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Moot Court team advances to national competition

Posted 11/24/15

The Fitchburg State University Moot Court team competed at the regional tournament in November.Fitchburg State University is once again bound for the American Collegiate Moot Court National Tournament following a strong showing at the regional competition held Nov. 20 and 21 on campus. The regional tournament included 54 teams from 14 schools spanning New England, New York, Virginia and Canada.

The advancing teams will compete in the national tournament at California State University at Long Beach in January.

Participants in the moot court competition argue the legal merits of cases before panels of judges, akin to an appellate court proceeding. The participants deliver prepared statements and also field questions from the judges in the course of timed arguments. This year’s case concerns issues related to higher education and the rights of children of undocumented immigrants.

Fitchburg State advances to the nationals for the 16th year in a row and will be represented this year by seniors Jonathan DePina of Brookline and Christina Barbaro of Winchendon. The pair finished in the top 16 teams on Saturday after earning a third place seeding from their work on Friday.  They lost to the eventual fourth place team in a tight round of legal argument Saturday morning.

Another Fitchburg team broke into the second day of competition and finished in the top 32.  The team of senior James Schneider of Rockland and junior Abigail Kennefick of Harvard lost on a very close split decision ballot to close out their Saturday competition. 

Also of note, two teams, sophomore Aidan Horgan of Princeton and senior Dan O’Donnell of Hanscom Air Force Base, as well as senior Andrea Ramirez of Hudson, and senior Kaitlin Ouellette of Fitchburg finished 33rd and 34th, respectively, just missing the top 32 and a chance to continue the competition on the second day.  Individual accolades also saw O’Donnell awarded the 20th place individual orator award out of 108 competitors, while DePina and Ouellette were the second and third highest individual orators for Fitchburg State.

Fitchburg State’s Moot Court team is coached by Assistant Professor Eric Boehme from the Economics, History and Political Science Department, assisted by Keith Greiner and Christina Brigham, both professional lawyers and Fitchburg State graduates.

Additional detail on the moot court association and the legal case under discussion can be found online.

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