28th Annual Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition

28th Annual Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition 
Saturday, February 29 - Monday, March 2, 2020

Register

The Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition is widely recognized as one of the nation’s preeminent moot court competitions. The competition promotes and recognizes the finest oral and written advocacy on significant issues in bankruptcy practice. More than 50 law school teams participate, making this the largest single-site appellate moot court competition.

Jointly sponsored by St. John’s University School of Law and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), the competition is named in memory of St. John’s alumnus, former ABI Director and former Chief Judge Conrad B. Duberstein.  ABI is the largest multidisciplinary membership organization devoted to research and education on insolvency issues. St. John’s is a leader in bankruptcy education and offers the premier LL.M. in bankruptcy law.

The Duberstein Competition is well known for the quality of its judging. New York is a center of bankruptcy practice, and area bankruptcy practitioners judge the preliminary rounds and briefs. Advanced rounds are judged by New York-area bankruptcy judges and more than a dozen leading appellate and bankruptcy judges from around the country.

Any ABA-accredited law school may enter one or two teams, comprised of two or three students each. Each team will argue in at least two preliminary rounds on alternating sides. Sixteen teams will advance beyond the preliminary rounds. All students will receive a certificate of achievement. Students need not have taken a bankruptcy course to do well in the competition.

This year the competition concludes with the Duberstein reception at Gotham Hall in New York City and is attended by leading bankruptcy judges and practitioners.

The American Bankruptcy Institute Endowment Fund will present the following awards to the winners:

$5,000 to the first-place team
$3,000 to the second-place team
$1,500 to the two third-place teams
$1,000 each for Best Oralist and Best Brief


COMPETITORS' REGISTRATION 
Team Registration is now open.  For information about the competition, please view the Competitor Brochure.

REGISTER HERE

DEADLINE FOR TEAM REGISTRATION - FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2019

EARLY BIRD:  $695 - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2019
REGULAR:      $795 – FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2019

Registration includes:   

  • Continental Breakfast and Lunch on Saturday, February 29th and Sunday, March 1st  for student participants and coaches.
  • Reception on Sunday, March 1st, for student participants and coaches.
  • Competitors will receive admittance to the Duberstein reception on Monday, March 2nd, at Gotham Hall, New York City at 6:00 p.m.
  • Coaches will be able to purchase tickets to the reception at a discounted rate.  Please contact Iris Diaz for your discount code.


AWARDS RECEPTION
Monday, March 2, 2020
Gotham Hall in New York City
1356 Broadway at 36th Street 
New York, NY  10018
(212) 244-4300

Reception: 6:00 PM
Awards Presentation:  7:30 PM

For pricing and to register for the Gala Awards Reception, please go to ABI's registration page.  For more information on the Gala Awards Reception, please contact Bethany Spencer.   ABI's registration website is live you may sign up for tickets at this time.  Please click here.

COMPETITORS' INFORMATION
Rules


HOTEL INFORMATION

HOTEL INFORMATION
Hotel and travel accommodations are at your expense. The special hotel rate is $205 per night at the Grand Hyatt New York at Park Avenue at Grand Central Terminal, 109 E 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017.  When making reservations, call (212) 883-1234 and mention St. John’s University School of Law to receive this special rate.


QUESTIONS:
Iris Diaz
Assistant Director of Special Events
718-990-1950
[email protected]

 

Past Competitions

Each year, St. John's School of Law and the American Bankruptcy Institute sponsor the Annual Chief Judge Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Memorial Moot Court Competition at St. John's University.

We invite you to learn more about the LL.M. in Bankruptcy Program at St. John's School of Law. For more information, please contact us at [email protected].

Jointly sponsored by St. John’s University School of Law and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), the Duberstein Moot Court Competition is named in memory of St. John’s alumnus, former ABI Director and former Chief Judge Conrad B. Duberstein. ABI is the largest multidisciplinary membership organization devoted to research and education on insolvency issues. St. John’s is a leader in bankruptcy education and offers the premier LL.M. in bankruptcy law.

The Duberstein Competition is well known for the quality of its judging. New York is a center of bankruptcy practice, and area bankruptcy practitioners judge the preliminary rounds and briefs. Advanced rounds are judged by New York-area bankruptcy judges and more than a dozen leading appellate and bankruptcy judges from around the country.

Any ABA-accredited law school may enter one or two teams, comprised of two or three students each. Each team will argue in at least three preliminary rounds on alternating sides. Sixteen teams will advance beyond the preliminary rounds. All students will receive a certificate of achievement. Students need not have taken a bankruptcy course to do well in the competition.

This year the competition concludes with the Duberstein reception at Gotham Hall in New York City and is attended by leading bankruptcy judges and practitioners.

The American Bankruptcy Institute Endowment Fund will present the following awards to the winners:

  • $5,000 to the first-place team
  • $3,000 to the second-place team
  • $1,500 to the two third-place teams
  • $1,000 each for Best Oralist and Best Brief

Competitors' Registration - March 2-4, 2019

Team Registration is now open.  For information about the competition, please view the Competitor Brochure.

To register please go to Duberstein.eventbrite.com - Registration is $650  

DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2018

Please contact Iris Diaz at [email protected] for more Information on the Competition or on how to participate as a preliminary round judge or brief grader. 

