Moot Court

Moot Court

What is Moot Court?

Moot court is the simulation of appellate argument.  Two-person legal teams compete in front of a panel of judges.  Students argue a hypothetical legal case known as “the competition case.”  To do so, students must research the cases and laws cited in “the competition case.”  Moot court judges ask students questions and grade the students on the basis of their knowledge of the case, their response to questioning, their forensic skills, and their demeanor.  Oral argument lasts 40 minutes (each side gets 20 minutes) and each student is expected to speak for a minimum of 7 minutes. If you are interested in an in-depth history of moot court at CSULB check out this history.

Why Participate in Moot Court?

It is fun and rewarding. It is challenging. It is good experience for law school and a legal career. It will teach you how to think, speak, and write in a clearer and more precise manner. You will learn valuable research skills. You will improve your logical and critical thinking skills. You will meet and network with a variety of important people in the legal, academic, and political community. Read What Former Moot Court Students Say About Moot Court

How Do I Join?

Spring 2022 Recruitment is underway.  There will be a Zoom meeting in the Fall to learn more about Spring Moot Court.  For the Zoom link or more information about moot court email Professor Ringel at Lewisringel@verizon.net 

Enrollment in this course is by instructor permission only.  Students who wish to participate in the political science department’s moot court program need to apply. 

Applications for the Spring of 2022 are due by October 29, 2021.  Download the application here in PDF: moot court application form for Spring 2022 or in WORD:  moot court application form for Spring 2022

Once accepted by Dr. Ringel, applicants need to gain a permit and then enroll in:

  • 417. Legal Practices: Moot Court (3) Prerequisites: POSC 311 or POSC 312, and either POSC 412 or POSC 414; and upper division standing.  Study and acquisition of the skills of lawyering, including legal research, reasoning, writing, and trial advocacy. Substantive study of civil liberties.

Enrollment in this course is by instructor permission only. Please contact Professor Ringel at lewisringel@verizon.net for further information. His office is SPA 336. Phone: 562-985-5682. POSC 417 is a demanding and rigorous course. Students should anticipate a challenging but exciting and extremely worthwhile experience.  Students should be serious, reliable, responsible, and professional.

Moot Court Head Coach: Biography of Lewis Ringel

Moot Court Coaches:  Assistant Coaches: Patrick DysonJudy Hails, Kelsey Stapler Morris, and Ryan C. Chapman

Who Judges Moot Court?

Moot court judges can be most anyone who is familiar with the record and the law or the legal system. Judges are typically lawyers or in some cases law students.  Many former mooters judge at events.  Many tournaments feature judges and justices, and law school deans and faculty.  Many judges are members of Inns of Court.  The only restriction is that judges cannot be undergraduates. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in judging at future tournaments please contact Professor Ringel

History of the Western Regional:

From its inception until 2014, CSULB hosted the Western Regional.  To learn more about it see: 

History-of-the-Western-Regional-at-CSULB

News:  2020-21

CSULB wins the 2021 11th Annual California Classic

CSULB’s Jessica Zatarain and Nichole Athanitis won the 11th Annual California Classic.  This was the first California Classic to be held on Zoom.  It was the 10th California Classic title in CSULB history and the 7th in a row.  Zatarain and Athanitis dominated from start to finish winning 20 of 20 ballots.  CSULB’s Aleece Hanson and Ryan Marden finished third.  Hanson was named the top orator with a 380/400 average.  Kellie Sala, Marden, and Zatarain were also named top ten orators.  

A Season to Remember — one of “Unfinished Business” and “Squads” — ends with a National Championship in Written Brief

A most unusual (and successful) moot court season has ended.  Competing entirely on Zoom and through emailed PDFs CSULB had a historic season for the ages — one that culminated in seven wins in oral advocacy and a national title for written advocacy.

Written Advocacy:

Aleece Hanson and Barry Klein won the national championship for written respondent brief advocacy.  For Klein this was his second top three finish and first national title.  Overall, CSULB has won the national written brief title three times — third most in AMCA history.  It has finished second twice.  

Oral Advocacy:

Teams from CSULB, including one comprised of a student from the College of Wooster, won seven competitions.  This included three regionals.  [For more on these wins see below].  

At the AMCA National Championship the team of Vaishalee Chaudhary and Marco Romero advanced to the quarter-finals/elite 8 and finished fifth in the nation.  They closed the season with an extraordinary record of 40 wins and 2 defeats.  The best in CSULB history.  They become the fifth team in CSULB history to advance to the national quarter-finals and the fourth team to advance to multiple national sweet sixteens.  They became the second CSULB team to successfully defend a regional title. 

