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27th Annual Duberstein Moot Court Competition

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 - Registration is $650  


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

Competitor Information

Team Information Form 

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.

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