Awards Reception – NEW VENUE:

Monday, March 4, 2019
Gotham Hall in New York City
1356 Broadway at 36th Street 
New York, NY  10018
(212) 244-4300

Reception: 5:30PM
Awards Presentation:  7:30 PM

For pricing and to register for the Gala Awards Reception, please go to ABI's registration page.

For more information on the Gala Awards Reception, please contact Bethany Spencer

Competitors' Information

Checklist
Fact Pattern
Team Information Form
Rules
Brief Certification Form
Competitor Briefs


Rule Clarifications: 

Rule Clarification Request #1
If our school has more than one team, does the prohibition on outside assistance at Rule V. (b) prevent a combined preliminary general discussion of the issues with faculty or others before beginning to write the brief or do we have to meet with each team separately?

Response To Rule Clarification Request #1
Before beginning to write their briefs, both teams can attend the same preliminary discussion with the faculty member, coach or other person.  Rule V recognizes three different phases.  Before beginning to write the brief a team can have discussions with anyone, including members of another team from the same school.  However, the nature of what may be discussed is limited to “a general discussion of the issues.”  Once a team begins writing the brief, no outside assistance is permitted until after the brief is submitted.

Fact Pattern Clarifications: 

Fact Pattern Clarification Request #1

On pages 7–8, the record indicates that “the Trustee acknowledged that Weinberg had made a substantial contribution to the estate”; on page 17, the record indicates “the parties do not dispute that Weinberg made a substantial contribution to the bankruptcy estate.” In short, we wanted to confirm that we (as respondents) cannot raise the issue that Weinberg did not make a significant contribution to the estate. Instead, the only issue is whether the court can grant an administrative expense in a chapter 7.

Response To Fact Pattern Clarification Request #1

The Trustee stipulated below that Weinberg had in fact made a contribution that substantially benefited the bankruptcy estate.  Therefore, the Thirteenth Circuit did not consider that issue on appeal.  Nor is it at issue as part of the appeal currently pending before the United States Supreme Court. 

Preliminary Judges and Brief Grader Registration: 

Please help us make the 27th Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition a success by serving as a brief grader and/or judge in the oral argument rounds on Saturday, March 2 or Sunday, March 3, 2019.

Sponsored jointly by St. John’s School of Law and the American Bankruptcy Institute, the competition brings teams from law schools around the country to New York to argue sophisticated bankruptcy issues before panels of area practitioners and sitting federal judges. Again this year, more than a dozen bankruptcy judges from around the country will join our local area bankruptcy judges to judge the advanced oral rounds and attend the Gala Awards Reception.

We hope that you would consider signing up to grade briefs, and/or join the more than 200 area practitioners who judge the oral rounds. If you have judged previously, you know that this is a rewarding experience and a nice change of pace from your usual practice routine. The preliminary round arguments will take place at St. John’s School of Law on Saturday, March 2nd and Sunday, March 3rd. Each year’s problem raises two hot topics in chapter 11 practice.

Each brief grader and preliminary round judge is invited to attend the Gala Awards Reception at a special reduced price of $250.00 per person.  To register for the awards reception, please click here.  In addition, judges receive 3 New York non-transitional CLE credits for a full session of oral arguments.

We hope you will join the rest of the New York bankruptcy community to make this year’s competition and reception the best ever.  We look forward to seeing you at the competition and thank you in advance for your assistance.

Brief Grader Form
Preliminary Judge Form

St. John's School of Law and the American Bankruptcy Institute are pleased to sponsor the 26th Annual Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition. The Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition is widely recognized as one of the nation’s preeminent moot court competitions. The competition promotes and recognizes the finest oral and written advocacy on significant issues in bankruptcy practice.  More than 50 law school teams participate, making this the largest single site appellate moot court competition. The competition culminates in a gala awards dinner. The dinner draws nearly 700 attendees, including many leading bankruptcy judges and practitioners.

Dates

Saturday, March 3 - Monday, March 5, 2018

Winners

First Place

  • University of Alabama School of Law (14)

Second Place

  • The George Washington University Law School (50)

Finalists

  • Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law - Team 2 (3)
  • ​University of Texas at Austin School of Law - Team 1 (10) 

Semi-Finalists

  • Baylor Law School - Team 1 (8)
  • Baylor Law School - Team 2 (9)
  • Florida Coastal School of Law - Team (38)
  • Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law - Team 2 (3)
  • Suffolk University Law School (1)
  • The George Washington University Law School (50)
  • The University of Mississippi School of Law (16)
  • UCLA School of Law (24)
  • University of Alabama School of Law (14)
  • University of Miami School of Law - Team 1 (18)
  • University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law - Team 1 (35)
  • University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law - Team 2 (36)
  • University of Texas at Austin School of Law - Team 1 (10) 
  • University of Texas at Austin School of Law - Team 2 (11)
  • University of Washington School of Law (46)
  • Wayne State University Law School - Team 2 (21)

Best Brief

  • UCLA School of Law (24)

Outstanding Briefs

  • Baylor Law School - Team 2 (9)
  • Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law - Team 2 (3)
  • University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law - Team 2 (36)
  • ​University of Texas at Austin School of Law - Team 1 (10)

Best Advocate

  • Ashley Venegas – Florida Coastal School of Law - Team (38)

Outstanding Advocacy

  • David Crampton  – Baylor Law School - Team 1 (8)
  • Kevin Miller – Baylor Law School - Team 2 (9)
  • Martin Rowe – Brooklyn Law School (27)
  • ​Stefan Caris Love – UCLA School of Law (24)

