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A Year of Firsts for the Travis H. D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society

This was another groundbreaking year for the Travis H. D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society (AHS), adding additional “firsts” to its long list of accomplishments.

In the first-of-its-kind trial competition format, the National Trial League (NTL) kicked off in the fall of 2021. Developed by Director of Advocacy Programs Professor Todd Berger, NTL enables schools across the country to participate in a competitive, short-form online setting throughout the semester. Over three months of rigorous online competition from August through November, teams competed in seven rounds with six different fact patterns. With two conferences of six teams each—like a typical sports league— the top four teams advanced to the playoffs based on their overall win/loss records. Congratulations to the winner and runner-up of the final round, St. Mary’s University School of Law and the University of South Carolina School of Law!

In another first, AHS partnered with the National Disabled Law Students Association (NDLSA) to co-host the inaugural National Disability Law Appellate Competition (NDLAC), held virtually in March 2022. This new advocacy competition featured teams from law schools across the country to argue a significant and timely legal issue in disability law regarding the accepted use of service animals. The competition consisted of an appellate brief writing component and an oral argument component. The College of Law team was coached by Professor Monica Todd, and Chancellor Kent Syverud was the Judge. Congratulations to the College of Law team of 2L Sarah Bucker, 2L Marquez Baez, and 2L Jessica Senzer for winning second place close behind the winning team, the University of Missouri School of Law.

2021-2022 Intercollegiate Competition Highlights

Black Law Students Association Team
Black Law Students Association Team
For the third year in a row, the College of Law team won the regional round of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition. The team consisted of 3L Kendall Anderson, 3L Autumn Burgin, Alexis Eka L’22, Randi Gray L’22, and Abigail Neuviller L’22. Burgin won the award for Best Cross-Examination and Neuviller won the award for Best Direct Examination. Thanks to John Boyd L’16 for coaching our team!

The College of Law reached the semifinals of two competitions hosted by American University. In the King of the Hill Trial Competition, the College’s team included 2L Giovanni Antonucci, 3L Lilian Baah, 2L Alan Berlucchi, 2L Gabby Groman, 2L Austin Milone, and 3L Gabby Verdone. Jeff Leibo L’03 coached the team. Next was the Burton D. Wechsler National First Amendment Moot Court Competition, with team members 3L Scott Ceurvels and 2L Caleb Gieger. Sophie Bober-West L’19 coached the team.

The College of Law virtually hosted the third annual Syracuse National Trial Competition (SNTC) in October 2021. The SNTC is an invite-only trial competition over four days that features leading moot court teams from the nation’s top law schools. The advocates are judged by distinguished members of the bench and bar from all over the country. The winner of this year’s SNTC was the George Washington University Law School.

During the spring semester, the College of Law again partnered with Queens University Belfast to host the second annual Transatlantic Negotiation Competition (TANC), held virtually In April. The competition gives law students globally an opportunity to hone their negotiation and communication skills in a transnational setting, with particular emphasis on the importance of cross-cultural negotiation and communication in resolving disputes and facilitating client agreements. Twenty-four schools spanning the globe competed against each other using problems that commonly occur in international trade, business, and political disputes. The University of Auckland took home first place for this year’s TANC.

2021-2022 Intracollegiate Competition Highlights 

Mackenzie Hughes LLP Edmund H. Lewis Appellate Advocacy Competition
Mackenzie Hughes LLP Edmund H. Lewis Appellate Advocacy Competition
During Law Alumni Weekend 2021, the College of Law celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Mackenzie Hughes LLP Edmund H. Lewis Appellate Advocacy Competition. Congratulations to the winning team of 3Ls Gabriella Kielbasinski and Cierra Thomas. The team of 3L Diana Rogatch and 2L Paige Kinder received the award for Best Brief, and Thomas won Best Oral Advocate. The College is grateful to all those who have contributed to the competition for the past half century and who made the 50th final round competitive and celebratory, especially our final round judges: the Hon. Frederick J. Scullin Jr. L’64, Senior U.S. District Judge, U.S. District Court of the Northern District of New York; Hon. David E. Peebles L’75, U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court of NDNY; Hon. Ramón E. Rivera L’94, Judge, New York Court of Claims; Hon. Brenda K. Sannes, U.S. District Judge, U.S. District Court of NDNY; and Hon. Thérèse Wiley Dancks L’91, U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court of NDNY.

In October of 2021, the team of 2Ls Jamie McLennan and Hailey Pooler won the 10th Annual Bond, Schoeneck & King Alternative Dispute Resolution Competition. McLennan also won Best Oral Advocate. Thank you to the final round judges: Hon. Anthony Paris L’73, New York State Supreme Court (ret.) and Special Counsel at Costello, Cooney & Fearon; Hon. Bernadette Romano Clark L’89, Oneida County Supreme Court; and Brian Butler L’96, Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC.

In early 2022, Mikayla Barrett won the 12th Annual Hancock Estabrook LLP 1L Oral Advocacy Competition, triumphing over finalist Nikita Norman and 36 other students. Dean Craig Boise served as a judge, along with Hon. Andrew T. Baxter, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of New York; Hon. Thérèse Wiley Dancks L’91, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of New York; Hon. Ramón E. Rivera L’94, New York State Court of Claims Judge; and Hon, Brenda K. Sannes, US District Judge for the Northern District of New York.

Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition
Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition
The 44th Annual Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition saw 3Ls Morgan Steele and Jackson Somes prevailing over finalists 2L Giovanni Antonucci and LL.M. student Dessi-Ann Yetman. Somes also received the Best Advocate award. Many thanks to the Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby L’85, Chief U.S. District Court Judge, Northern District of New York, for serving as the presiding judge of the final round. Thanks also to evaluators the Hon. Bernadette Romano Clark L’89, Oneida County Supreme Court Judge and the Hon. Rodney Thompson L’93, Presiding Judge, Family Division, Superior Court of New Jersey.

3Ls Robert Rose and Bradley Ace won this spring’s Entertainment and Sports Law Negotiation Competition prevailing over 2Ls Meghan Ellsworth and Jessica Johnson in the final round. Rose won Best Advocate. The judges for the final round of competition were Professor John Wolohan, Syracuse University Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics; Daniel Greene L’16, Associate, Newman Lickstein; and Erin Phillips L’15, Associate, Newman Lickstein Lickstein.

2022 AWARD AND SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

Travis H. D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society Executive Director’s Award:

Brandon Bourg L’22

Margaret Santandreu L’22

Richard Risman Appellate Advocacy Award:

Scott Ceurvels L’22

Courtcall Scholarship Award (Advocacy Director Award):

Gabby Kielbasinski L’22

Penny Quinteros L’22

Morgan Steele L’22

Ralph E. Kharas Award:

Olivia Stevens L’22

Lee S. Michaels L’72 Advocate of the Year Scholarship Award:

Austin Milone 2L

Emil Rossi L’72 Scholarship Award:

Autumn Burgin 2L

Angelica Judge 2L

Models of Excellence in Advocacy Award, (In Honor of Michael S. Olsan L’89):

Caleb Gieger 2L

Roland Lucas 2L

International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award:

Marina De Rosa L’22

Amanda Nardozza L’22

Order of the Barristers:

M. Bradley Ace 3L

Marina De Rosa 3L

Kelsey Gonzalez 3L

Amanda Nardozza 3L

Abigail Neuviller 3L

Margaret Santandreu 3L

Morgan Steele 3L

Olivia Stevens 3L

Cierra Thomas 3L

Gabriella Verdone 3L