Led by the team of Ashley Hall and Kyle Maury, California State University, Long Beach’s (CSULB) moot court program fared exceptionally well at the American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament (ACMA) held at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
Hall, a senior political science major, and Maury, a senior political science and economics major, were named national champions in the Respondent Written Brief Category. The duo, both from Long Beach, also did well in the oral advocacy competition with Maury the third-ranked orator and Hall the seventh. Asmita Deswal, a senior philosophy major from Coalinga, was also named a top orator.
Hall and Maury finished as the national oral advocacy runner-up in a split decision that awarded the championship to Kayla Griesemer and Blake Meadows of Patrick Henry College. It was Patrick Henry College’s sixth straight ACMA national title and eighth overall.
For CSULB, it was the first time it captured multiple orator awards at nationals, and it also became one of just four schools to advance to the finals more than once.
“Advocates can compete in two competitions at nationals—oral advocacy and written advocacy,” said political science faculty member and team coach Lewis Ringel. “Hall and Maury finished first in the written advocacy and second in oral advocacy. No other semi-finalist was among the top 10 written briefs.
“CSULB congratulates Patrick Henry College and its coaches Frank Guliuzza and Mike Farris. I have immense respect for Kayla and Blake—they were the best oral advocates and we tip our hats to them,” Ringel added. “Hall and Maury were not selected as the best oral advocate team, however, one can argue that they, by virtue of being the only team to place in the top two of the two competitions, are the top overall undergraduate moot court team in the nation.”
Ringel added that, to his knowledge, only one other team in the history of the ACMA had finished in the top two of both the written and oral advocacy competitions.
CSULB had three additional teams reach the round of 32—Krist Biakanja, a senior political science major, and Kevin Poush, a senior political science major; David Casarrubias, a junior political science majo, and Deswal; and the hybrid team comprised of Amethyst Jefferson-Roberts, a junior Africana Studies and political science major who teamed with Greg Brown from CSU Fullerton.
With her success, Hall became the all-time winningest mooter in CSULB history with an overall record of 31-8. Maury closed the season with an overall lifetime mark of 29-7. Biakanja, the only CSULB mooter to win three tournaments, has a lifetime record of 26-5-2. The previous record was held by the team of Yasmin Manners and Ryan Chapman at 26-7-1.
Ringel noted that the team entered five tournaments or invitationals this year—winning three, advancing to the finals in four, and reaching the semi-finals in all five.
A big congrats to CSULB’s Moot Court director, Lewis Ringel, and students–what a great way to start the year!
Adapted from Shayne Schroeder’s larger piece on the CSULB News and Events page. Click here to read the full article.