Current Appellate Competitions

American Bar Association’s Regional Arbitration Competition

November 18-19, 2017
Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

Congratulations to Duquesne Law's team of second-year students Aaron McDonough, Brazitte Poole, Lydia Wardi, and Ashlyn Grim, who placed third in the region and advanced to the national finals of the ABA's Arbitration Competition. The team will be one of only 10 teams from across the country to compete there. The team of Patrick Young, Grant Olson, Kate McCarthy, and Jacob Mellor also had a great showing at the competition. Alums Devon Ferris, Ryan Wilk, and Jeff Childs coached both teams. 

           Team 1: Grant Olson, William P. Young,
                Kate McCarthy, and Jacob Mellor


        Team 2: Lydia Wardi, Ashlyn Mathosiah Grim,
             Brazitte Poole, and Aaron McDonough


American Bar Association’s National Arbitration Competition
January 18-21, 2018
Chicago, IL

Congratulations to our Appellate Moot Court Board team of Brazitte Poole, Lydia Wardi, Aaron McDonough, and Ashlyn Grim for an excellent performance at the American Bar Asociation's National Arbitration Competition in Chicago. The group placed at the regional competition in November, making it one of only 10 teams to advance to nationals.

The second-year students quickly advanced to the semi-finals as the third-place seed. Although the group lost in the semi-finals in a split decision, it ended the competition as one of the top 4 teams in the country.

Devon Ferris, L’16, coached the students. Adjunct Professors Pete Giglione, L’02, Frank Stoy, L’12, and Erin Karsman helped to prepare the team for the national competition. Karsman, the Appellate Advocacy Program coordinator, also accompanied the students to Chicago.

Congratulations to the Appellate Moot Court Board on this tremendous success!

         Erin Karsman - Program Coordinator, Brazitte Poole,
Lydia Wardi, Aaron McDonough, Ashlyn Grim, Devon Ferris-Coach


National Appellate Advocacy Competition
February 22-24, 2018
Brooklyn, NY

Congratulations to Alyssa Lazar, 2L, Amy Kerlin 3L, and Amanda Geary, 3L, who were named Regional Champions of the National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) in Brooklyn, New York.

Kerlin, Geary, and Lazar argued on and off brief a total of five times over three days and beat teams from Southern Methodist University, University of Baltimore, Florida Coastal, and William & Mary. In addition to winning the regional competition, the team earned the Fifth Best Brief award. The Duquesne Law team will compete in the NAAC’s national finals in Washington, D.C., April 5-7, 2018.

Duquesne Law’s second team at the regional competition, with Nicoline van de Haterd, 2L, Alfred Vogt, 2L, and Taylor Wantz, 2L, also did an excellent job, beating a team from Villanova University School of Law before narrowly missing advancement to the semi-finals.

Adjunct Professor Erin Karsman, the appellate advocacy program coordinator, and Adjunct Professor Frank Stoy, L’12, coached the students. Karsman also accompanied them to the regional event. Congratulations to all!

     Team 1:  Alyssa Lazar, Amy Kerlin, and Amanda Geary


Team 2:  Nicoline van de Haterd, Alfred J. Vogt, and Taylor Wantz


National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition
March 8-10, 2018
West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

Duquesne Law’s Appellate Moot Court Board had an excellent showing at the National Energy and Sustainability Law Moot Court Competition at West Virginia University.  After arguing on and off brief in four preliminary rounds, both Duquesne teams advanced to the round of 16, with one further advancing all the way to the final four.

After winning the octo-final and quarter-final rounds, the team of Vince LeDonne, Amy McCrossen, and Adam Duh advanced to the final four. The team ended the competition as semi-finalists after narrowly losing to a William and Mary team, which went on to win the competition.

The Duquesne Law team of Taylor Frey, Michele Mellick, and Maura Perri ended the competition as octo-finalists.

Congratulations to both teams as well as coaches David Frantz, L’15, and Katie Leonard, 3L, and Adjunct Professor Erin Karsman, who leads the appellate advocacy program. 

Team 1:  Adam Duh, Amy McCrossen and Vincent LeDonne


  Team 2:  Michele Mellick, Mauri Perri, and Taylor Frey
             Student Coach:  Katherine Leonard


John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Competition
March 16 - 17, 2018
Newark, NJ

         Lisle Weaver, Christian Hakim, and Matthew Goddard


Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition
March 22-24, 2018
Seattle, WA

                 Karissa Murphy and Allen Page


Thurgood Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition (Federal Bar)
March 22-23, 2018
Washington, D.C.

       Team 1:  Nicolette Blackwell and Drew Sheldon


        Team 2:  Adrienne Box and Samantha Zimmer


Seigenthaler-Sutherland Cup National First Amendment Moot Court Competition
March 23-24, 2018
Washington, D.C.

Two second-year Duquesne Law students tied for the Best Oralist Award at the 2018 Seigenthaler-Sutherland Cup National First Amendment Moot Court Competition.

Dominic Corrola and Samuel Nolan of Duquesne Law’s Appellate Moot Court Board tied for the prestigious award at the competition hosted by the Newseum Institute and Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law.

The competition featured 24 teams from law schools around the country and focused on the constitutionality of public officials’ exclusion of constituents and deletion of adverse comments from social media accounts discussing public policy issues. 

With their strong brief score and exceptional oral advocacy, the Duquesne Law team prevailed as one of the top four at the competition, defeating several teams along the way, including reigning champions from Notre Dame University School of Law.

The final-round of the competition was presided over by Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey, Senior U.S. Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  She was joined on the bench by Judge Bernice Donald of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; James Duff, Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts; John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America; Judge Rodney Sippel, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri; and Judge Jane Stranch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. 

The Sutherland Cup is the oldest continuous private moot court competition in the nation. It is named in honor of Justice George B. Sutherland, who served the United States Supreme Court from 1922 to 1938.

Devon Ferris, L'16, coached the Seigenthaler-Sutherland Cup team.


                            Dominic Carrola and Samuel Nolan


National Appellate Advocacy Competition
April 5-7, 2018
Washington, DC

As winners of the regional American Bar Association’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC) in Brooklyn, New York in February, Alyssa Lazar, 2L, Amanda Geary, 3L, and Amy Kerlin, 3L, earned a spot to compete at the national event.  The Duquesne Law team was one of only 24 teams from across the country invited to the 40th annual competition in Washington, DC.

Kerlin, Geary, and Lazar argued on and off brief two times in the preliminary rounds, then advanced to the octo-finals, where their team lost in a split decision. Notably, the Duquesne Law team defeated an Oklahoma School of Law team that went on the win the competition. 

Kerlin won a Best Oral Advocate award at the national event. The 2018 NAAC marks the second time a Duquesne Law team advanced to the national round of the prestigious competition.

Adjunct Professor Erin Karsman, the Appellate Advocacy Program coordinator, coached the students and traveled with the team.

Photograph of three school of law students; Alyssa Lazar, Amanda Geary, and Amy Kerlin, in front of a building

          Alyssa Lazar, Amanda Geary, and Amy Kerlin