We are pleased to announce that the Columbus School of Law will sponsor and host the Third Annual Ellen A. (Nell) Hennessy Moot Court Competition with the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel on February 22, 2020. 

Last year, law school 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 issues arising from the denial of disability benefits under ERISA-covered plans, particularly the legal standards that courts should apply when reviewing a plan’s claims denials.  After several intense rounds, Catholic’s team of Claudia Shannon (2L) and Kevin Sprenger (3E) won the team competition over the Georgetown team.

This year’s problem will address cutting-edge employee benefit issues involving the denial of benefits under an insured ERISA welfare benefits plan based on an exclusion in the insurance policy and whether the insurer can require the claimant to go to arbitration.  Registration forms can be found here.  Key dates and preliminary information are below: 

  • Date and Location of Competition:
    • Saturday, February 22, 2020
    • Columbus School of Law, 3600 John McCormack Road, N.E.
      Washington, D.C. 20064

  • Registration Fee and Deadline:
    • Deadline for Registration:  Friday, November 8, 2019
    • Final Date for Withdrawal:  Friday, January 17, 2020
                    (After this date, we are unable to refund registration fees.)
    •  Registration fee:  $400 per team (plus non-refundable 3% credit card fee)              
    • A school may enter up to two teams consisting of at least two members and no more than three members each, but only two may argue during any one session.  An additional (third) team may be considered as space allows.

  • Expected Schedule:
    • Problem and Program Rules Release Date:  Friday, November 15, 2019
    • Competitor Briefs Due:  Friday, January 17, 2020

  • Program Contact:
Click here to learn more about the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and the legacy of Ellen A. (Nell) Hennessy.