Empire Law Students Perpetuate School’s Record of Success
In an impressive display of written and oral skills, the student team from Empire College School of Law was awarded Second Place in Brief Writing at the annual Roger J. Traynor Appellate Moot Court competition held at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Eighteen California law schools competed on April 10 and 11, 2010, including Golden Gate University, UC Hastings, McGeorge, Santa Clara, UC Berkeley, USF, UCLA, and UC Davis.
The Empire Team – fourth-year law students Andrew Quinn and Karin Stoeckenius – demonstrated a remarkable balance of knowledge about the case, briefing and arguing the Respondent’s position in the first round of the competition and the Appellant’s, or opposite position, in the second round.
Selected for 2010 by the California Academy of Appellate Attorneys, the case was based upon a real, unpublished case from the California Court of Appeal. It involved a determination of whether or not a party was determined to be the "prevailing party" for contractual attorney’s fees after litigation in the state courts of California and Nevada and the California Court of Appeal when one of the parties then filed a voluntary dismissal of the action. The legal Gordian knot involved both competing statutes and case law as well as public policy issues.
The briefs were scored anonymously, and results were announced at the competition. "I am especially proud of the fact that we argued against the top placing schools for oral argument (Loyola, First, and McGeorge, Third) in the two rounds of appellate argument on Saturday," stated the team’s coach, Professor William A. (Terry) Robertson. “Between those two schools, they placed four of the top oralists in the competition. Our students were an equal match for their opponents, and the spirited argument before the appellate bench in each round raised the scores of both teams."
"I cannot say enough about the hard work of these students and their coach Terry Robertson," stated Pat Broderick, Dean of Empire College School of Law. “The organizers of the Traynor competition were very complimentary of the continuous success by Empire teams."
While preparing their legal briefs and attending oral argument practices, the team members were also required to keep up with their law school studies and attend to their jobs and families. Mr. Quinn works as a certified law clerk for the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office where he provides legal research and written motions for the office, as well as appearing in the Superior Court and the Appellate Division on behalf of the office. The mother of two teenage children, Ms. Stoeckenius worked in Empire’s Immigration Law Clinic in addition to her studies.
Coach Robertson added, "On their own, this team went through more than 18 drafts of the brief. They met weekdays and weekends to practice oral advocacy. They demonstrated all of the qualities of professionalism that we expect of elite practicing attorneys, and that is high praise indeed."
Congratulations to the 2010 Moot Court Team of Empire College School of Law.
Empire Law School's Record of Success
Roger J. Traynor California Moot Court Competition
- 2000 1st Place, Brief Writing and 1st Place, Excellence in Appellate Advocacy
- 2002 Runner Up, Best Brief
- 2003 2nd Place, Brief Writing
- 2004 2nd Place, Brief Writing and Excellence in Appellate Advocacy
- 2006 1st Place, Brief Writing, 2nd Place Excellence in Appellate Advocacy, Honorable Mention-Oral Arguments
- 2007 1st Place, Brief Writing, 2nd Place Excellence in Appellate Advocacy, 3rd Place Oral Arguments
- 2008 Best Oralist
- 2009 3rd Place, Oral Arguments
- 2010 2nd Place, Brief Writing
PHOTO BY ROY HURD
Taking on teams from 18 other California law schools, Empire law students Karin Stoeckenius and Andrew Quinn (with their coach Professor Terry Robertson, left) were awarded Second Place in Brief Writing