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Moot Court Honor Society Finishes Successful Year

2014 Roy L. Reardon Competition Finalists and Judges
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Law School’s Moot Court Honor Society closed its 2013-14 competition year with a strong showing at the external Elaine Jackson Stack Moot Court Competition and the internal Roy L. Reardon Moot Court Competition.

On March 26, 2014, Brian Adelmann ’15, Arianna Efstathiou ’15, Brian Eisner ’15, and coach Andrew Lee ’14 captured the Best Brief award at the Stack Competition, which considered two issues:

  • Whether the “community caretaker exception,” traditionally limited to automobile searches, may be extended to a warrantless search of the defendant’s residence
  • Whether an autopsy report is testimonial and, therefore, inadmissible as evidence pursuant to the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment where the preparer of the report is unavailable for cross examination by the defendant.

“Success starts with the brief, and I’m proud to see our students exemplify that point,” said Andrew Lee ’14, the Moot Court Honor Society’s current managing director. “The Best Brief award reflects outstanding guidance by Dean Larry Cunningham and his Appellate Advocacy Moot Court class, and it's also a testament to our students' incredible work ethic.”

The final round of the Law School’s annual Reardon Competition took place on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 in the Belson Moot Court Room. The distinguished panel of judges included:

  • Roy L. Reardon ’54, Partner, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
  • Hon. Randall Eng ’72, Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department
  • Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix, Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department
  • Hon. Thomas I. Vanaskie, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

The competition showcased the talents of the top four 2L Moot Court Honor Society members. The finalists argued two Fourth Amendment issues:

  • Whether a defendant, who is an unauthorized driver of a rental vehicle, has standing under the Fourth Amendment to contest a search of that vehicle
  • Whether the Government may use the plain view doctrine when searching a computer pursuant to a search warrant to open and seize files not specifically authorized by the warrant.

Michelle Nicotera ’15 and Kelly Porcelli ’15 represented the Petitioner and Cross-Respondent, respectively. Aldo Caira ’15 and Danielle O’Boyle ’15 represented the Respondent and Cross-Petitioner, respectively. After the arguments concluded, Danielle won Best Oralist and Aldo was named Second Best Oralist.

“The Reardon Competition celebrated the achievements of every member of the Moot Court Honor Society,” said Danielle, incoming executive director. “It was an honor to argue before so many distinguished judges and members of the St. John's Law family, and I’m excited to build on the program's success next year.”

On the evening of the final round, Judge Vanaskie spoke with the entire 1L class and the Moot Court Honor Society about the importance of legal writing. Later, Roy L. Reardon was presented with the Extraordinary Service Award in honor of his loyal service to the Law School and to the Moot Court Honor Society . “Mr. Reardon is one of our most loyal and distinguished alumni,” said David Hommel ’14, outgoing executive director. “This award is  just a small token of our tremendous gratitude for his unflagging support of our appellate advocacy program.”

This year, the Moot Court Honor Society won three competitions, and its members received individual recognition in brief writing and oral advocacy. “This was a great competition season,” said David Hommel. “It reflects the Law School’s commitment to providing opportunities for students to learn the art and practice of advocacy by doing. It also sets the momentum for the program’s continued growth and success.”

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