Regional Champs Georgina Tierney and Kelton Munch and Aleece Hanson and Barry Klein and Regional Quarter-Finalists Alexis Liautaud and Jessica Zatarain all advanced to the second elimination round before being defeated.  This marks the first time in CSULB history that all of its teams made it to the second elimination round.  Munch was named the 15th orator in the nation and seven of the squad’s mooters posted averages of a 360 or better (360/400 is an A).  

CSULB moot court is sad that the season is over.  But what a season.  One for the ages in terms of numbers and experiences. The camaraderie and bonds that were built over Zoom that stretched as far as Ohio were extraordinary.  The squad proved what can happen when everyone works for one common purpose and pulls the same end of the rope in the same direction.  The future remains bright.

2020-21 Season Starts with SEVEN Wins: 

On September 19, 2020, CSULB won the 2020 Falcon Classic hosted by the United States Air Force Academy.  CSULB’s Vaishalee Chaudhary and Marco Romero beat their classmates from CSULB Aleece Hanson and Barry Klein.  

On October 2-3, 2020, CSULB won the 2020 Texas-California Classic.  CSULB’s Vaishalee Chaudhary and Marco Romero bested Georgina Tierney (College of Wooster) and Kelton Munch (CSULB) in the finals.  CSULB’s Alexis Liautaud and Jessica Zatarain and Aleece Hanson and Barry Klein also advanced to the semi-finals. 

On October 17-18, 2020, CSULB won the 2020 Fall Long Beach (49er) Classic.  CSULB’s Vaishalee Chaudhary and Marco Romero bested Holy Cross’s Natalie DeCoast and Willem McGee.  Aleece Hanson and Barry Klein also advanced to the semi-finals. 

On October 30-31, 2020, CSULB defended its Rocky Mountain Invitational Title.  CSULB’s Vaishalee Chaudhary and Marco Romero, the number one seed, triumphed in a split decision over the number two seed Colorado Christian University’s Janson Request and Courtney Reanier.  CSULB’s Celeste Sanchez and John Littles finished third.  All members of the team who competed finished among the top twenty mooters and all averaged a 360 (90%) or better.  This included:  Romero (1st), Chaudhary (3rd), Hanson (6th), Klein (7th), Munch (8th), Tierney (11th), Littles (13th), and Sanchez (20th).  

All CSULB teams advanced to at least one pre-season semi-final and CSULB won all four competitions and placed ten teams in semi-finals (out of sixteen possible slots).

CSULB DEFENDS its title at the Frank Guliuzza Western Regional Moot Court Qualifying Tournament!!!

Vaishalee Chaudhary and Marco Romero repeated at champions at the 2020 Western Regional.  This marks the 4th Western Regional title for CSULB and the 9th straight season that CSULB has reached a regional finals.  The second longest streak in the nation.   Chaudhary and Romero both were awarded orator awards.  Chaudhary and Romero defeated a team from UCSB in the finals.  

CSULB Wins the Eastern Michigan University Regional Moot Court Qualifying Tournament!!!

Aleece Hanson and Barry Klein won the first ever Eastern Michigan University Regional Moot Court Qualifying Tournament.  This is the second time in CSULB history that it has won multiple regionals — the last time being in 2014 — and the third time in CSULB history that it placed teams in multiple regional finals.  Hanson and Klein both were awarded orator awards.  Hanson and Klein defeated teams from Patrick Henry College in the semis and the finals.  

CSULB-College of Wooster Hybrid Team Wins the Midwest Regional Moot Court Qualifying Tournament!!!

Georgina Tierney (College of Wooster) and Kelton Munch (CSULB) won the Midwest Regional Moot Court Qualifying Tournament.  The Midwest Regional is one of the oldest and most storied of undergraduate regionals.  It was the first time that a student from CSULB had competed in the Midwest Regional.  This is the first time in CSULB history that it has won three regionals in a single season.  Tierney and Munch both were awarded orator awards.  Tierney and Munch, who have never met face-to-face, defeated a team from the College of Wooster in the finals.  

CSULB earns 4th Bid to Nationals and Racks up More Orator Awards:

The CSULB team of Alexis Liautaud and Jessica Zatarain earned a bid to nationals at the South Atlantic Regional.  All CSULB four advocates finished among the top 25 orators.  Celeste Sanchez led the team finishing third and John Littles finished eleventh.

News from the 2019-20 Season:

CSULB wins the 2020 Hastings College of Law Moot Court Invitational!!!

Vaishalee Chaudhary and Marco Romero won the 2020 Hastings College of Law Moot Court Invitational in a thrilling 3-2 round over a terrific team from the University of North Texas.  Chaudhary (4th) and Romero (2nd) won top orator awards for preliminary rounds.  Romero won the David Casarrubias Scholarship Awarded to the top orator of the final round.  Casarrubias is an alum of both Hastings College of Law and CSULB.  Aleece Hanson and Alexis Liautaud finished in 5th place.

