2018 - 2019 BOA Competitions



2018 - 2019 Board of Advocates Competitions


Fordham Securities Moot

On March 29, SMU competed in the 44th annual Irving R. Kaufman Memorial Securities Law Moot Court Competition at Fordham University School of Law in New York City. This is a highly regarded competition, with a final round judge panel including U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito and judges from the 2nd, 3rd, 9th, and 10th Circuits.

This year’s problem involved a Texas oil and gas company accused of deceiving investors about its environmental commitments, practices, and risks after a series of undisclosed reports of seismic activity culminated in an earthquake which destroyed the company’s toxic wastewater storage at its fracking site. 3L Rhian Jones addressed the first issue, whether the 8 challenged statements were actionable material misrepresentations—not mere corporate mismanagement or puffery—and whether they were made with the requisite scienter as required to state a claim under Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5. 2L Madison Gafford addressed the second issue, whether a claim for control person liability under Section 20(a) requires a plaintiff to allege a culpable participation element.

Rhian won best oralist in the competition, and Madison won second best oralist.  The team won their oral argument in the quarterfinal round, but was knocked out by less than a point based on the brief score. As best oralists, Rhian and Madison represented SMU at the end-of-competition dinner with Justice Alito, 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Sullivan, 3rd Circuit Judge Jane Roth, 9th Circuit Judge Andrew Hurwitz, 10th Circuit Judge Paul Kelly, and District of Minnesota Judge Joan Ericksen.

The team was coached by John Atkins of Thompson & Knight and Peter Flynn of Locke Lord. Please join the BOA in congratulating these advocates on their hard work and success!

Madison Gafford and Rhian Jones


Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court

On February 9th, two teams from SMU competed in the annual Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court. The competition introduces students to important issues arising in U.S. trademark and unfair competition law, codified in the Lanham Act. Approximately 80 teams participate in the competition each year. Please join the BOA in congratulating the team on their hard work!

L to R:  Taylor Nifong, Daniel Alvarado, Baileigh Hale, Elizabeth Tillman,
Sarah-Michelle Stearns (coach), Charles North (coach), Benjamin Schindler, Thomas Samuelson


Environmantal Law Moot

The SMU Pace Environmental Moot Court Team, Yliana Trevino-Hawkins, Sarah Surgeoner, and Andrea Reed, had a great competition. In a field of 55 teams, our team advanced to the semi-finals and their brief was selected as the best brief for appellee in the competition. Professor Gaba coached the team and is very proud of their performance. Please join the BOA in congratulating these advocates on their hard work and success!

Andrea Reed, Yliana Trevino-Hawkins,
and Sarah Surgeoner

Tulane International Baseball Arbitration Team

The SMU team competed at the Tulane International Baseball Arbitration Competition in New Orleans. The team is comprised of Megan Kohner, Chip Pierce, and Cort Hoge. The team was coached by Matt McConnell, who is Vice President and General Counsel at SSG Baseball, as well as a Certified Player Agent by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

The team went 2-1 and received scores of 80, 89, and 95 (out of 100) on their three oral arguments on Wednesday. The 95 was tied for the best mark on the entire day! During the first argument, they faced their best competition. Opposing counsel in that hearing (St. John's) received the Best Written Advocacy award. During the second hearing of the day, the team beat Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. In the third hearing they went up against William and Mary. Judges gave very positive feedback for the team, indicating that the SMU Law students could litigate an arbitration case today and do just fine, that the presentations were the best all day, and that SMU's exhibit book was more impressive than some attorneys' work product. 

The competition was a success! The students worked well as a team, mastered the complex arguments, created persuasive briefs, and zealously presented their cases. They represented SMU Law with class and made a strong first impression on the competition and the event! Please congratulate these advocates on their hard work and success!

Megan Kohner, Chip Pierce, Cort Hoge, and Coach Matt McConnell


ABA Labor & Employment Mock Teams

On October 28, 2018, two of SMU's teams competed in the Dallas Regional for the ABA Labor and Employment Mock Trial Competition. The first SMU team included second year law students Andrew Gray, Tom Whitten, Blaire Beene, and Ryan Musser, who took home the title of Regional Champions! After besting teams from the University of Texas and University of Mississippi, the team went head to head with the second team from SMU in the final round. Based on their win, this team will advance to the National Competition, which will take place in January of 2019 in New Orleans. The team is coached by Katherine Handy Calhoun (Texas Tech Law ’15, Bowman and Brooke LLP) and Luke Calhoun (Texas Tech Law ’14, Collin County District Attorney’s Office). And, special thanks to Brendan Farrelly who is the toughest witness on the planet! The second SMU team included Connor Barbe, James Peacock, Roslyn Dubberstein, and Faith Castillo. They advocated their way to the final round of the competition and missed moving on to Nationals by one vote. The team is coaches by Courtney Floyd and Catherine Schneider. The team would like to give a special thanks to Gigi Girling, their brilliant fifth comrade. Please congratulate these amazing advocates on their hard work! 

