Crafting Arguments

Crafting Arguments - Moor Court

Students highlight the 37th annual Vincent S. Dalsimer Moot Court Competition

Pepperdine held the final round of the 37th annual Vincent S. Dalsimer Moot Court Competition earlier in the day on March 5. The final round was judged by three federal judges each of whom will have a Pepperdine law clerk next year. The final round bench included the Honorable Emilio Garza, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; the Honorable Raymond Gruender, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; and the Honorable Ronald Lew, U.S. District Court, Central District of California.

Moot Court First-Place Winners with the Judges

Judges Gruender, Garza, and Lew with First-Place winners William Glaser and Brent Kampe

The First-Place Team was third-year students William Glaser and Brent Kampe, and the Second-Place Team was third-year students Dustin May and David Rowe. “Arguing before the Dalsimer panel was a true honor—few attorneys ever have the chance to speak before federal circuit court judges in their entire career, let alone as a mere law student,” said Kampe.

Participating in the final round was especially meaningful for Kampe, whose father competed in Dalsimer in 1980, arguing before United States Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. Kampe’s parents first met at Pepperdine Law.

Moot Court Second-Place

Judges Gruender, Garza, and Lew with Second-Place winners David Rowe and Dustin May

To students thinking about participating in the competition in the future, Kampe highly recommends the experience. “Even if you don’t think you’ll have time for it, weigh that reluctance against the fact that this may be your last opportunity to compete in such a forum,” he says. “And, as my dad always told me, ‘Don’t try the case in your office;’ i.e., don’t assume that you have no chance at winning because you are going up against tough, experienced competition or it seems you have a bad case. You never know how the judges will rule until they actually do.”

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