Top 25 Teams

Place

Team

Number

Team Name

Preliminary

Score

 1

24

UCLA School of Law

93.638

 2

  9

Baylor Law School ~ Team 2

93.425

 3

  3

Southern Methodist University Dedman
  School of Law ~ Team 2

93.213

 4

36

University of Nevada Las Vegas
  William S. Boyd School of Law ~ Team 2

92.5

 5

  1

Suffolk University Law School

90.745

 6

11

University of Texas at Austin School of Law ~ Team 2

90.46

 7

18

University of Miami School of Law ~ Team 1

90.213

 8

 8

Baylor Law School ~ Team 1

90.088

 9

35

University of Nevada Las Vegas
  William S. Boyd School of Law ~ Team 1

89.763

10

38

Florida Coastal School of Law

89.313

11

50

The George Washington University Law School

89.263

12

14

University of Alabama School of Law

88.75

13

21

Wayne State Law School ~ Team 2

88.35

14

10

University of Texas at Austin School of Law ~ Team 1

88.27

15

16

University of Mississippi School of Law

88.038

16

46

University of Washington School of Law

87.838

17

19

University of Miami School of Law ~ Team 2

87.838

18

39

Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins      School of Law

87.8

19

27

Brooklyn Law School

87.525

20

29

Emory University School of Law ~ Team 1

87.15

21

 2

Southern Methodist University Dedman
  School of Law ~ Team 1

86.963

22

34

Notre Dame Law School

86.638

23

45

University of Maine School of Law ~ Team 2

86.413

24

25

University of Idaho College of Law ~ Team 1

86.392

25

12

Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall      School of Law   ~ Team 1

86.135

Gala Awards Dinner:

Monday, March 5th, 2018
Grand Hyatt New York
Park Avenue at Grand Central Terminal
109 E 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017
Tel:  (212) 883-1234

The Gala Awards Dinner
Brochure (PDF)

Agenda Information:
Preliminary Round Judges' Agenda (PDF)

Registration Information:
Preliminary Judges 
Brief Graders 


Competitors’ Information:
​Competitors' Agenda
Competitor - Please note:  Registration is now closed. 
Team Information Form - Please note:  Form is now closed. 
Fact Pattern
Rules
Hotel Information 
Checklist
Brochure
Certification Form

Fact Pattern Clarifications: 

Fact Pattern Clarification Request #1
On pages 4-5 of the record, are the dates correct? It seems that either December 2015 should be December 2014 or January 2015 should be January 2016.

Response to Fact Pattern Clarification Request #1
The "January 2015" date listed on page 5 is incorrect.  It should be "January 2016" and will be changed in the Fact Pattern posted on line and provided to judges.

Fact Pattern Clarification Request #2
We wanted to double-check on the vagueness on the facts concerning the Committee’s claims against 4th Street.  The facts on page seven of the record say the Committee only allege “certain claims.” Is there any other relevant information concerning the nature of these informal claims?

Response to Fact Pattern Clarification Request #2
No additional information will be provided regarding the "certain claims" alleged by the Committee beyond what is in the fact pattern. 


Rule Clarifications: 

Rule Clarification Request #1
In reading through the rules we are a bit confused.  Can team members be LL.M. students or only JD students? 

Response To Rule Clarification Request #1
Only currently enrolled LL.B. or J.D. students may be team members under Rule II(b).  An LL.B. is not the same as an LL.M.  In the United States, the LL.B. is equivalent to a J.D., but the LL.B. designation is rarely used in the U.S. nowadays.  Since the requirement is simply that the team members be currently enrolled in a J.D. or LL.B. program, a student in a joint J.D./LL.M. program would be eligible to participate as long as the student is still currently a J.D. student at the time of the competition (i.e., has not yet received their J.D. degree).

Rule Clarification Request #1A
Our LLM program sounds like it is the functional equivalent of what you refer to as the LLB degree.  Many of our LLM students are foreign students without a JD, but who have completed legal coursework in their own countries.  They receive an LLM in order to practice in the US (thus getting a functional equivalent of a JD without an actual JD).  Would such a student still be excluded?

Response To Rule Clarification Request #1A
LLMs may participate in the competition if the LLM is the student's first advanced degree in law.  Students who are enrolled in an LLM program after having obtained their JD are not eligible to compete.

Rule Clarification Request #2
The team asks whether submission of the electronic certification form within 30 minutes of the deadline in Rule X will incur a penalty under Rule XXIII.

Response To Rule Clarification Request #2
Rule X. Service of the Briefs provides that both Briefs and Certifications must be filed by 11:59 pm est.  The rule further states that Briefs received more than 30 minutes after the deadline will be treated as late-filed briefs unless the team establishes that it sent the brief in by the deadline.  The Board will treat Certifications in the same manner. 

Rule Clarification Request #3
To what extent are footnotes allowed? Pursuant to Duberstein Rules in VII Length and Form, all citation shall conform with the most recent edition of the Bluebook. Bluebook Table B2 "Citation Sentences and Clauses" states: "[i]n non-academic legal documents, citations appear within the text of the document as full sentences directly after the proposition they support. As opposed to academic legal documents, which cite to authority using footnotes, footnotes should only be used in non-academic legal documents when permitted by local court rules."

