Back row: Ray Pinkham (3L); Adam Malizio (3L); Peter Glaws (2L). Front row: Renee-Lauren Ellis (3L);
Jordan Dansby (2L); Chelsea Severson (3L) and Luigi De Guzman (3L).
2010 Vis Moot Court Team Prepares Intensively for Big Stage
“Vienna waits for you…” That lyric from an old Billy Joel song could have been penned for Catholic University’s Vis Moot Court team, which will travel to the picturesque Austrian city at the end of March to test its mettle against hundreds of teams from around the world.
The annual William C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot has grown into one of the world’s largest, attracting law school teams from 50 nations. The goal of the Vis moot is to foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration for resolution of international business disputes through its application to a concrete problem of a client, and to train law leaders of tomorrow in methods of alternative dispute resolution.
The seven-member squad from the Columbus School of Law will face 250 other teams during general and elimination rounds from March 27 to April 1.
The team has enjoyed great success in the past, ranking 27th in Vienna in 2008 and 10th in the Hong Kong branch of the competition in 2009. The team's 10th place finish outranked all other D.C. area law schools.
“This year's team is currently in the midst of intensive oral argument practice in preparation for another successful competition,” reports team member Chelsea Severson, 3L.
The team recently attended a practice moot in New York City, where it argued against teams from Germany, Finland and the United States before judging panels composed of practitioners, professors and coaches from the Americas, Europe and Asia.
At home, the team practices twice a week before panels of law school faculty and Vis alumni. In further preparation for Vienna, the team will host a moot with Howard University and attend a practice with George Washington University’s team hosted by Covington & Burling. As in past years, two faculty members, Professors Tony Perez and Harris Weinstein, have provided critical coaching, critiquing and encouragement to members of the team.
“The Vis team looks forward to building on its past successes and developing an international reputation of excellence for Catholic University,” says Severson.
The cost of travel and lodging to participate in one of the world’s great moot competitions in not insignificant. Catholic University’s team relies almost entirely on private funding, and in previous years has raised approximately $30,000. Speaking for all team members, Severson said donations for this year’s effort from alumni, firms, foundations or other sources would be greatly appreciated.