Watch Vaishalee Chaudhary and Marco Romer’s successful championship round at the 2020 Hastings College of the Law National Moot Court Championship.  

https://uchastings.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=0734239e-0325-4103-beef-ab6801475152

From L to R:  Aleece Hanson, Alexis Liautaud, Barry Klein, Vaishalee Chaudhary, Judy Hails (assistant coach), Marco Romero, and Lewis Ringel (head coach).

CSULB finishes third in the Nation in Respondent Written Brief and tied for 9th in the nation in oral advocacy!!!

This January, Moot Court teams competed in the National Moot Court tournament in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Vaishalee Chaudhary and Marco Romero advanced to the national sweet 16 and finished tied for 9th in the nation in oral advocacy and 8th in the nation in written petitioner advocacy.  Amanda Botelho and Barry Klein finished 3rd in the nation in written respondent advocacy. Ms. Botelho was voted the 12th best orator in the nation.  This is the tenth consecutive season that CSULB has placed a team in the Sweet 16 of the American Moot Court Association’s National Championship and the tenth consecutive season that CSULB has finished in the top ten of the national written brief championship. CSULB is the only program in the nation to have earned both distinctions in ten consecutive seasons.

2020 Nationals_Botelho, Ringel, Klein

From L to R:  Amanda Botelho, Professor 

Lewis Ringel, and Barry Klein.

CSULB wins the Frank Guliuzza Western Regional Moot Court Qualifying Tournament!!!

Vaishalee Chaudhary and Marco Romero won the 2019 Western Regional.  This marks the 3rd Western Regional title for CSULB and the 8th straight season that CSULB has reached a regional finals.  The second longest streak in the nation.   Chaudhary was named the 5th best orator.  Chaudhary and Romero defeated a team from Patrick Henry College in the finals.  The team advances to the American Moot Court Association national championship which will be held in Baton Rouge, LA.  

The competition was recently renamed for the most successful undergraduate moot court coach of all time the late Dr. Frank Guliuzza (1957-2019).  Dr. Guliuzza was a long-time friend to many CSULB moot court alums.  CSULB is honored to have brought the first trophy to honor Dr. Guliuzza back to Long Beach the site of many of Dr. Guliuzza’s teams successes as well as the site of many friendly battles between teams coached by Dr. Guliuzza and CSULB teams.

From L to R:  Professor Lewis Ringel (Head Coach) Marco Romero, Vaishalee Chaudhary, and Pat Dyson (Assistant Coach), the 2019 Frank Guliuzza Memorial Trophy, and Marco Romero, Professor Lewis Ringel (Head Coach) and Vaishalee Chaudhary.

NEWS FROM THE 2019 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP:  

CSULB’s Marissa Rael and Chris Heffernan and Anna Sasaki and Jonah Zeko finished tied for 5th and tied for 9th in the nation respectively in team oral advocacy.  Rael and Heffernan, the 74th seeded team out of 80, were the fourth team in CSULB history to advance as far as the national quarter-finals.  This is the ninth straight season that CSULB has advanced to the national sweet-sixteen and the third time it had advanced two teams that far.  All four teams (Sasaki and Zeko, Gabriella Passeri and Diego Magana, Nicole Opendo and Amanda Botelho, and Rael and Heffernan advanced to elimination rounds.  Magana and Heffernan finished 11th and 21st in individual oral advocacy respectively.  Nicole Opendo and Amanda Botelho and Sasaki and Zeko finished 7th and 10th in the nation in written advocacy (respondent).   This is the ninth straight season that CSULB has placed a team in the top ten of the national written brief competition.  

CSULB Mooters at 2019 National Championship: Monserrat Quezeda, Diego Magana, Gabriella Passeri, Anna Sasaki, Amanda Botelho, Nicole Opendo, the Solicitor General of the State of West Virginia Lindsay See, Marissa Rael, Chris Heffernan, Jonah Zeko, and Professor Lewis Ringel.

CSULB National Quarter-Finalists

Marissa Rael and Chris Heffernan.

CSULB’s Jonah Zeko and Anna Sasaki won the 2018 Windy City Regional!!! Zeko, Sasaki, Jireh Deng, and Evelyn Ortiz all won top

orator awards.  Zeko (1st), Sasaki (2nd), Deng (5th), and Ortiz (8th).

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CSULB’s Gabby Passeri and Diego Magana finished 3rd in the 2018 Atchafalaya Classic Regional held at Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge!!!  They are photographed below with Moot Court Donor Mrs. Beverly August and at Southern University Law Center with their Atchafalaya Classic mugs.

CSULB’s Nicole Opendo and Amanda Botelho finished 3rd and Marissa Rael and Chris Heffernan finished 5th in the 2018 Western Regional held at Cal-State Fresno!!!