Response To Rule Clarification Request #3
Footnotes are not prohibited, however they should be used sparingly, and not for cites. A small penalty may be deducted for including information in footnotes, such as string cites, because it is inconsistent with the general rule, which provides that cites should be included within the text of the document.  A penalty will be deducted if it appears that the team may have a perceived advantage by including information in the footnote.  A team will have a perceived advantage if, for example, had a string cite been included in the text rather than a footnote, the brief would have exceeded its page limit. 

More Information: 
www.DubersteinGala.com
Competition: [email protected]
Gala Awards Dinner: [email protected]

Dates

Saturday, March 4 - Monday, March 6, 2017

Winners

First Place

  • University of Florida Levin College of Law - Team 1 (10)

Second Place

  • University of Miami School of Law - Team 1 (2)

Third Place Winners

  • Baylor Law School - Team 2 (38)
  • SMU Dedman School of Law - Team 2 (6)

Finalists

  • University of Florida Levin College of Law - Team 1 (10)
  • University of Miami School of Law - Team 1 (2)

Semi-Finalists

  •          Baylor Law School - Team 2 (38) 
  •          Georgia State University College of Law (1) 
  •          Mississippi College School of Law - Team 1 (15)
  •          Mississippi College School of Law - Team 2 (16)
  •          Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law - Team 1 (5)
  •          Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law - Team 2 (6)
  •          Suffolk University Law School (17) 
  •          Texas Tech University School of Law (45)
  •          The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law - Team 1 (25)
  •          University of Florida Levin College of Law - Team 1 (10)
  •          University of Kentucky College of Law (44) 
  •          University of Miami School of Law - Team 1 (2) 
  •          University of Miami School of Law - Team 2 (3)
  •          University of Texas at Austin School of Law - Team 1 (8) 
  •          University of Texas at Austin School of Law - Team 2 (9) 
  •          William and Mary Law School (36)

Best Brief

  • Baylor Law School - Team 2 (38)

Outstanding Briefs

  • University of Florida Levin College of Law - Team 1 (10)
  • University of Miami School of Law - Team 1 (2)
  • University of Texas at Austin School of Law - Team 2 (9)
  • Wayne State University School of Law (27)

Best Advocate

  • Alexander P. Cohen – SMU Dedman School of Law - Team 1 (5)

Outstanding Advocacy

  • Nekketta Archie – Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law - Team 1 (7)
  • Barret Armbruster – SMU Dedman School of Law - Team 2 (6)
  • Morgan Keup – Mississippi College School of Law - Team 1 (15)
  • Aditya Patel – Emory University School of Law - Team 1 (12)

Competitors' Information

Competitors' Agenda
Competitors' Certification
Competitors' Checklist 
Competitors' Rules
Competitors' Rules Clarifications
Fact Pattern 
Fact Pattern Clarifications
NYC Guide (PDF)

Preliminary Judges' Information

Preliminary Round Judges' Agenda 

Gala Awards Dinner

Monday, March 6, 2017
Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel
811 Seventh Avenue, NY, NY 10019

More Information

Competition: [email protected]
Gala Awards Dinner: [email protected]

Saturday, March 5 - Monday, March 7, 2016

Winners

First Place

  • Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law Team 2 (5)

Second Place

  • University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law Team 1 (51)

Third Place Winners

  • Mississippi College School of Law Team 2 (2)
  • University of Texas School of Law Team 2 (17)

Finalists

  • Baylor University School of Law - Team 1 (30)
  • Mississippi College School of Law - Team 2 (2)
  • Stetson University College of Law (7)
  • Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law - Team 2 (5)
  • University of Miami School of Law - Team 1 (8)
  • University of Texas School of Law – Team 1 (16)
  • University of Texas School of Law – Team 2 (17)
  • University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law - Team 1 (51)

Semi-Finalists

  • Baylor University Law School - Team 1 (30)
  • Baylor University Law School - Team 2 (31)
  • Emory University School of Law - Team 2 (22)
  • Georgetown University Law Center (48)
  • Mississippi College School of Law - Team 2 (2)
  • Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law - Team 1 (4)
  • Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law - Team 2 (5)
  • Stetson University College of Law (7)
  • Texas Tech University School of Law (44)
  • The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law - Team 1 (20)
  • University of Idaho College of Law - Team 1 (34)
  • University of Miami School of Law - Team 1 (8)
  • University of Miami School of Law - Team 2 (9)
  • University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law - Team 1 (51)
  • University of Texas School of Law - Team 1 (16)
  • University of Texas School of Law - Team 2 (17)

Best Brief

  • University of Idaho, Team 1 (34)

Outstanding Briefs

  • Baylor University Team 2 (31)
  • Mississippi College of Law Team 2 (2)
  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law (32)
  • University of Nevada William S.  Boyd School of Law Team 1 (51)

Best Advocate

  • Hannah  Roblyer - University of Texas School of Law Team 2 (17)

Outstanding Advocacy

  • Barret Armbruster - Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law Team 1 (4)
  • Daniel Hatoum - University of Texas School of Law (17)
  • Forrest S. Jackson - University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law (51)
  • Angela Oliver - Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law (5)

Competitor Information

  • Competitor Agenda
  • Rules
  • Competitor Check List
  • Fact Pattern
  • NYC Guide

More Information

Competition: [email protected]
Gala Awards Dinner: [email protected]

Saturday, March 7 - Monday, March 9, 2015

Competitor Information

  • Briefs
  • Competitors' Agenda
  • Fact Pattern
  • Rules
  • Competitor Certification (due no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on January 26, 2014)
  • Competitors Checklist 
  • Competitor Team Information Form (deadline to submit is Monday, January 5, 2015)
  • 2015 NYC Guide

Fact Pattern Clarification Request #1
The debtor supposedly went to school 23 years ago and borrowed money under the William D. Ford Direct loan program - however, that program didn't exist until 1994.  Therefore, she would have had to have borrowed the money under the FFELP, and the ICRP is unavailable to those borrowers.  Please clarify.

