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32nd Annual Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court Competition

by Kimberly N. Van Voorhis, National Director


The national finals of the Thirty-Second Annual Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court Competition took place this year on April 13-15 at the Howard T. Markey National Courts Building in Washington, DC.  Jennifer Hebert and Noah Balch of the University of Texas School of Law won the final round and were awarded the AIPLA Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Award of $2,000.  Christopher Boeck and Floyd Walker of the University of Texas School of Law took runner-up honors and received the Irving Marcus Award of $1,000, sponsored by Oblon Spivak McClelland Maier & Neustadt, PC. 

The competition opened with an AIPLA-sponsored breakfast at the Hotel Washington on Wednesday, April 13.  Kim Van Voorhis, the national director of the competition, and Michelle Sefczek, Meeting Planner for AIPLA, attended the breakfast and welcomed the contestants.  Certificates recognizing their achievements in the regional competitions held in March in Boston, Chicago, Houston, and Silicon Valley were presented to the competitors.

Teams from Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent School of Law, William Mitchell Law School, University of Minnesota Law School, University of Texas School of Law, George Washington University School of Law, University of San Diego and Seattle University advanced from the regional competitions to this year's national competition.  Teams from Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent School of Law, University of San Diego, and University of Texas advanced from the quarter-finals to the semi-finals.  Both of the University of Texas teams won their respective semi-final rounds and advanced to the final round.

Circuit Judges Alan D. Lourie, William Curtis Bryson and Sharon Prost of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit judged the final round of the competition.  The competition concluded with award presentations and a reception at the Dolley Madison House, sponsored by the AIPLA.

The judges for the quarter-final and the semi-final rounds of the national competition included a wide range of experienced attorneys from the private sector as well as the federal government. The quarter-final judges included Administrative Patent Judges Chung Pak and Murriel Crawford of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, Associate Solicitors William LaMarca and Steve Walsh of the Solicitor's Office, Smith Brittingham, Kara F. Stoll, and Troy Grabow of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner, LLP, Ahmed Davis and Rama Elluru of Fish & Richardson, PC; Richard Ruzich and John Maher of Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, LLP; and David Swenson of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi, LLP.

The semi-final judges included Solicitor John Whealan, Associate Solicitors Linda Isacson and Cynthia Lynch, Roy Diaz of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner, LLP, Mark Bellermann of Fish & Richardson, PC, and Jay Alexander of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, LLP.  Iris Lan, law clerk to Judge Bryson, served as the bailiff for the final round.  Federal Circuit clerks Mike Franzinger, Michele Woodruff, Amalie Weber, Mary Calkins, David Taylor, and Jay Johnson served as bailiffs for the quarter-final and semi-final rounds.  Mike Franzinger, law clerk to Judge Prost, also served as head bailiff for the national competition.

Norma N. Bennett of Weil Gotshal & Manges, Thomas Johnston and Matthew Loftus of Fish & Richardson, PC, Kevin Noonan of McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff, and Diana Luo of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, LLP served as regional directors.  The problem was prepared by Bryan Bockhop of Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP, with assistance from the Young Lawyers’ Committee chair and vice chair. 

The AIPLA congratulates all of the participants in this year's competition and thanks the judges, bailiffs, and AIPLA staff for their time and effort in helping to make this competition a success.

(from left to right) Judge William Curtis Bryson, Jennifer Hebert, Judge Alan D. Lourie, Noah Balch, and Judge Sharon Prost
(from left to right) Floyd Walker, Kim Van Voorhis and Christopher Boeck 
(from left to right)  Noah Balch, Kim Van Voorhis and Jennifer Hebert