Sunday May 2, 2010

Moot Court Team Completes Successful Season

The winners of the Janice M. Paulus Awards were honored earlier this spring at a Moot Court banquet.

The winners of the Janice M. Paulus Awards were honored earlier this spring at a Moot Court banquet. Carrie Winteregg, Walter "Chip" Herin and Brian Muenchenbach received year's Paulus Awards based on their performances at the Walter Rice Moot Court Competition. Winteregg was recognized as the competition's best oral advocate while Herin and Muenchenbach tied for the best brief.

The awards were established in 2007 by the Dayton law firm Coolidge Wall in honor of Janice Paulus, a 1985 UDSL graduate and one of the firm's partners. Paulus died in 2007. She practiced law in Sidney, Ohio, from 1985 to 1987, after working as a law clerk in Sidney for four years. In 1987, she joined Coolidge Wall as an associate and was named a partner in 1991. The senior woman partner at Coolidge since 1992, Janice practiced commercial litigation law.

"While every dollar makes a difference to a struggling law student," Dean of Students Lori Shaw said, "the Paulus Award has meaning that far exceeds its monetary value. It helps us instill in our students that we have a tradition of excellence, which Janice personified."

John Chambers, who graduated from UDSL with Paulus and then worked with her at Coolidge Wall, said the firm established the award to honor her memory. "She was such an exceptional legal mind and she excelled in the courtroom," he said, so creating an award for the School's Moot Court team was a natural fit.

"Her skills at fashioning an argument were second to none," Chambers said. "She could take a problem and find legal arguments and weave a web to fit a client's position better than anybody I've ever seen."

"If I had a problem and it had to go to court, I'd want Janice writing my brief," he said.

Chambers recalled that Paulus had the highest score on the Ohio bar exam in 1985 and was the top student their class all three years, and it really wasn't close." Paulus excelled as a student while working full-time for a law firm in Sydney, her hometown. "She raised the bar for me" as a student, Chambers said.

Teams Compete around Country

Three of the School's five Moot Court teams finished among the top half of their respective competitions this semester.

Chip Herin and Jerod Smiley placed second, out of 30 teams, in the Thurgood Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the Young Lawyers division of the Federal Bar Association, in March in Washington, D.C.

The team of Will Harrelson and James Miller finished third in the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition, organized by International Institute of Space Law, on April 10 at the Georgetown University Law Center.

"Neither of our team members had ever taken international law, let alone space law," said Sheila Miller, associate professor and team advisor. "They did a great job on both their briefs and their oral arguments."

Winteregg and Muenchenbach advanced to the round of 16 in the Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, Wisconsin.

Jonathan Osborne, Sam Conrad, Meg Miller and Erik Smith earned spots on the Moot Court team based on their performances at the Dayton Bar Association competition this semester. Osborne and Conrad competed in the finals before Judges James Brogan and Mike Fain from the Ohio Second District Court of Appeals and Dean Lisa Kloppenberg. Osborne was named Best Oralist and Conrad was recognized for having the Best Brief.

Miller praised the Moot Court board, which includes Kellie Clark, Crosley Johnson, Greg Booth, Chelsea Spangler and Tanner Shultz, for working "really hard with all of the teams this spring. Crosley and Kellie were was especially helpful in their role of getting teams ready for competition."

Clark, who served as chief justice of the Moot Court board, said sending the team to new and interesting competitions contributed to the team's successful year. "The members of our team demonstrated a degree of dedication and professionalism that I think led to their success," she said. "We really got a lot of the faculty involved in benching the practice rounds which I think really prepared our teams for competition. Professor Miller was a great leader through the year and I think she helped lead us towards success.'

For more information, contact Bob Mihalek at 937-229-4683.