October 10, 2019

The Moot Court Board's National Trial Team will begin its 2019-2020 season the weekend of Ocober 19 - 20th by competing in the Queens District Attorney's Invitational Mock Trial Competition.  The Queens DA Competition is an annual competition between nationally and regionally selected teams invited to compete based upon their record.

As such, it is a competition among some of the most competitive trial teams in the country.   This is the third year we have been invited, earning a semi-finalist position in 2017 and 2018.  The competition involves conducting a full trial of a criminal case before sitting judges in Queens County.  The case is tried before a jury under New York Evidence Law and procedure.

The team will also compete in the American Bar Association National Mock Trial Competition Regionals in New York on November 23rd and 24th.  The team won the regional competition in 2016, placed as a semi-finalist in the 2017 National rounds and earned a semi-finalist position in 2017 regiionals.      

The team was expanded this year to 11 members, adding four new team members after a competitive try-on process.   Andy Amakihe (2L), Pierre Avalos (2L), Jared Hotchkiss (2L), and Maria Nieto (3L) were selected and will join returning team members  Opeyemi Akinde (3L), Max Bosco (3L), Elizabeth Driscoll (3L), Nicholas Gallinger (3L), Jessica Shapiro (3L), Soundous Bouchouar (3L), and Christopher Winters (3L).    Pierre Avalos, Max Bosco, Nick Gallinger and Jared Hotchkiss will compete  at the Queens Invitational.  Opeyemi Akinde, Andy Amakihe, Max Bosco, Soundous Bouchouar, Elizabeth Driscoll, Maria Nieto, Jessica Shapiro and Christopher Winters will compete in the ABA Trial Competition in November.  

Thanks to a generous gift from Gerald Baker, Esq., we have added additional coaching staff and have been able to expand the team this year.   Samantha McCluskey, a Rutgers Law Newark and National Trial Team alum, and Ford Livengood are again coaching, after helping to guide the team through three successful seasons.   The team has been actively practicing since mid-summer.

In addition, on Tuesday, October 22, at 7 p.m. in the Baker Courtroom at the Center for Law and Justice at 123 Washington St. in Newark, will be the 2019 Final Round of the Moot Court Board's David A. Cohn Appellate Moot Court Competition. After three weeks of preliminary and semi-final rounds, the top two competitors will compete, advocating before New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Jaynee LaVecchia and the Honorable Carmen Messano, Presiding Judge of the Appellate Division.   

The case to be argued is a challenge to the Trump Administration's ending of the DACA program.  It is an interesting case and one that has yet to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rutgers Law Media Contacts:
Mike Sepanic (Camden); Elizabeth Moore (Newark)

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