Press Releases

Seton Hall University School of Law Wins Regional Moot Court Competition at the City Bar

Left to right: Julie Nelson, NYU School of Law; Sami Sexton, NYU School of Law; Melissa Giddings, NYU School of Law; Karen Milton, Esq Metropolitan Transportation Authority; Hon. Denny Chin, US Court of Appeals, 2nd circuit; Hon. Ann Donnelly, US District Court (EDNY); Hon. Richard Andrias, — Retired, Supreme Court Appellate Division, 1st Dept; James Herschlein, Esq. Arnold & Porter;  Sarah Ungeheuer, Seton Hall University School of Law; Samantha Santola Seton Hall University School of Law; and Anthony Gingerelli, Seton Hall University School of Law.

Seton Hall University School of Law won the regional rounds of the 70th Annual National Moot Court Competition, which took place November 20-21 at the New York City Bar Association.  The winning team consisted of Sarah Ungeheuer, Samantha Santola and Anthony Gingerelli.

New York University School of Law, represented by Sami Sexton, Julie Nelson and Melissa Giddings, took second-place honors. Both teams will advance to the final rounds in early 2020. Twenty-Eight winning and runner-up teams from 14 regions across the United States will compete in the final rounds of the competition, February 10-13, at the City Bar.

Best Brief honors went to Fordham Law School, whose team consisted of Lisa Cordara, Nigel Frank and Maddison Levine. Runner-up Brief was awarded to Seton Hall University School of Law.  Best Oralist was awarded to Sarah Ungeheuer of Seton Hall University School of Law, with runner-up honors going to Anthony Gingerelli, also of Seton Hall University School of Law.  

This year’s problem centers around a weighty and topical question: what rights and procedural guarantees are granted by the law and the constitution to undocumented immigrants in the United States? The fact pattern imagines a federal law making it a felony for undocumented immigrants to participate in public political protests, and an undocumented immigrant convicted under that statute. Under circumstances like these, the Immigration and Nationality Act makes an undocumented person subject to expedited deportation, bypassing many traditional avenues of judicial review.

Competitors in this year’s tournament seek to resolve two questions. First, competitors must determine the circumstances under which an undocumented immigrant subject to expedited review may access the courts to challenge their deportation, and whether the government’s procedures properly give such immigrants the ability to assert legal arguments in their own defense. Second, competitors must show whether it violates the First Amendment to criminalize political protest by undocumented immigrants, by exploring the circumstances under which the Supreme Court has granted and denied other rights to immigrants, documented and undocumented.

The competition is co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the National Moot Court Competition Committee of the New York City Bar Association.