The Catholic University of America

(L to R) Competition Organizers: Robert Rachal, Bruce Perlin, Phyllis Borzi,
Karen Handorf, Veda Rasheed, and Kwambina Coker

ACEBC and CUA Law Sponsor and Host Inaugural
Ellen A. (Nell) Hennessy Moot Court Competition

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The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel (ACEBC) and The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, were proud to sponsor and host the inaugural Ellen A. (Nell) Hennessy Moot Court, held Saturday, February 24, 2018 at the Columbus School of Law. Five law school teams competed for prizes:

• University of Buffalo, School of Law
• The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law
• Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law
• Georgetown University Law Center
• John Marshall Law School

These teams competed before experienced ERISA practitioners, including the former Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security of the U. S.Department of Labor (and longtime friend and colleague of Nell Hennessy) Phyllis Borzi '78. The teams addressed current hot topics in ERISA on the enforceability of plan venue provisions, and on the prudence of offering socially responsible investing funds in a 401(k) plan.

After several hard fought rounds, Catholic and Drexel’s teams squared off in the finals before “Chief Judge Borzi,” joined by ACEBC fellows Karen Handorf and Bruce Perlin. After more than an hour of argument and intensive questioning by the panel, Drexel’s team of Savannah Merceus and Michelle Streifthau-Livizos won the team competition by a nose over the Catholic team of Willistine Harris (2E) and Shanna Mason (2L). Drexel also won best brief and Michelle Streifthau-Livizos won Best Oral Advocate.

The winning team received plaques and the book ERISA FACTS by ACEBC fellow and Hennessy judge Frank Bitzer. The ACEBC is also paying the expenses of the winning team to attend its annual dinner, being held this year in Nashville, Tennessee.


Drexel University winning team with judges from the final (L to R) Coach, Bruce Perlin, Phyllis Borzi, Savannah Merceus , Karen Handorf, Coach, Michelle Streifthau-Livizos 



CUA Law's team with judges from the final (L to R) Bruce Perlin, Phyllis Borzi, Willistine Harris, Karen Handorf, Anthony Hood, Regina Jefferson, and Shanna Mason