News & Events

Drake Law School Teams Win Regional Moot Court and Arbitration Competitions

News Photo
First-place moot court team members with final-round judges: Leslie Behuanek, former Justice Mark McCormick, Justice Mark Cady, Justice Michael Streit, Keith Duffy and Megan Scrivner.
First-place moot court team members with final-round judges: Leslie Behuanek, former Justice Mark McCormick, Justice Mark Cady, Justice Michael Streit, Keith Duffy and Megan Scrivner.

In two separate competitions last weekend, student teams from Drake Law School won two regional student competitions -- one in moot court and the other in arbitration -- and advanced to the national round of competition.

Two student teams from Drake Law School won virtually every award at the regional round of the 61st Annual National Moot Court Competition on Saturday, Nov. 20. The Drake teams both defeated teams from the University of Minnesota in the semi-final round, to make the final round an all-Drake affair.

The National Moot Court Competition is one of the nation's largest moot court competitions, drawing participation from 189 teams from 129 law schools in the nation.

The regional competition includes law schools from Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, including Drake Law School, the University of Iowa College of Law, the University of Minnesota Law School, the University of St. Thomas School of Law, William Mitchell College of Law, Hamline University School of Law and the University of South Dakota Law School.

The final round of the competition was judged by Iowa Supreme Court Justices Mark Cady and Michael Streit, and retired Justice Mark McCormick. First place went to the Drake team of Keith Duffy, Megan Scrivner and Leslie Behaunek. Second-place team members Erica Liabo (far left) and Cory McAnelly and Keith Duffy (far right) with former Justice Mark McCormick, Justice Mark Cady and Justice Michael Striet.

News Photo
Second-place team members Erica Liabo (far left) and Cory McAnelly and Keith Duffy (far right) with former Justice Mark McCormick, Justice Mark Cady and Justice Michael Striet.
Second place went to the Drake team of Cory McAnelly, James Hathaway and Erica Liabo.

In addition to placing first and second in the competition, the teams from Drake won the awards for the best petitioner and respondent written briefs and tied for the best overall brief. Drake students won five of the 10 awards for best oral presentation through the quarter-final the rounds, and Leslie Behaunek won best oralist in the final round.

Drake hosted the regional round. The semi-final rounds were judged by Judge Ed Mansfield, Judge Anu Vaitheswaran, Judge Richard Doyle, Judge Mary Tabor, Michael Mock, and J.T. Clendenin. "We very much appreciate the support of Iowa's bench and bar in hosting the regional competition," said professor Laurie Dore, the Drake faculty coach, "and know that without their involvement the moot court program would not be nearly as valuable for the students."

Because under the rules of the competition only one team from a school can advance to the finals, the Drake team of Keith Duffy, Megan Scrivner and Leslie Behaunek will represent the region at the national finals in New York City on Jan. 31, 2011, joined by the third-place team from the University of Minnesota.

Drake law students also excel in arbitration competition

In another law student competition, a student team from Drake Law School won the regional finals of the ABA Law Mock Arbitration Competition this past weekend at Iowa City, which included teams from the University of Iowa, the University of Missouri-Columbia, Washburn University, Creighton University and the University of Oklahoma, in addition to Drake.

The winning team of Emily Zerkel, Sarah Walstrom, Andrew Wessler and Ed Tillbury bested Creighton in the semi-final round and the University of Missouri in the final round.

Another Drake team of Luke Hanson, Linda Lane, Daniel Pace and Mark Cano placed fifth after the preliminary rounds and narrowly missed advancing to the semi-final round. The arbitration teams were coached by Larry McLellan and Samantha Gronewald of the Sullivan & Ward firm of West Des Moines.

"These successes in the national moot court and arbitration competitions represent a tremendous amount of hard, intelligent work on the part of all the students," Dean Vestal said, "and they also represent the fruits of Drake's clear commitment to experiential education. We couldn't be prouder of the students or their coaches, professor Laurie Dore and Drake law grads Larry McLellan and Samantha Gronewald."
 
Date Posted: 11/22/2010
Last Modified: 12/27/2010 12:27:00 PM by John Edwards