Press Releases

Fordham University School of Law Wins Regional Moot Court Competition – Fordham and NYU to Represent NY Area at February National Competition

Fordham University School of Law won the regional rounds of the 71st Annual National Moot Court Competition, which took place November 16-17. The winning team consisted of Frank Piacenti, Cody Anthony, and Kevin Sette and was coached by Ashley Slater.

New York University School of Law, represented by William Bristow, Tian Lei and Zachary Hadd, took second-place honors. Both teams will advance to the final rounds in early 2021. Twenty-Eight winning and runner-up teams from 14 regions across the United States will compete in the final rounds of the competition, February 1-4.

Best Brief honors went to Fordham University School of Law. Runner-up Brief was awarded to New York University School of Law. Best Oralist was awarded to Tian Lei of New York University School of Law, with runner-up honors going to Kevin Sette of Fordham University School of Law.

This year’s problem addresses legal issues raised by an ongoing pandemic: the potential for health insurance companies to sue the makers of fraudulent drugs under RICO, the latitude given government agencies to conduct warrantless searches in the name of public health, and the application of Qualified Immunity if those agencies go too far.

The competitors in this year’s tournament are confronted with two issues: first, competitors must determine under what circumstances civil RICO standing can be afforded to third-party payors who allege that they would not have underwritten certain prescriptions in response to a global pandemic if pharmaceutical companies had not misrepresented the safety risks to prescribers. And second, competitors must analyze whether state government officials who order a warrantless search of medical records from a health insurance company violate the Fourth Amendment, where such search is conducted pursuant to a state statute which does not authorize precompliance review before a judicial entity? Additionally, competitors must grapple with a second layer of inquiry if the answer is in the affirmative—whether the officials are (or should be) protected from liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by the doctrine of Qualified Immunity.