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AU Takes Home D.C. Moot Court Cup

March 14, 2019


moot court 9

On March 1 American University Washington College of Law students Elizabeth Davis and Robert Lackey bested five other law school teams to win the 2019 D.C. Cup Moot Court Competition. Funmi Anifowoshe of The George Washington University Law School won the Best Oralist Award.

The competition, now in its sixth year, is sponsored by the D.C. Bar Communities and features teams representing the six law schools in the District of Columbia. Competing teams argue a case before volunteer judges, honing both their oral advocacy and brief writing skills.

This year’s case, Haynes v. Barnsbackian, revolved around defamation and the discovery rule exception. After submitting briefs representing either the appellant or the appellee, the teams faced off in oral arguments during two preliminary rounds on February 22. Forty-two volunteer judges helped evaluate the teams’ performance in both written and oral advocacy prior to the final round.

In the end, American University Washington College of Law and The George Washington University Law School emerged as finalists. Both teams argued before D.C. Court of Appeals Senior Judge John M. Steadman, D.C. Bar President Esther H. Lim, and Deputy Solicitor General Caroline Van Zile of the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

This year’s competition was coordinated by a committee composed of volunteer attorneys Scott Bernstein, Elizabeth Boison, and Les Machado (who authored the problem for the third year in a row), and Candace Smith-Tucker and Federico Barillas Schwank of the D.C. Bar Communities.

Teams from Georgetown University Law Center, Howard University School of Law, The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, and the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law also took part in the competition.