MSU Law Moot Court team advances to ABA national finals


The Michigan State University College of Law appellate moot court team of third-year students Ashley Chrysler, Crystal Bultje, and Ashley Byers qualified for the finals of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition after sweeping the regional competition with a 5-0 record in Seattle, WA, on March 6-8.

Chrysler and Bultje represented the College of Law as oral advocates arguing both sides of a civil procedure issue involving (1) whether the denial of a motion to dismiss can be appealed after a favorable jury verdict for the plaintiff; and (2) the proper standard to review the sufficiency of allegations in a Title VII employment discrimination complaint. All three students contributed to the competition brief, which tied for second place (out of 32 teams).

Chrysler placed fifth overall out of more than 70 oral advocates at the competition. The team won all five competition rounds, was seeded second at the competition after the preliminary rounds, and was the top seed out of the four teams that will advance from the Seattle regional competition to the national ABA competition in Chicago, April 9-11.

The ABA team's success was aided in large part by the community of professors, students, and alumni who judged practice rounds and helped them prepare for the regional competition. Among others, the team was assisted by: Professors Jennifer Copland, Phil Pucillo, Glen Staszewski, Daphne O'Regan, Paul Stokstad, Tiffani Darden, and Jessica Zimbelman; alumni Leigh Hansmann and Kacie Smith; 2L students Jay Lonick and Herman Hoffman (who acted as the team's counsel/assistants/judges); and, 3L Board Member Kevin Stokes (bailiff/mentor).

The team was coached by Professors Jennifer Copland and Phil Pucillo. Professor Copland coached the team at the regionals in Seattle. Professor Pucillo will represent the College of Law as the team's coach at the Chicago national competition.

Published: Thu, Apr 09, 2015