Response To Fact Pattern Clarification Request #1
Thank you for pointing this out.  The intent of the second certiorari question is to focus on the impact of an Income Contingent Repayment Plan on the discharge, and we do not want that confused by a historical factual error.  Thus, we have changed the Fact Pattern in four minor respects to place it into the correct time frame for the William D. Ford program.  At R.4, we changed the time Sara attended school from twenty-three years ago to only twenty years ago.  Her age at the time has been changed from 24 years old to 26 years old.  This means that she is now 46 years old instead of 47 years old (R.5) and that she would be 71 years old, instead of 72 years old, at the end of the 25 year IRCP repayment period (R.12).  A revised version of the Problem has been posted to the website.

In addition, we corrected the citation to 34 C.F.R. on R.7.

Fact Pattern Clarification Request #2
Does the first question presented solely ask which legal standard (i.e, Brunner, totality analysis, etc) is proper to apply to satisfy the undue hardship requirement and not how the legal standard applies to Sara Estudiante?  This is our team's interpretation based on the phrasing of the questions presented, and pg 7 of the fact pattern. See ("we have before us only the questions of the proper legal standard for undue hardship and the impact of the ICRP based on factual findings that neither party challenges").

Response To Fact Pattern Clarification Requests #2
The competition is a hypothetical Supreme Court appeal, and thus the focus is primarily on the legal standard, unlike a lower court where the focus may be on application of the standard to a particular set of facts.  However, the facts of Estudiante's situation are not irrelevant, and you should be prepared to address the application of the proposed legal standard(s) to those facts.

Hotel Information
Hotel and travel accommodations are at your expense. The special hotel rate is $275 per night at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, 811 7th Avenue on 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019. Reservations can be made here. Group rate is available until February 4, 2015 and is subject to availability. When making reservations, call (888) 627-7067 and mention St. John’s University School of Law to receive this special rate.


23rd Annual Competition Winners

First Place
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law Team 2 (15)

Second Place
University of Miami School of Law Team 1 (7)

Third Place Winners
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law Team 1 (14)
The University of Texas School of Law Team 1 (19)

Finalists
Emory University School of Law Team 2 (2)
Florida Coastal School of Law (12)
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law Team 1 (14)
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law Team 2 (15)
Texas Tech University School of Law (50)
The University of Texas School of Law Team 1 (19)
University of Maine School of Law Team 2 (25)
University of Miami School of Law Team 1 (7)

Semi-Finalists
Emory University School of Law Team 2 (2)
Florida Coastal School of Law (12)
George Mason University School of Law (56)
Georgia State University College of Law (16)
Mississippi College School of Law Team 2 (35)
Regent University School of Law (52)
Seton Hall University School of Law (46)
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law Team 1 (14)
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law Team 2 (15)
Texas Tech University School of Law (50)
The University of Texas School of Law Team 1 (19)
University of Idaho College of Law Team 2 (27)
University of Maine School of Law Team 2 (25)
University of Miami School of Law Team 1 (7)
University of San Diego School of Law (44)
William & Mary Law School (32)

Best Brief
University of San Diego School of Law (44)

Outstanding Briefs
Florida Coastal School of Law (12)
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law Team 2 (15)
The University of Texas School of Law Team 1 (19)
University of Maine School of Law Team 2 (25)

Best Advocate
Leah Aaronson – University of Miami School of Law Team 2 (8)

Outstanding Advocacy
Candace Bowen - Mississippi College School of Law Team 2 (35)
Kasey Mitchell - Mississippi College School of Law Team 2 (35)
Jane Ostdiek - William and Mary Law School (32)
Niravkumar Patel - Texas Tech University School of Law (50)
 

Congratulations to the winners of the 21st Annual Hon. Conrad B. Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition!

St. John's School of Law and the American Bankruptcy Institute are pleased to sponsor the 22nd Annual Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition.

Dates
Saturday, March 1- Monday, March 3, 2014

Preliminary and Octo-final Rounds
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Sunday, March 2, 2014
St. John’s School of Law

Quarter, Semi and Final Rounds
Monday, March 3, 2014
The Conrad B. Duberstein U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse
Brooklyn, New York

Gala Awards Dinner
Monday, March 3, 2014
Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel
811 Seventh Avenue, NY, NY 10019

More Information
Competition: [email protected].
Gala Awards Dinner: [email protected]
Competitor Registration:  [email protected]

We invite you to learn more about the Center for Bankruptcy Studies and the LL.M. in Bankruptcy Program at St. John's School of Law.

