost in the quarter-finals. They also won 3rd Best Brief in the competition. Their advancement to the quarter-finals was the highest finish of any Loyola team that has competed in the competition. The team was coached by LLS Alum Shira Astuti ‘19
Loyola was declared the National Championship of the National Moot Court Competition. The team of Jillian LeMaster-Dwyer, Sierra teNyenhuis, and Alexandro Garza bested more than 120 teams from across the country to win the National Championship in February 2021. The National Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the New York City Bar and the American College of Trial Lawyers, is the country’s oldest moot court competition. Every year, over 100 law schools compete in 15 regional competitions throughout the United States, with winners advancing to final rounds sponsored by the New York City Bar Association. The LLS team went undefeated throughout the regional competition in November of 2020 and won all six rounds of oral arguments in the national final rounds competition. They also won 2nd Best Brief in the nation, and Jillian LeMaster-Dwyer won the Best Advocate award in the National Competition.LLS alums Jackie Young 15’ and Stefanie Yee 16’ coached the team.
Loyola Law School Entertainment Moot Court team won the 2021 Pepperdine National Entertainment Law Competition of Chloe Coss, Samantha Doyle, and Aida Marasli beat 10 teams after two days of competition and six rounds of oral argument. The team is coached by LLS Alum, David Jonelis.
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles’ moot court teams have already excelled in the spring 2018 semester, securing victories at a range of premier trial and appellate advocacy events and advancing to the national championship rounds of several competitions.
“Loyola has always been known as a litigator’s law school, and our trial and appellate teams are no exception,” says Professor Susan Poehls, Loyola’s Director of Trial Advocacy Programs. “The best part is that generations of our best advocates regularly return to campus to help our students. It’s a true team effort, and it makes a difference.”
Recent Loyola wins include:
Regional Champions, National Appellate Advocacy Regional Competition
Competing against more than 220 teams in the largest and most prestigious moot court competition in the country, the ABA Moot Court Team’s Bulmaro Huante, Esther Shin and Brantley Pepperman went undefeated in all rounds to win the American Bar Association’s National Appellate Advocacy Regional Competition. They also won 3rd prize for Best Brief. The ABA Moot Court Team, a subset of the Scott Moot Court Honors Board, will now compete in the National Finals of the ABA Competition in Washington, D.C. in April.
Meanwhile, Aurora Lopez, Yao Mou and Weston Rowland advanced undefeated into the semi-final round and lost on a split ballot. This represents the third time that a Loyola team has reached the ABA Competition National Finals since 2010, and the sixth time in eight years that a Loyola team has advanced to the regional championship.
Credit for this success goes to Professor Rebecca Delfino, Loyola’s Faculty Director of Moot Court Programs, and all the faculty members and alumni who helped students develop their advocacy skills via first-year Legal Research & Writing classes, Appellate Advocacy, the Scott Moot Court Competition and Loyola’s Brief Writing Summer Seminar.
Regional Champions, National Trial Competition
Byrne Trial Advocacy Team members Avi Feinstein, Stephanie Grimaldi and Abigail Hudson won the regional National Trial Competition and will compete at the national championships in April.
A second team – Leonardo Kim, Bryan Luther and Gagan Batth – made it all the way to the semi-finals, where they narrowly lost to the other regional champion. This represents Loyola’s 23rd regional championship win in 29 years.
“Our students are great, but we couldn’t have done it without the support and mentorship of our amazing alumni,” says Poehls, a Loyola alumna herself.
Moot Court Team Displays Excellence in California Law
The Loyola Law School team competing in the 2018 Roger J. Traynor Moot Court Competition won second "Best Brief" overall, with all three oralists taking the top individual oralist awards. The team also won the Bernard Witkin Award for Excellence in Oral Advocacy, the competition's top overall award. This was the third time in the last nine years that a Loyola Law School team has advanced to the final round of the the only moot court competition that focuses exclusively on California law.
Semifinalists, Tulane International Baseball Arbitration Tournament
Loyola's Baseball Arbitration Team of Aaron Rowland, Blake Barrow and Conor Gilligan finished third out of 37 teams in the prestigious tournament, where they were narrowly edged out by the University of Virginia team that ultimately won the competition. Team coach and Adjunct Professor Joe Longo ’90 a sports agent at Glaser Weil, guided the team, which represented Loyola before judges that included professional sports agents and representatives from Major League Baseball teams.
Quarterfinalists and Best Brief/Oralist, National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
Loyola National Environmental Law Moot Court Team members Gabriela S. Perez, Joshua Smith and Mehrdad Safvati competed against 58 other teams in the Jeffrey G. Miller National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition at Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. The Loyola team won "Best Brief" for their side, and they advanced to the quarter-final rounds. Perez was also recognized as “Best Oralist” for the third preliminary round.
Finalists and Best Brief, Uvaldo Herrera Moot Court Competition
Mildred Lima-Gonzalez, Sarah Orozco and Victor Chavez competed as the No. 1 seed in the 23rd-annual Uvaldo Herrera Moot Court Competition, held by the Hispanic National Bar Association from March 17-18, 2018 in San Francisco. As part of the competition, the team argued a case currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court and took home the award for Best Brief, ultimately finishing third among 30-plus teams. Alumna Monique Alarcon was one of many who helped the team prepare.
Want to make a difference inside the courtroom? Learn more about how a Loyola JD can prepare you for success by attending an upcoming campus event.