The Catholic University of America

Lindsay Videnieks (left) and Leah Walker.

CUA Law Students Blast Up to Highest Applicant Scores during
Oral Arguments at Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition

Leah A. Walker and Lindsay Videnieks, third-year evening students at the Columbus School of Law, received the highest scores during the applicant round of oral arguments for the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition.

The annual competition, sponsored by the International Institute of Space Law, featured nine law schools from North America and was held April 4, 2009, at Georgetown University Law Center.

The 2009 moot problem concerned the deployment and use of force in low earth orbit. It questioned the lawfulness of deploying anti-satellite weaponry and explored the subtle distinction between the "militarization" versus the "weaponization" of outer space.

Competitors prepared written memorials for applicant and respondent and presented the case from both sides during the preliminary rounds, relying primarily on international treaty law and International Court of Justice cases.

Although CUA did not win the overall competition, Walker and Videnieks performed well, earning praise from judges. One of them, a former trial attorney and appellate judge in the U.S. Air Force, complimented the organization of the team's argument and their fully developed responses to questions from the bench.

Walker and Videnieks were also encouraged by competition judge Sallye Clark, a Columbus School of Law graduate and former student in the space law class. Now a partner at Arent Fox, Clark offered the students helpful assessments of their performance.

The team members extended special thanks to Professor William Carroll for his outstanding service as team coach/faculty advisor, to Professor Antonio Perez for his support in mooting the team.

The Lachs Moot began in 1992. Each year, the winners of the Asia Pacific, European and North American Regional Rounds compete in the world finals, held in conjunction with the annual International Astronautical Congress and the Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space.

The Lachs Moot has the distinction of having its world final judged each year by three sitting members of the International Court of Justice.