Amassing Best Moot Court Team – Yearly Competition is Reason Miami Law is 17th in U.S.

Amassing Best Moot Court Team – Yearly Competition is Reason Miami Law is 17th in U.S.

Photo: L to R: Judge Beth Bloom, J.D. ’88, Gabriella Pinzon, Judge Roy Altman, Gisell Landrian, and Justice John D. Couriel.

Photo by Stephen Chang

By Lauren Beiley

Photo: L to R: Judge Beth Bloom, J.D. ’88, Gabriella Pinzon, Judge Roy Altman, Gisell Landrian, and Justice John D. Couriel.

Photo by Stephen Chang

Amassing Best Moot Court Team – Yearly Competition is Reason Miami Law is 17th in U.S.

By Lauren Beiley
To accrue the best team, every fall Miami Law hosts the internal John T. Gaubatz Moot Court Competition, the primary moot court contest at the School of Law.

The strength of Miami Law's moot court team is a key reason it was ranked 17th in the U.S. in 2021-22 and ranked 25th for 2020-21 out of all 200 ABA-accredited law schools. The John T. Gaubatz Moot Court Competition is only open to second- and third-year students who have demonstrated excellence in written and oral advocacy and have achieved a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher 2Ls or 3.0 or higher for 3Ls by the registration deadline. Membership is then extended to the top 25 2L and 3L law students who rank in the top 25 competitors overall.

This year’s winners

The Gaubatz Competition is comprised of both a written and an oral component. Competitors register in pairs, file an appellate brief, and argue in at least two oral rounds. After this year’s challenging competition, the finalists were Team 2: Gabriella Pinzon, Gisell Landrian (Petitioner) and Team 28: Kelsey McCarty, Ethan Arrington (Respondent).

Gabriella Pinzon, Gisell Landrian took home first place. Pinzon is a junior staff editor of the University of Miami Law Review and serves as a volunteer law clerk with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida. She also won the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in fall 2021 for Civil Procedure I. This award recognizes excellence achievement by law students in their studies and is given to the student with the highest grade in the class. A native of Cuba, Landrian has served as an intern in the Center for Ethics & Public Service, has worked as a Judicial Intern to the Honorable Chief Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres, and is a member of the Inter-American Law Review.

Celebrated Miami Law moot competition

The Charles C. Papy Jr. Moot Court Board, Miami Law’s oldest and largest advocacy program, hosts the Gaubatz Competition to determine the incoming class of board members. All competing teams must draft and submit appellate briefs and argue in at least two oral rounds. The top 16 teams then compete in a bracketed competition, culminating in the final round, hosted October 18 at the Shalala Student Center.

Named in memory of Miami Law Professor John T. Gaubatz, who directed both the graduate LL.M. program on estate planning and the Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, the competition provides an excellent opportunity for Miami Law students to practice “real lawyering” in a simulated setting.

Praise from judges

In the final round of competition, McCarty and Arrington squared off against fellow classmates Pinzon and Landrian in front of three very distinguished judges. On the bench sat Justice John D. Couriel of the Supreme Court of Florida, and Judge Roy Altman and Judge Beth Bloom, J.D. ’88, both of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

The two teams argued their perspective positions involving a fictitious case on the City of West Elm versus the United States which focused on the relationship between the federal and state or local governments. Competitors argued what limits exist on the federal government’s power to compel states to cooperate with federal immigration policy. Each team argued fiercely, leaving the judges with a difficult decision.

This year, more than 150 judges and practitioners, many of whom are around the country, volunteered to help make the competition a successful event.

List of Winners and Members

Winners: Team 2: Gabriella Pinzon and Gisell Landrian (Petitioner)

Best Brief Award: Carly Herskowitz (the competitor with the highest brief score)

Best Oralist Award: Mitchell Koch (the competitor with the highest oral argument score)

Humberto Peña Best Advocate Award: Thomas Webb (the student with the highest individual score [includes both brief and oral argument scores])

New Moot Court Members:

Joely Arai
Thomas Armiger
Gabrielle Argimon
Ethan Arrington
Sarah Boger
William Brandyburg
Grace Castillo
Austin Edwards
Sierra Epke
Taylor Evans
Destini Fernandez
Cameron Gittler
Carly Herskowitz
Zachary Kaufman
Ashley Knoblauch
Mitchell Koch
Gisell Landrian
Caleb Liberman
Alexis Masciarella
Kelsey McCarty
Gabriella Pinzon
Amanda Rosenberg
Marina Rubio
Zachary Sherman
Brandon Shinder
Bari Steel
Thomas Webb

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