The Catholic University of America



L-R: Rich Gallena (3L); Frances Bishop (3L); Christina Battaglia (2L); and Jim Tinley (3L).

Vis Moot Arbitration Team First in Shanghai General Rounds; Dominates Oralist Awards


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The Columbus School of Law’s four-member Vis International Commercial Arbitration team made a statement in Shanghai, China, last week, ranking first in the four general rounds, with all four team members landing among the top oralists. 
The Shanghai moot is a preliminary competition that permits law school teams to hone their advocacy skills before moving on to the primary competition this week: the 10th annual Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot, held March 11-17 in Hong Kong. 
In Shanghai, the Catholic University law school quartet was in first place after the four general rounds of argument.  Three team members accounted for three of the eight best oralist awards. Rich Gallena (3L) was named the best overall oralist in the competition. Team captain Frances Bishop (3L) and Christina Battaglia (2L) received honorable mention as outstanding oralists. The fourth member of the team, Jim Tinley (3L), barely missed formal honors - by a mere 1\6th of a point.
In the runoff competition among the top teams, CUA Law lost in a close quarterfinal match to a team from Korea.
“This outcome surpasses last year’s achievements in Shanghai,” noted Professor Harris Weinstein, the coach of CUA Law’s moot team. “In 2012 we were ranked second overall and one team member received honorable mention as an outstanding oralist.”
The Shanghai competition is limited to 20 law school teams. This year, they came from China, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Mexico and the U.S.  
The Hong Kong competition will include more than 90 teams from 25 countries on five continents.  
The commercial trade dispute problem argued by the student teams involved allegations of illegal child labor being used in a factory that manufactured polo shirts for sale overseas.  
Catholic University’s team benefitted enormously from the assistance of two alumnae and former team members: Raeka Safai, 2007, and Renee-Lauren Ellis, 2010, who volunteered to work with the squad as it prepared for this year's Vis competitions.  
Safai will continue to support the team in Hong Kong.  Ellis is focused on the CUA Law team’s fortunes in the largest Vis competition in Vienna, Austria, which will draw 292 law schools from 67 countries.