Moot Court Team Is Champions of John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Competition

The team also won 3rd Best Brief, and law student Gabriella Pinzon was named Best Oralist.
Moot Court Team Is Champions of John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Competition
2Ls Brandon Shinder and Gabriella Pinzon 

Miami Law’s Charles C. Papy, Jr. Moot Court team of 2Ls Gabriella Pinzon and Brandon Shinder placed first in the John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition, held at Seton Hall Law School in Newark, New Jersey. There they competed against 43 other teams and beat Regent University in the final round, where they argued in front of five judges. In addition to their victory, they won the award for 3rd Best Brief, and Pinzon was named Best Oralist of the competition. 

“Competing in the semifinal and final rounds, where there was top level competition and high-level judging, was the most rewarding and enjoyable experience because it was a chance for our hard work to come to fruition,” said Shinder. “In the end, I am not sure if anything will ever beat hearing our team number called in the Final Round and then the hug Gaby and I shared. Gaby is an amazing partner and there is no one else I would rather compete with.”

The Gibbons competition focuses on timely issues of criminal procedure and criminal law. This is the second time Miami Law has won the competition. The last time was in 2014.

“When they announced that we had won Third Best Brief, we were overjoyed,” said Pinzon. “Writing the brief was one of the most grueling and time-consuming parts of the competition, particularly because of the short turnaround time. Brandon and I only had three weeks to write what would become a 37-page document. Unlike many moot court competitions, the brief score at the Gibbons competition factored into your score at every stage of the competition. This meant that a great brief score would help you advance to the next round.”

Two Miami Law alumni coached the team - Adam Stolz, J.D.’18, and Luis Reyes, J.D.’18.

“Before the oral competition, Gaby and I both dedicated so much time to learn and write a brief on issues that were actively pending in the Supreme Court,” said Shinder. “Following the brief being submitted, and leading up to the competition, Gaby and I spent every day preparing in nightly practices with our coaches. Those practice rounds in front of both students and well- established practitioners, allowed Gaby and I to prepare for any situation we would face in competition.”

The team had two weeks to prepare for oral arguments, but the hard work and many hours of practicing were worth it, according to Pinzon, who was named Best Oralist.

“When they announced I had won the Best Preliminary Oralist award, it felt like all of my hard work and sacrifice paid off,” said Pinzon. “Finally, when they announced that we had won the final round, we were in disbelief.”

“Overall, it was an amazing experience representing the University of Miami at this competition and I look forward to the 2023-2024 Moot Court season,” said Shinder.

Read more about Miami Law’s Moot Court organizations.