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School of Law | Moot Court Team Earns Spot in International Competition

Moot Court Team Earns Spot in International Competition

This summer, students Jonathan Hall and DJ Swearingen will compete in the international finals of the International Air and Space Law Association’s Moot Court Competition at The Hague, Netherlands.

Representing the Dayton Law and the competition’s North American region, they will compete against teams from Asia and Europe during the finals, scheduled for July 6-8.

The students, both of whom are finishing their second year in law school, earned a spot in the international finals after winning the Air and Space Law’s North American Regionals in New York City in late March. Hall called the victory “the absolute highlight of my time at UDSL.”

Professor Sam Han, the Moot Court team’s advisor, said the judges “loved UDSL’s presentation” and noted Hall and Swearingen’s writing was stronger than their competitors.

Hall and Swearingen credited Han and James Miller, their 3L student coach, for helping them prepare for the competition.

Hall said they expected to win the regional competition in New York. “DJ and I were extremely prepared for the argument, and we spent an incredible amount of time working on our paper,” he said. “When we found out that the winner would be representing their school at The Hague, we both decided that we were going to do all we could to win. By the time we had our last practice argument, we both felt like the competition was ours to win.”

The students remain confident as they prepare for the international finals. “When we go to The Hague we will not only be representing ourselves,” Swearingen said, “we will be representing the University of Dayton School of Law, the alumni and the Dayton legal community. To come home with anything other than a victory would not do justice to those we represent.”

Swearingen, who wants to begin his career in litigation, said he joined the Moot Court team to help him refine his writing and advocacy skills. “Moot Court was a catalyst in this process,” he said.

“My writing and communication skills have substantially improved throughout the process,” he said. “I learned how to write clearly, articulately and succinctly. Similarly, I learned how to make my arguments precise in oral argument. I think any trepidation I had about public speaking has also been eased by my Moot Court experience.”

Hall said he has “learned that hard work can really pay off. We put a lot of effort into writing our briefs and practicing for the argument. While that did become tiresome and at times could be agonizing, it was all worth it.”

More Honors for Moot Court Team

The winners of the Janice M. Paulus Awards were honored in April at the Moot Court banquet. Leslie Allen, Chris Bagi and Drew Jack received Paulus Awards based on their performances at the Walter Rice Moot Court Competition. Allen honored as the winner of the competition, while Bagi and Jack tied for the best brief.

The Janice M. Paulus Awards were established in 2007 by the Dayton law firm Coolidge Wall in honor of Janice Paulus, a 1985 UDSL graduate and one of the firm’s partners. Paulus died in 2007.

She practiced law in Sidney, Ohio, from 1985 to 1987, after working as a law clerk in Sidney for four years. In 1987, she joined Coolidge Wall as an associate and was named a partner in 1991. The senior woman partner at Coolidge since 1992, Janice practiced commercial litigation law.

In addition, Chris Bagi received the best oralist award at the Federal Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition in March in Washington. Bagi and Leslie Allen finished fourth overall, after reaching the semifinals.

Kim Cullman and Drew Jack received runner up for the best brief in the Cardozo/BMI Moot Court Competition at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in March.

Diane Frederick and David Ziemba participated in the First Amendment Competition in North Carolina; Kim Cullman and Drew Jack participated in the Entertainment Law Competition in New York City; Ethan Miller and Jessica Brown participated in the Bankruptcy Competition in New York City; and Spencer German and Will Ashwell in the Mass Torts, Products Liability Competition in Cincinnati.


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