Two students win Wayne Law Moot Court's Arthur Neef Competition Finals

DETROIT – Wayne State University Law School students James Buster of Rochester Hills and Ameena Sheikh-Walczak of Clawson won the Wayne Law Moot Court’s Arthur Neef Competition Finals on Tuesday, Nov. 18.

The 2014-15 Moot Court team comprises 40 junior members and 33 senior members. All junior members are required to compete in teams of two members for four in-house oral arguments and to write an appellate brief. This year’s problem involved a financial scandal in the fictional city of Wayne. The junior members were to argue on statutory interpretation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, as well as the applicability of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Students Kelly Fasbinder of Dexter and Parthenia Magharious of Toronto wrote the problem.

After arguing in the in-house competition, eight teams moved on to quarterfinals. Four teams then moved on to semifinals and two teams to the finals.

Quarterfinal matchups were:

  • James Kresta of Ann Arbor and Sam Simkins of Detroit v. Adam Abu-Akeel of Detroit and Hasan Kaakarli of Detroit
  • Rachel Myung of Rochester Hills and Haba Yono of West Bloomfield v. Buster and Sheikh-Walczak
  • Dylan Beadle of Detroit and Jack McIntyre of Lake Orion v. Gina Shkoukani of Bloomfield Hills and Alma Sobo of Farmington Hills
  • Jeremy Justice of Macomb Township and Matt Massey of Warren v. Dennis Lienhardt of Riverview and Aristidi Papaioannou of Livonia

Semifinal matchups were:

  • Kresta and Simkins v. Lienhardt and Papaioannou
  • Buster and Sheikh-Walczak v. Beadle and McIntyre

Final matchup was:

  • Kresta and Simkins v. Buster and Sheikh-Walczak

Twenty-two judges volunteered their time to the Moot Court program this semester. Judges for the finals were Andy Gerdes, Wayne Law class of 1992; Hon. Elizabeth Gleicher, class of 1979; Distinguished Jurist in Residence Hon. Marilyn Kelly, class of 1971; Valerie Newman, class of 1992; and Stuart Schwartz, class of 2004. Other judges during the semester were Brian Barkey, class of 1970; Ken Cox; Wade Fink, class of 2014; Professor Peter Henning; Erica Hoodhood; Kenny Koshorek, class of 2011; Lauren Kwapis, class of 2012; Associate Professor Christopher Lund; Dan McCarthy; Stefanie Phillips, class of 2008; Allen Pittoors, class of 2003; Assistant Clinical Professor Nick Schroeck, class of 2007; Jack Schulz, class of 2013; Maggie Swift, class of 2013; Hon. Michael Talbot; Matthew Van Steenkiste, class of 2007; and Harvey Weingarden.

Amy Neville is faculty advisor. Wayne Law student Frank Moran of Rochester Hills is moot court chancellor and Zachary Rowley of Bay City is vice chancellor. Junior member advisor is Nora Youkhana of Macomb Township, and senior member advisor is Milica Filipovic of Sterling Heights.

Other awards given were:

  • Top team in oral advocacy – first, Kresta and Simkins; second, Myung and Yono; third, Beadle and McIntyre; fourth, Justice and Massey; and fifth, Lienhardt and Papaioannou.
  • Top individual in oral advocacy – first, Kresta; second, McIntyre; third, Lienhardt; fourth, Shahad Atiya of Bloomfield Hills; and fifth, Yono.
  • Top petitioner brief – first, Buster and Sheikh-Walczak; second, Michelle Champane of Grosse Pointe and Kayla Foust of Birmingham; and third, Jenna Hunt of Detroit and Nick Guttman of Walled Lake.
  • Top respondent brief – first, Shkoukani and Sobo; second, Myung and Yono; and third, Alex Bowman of Detroit and Trey Souchock of Ypsilanti.
  • Top individual in brief writing – first, Sobo; second, Myung; third, Champane; and fourth (tie), Hunt and Sheikh-Walczak.

Photo: Wayne State University Law School students James Buster and Ameena Sheikh-Walczak won the Wayne Law Moot Court’s Arthur Neef Competition Finals.

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