Howard Wins D.C. Affairs Section’s First Moot Court Competition

April 30, 2014

Howard University students and David Zvenyach, chair-elect of the D.C. Bar Sections Council, hold the trophy for the D.C. Affairs' Moot Court Competition.On April 5 students from several District of Columbia law schools gathered at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) David A. Clarke School of Law to participate in the D.C. Bar District of Columbia Affairs Section’s first-ever D.C. Cup Moot Court Competition.

During the three-round competition, the students argued cases before volunteer “judges” involving the District’s Home Rule Act and the Council of the District of Columbia’s adoption of the Share the Street Amendment Act of 2013. 

“I’m participating in this competition because I love oral advocacy, and Howard has a strong tradition of it,” said Zorba Leslie, a student at Howard University School of Law. “It’s also great to connect with students and teams from other schools in the District.”

One of the judges that Leslie had to argue before in round one of the competition was David Zvenyach, chair-elect of the D.C. Bar Sections Council, counsel to the D.C. Council, and the brainchild behind the competition.

“One of the things I found working for the District government was that I had no familiarity with D.C. issues,” Zvenyach said, adding that the Home Rule Act, for instance, is not often discussed.

Zvenyach hoped that this year’s competition would give students an opportunity to learn about the act. “It’s important and also fun,” he said. “I hope the students find this to be both intellectually rewarding and personally satisfying.”

In the final round of the competition, the teams from American University Washington College of Law and Howard faced off in an argument before D.C. Bar President Andrea Ferster and senior D.C. Court of Appeals Judges Inez Smith Reid and John Steadman, who also served as judges for the competition.

Howard’s team of Leslie and Amanda Butler-Jones were more persuasive in their arguments and were crowned winners of the competition.

In addition to American and Howard, schools taking part in the competition included Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, The George Washington University Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, and UDC.

The final round for next year’s Moot Court Cup Competition is scheduled for Friday, March 6, 2015.