Competitor Information

Duberstein Fact Pattern (REVISED 12-16-13)
Official Rules
Competitor Check List

Fact Pattern Clarification

FACT PATTERN CLARIFICATION NUMBER 1:
The petition for writ of certiorari lists Vohra as the petitioner and Foodstar as the respondent, but, because the bankruptcy court found for Foodstar, the district court affirmed, and then the Thirteenth Circuit reversed, shouldn't Foodstar be the petitioner? We would like to receive clarification on this to ensure we write our brief from the correct perspective. 

RESPONSE TO FACT PATTERN CLARIFICATION NUMBER 1:
The order granting certiorari is in error.  Foodstar, Inc. should be listed as Petitioner and Ravi Vohra should be listed as Respondent.

If you were assigned to write a brief for Petitioner, you should be supporting Foodstar and asking the Supreme Court to reverse the Thirteenth Circuit.

If you were assigned to write a brief for Respondent, you should be supporting Ravi Vohra and asking the Supreme Court to affirm the Thirteenth Circuit. 

If this correction causes your team a serious problem, you may ask the Board for permission to write for the side you originally thought you were writing for.  For schools entering two teams, we will continue to require that the teams write for opposite sides.  Any request for permission must be submitted to the Board by this Thursday, December 19, 2013. 

FACT PATTERN CLARIFICATION NUMBER 2: 
Is Ravi Vohra considered a person or a corporation? And if it is a person, which gender should we use? This will allow us to refer to Vohra correctly throughout our brief and oral argument.

RESPONSE TO FACT PATTERN CLARIFICATION REQUEST NUMBER 2: 
Ravi Vohra is a male human being.  The Fact Pattern refers to him as "he."

FACT PATTERN CLARIFICATION NUMBER 3:
In the brief and oral argument portion, are the teams allowed to switch the order of the issues presented on the petition for writ or do we have to address them as originally presented?

RESPONSE TO FACT PATTERN CLARIFICATION NUMBER 3:
Our rules do not require that you address the issues in any order, but be aware that the judges will have read the problem and may expect your arguments to be made in the order used there. 

FACT PATTERN CLARIFACTION REQUEST NUMBER 4:
On page 4 of the fact pattern, there is a reference to 26 countries in which Foodstar, Inc. has registered the Burger Bites trademark and has exclusive rights to use the mark. Is Eastlandia included in those 26 countries?

RESPONSE TO FACT PATTERN CLARIFACTION REQUEST NUMBER 4:
Yes. There are 26 countries plus the United States (27 total) where the trademark has been registered to Foodstar, Inc. Eastlandia is one of those countries.

FACT PATTERN CLARIFICATION REQUEST NUMBER 5:
Within the Duberstein record, there is no explicit indication that Vohra, as the licensee, ever paid license royalties/payments to Foodstar, the assigned licensor, after Deshmukh sold the trademark to Foodstar. Generally, the primary benefit of licensing the right to use a trademark is the royalty/licensing payment in return. I am requesting a clarification as to whether Foodstar in fact received license/royalty payments from Vohra leading up to this dispute (or did Vohra cease paying royalties after Foodstar's acquisition of the trademark, or whether royalties were ever contemplated by the Eastlandian contract between Vohra and Deshmukh--did Vohra ever pay royalties for his license). I have been assuming this fact, but a fact clarification may be more appropriate to eliminate any doubt.

RESPONSE TO FACT PATTERN CLARIFACTION REQUEST NUMBER 5:
We do not believe a fact pattern clarification is needed. There is no indication in the record that Vohra has failed to comply with his licensing agreement or that he is in beach in any way. The fact pattern does state that “The Eastlandian license agreement was similar to standard United States trademark licenses, with provisions giving the licensor control over quality and many other aspects of Vohra’s operations.” See Fact Pattern at 4. As you indicate, a standard trademark licensing agreement would require royalty payments. 

FACT PATTERN CLARIFACTION REQUEST NUMBER 6:
On December 5, 2013, the House of Representatives passed a bill known as the Innovation Act. If this Act is passed by the Senate, signed by the President and becomes law, it seems to end any circuit split regarding the first issue. How, or should, the teams address this in the brief and oral argument of the competition? 

RESPONSE TO FACT PATTERN CLARIFACTION REQUEST NUMBER 6:
We attempted to present you with cutting edge legal issues, but this one may turn out to be a little too cutting edge. The effective date provision of the bill states that it will apply to pending cases so it could present a problem if it becomes law before the Competition. For the purposes of the Competition, all teams shall assume that this bill (or whatever other similar bill may be passed) has not yet been enacted into law and thus does not directly apply to the question upon which certiorari was granted. It shall be treated as an unenacted bill for the purposes of the Competition and teams are free to use it, or not, in their briefs and at oral argument as they deem appropriate. 

FACT PATTERN CLARIFACTION REQUEST NUMBER 7:
On page 4 of the record it provides that "Foodstar acquired the worldwide rights to the trademark from Deshmukh, including all of Deshmukh's rights under the Vohra license agreement." Did (or may we assume) that because Foodstar brought the trademark subject to Vohra's license agreement, Foodstar paid less for the trademark at the time it brought the rights from Deshmukh?

RESPONSE TO FACT PATTERN CLARIFACTION REQUEST NUMBER 7:
You should make no assumptions about these details as the record does not include any information about them. If you believe that more detailed information is essential to the legal arguments raised by the certiorari grant, please let us know why so that we can reconsider whether to add new facts.

