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UH Law School Completes a Successful Season of Moot Court Competitions

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Desiree Hikida Mokuohai, (808) 956-5516
Law School Public Information Officer
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Apr 16, 2003

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s William S. Richardson School of Law moot court teams represented the university well with a successful season of competitions.


The Client Counseling Team won the regional competition held at Chapman University School of Law on February 22, 2003, where two teams represented UH. Brendan Bailey and Van Luong comprised the winning team who won the entire competition by obtaining perfect scores in each of their three rounds. UH‘s second team, comprised of Max Hanneman and Rhonda Ching, placed fourth. The university has won the regional competition for client counseling six out of eight years. Professor Calvin Pang, Associate Dean Laurie Tochiki, and former team member Angela Lovitt (‘97) coached the team. "We‘re lucky to have Brendan, Van, Max and Rhonda. They bring different strengths to the team and have worked hard to mesh together," said Pang. Following their stellar regional performance, the UH champions placed fourth in the national competition held at Stetson Law School in Florida on March 15, making it the best national ranking the team has had in years.


The National Environmental Law Moot Court team consisted of Stanton Oishi, Della Au-Bellati and Summer Kupau, who captured the top legal brief award at the February 2003 National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition, at Pace Law School in New York. Coached by Assistant Professor Denise Antolini, co-director of the Law School‘s Environmental Law Program, the team won the David R. Sive "Best Overall Brief Award." Over 60 law schools competed in this year‘s event, including Harvard, Yale, and major public law schools like University of California, Berkeley and University of Michigan. In the last 13 years in which UH has participated in the Environmental Law competition, the team has advanced to the quarterfinal or semi-final rounds nine times.


Continuing the law student moot court teams success was the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Team. The team, consisting of Kim Chanbonpin, Rosa Flores, Kanoelani Kane, Annie Lee and Marion Reyes-Burke, placed third in the semi-finals and received second place for their legal brief. Kim Chanbonpin ranked as the seventh best oralist out of 52 participants. UH competed against schools such as University of California-Hastings, University of Southern California, Thomas Jefferson University, and Loyola Law School in the preliminary rounds.
The team‘s coach, Professor John Van Dyke said, "The team worked incredibly hard, and we are greatly proud of them…they certainly represented us well."


This year‘s Native American Moot Court competition was held at Columbia University in New York City in early March. Traveling across the country to compete on behalf of the Law School were team members Shannon Alivado, Joaquin Manibusan, Marie Nielson, and Leihinahina Sullivan. Professor B.C. Chang, alumna Amy Ono and third-year student Kim Chanbonpin advised the team. This year the team was faced with two primary issues—double jeopardy and equal protection. The team impressed the judges with their oratory skills and Leihinahina Sullivan, the team‘s sole veteran member, scored a near perfect 49 out of 50 points in one of her preliminary rounds. Team member Joaquin Manibusan said, "There are two returning members next year and hopefully the Native American Moot Court Team‘s success will continue."


The Hispanic Moot Court Competition was the final competition held on March 21 and 22 in Dallas, Texas, and was hosted by the Hispanic National Bar Association. The four-member team consisted of Linda Aragon, Kirsha Durante, Kathy Smith, and Simeona Ahuna. This year‘s problem dealt with race used as a factor in a law school‘s admissions program. The team was assigned to write a brief as respondent and had to argue both petitioner and respondent sides during oral argument. This was the team‘s fourth year participating in the competition. The first year the team participated they received third place for their brief. The team hopes to continue to do well in representing Hawaiʻi in the future.