POST WRITTEN BY: Cassandra Castellano (J.D. Candidate 2013-2017, Pace Law School)
Pace Law School hosted its Third Annual Louis V. Fasulo 1L Moot Court Competition this past weekend April 9-10, 2016. 160 first year law students argued before over 80 judges, including many Pace Alumni. The students argued the merits of a fictitious case Coburn v. Martinez before the fictitious Thirteenth Circuit, in an appeal from an order of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Tennessee. The Court dismissed a diversity action below for lack of personal jurisdiction. The plaintiff Mary Jo Coburn, a citizen of Tennessee, sued for injunctive relief against the defendant, Wally Martinez, a New York Journalist.
The case of Coburn v. Martinez, the subject of their 1L brief, concerned two issues:
- Whether Martinez was validly served with process in Tennessee so that the District Court had personal jurisdiction based on presence; and
- Whether the District Court had personal jurisdiction based on Martinez’s minimum contacts with Tennessee.
Professors Barbara Atwell, Carol Barry, Alissa Bauer, Francis Carroll, Linda Fentiman, Vicky Gannon, Tamar Gribetz, Cynthia Pittson, Gail Whittemore, and Peter Widulski worked with and guided the students throughout the spring semester in writing their first appellate brief and in their preparation for their first oral argument. The students were presented with challenging questions from great and lively panels of experienced judges and attorneys.
The comradery and intensity of the competition provided for a stimulating weekend. After Saturday’s preliminary rounds, the top 71 students advanced to the next round and argued on Sunday. Congratulations to the top 71: Andrew Restivo, Andrew Tadrous, Aris Rotella, Ashley Brimm, Ashley Ratcliffe, Brenna Fitzpatrick, Brizeyda Parada, Casandia Bellevue, Caysee Kamenetsky, Chanel Noblin, Christian Radoi, Christina Desrosiers, Christopher Cech, Christopher Matcovich, Christopher Peticca, Christopher Zamlout, Courtney Dunn, Crystal Dilone, Danielle Meyer, Danny Amaisse, David Solimeno, Delonie Plummer, Dylan Rupp, Emily Rawdon, Eric Romanowski, Erin Novak, Estelle Mitchell, Gloria Okirie, Howard Schilsky, Jaclene Troisi, James Creech, James Greer, Jared Shababb, Justin Martinez, Justin Verzillo, Katelyn Squicciarani, Kevin Bazur, Kristyn Francese, Lisa Lazzaro, Luke Sostarecz, Lydia Rainey, Mackenzie Ferguson, Marina Stinely, Mary Kerrigan, Matthew Sotomayor, Melissa Duque, Michael Jasper, Michael Saba, Michael Viteritto, Michelle Greene, Natalie DeRyder, Nicholas Douglas, Nicolas Salviano, Nicole Boeckle, Nicolette Pellegrino, Ollia Pappas, Quinn McLoughlin, Rachel Baughman, Rachel Kesten, Rebecca King, Rosella Morabito, Roshni Mody, Ryan Memoli, Sara Aronbayev, Sarah Cinquemani, Sarah Sachmer, Thomas Persico, Tiffany Jacobsen, Timothy Henesy, Tyler Martin and Valentina Scirica.
The students argued well in Sunday’s advanced rounds making it difficult for the judges to choose the top 32. Nevertheless, the following are this year’s top 32: Ashley Ratcliffe, Chanel Noblin, Christian Radoi, Christina Desrosiers, Christopher Cech, Christopher Matcovich, Christopher Zamlout, Courtney Dunn, Danielle Meyer, Danny Amaisse, Delonie Plummer, Emily Rawdon, Erin Novak, Gloria Okirie, Howard Schilsky, Jaclene Troisi, James Creech, Kristyn Francese, Lisa Lazzaro, Lydia Rainey, Mackenzie Ferguson, Mary Kerrigan, Nicolas Salviano, Nicole Boeckle, Nicolette Pellegrino, Rachel Kesten, Rosella Morabito, Sara Aronbayev, Sarah Cinquemani, Sarah Sachmer, Tiffany Jacobsen, Valentina Scirica.
It was a challenge for the judges to pick the top 8. However, Christopher Zamlout, Courtney Dunn, Danny Amaisse, Erin Novak, Gloria Okirie, Lydia Rainey, Mackenzie Ferguson and Sarah Cinquemani rightfully earned their spot in the top 8 final round.
The final eight students did a superb job in the final round making it an exciting event for the judges and the spectators. Mackenzie Ferguson won the competition as Best Advocate and received a $750 Themis Bar Review Certificate; Erin Novak placed second receiving a $500 Themis Bar Review Certificate; Courtney Dunn placed as the first runner-up receiving a $250 Themis Bar Review Certificate; Gloria Okirie placed as the second runner-up receiving a $250 Themis Bar Review Certificate.
Special thanks to: Advocacy Administrator Loretta Musial, Director of Advocacy Programs and Professor Louis V. Fasulo, the judges, the 1L Legal Skills professors for their work with the first year class and for coming to support the students at this event, Themis Bar Review for donating the first, second, third and fourth gift certificates prizes, Dean David Yassky, Chartwell Food Services for providing refreshments throughout the day, the Advocacy Honor Board Directors and its Board, including Executive Director Cassandra Castellano, Managing Director Brianne Cunningham, External Competitions Directors Vittoria Fiorenza & Michael Giordano, Internal Competitions Director Washington Paul Alvarez and Skills Development Director Michael Pesin-Virovets, who managed the competition.
Congratulations to Mackenzie Ferguson, Erin Novak, Courtney Dunn and Gloria Okirie on this wonderful achievement!