( From L to R: Bradley Hopek (3L; co-captain), Barrett Bles (3L; co-captain), Alexander Hastie (2L),
Zachary Figueroa (3L), Michelle Curth (Coach, class of 2012) )
For nearly a decade students on the CUA Law Vis International Commercial Arbitration Team have had the opportunity to witness the coming together of students, professors, and professionals from so many different legal and cultural backgrounds. This year's experience was no different.
In December and January, CUA Law submitted two forty page memorandums in support of each the Claimant and Respondent, respectively, in a sales contract dispute concerning the purchase and distribution of high-end wine. The commodity at issue proved a unique challenge given the industry-specific business standards in the sale of wine. Furthermore, the currently contested issue in international arbitration of the use of litigation-style discovery was debated in the memorandums. The students researched all aspects of the CISG (international sales law), UNIDROIT Principles, UNCITRAL Model Law, and the Vienna International Arbitration Centre Rules to draft thorough and well-reasoned papers on behalf of their clients.
After more than six months of rigorous writing, researching, and oral advocacy training, the CUA Law Vis Team attended the annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna, Austria. Six students were on the team this year and trained throughout the fall and spring, with four traveling for competition in Europe. Members include Barrett Bles (3L), Bradley Hopek (3L), Zachary Figueroa (3L), Rachael Hesling (3L), Alexander Hastie (2L) and Tagreed Nafisi (2L).
The Vis Moot is structured such that there are four days of intense general rounds with international practitioners, scholars, and other university moot coaches and professors serving as arbitrators. The competition broke attendance records this year, having over 1,900 students participate from 312 teams, representing over 65 different countries worldwide.
In the final oral advocacy rounds in Vienna, Austria, the CUA Law Vis team was matched against universities from China, France, Switzerland, and the Dominican Republic. The team shared conference rooms and classrooms with students from all corners of the globe, learned unique perspectives on international law issues, and developed working relationships and friendships that will last long into the future.
Throughout its years of academic excellence, CUA Law has fostered and promoted the importance of global cooperation, understanding, and compassion, which is a constant and shared mission of the Vis Moot. The Moot is the premier competition for students all over the world looking to challenge themselves academically and professionally in a vastly expanding area of law. In closing the general rounds, a Moot organizer offered an applicable quote from Benjamin Franklin, "When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?" CUA Law's Vis team looks forward to future teams answering this question posed by Mr. Franklin, and to future students graduating with practice-ready skills to adapt to the new world of dispute resolution.