                                                   TEAM ONE

Team one pictured left to right: Katherine Calhoun (coach), Andrew Gray, Tom Whitten,
Blaire Beene, Ryan Musser, and Luke Calhoun (coach). Not pictured: Brendan Farrelly.

                                            TEAM TWO

Team two pictured left to right: Connor Barbe, James Peacock, Coach Courtney Floyd,
Roslyn Dubberstein, & Faith Castillo (not pictured: Gigi Girling & Coach Catherine Schneider)


ABA Arbitration

Congratulations CHAMPIONS!  The ABA Arbitration team, coached by Stephanie Gonzales '09 and assisted by Jib Zaidi '15, competed in 4 rounds of competition at Chapman University in Orange, CA on November 17 and 18.  The team consisting of Briana Blackman, Charles Entsminger, Ty Harding, Cecilia Jimenez, and Karina Rambeau went undefeated and were awarded Regional Champions.  Team Respondent consisting of Ty Harding and Karina Rambeau had the momentum and were chosen to compete as the attorneys in the semi-final and final round.  Our CEO witness, Briana Blackman, and care attendant witness, Charles Entsminger, nailed their performances as well and were able to trip up the other team on cross examination.  Special thanks also goes out to Lauren Pfieffer who helped the ABA Arbitration team prepare for competition.  The ABA Arbitration team will be proudly representing SMU at the National Competition in Chicago on January 25 - 27.  Good luck, ABA Arbitration team! Please join the BOA in congratulating these students on their hard work and success! 

Left to right: Charles Entsminger, Briana Blackman, Coach Stephanie Gonzales, Ty Harding,
Karina Rambeau, & Cecilia Jimenez (not pictured: Coach Jib Zaidi & Lauren Pfieffer)


Thomas Tang Moot Team

On October 13, two teams from SMU competed in the Thomas Tang Southern Regional Competition in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. SMU advocates John Healey, Lynnsee Starr, Marissa Boulanger, and Alen Samuel went head-to-head against teams from Georgia State, UNC, and South Texas. Based on the preliminary round scores, Alen Samuel was awarded Best Oralist

Both teams advanced to the semi-finals, and Alen Samuel and Marissa Boulanger advanced to the finals. Alen and Marissa placed second, earning the title of Southern Regional Runner Up. Based on their success at Regionals, both SMU teams advanced to the National Competition. They will compete in Chicago, Illinois on November 9 & 10. Both teams are coached by Mey Ortiz, Austin Teng, Will Tran, and Emily Liu. Please congratulate these advocates on their hard work!

Left to right: Marissa Boulanger, Alen Samuel, John Healey, & Lynnsee Starr
(Not pictured: Coaches 
Mey Ortiz, Austin Teng, Will Tran, & Emily Liu)


San Diego Defense Mock Team

Two weeks ago, the San Diego Defense Lawyers Mock Trial Team competed in San Diego, California.  The team is comprised of advocates Sara Reams, Katie Davis, Jet McGuire, Nikki Britten, and Austin Hamby. The team was coached by Ali Fritsche, Allison Reppond, and Ian Ross Phillips. Everyone on the team would like to thank its amazing shadow, Alesha Nichols, for all her hard work in helping the team prepare for competition.

This year’s problem involved a school shooting scenario and hinged upon whether a doctor had a duty to break his oath of confidentiality. The plaintiffs contended that the doctor had a duty to report the shooter after he made troubling statements about resorting to violence during counseling sessions before the shooting occurred. The defense argued that there was no possible way the doctor could have foreseen the actions taken by the shooter.

The competition was composed of 14 teams from across the U.S. Our advocates won their first trial and were mere points away from being one of the 4 teams advancing into the semifinal round. Please congratulate each of them on a job well done!

Left to right: Sara Reams, Katie Davis, Coach Ian Ross Phillips, Jet McGuire, Nikki Britten, &
Austin Hamby (not pictured: Alesha Nichols & Coaches Ali Fritsche & Allison Reppond)


Fall On-Campus Negotiations Competitions

Champions                                                                              Runners-Up                 
Nikki Britten & Andrea Reed                                                   Karina Rambeau & Briana Blackman

                                                           The Team!


On-Campus Fall Mock Trial Competition
September 29-30, 2018

Champions                                                           Runners-Up                           Best Speaker and Best Cross

Austin Hamby, Connor Barbe,                    Briana Blackman, Kristina Smith,              Nicole Feragen
Cecelia Jimenez & Charles Entsminger       Nikki Britten & Gina Mills

Best Open and Best Direct
Briana Blackman

Best Close
Elizabeth Tillman