D.C. Cup Moot Court Awards and Honors

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2021 Moot Court winners

Clockwise from top left: Judge John Steadman, D.C. Bar President Geoffrey Klineberg, Elizabeth Hummel, OAG Solicitor General Loren AliKhan, and Talia Citron

On February 26, George Washington University Law School students Talia Citron and Elizabeth Hummel won the 2021 D.C. Cup Moot Court Competition, besting five other law school teams. Hummel also won the Best Oralist Award.

For the first time in the competition’s eight-year history, competitors, volunteer judges and attorneys, and D.C. Bar support staff had to navigate a virtual setting. “Neither of us have done a virtual competition before,” Hummel said. “Fortunately, with school we have gotten used to using the Zoom platform. But it’s never the same as the real-life experience,” Citron said.

The competition, sponsored by the D.C. Bar Communities, 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, Scheer v. Bell, presented the theme of defamation in the framework of First Amendment protections. After submitting briefs representing either the appellant or the appellee, the teams faced off in oral arguments during two preliminary rounds on February 19. Forty-four volunteer judges helped evaluate the teams’ performance in both written and oral advocacy prior to the final round.

Emerging as finalists, the GW Law and Georgetown University Law Center teams argued before D.C. Court of Appeals Senior Judge John M. Steadman, D.C. Bar President Geoffrey Klineberg, and Solicitor General Loren L. AliKhan of the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

This year’s prompt and bench brief were authored by Les Machado, a member of the D.C. Cup Moot Court Competition Committee. Fellow committee members Liz Boison, Christian Malott, Robin Earnest, and Scott Bernstein also lent their support.

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

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