Pepperdine Appellate and Trial Team victories

The appellate teams, led by professor Nancy McGinnis, participated in 14 competitions throughout the country and two international competitions in England and Hong Kong, placing in all but three. Pepperdine made it to the quarterfinals in seven of those competitions, reached the semifinals in two competitions, and clenched three championships.

Pepperdine earned a spot as one of the 26 of 200 teams to compete in the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition moot court nationals in Chicago in April. The team of third-year students Brittney Lane and Megan Young Rechberg left the competition as national finalists and with second-place honors for their brief.

“It was a particularly spectacular year on the appellate side,” McGinnis said. “There are two things I am proudest of: that the students competed with integrity and that they left an impression that Pepperdine is a force to be reckoned with.”

The trial teams, led by professor Harry Caldwell, competed in six competitions in California and Nevada, placing in all but one, and earning two spots as finalists in addition to two championship titles.

“This year’s successes ranked very high in the traditions of an already very successful program,” Caldwell said. “Pepperdine’s trial team of Alyssa Ayotte (’07), Mane Sardaryan, Chalak Richards, and Destiny Ramsey successfully defended Pepperdine’s championship from last year in winning the National Civil Trial Competition. This elite competition is by invitation only and consistently has one of the strongest group of teams of any competition in the country. No school save Pepperdine has won this competition more than once, and this was Pepperdine’s third win and second consecutive win.”

Pepperdine’s ADR teams competed in three competitions in California and one international competition in Paris, placing in each competition and making it to the final round in one. In the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition in Paris, France, Pepperdine was ranked in the top 16 of an international field of 66 teams.

“They were engaged as partners and not as competitors,” said professor Maureen Weston, advisor to Pepperdine’s team in the ICC competition in France. “They learned in-depth skills of how to think like lawyers and how to be lawyers. They received feedback from experienced judges. That is tough to get in any other kind of academic environment.”

Professor Harry Caldwell, Brittney Lane, Jason Grutter, Stefani Coggins, and Daniel Taylor - Finalists, ABA Labor and Employment Law Trial Regional Competition‚ Los Angeles, California ‚ November 2011

Front (from left) Dan Spitzer, Destiny Ramsey, Stefani Coggins, Daniel Taylor; (back) Professors Harry Caldwell, Terry Adamson, Michael Crowe - Champions, American Association for Justice National Student Trial Advocacy Regional Competition, Los Angeles, California, March 2012

Caitlin Leonard and Robert Dudley - Champions and Best Brief, Chicago Bar Association National Moot Court Competition, Chicago, Illinois, November 2011; Champions, J. Braxton Craven, Jr., Memorial Moot Court Competition, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, February 2012

Chalak Richards, Alyssa Ayotte, and Mane Sardaryan (with professors Harry Caldwell and Michael Mewborne) - Finalists, Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Regional Competition, San Diego, California, February 2012

Brittney Lane and Megan Young Rechberg - Champions, 2nd-Place Brief, National Moot Court Regional Competition, San Diego, California, November 2011

Victoria Mitchell and Laura Sambataro - Finalists and 2nd- and 3rd-place Advocates, Stetson International Environmental Arbitration Moot Court Competition, North American Regional, Denver, Colorado, February 2012; Best Brief and Semifinalist, Stetson International Environmental Arbitration Moot Court Competition, International Competition, Gulfport, Florida, April 2012

Ardy Pirnia and Kelline Linton - Best Brief and 3rd-Place Team, William McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2012

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