Students Showcase Advocacy Skills at Government Contracts Moot Court Competition

Students with judges - Dentons Moot Court Competition
From left to right: Judge Jeri Somers; Eric Valle, 3L; Tori Dalcourt, 2L; Judge Elizabeth Newsom; Judge Cheryl Scott; Judge Kathleen O'Rourke; Nicole Giles, 3L; Ariel Stevenson, 3L; and Karen Thornton.
April 11, 2018

This year's Dentons "Gilbert A. Cuneo" Government Contracts Moot Court Competition showcased outstanding advocacy skills from JD and LLM candidates. For the first time, the competition was embedded in an experiential course co-taught by Chief Judge Jeri Somers of the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals and Karen Thornton, Director of the Government Procurement Law Program. The course provided instruction on the legal issues raised by the lower court's decision, and included weekly exercises related to the professional elements of appellate practice, including ethics, mediation, and professional relationships. Practitioners who participated in early mooting and competition rounds declared the briefs and oral advocacy to be the best they had seen in the 18 years of the competition.

Best oralist honors were awarded to two LLM Class of 2018 candidates, Rachel Van Maasdam and Michael Pangia. Best briefs, which will be published in the fall issue of the Public Contract Law Journal, were co-written by the teams of Cory Chipman, JD Class of 2018, and Daniel Ramish, LLM Class of 2018, and Bryan Medema, JD Class of 2019, and Rachel Van Maasdam, LLM Class of 2018. The final round of the competition was judged by Judges Elizabeth Newsom, Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals; Cheryl Scott, ASBCA; and Kathleen O'Rourke, CBCA, who named Tori Dalcourt, JD Class of 2019, and Eric Valle, Murray Schooner Scholar amd JD Class of 2018, as the winning team. Nicole Giles, Boyd Scholar and JD Class of 2018, and Ariel Stevenson, JD Class of 18, were the runners-up.

After the final argument, Dentons hosted a celebratory reception for friends and alumni of the program at their K Street offices.