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33rd Annual Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court Competition

by Kimberely N. Van Voorhis, National Director


The national finals of the Thirty-third Annual Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court Competition took place this year on April 10-11 at the Howard T. Markey National Courts Building in Washington, DC. Shala Santos and Meredith Fitzpatrick 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. Charles Frohman and Angela Ni of the University of Minnesota 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 Monday, April 10. Kim Van Voorhis, the National Director of the competition, and Michelle Sefczek, Meeting Planner for AIPLA, attended the breakfast and welcomed the contestants. Northeastern Regional Director, Tom Johnston, gave opening remarks about Judge Rich as well. Following Mr. Johnston’s remarks, Ms. Van Voorhis presented certificates recognizing the students’ achievements in the regional competitions held in March in Boston, Chicago, Houston, and San Francisco.

Teams from the following schools participated in this year’s national competition: William Mitchell Law School, University of Minnesota Law School, University of Texas School of Law, George Washington University School of Law, University of Santa Clara, University of Pennsylvania and Franklin Pierce Law School.

Circuit Judges Pauline Newman and Sharon Prost of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and Judge Sidney Harris from the International Trade Commission judged the final round of the competition. The competition concluded with award presentations and a reception at the Dolley Madison House. During the reception, Judge Newman provided some wonderful history of the Federal Circuit buildings and the surrounding area as well.

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 Judge James Thomas of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, Associate Solicitors William LaMarca, Janet Gongola, William Jenks and Steve Walsh of the Solicitor's Office, Troy Grabow and Edward Naidich of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner, LLP, Ahmed Davis of Fish & Richardson, PC; Jacqueline Wright Bonilla of Foley & Lardner, Thomas Johnston of Holland & Knight, and David P. Swenson of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciressi.

The semi-final judges included Administrative Patent Judge Carol Spiegel, Naveen Modi of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner, LLP, Richard T. Ruzich and John N. Maher of Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, Daniel H. Shulman of Motorola, Inc. and Leon Radomsky of Foley & Lardner. Priya Viswanath, law clerk to Judge Sharon Prost, served as the bailiff for the final round. Federal Circuit clerks Rachel Hughey, James Worth, Bart Gerstenblith, Laura Lydigsen, Jennifer Wu, and Ashley Summer served as bailiffs for the quarter-final and semi-final rounds. Priya Viswanath also served as head bailiff for the national competition.

Norma N. Bennett of Weil Gotshal & Manges, Thomas Johnston of Holland & Knight, Kevin Noonan of McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff, and Diana Luo of Pooley & Oliver, LLP served as Regional Directors. The problem was prepared by National Director, Kim Van Voorhis with assistance from past Young Lawyers’ Committee Chair, Steve Helmer and Western Regional Director, Diana Luo.

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 Sharon Prost, Shalla Santos, Judge Sidney Harris, Meredith Fitzpatrick and Judge Pauline Newman


(from left to right) Richard D. Kelly of Oblon Spivak McClelland Maier & Neustadt, PC, sponsor of the Irving Marcus Award, with Charles Frohman and Angela Ni

(from left to right) Kim Van Voorhis, Meredith Fitzpatrick and Shalla Santos