Maine Law students shine at Duberstein Moot Court Competition
April 2, 2013
PORTLAND, Maine – Maine Law students Kimberly Watson and Ben Donahue submitted one of the best four legal briefs, out of 64 teams, last month at the only national moot court competition devoted to bankruptcy law.
The team of Watson and Donahue placed 20th overall at the annual Hon. Conrad B. Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, held in New York City March 9-11. Opening rounds were held at St. John’s School of Law in Queens. Watson and Donahue narrowly missed moving on to the final rounds, which were held at the U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse in Brooklyn. The competition wrapped up with a gala awards banquet in Manhattan, attracting a crowd of more than 1,000 bankruptcy lawyers and judges from New York and beyond. This was the 9th consecutive year that Maine has sent teams to the event.
A total of 64 teams, representing more than 40 law schools, participated. Maine Law sent two teams to the competition: Watson and Donahue; and Duncan Edgar and Patrick Brady. The teams were led by two volunteer coaches: Maine Law Professor Lois Lupica, a nationally recognized expert in bankruptcy law; and attorney Michael Fagone (Maine Law ’97) of the Bernstein Shur law firm in Portland.
“It was an extraordinary experience, very intense,” Lupica said. “The issues were very complex. Both of the Maine Law teams mastered the substance and they did a fantastic job crafting their arguments and presenting their arguments before New York bankruptcy practitioners, which might be the hardest group of practitioners to argue in front of.”
Maine Law teams are financially supported by the local bankruptcy bar. Robert Keach (’80) of Bernstein Shur spearheaded the fundraising, exceeding the goal of $7,500.
“From Bob Keach to Charlie Miller at Bernstein Shur, and so many others, the community has just been amazing. This wouldn’t happen without their support,” Lupica said. She also noted the involvement of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Louis Kornreich, and Justices Ellen Gorman and Joseph Jabar of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. In preparation for the competition, the Maine Law students practiced their arguments before the judges, over the course of several weeks, Lupica said. Several Maine Law alums and former competitors in the Duberstein competition also helped: Sonia Buck, Bodie Colwell, Tudor Goldsmith, Nate Hull, and Jennifer Kruszewski.