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Ringel Leads Seven Mooters To National Tourney In Arizona

Published: January 15, 2014

CSULB will send seven individuals as part of four two-person teams to compete at the American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament competition on Friday and Saturday, Jan 17-18, at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

This marks the eighth straight year at least one CSULB team has earned a bid to nationals. In addition, five CSULB teams will be competing in the national written brief contest.

The seven mooters from CSULB advanced to the nationals through the Western Regional hosted by the university in early December. It was the first time CSULB had two teams reach the semi-finals of the Western Regional, while four advanced to the sweet 16 and three to the elite eight.

Those advancing to nationals include the teams of Krist Biakanja, a senior political science major from Huntington Beach and Kevin Poush, a senior political science major from Long Beach; Ashley Hall, a senior political science major from Long Beach and Kyle Maury, a senior political science and economics major from Long Beach; David Casarrubias, a junior political science major from Azusa and Asmita Deswal, a senior philosophy major from Coalinga. The fourth two-person tandem is a hybrid comprised of Amethyst Jefferson-Roberts, a junior Africana Studies and political science major from Compton who teamed with Greg Brown from CSU Fullerton.

Hall is third on the all-time CSULB win list with 24 career wins, two shy of the record of 26 shared by former mooters Yasmin Manners and Ryan Chapman. Biakanja and Maury have 22 career wins. In addition, Biakanja has won more tournaments than any other CSULB mooter—the 2012 Western Regional, the 2013 California Classic and the 2013 Upper-Midwest tournament in Iowa, which CSULB also won as a team. Also, Poush has yet to lose a round in a tournament and has a career 6-0-1 record going into nationals.

“Nationals will be a great challenge, but we will be ready,” said political science faculty member and team coach Lewis Ringel. “Heading into nationals, we have won or had teams in the semi-finals in eight of our last 10 tournaments. We won back-to-back tournaments for the first time in CSULB history. Yet, I believe this core group of mooters still has its best days ahead of it.”

U.S. Supreme Court

Moot Court, also known as mock Supreme Court and Supreme Court Simulation, is a simulation of an appellate court proceeding. It involves teams of student contestants, clients burdened by a legal problem, briefs and oratory detailing of the dimensions of the legal problem before an appellate court, and the judging of performances by panels of law students, attorneys, professors, law faculty, or, on occasion, members of the judicial branch of government. Teams from colleges and universities throughout the nation will be arguing the same case.

This year’s hypothetical case consists of two parts: a) Whether the warrantless tracking of the defendant’s location through a cell phone violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and b) Whether the President exceeded his authority when he ordered the indefinite detention of an American citizen.

A moot court team’s combined oral arguments must be 20 minutes with each member of the team presenting a minimum of seven minutes. Not knowing which viewpoint it will be presenting, each team should have the ability to support both arguments. Moot court judges ask students questions and grade them on the basis of their knowledge of the case, their response to questioning, their forensic skills and their demeanor.

“We worked extremely hard this year—perhaps harder than ever,” said Ringel. “Moot court has enjoyed tremendous support among the College of Liberal Arts and the administration. This enabled us to afford to participate in three scrimmages with other schools—one in Tampa and two at CSULB. We also have had tremendous support of the legal community and among our assistant coaches.”

For more information, Ringel can be reached at 562/985-4708 or by e-mail at Lewisringel@verizon.net. Those interested also can visit the moot court website.

–Shayne Schroeder