On March 4, the Hale Moot Court Honors Program returned to in-person competition, with Lili Italiane being named 2021-2022 Oral Advocate Champion.
Other participants included 2021-2022 Oral Advocate runner-up Danielle Richardson and finalists Daniel Donohue and MacKenzie Tobin.
“It was an honor to present my oral argument before three distinguished judges, and winning the competition improved my confidence as a law student and future attorney,” Italiane said. “The Hale Moot Court Honors program was invaluable because it made me a better legal writer and oral advocate, and it taught me to think on my feet and be adaptable. I didn’t expect to become so passionate about the legal issue I had been researching throughout the year, but by the time the final round came along, I felt like an expert on the issue I was defending.”
From left, oral advocate champion Lili Italiane, finalist MacKenzie Tobin, runner-up Danielle Richardson and finalist Daniel Donohue. (Photo/Christopher Wallace)
Tobin also was recognized, along with Joseph Abell, James Robertson and Elle Infante, with the Anthony & Susan Taylor Written Advocacy Award for their top-notch briefs. Best brief runner-ups were Colleen Busby and Danielle Richardson. The Outstanding Participant Award was given to Carli Zimelman and Outstanding Board Member Award went to Samantha Dyar.
The presiding judges were Hon. David F. Hamilton, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; Hon. Jacqueline N. Nguyen, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; and Hon. Richard A. Paez, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
“It was an incredibly rewarding experience to serve as the Chair of the Hale Moot Court Program this year,” said Reena Patel, chair of the Hale Moot Court Honors Program. “Given that last year’s competition was fully remote, I was excited to return to the in-person format for the last few rounds. It was also amazing to see the students transition flawlessly from Zoom arguments to in-person arguments.”
From left, Hon. Richard A. Paez, Hon. Jacqueline N. Nguyen, Dean Andrew Guzman and Hon. David F. Hamilton (Photo/Christopher Wallace)
This year, the competition covered two topics: whether criminal defendants are entitled to exculpatory evidence prior to pleading guilty; and sentencing concerns including whether judges are allowed to consider a defendant’s need for rehabilitation when deciding their sentences, and whether the defendant’s sentence should be for abducting a bank employee during a robbery.
Each of the awards carries a monetary gift donated through the law school, thanks to the generosity and support from donors.