FACT PATTERN CLARIFICATION REQUEST NUMBER 8:  
Page 3 of the fact pattern refers to the reorganization of "Foodstar Systems, Inc." but the case caption refers to the debtor as simply "Foodstar, Inc.". How should we resolve this inconsistency?

RESPONSE TO FACT PATTERN CLARIFICATION REQUEST NUMBER 8:  
This is a typographical error.  The debtor’s name is Foodstar, Inc. and that is the way it should appear at page 3.  We will correct this typo in the version of the problem sent to judges.

Rules Clarification

RULE CLARIFICATION REQUEST #1
(A) Prior to brief submission, are teams allowed to hold oral argument   practices if they practice separately from a team of the same school?

(B) Are substantive comments permitted at such practices or do other guidelines apply to such rounds?

RESPONSE TO RULE CLARIFICATION REQUEST #1:
This is a two part question.  We have tried to make our outside assistance rule as liberal as possible to create a strong learning environment but ensure that the students are evaluated on their own work product. 

As to part (A): Yes, Rule V(b) allows a team to hold oral argument practices before submission of the brief, but does not allow any member of a different team to be present at or assist with the practice.  

As to part (B): No, under Rule V(b) coaches or others who are not members of the team are permitted to hold a “preliminary general discussion of the issues” before the team begins to write its brief.  From that point until the brief is submitted, team members “shall not … communicate with anyone other than members of their team regarding the substance of their arguments.”   Substantive comments provided by a coach at a practice round prior to submission of the brief would violate both the letter and spirit this rule because the substantive critique almost certainly would be reflected in the brief.  After the brief is submitted, the rule becomes very liberal and allows teams to practice together, hold competitions with other teams, and receive substantive critique from their coaches, practice round judges, and others.

22nd Annual Competition Winners

First Place
Georgia State University College of Law (24)

Second Place
Mississippi College School of Law Team 2 (13)

Third Place Winners
Texas Tech University School of Law (21)
University of Memphis School of Law Team 1 (20)

Finalists
Georgia State University College of Law (24)
Mississippi College School of Law Team 2 (13)
Stetson University College of Law (25)
Texas Tech University School of Law (21)
University of Memphis School of Law Team 1 (20)
University of Miami School of Law Team 1(1)
University of  Mississippi School of Law (33)
University of Texas School of Law Team 2 (18)

Semi-Finalists
Baylor University School of Law Team 2 (39)
Emory University School of Law (16)
Florida Coastal School of Law Team 2 (41)
Georgia State University College of Law (24)
Mississippi College School of Law Team 2 (13)
Seattle University School of Law (14)
Stetson University College of Law (25)
South Texas College of Law (58)
Texas Tech University School of Law (21)
University of Idaho College of Law Team 1 (44)
University of Miami School of Law Team 1 (1)
University of Memphis School of Law Team 1 (20)
University of Mississippi School of Law (33)
University of San Diego School of Law Team 1 (64)
University of Texas School of  Law Team 2 (18)
Valparaiso University School of Law (36)

Best Brief
University of Memphis School of Law Team 1 (20)

Outstanding Briefs
Texas Tech University School of Law (21)
University of Miami School of Law Team 1 (1)
University of Pennsylvania Law School (52)
University of San Diego School of Law Team 1(64)

Best Advocate
Jennifer D’Augustinis - Florida Coastal School of Law Team 2 (41)

Outstanding Advocacy
Danilo Bandovic - Loyola University New Orleans College of Law (10)
Charles Pearson - Florida Coastal School of Law Team 2 (41)
Austin Teng - SMU Dedman School of Law Team 1 (3)
William Tran - SMU Dedman School of Law Team 1 (3)

Saturday, March 9 - Monday March 11, 2013

Competitor Information

  • Official Duberstein Rules
  • Competitor Agenda
  • Fact Pattern - revised 1-24-13
  • Bench Memo

Rule Clarification

Request #1:
My school is sending two teams to the upcoming moot court competition.  Does the prohibition on outside assistance apply to discussions of the issues between team members from the same school?

Rule Clarification Response #1:
Yes, the rules prohibit teams from the same school working together BEFORE the brief is submitted.  That is clear in Rule V.(b).  The only exception before briefs are submitted is that “preliminary general discussion of the issues” is permitted “before beginning to write the brief.”  The prohibition is relaxed after the briefs have been submitted.  At that point teams may hold oral practice sessions together and teams may discuss the issues and obtain critiques from anyone “provided that the finalized substance of the oral argument is the work product of the team members.” 

21st Annual Competition Winners

First Place
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law Team 1 (21)

Second Place
Florida Coastal School of Law Team 1 (32)

Third Place Winners
Stetson University College of Law Team 1 (5)
University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law (39)

Finalists
Florida Coastal School of Law Team 1 (32)
Mississippi College School of Law Team 2 (2)
New York University School of Law (26)
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law Team 1 (21)
Stetson University College of Law Team 1 (5)
Texas Tech University School of Law (43)
University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law (39)
University of Miami School of Law Team 2 (11)

Semi-Finalists
Florida Coastal School of Law Team 1 (32)
George Mason University School of Law (54)
Mississippi College School of Law Team 1 (1)
Mississippi College School of Law Team 2 (2)
New York University School of Law (26)
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law Team 1 (21)
St. Thomas University School of Law (4)
Stetson University College of Law Team 1 (5)
Texas Tech University School of Law (43)
The University of Texas School of Law Team 1 (41)
University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law(39)
University of Houston Law Center Team 1 (7)
University of Miami School of Law Team 1 (10)
University of Miami School of Law Team 2 (11)
University of San Diego School of Law Team 1(47)
University of South Dakota School of Law (40)

Best Brief
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law Team 1 (21)

Outstanding Briefs
University of Miami School of Law Team 2 (11)
University of Maine School of Law Team 2 (64)
George Mason University School of Law (54)
Stetson University College of Law Team 1 (5)

Best Advocate
Nicholas Andrews - University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law (39)

Outstanding Advocacy
Doug Keeton - Brooklyn Law School (19)
Jose Becerra - University of Miami School of Law Team 1 (10)
Lauren Murphree - Texas Tech University School of Law (43)
Rishi Patni - Florida Coastal School of Law Team 1 (32)

Saturday, March 10 - Monday, March 12, 2012

Competitor Information

  • Official Duberstein Rules
  • Competitors’ Checklist
  • Competitor's Agenda
  • 2012 Fact Pattern
  • Bench Memo

Clarifications to Rules

Rule Clarification Request #1
Does the Duberstein brief need both a Statement of Facts and a Statement of the Case? I am asking because the rules (p. 3, section VIII) and the scoring sheet only mention a statement of facts, but the rules of the Supreme Court only require a statement of the case. Any clarification is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Rule Clarification Response #1
No.  They are the same thing and you may refer to it either as a Statement of Facts or a Statement of the Case.

Clarification Request #2
Will a spiral binding on the left margin be adequate, or is there another preferred method of binding? The Supreme Court Rules indicate that plastic or metal spiral bindings are not acceptable, but the Duberstein Rules indicate that any sort of left margin binding will work. Can you please clarify?

Rule Clarification Response #2
Any method of binding is ok.  Staples are fine.  Spiral bindings are fine.  We will not deduct points as long as the binding works.

Rule Clarification Request #3
Is it proper to address the constitutional issue first in the brief, even though the Court's grant of certiorari presents the questions in the reverse order? 

Rule Clarification Response #3
Yes.  The brief may address the issues in any order and you may also argue them in any order.  However, judging is subjective and, while there is no penalty for reversing the order, an oral judge or a brief grader may feel that you are less (or more) effective because of that change.   The brief graders’ handbook and bench memos are organized in the order of the cert. grant. 

Rule Clarification Request #4
Could you clarify the rules regarding Service of the Briefs? Is the requirement that briefs be mailed by a postmarked deadline of noon on Monday, January 30, 2012 via next day mail (i.e. Federal Express). If that is the case, will the brief be accepted, even if it arrives after noon, Tuesday, January 31, 2012 as long as we provide proof of postal certification that it would be delivered by noon on Tuesday, 1/31/2012? 

Rule Clarification Response #4
Yes – your brief will be timely.  Our rules focus on when you SENT the paper copy of the brief, not when we receive it.  We may ask you for proof of when Federal Express received it (e.g. access to the Fed Ex tracking data) if your paper brief is not received by us in time (or gets lost and never arrives).  It is critical that you also (1) email the PDF version on Monday, and (2) include with your paper copy of the brief a signed “Certification and Copyright” form (see last page of the Rules).  Note that we do not require you to deliver it to Federal Express by noon on Monday, only that it be received by Federal Express by their deadline for next morning delivery – this is usually a time in the early evening (you should check with your carrier to confirm the local deadline). 

20th Annual Competition Winners

First Place
University of Texas School of Law – Team 1 (24)

Second Place
Stetson University College of Law -Team 1 (5) 

Third Place Winners
Stetson University College of Law ~ Team 2 (6)
University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law (9) 

Finalists
Florida Coastal School of Law (12)
Stetson University College of Law – Team 2 (6)
Stetson University College of Law – Team 1 (5) 
Texas Tech University School of Law – Team 1 (42)
University of Florida Frederic G. Levin College of Law (9)
University of Houston Law Center – Team 1 (1)
University of Texas School of Law – Team 1 (24)
University of Texas School of Law – Team 2 (25) 

Semi-Finalists
Emory University School of Law
Florida Coastal School of Law
Hofstra University School of Law
Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Mississippi College School of Law ~ Team 1
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law ~ Team 2
Stetson University College of Law ~ Team 1
Stetson University College of Law ~ Team 2
Texas Tech University School of Law ~ Team 1
The John Marshall School of Law
University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law
University of Houston Law Center ~ Team 1
University of Houston Law Center ~ Team 2
University of Miami School of Law ~ Team 2
University of Texas School of Law ~ Team 1
University of Texas School of Law ~ Team 2 

Best Brief
University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law (9) 

Outstanding Briefs:
Hofstra University School of Law (23)
The John Marshall Law School (11)
University of Houston Law Center - Team 1 (1)
University of San Diego School of Law - Team 1 (29) 

Best Advocate
Hunter Oliver - Baylor University School of Law - Team 2 (36)

Outstanding Advocacy
Morgan Harkins - Baylor University School of Law - Team 2 (36)
Betsy Turley - Mississippi College School of Law Team 1 (31)
Narbeh Issasholian-Havai - Chapman University School of Law (47)
Brian Cumings - University of Texas School of Law ~ Team 1 (24)