CSULB’s Jonah Zeko and Anna Sasaki finish 2nd in the Rocky Mountain Invitational.  The finals were in the Colorado Supreme Court.

CSULB Mooters place three teams in the semi-finals of the 2018 Falcon Classic held at the United States Air Force Academy!!!  

Fall 2018 Team at Falcon Classic_Colorado Springs

Moot Court on campus at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
From left: Lewis Ringel (coach), Mindy Vo (asst. coach), Spencer Cline, Nicole Opendo, Monserrat Quezada,Evelyn Ortiz, Chris Heffernan, Gabby Passeri, Diego Magana, Amanda Botelho, Marissa Rael, Jonah Zeko, Anna Sasaki, Patrick Dyson (asst. coach), Jirah Deng

Videos to Watch:

Watch Ali Piane’s championship round in Loyola Law School’s Scott Moot Court Exhibition.  She is the fourth speaker.    Scott Moot Court Exhibition 04 13 2021 – YouTube 

Watch CSULB’s Mindy Vo and Anna Sasaki’s successful championship round at the 2018 Hastings College of the Law National Moot Court Championship.  

Watch videos of other past rounds, and find the rules for the National Written Brief Contest at http://amcamootcourt.org/

Awards and Highlights:

  • Forty-seven Titles:  (forty-four for oral advocacy and three for written brief)
  • Thirty First Place Finishes in Tournaments, Classics and Invitationals for Oral Advocacy
  • Fourteen First Place Finishes in Scrimmages
  • Eighty-six semi-finalists in tournaments, classics, and invitational competitions (does not include scrimmages)
  •  
  • Written Advocacy: National Tournaments
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Written Advocacy National Champions, 2004, 2014, and 2020
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Written Advocacy, National Runners-Up, 2013 and 2017
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Written Advocacy, 3rd Place, 2020
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Written Advocacy, 4th Place, 2016 and 2018
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Written Advocacy, 5th Place (Tie), 2016
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Written Advocacy, 6th Place, 2017
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Written Advocacy, 7th Place, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2019
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Written Advocacy, 8th Place, 2020
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Written Advocacy, 10th Place, 2015, 2017, and 2019
  •  
  • Oral Advocacy: National Tournaments
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Oral Advocacy National Champions, 2003
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Oral Advocacy National Finalist (2nd Place), 2014
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Oral Advocacy National Semi-Finalist (3rd Place) (hybrid with Patrick Henry College), 2017
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Oral Advocacy National Quarter-Finalist (Tied for 5th place), 2019 and 2021
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Orator Awards, 2003, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2021 (eleven advocates)
  • American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Tournament Sweet 16, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 (eighteen teams/three were hybrids with Patrick Henry College)
  •  
  • Oral Advocacy: Regional Tournaments
  • Frank Guliuzza Western Regional National Qualifier Champions, 2019 and 2020
  • Western Regional Tournament Champions, 2012, and 2014
  • Eastern Michigan University Regional Tournament Champions, 2020
  • Midwest Regional Tournament Champions, 2020
  • Windy City Regional Tournament Champions, 2018
  • Upper Midwest Regional Tournament Champions, 2013, 2014, and 2016
  • Atchafalaya Classic Regional Tournament Runners-Up, 2017 (hybrid with Patrick Henry College)
  • Upper Midwest Regional Tournament Runners-Up, 2015
  • Western Regional Runners-Up, 2003 and 2016 (hybrid with Patrick Henry College)
  • Atchafalaya Classic Regional Tournament Regional Tournament, Semi-Finalist, 2018
  • Western Regional Semi-Finalists, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2018 (six total)
  • Windy City Regional Semi-Finalists, 2016, 2017, and 2019
  •  
  • Oral Advocacy: Invitational Tournaments and Classics
  • Atchafalaya Classic, Champions, 2016 (hybrid with Patrick Henry College)
  • Atchafalaya Classic, 3rd Place, 2016
  • Capitol Classic, 3rd Place, 2008
  • California Classic Undergraduate Moot Court Tournament Champions, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021
  • California Classic Undergraduate Moot Court Tournament Runners-Up, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018
  • California-Massachusetts Classic Moot Court Tournament Champions, 2014 and 2015
  • California-Texas Classic Moot Court Tournament Champions, 2013 and 2o2o
  • College of the Holy Cross Moot Court Invitational Champions 2015 and 2017
  • College of the Holy Cross Moot Court Invitational Runners Up 2015
  • College of the Holy Cross Moot Court Invitational 3rd Place 2019
  • College of the Holy Cross Moot Court Invitational 4th Place 2017 and 2019
  • CSULB Fall Classic Tournament Champions, 2017, 2018, and 2019
  • CSULB Fall Classic Tournament Runners-Up, 2017
  • Falcon Classic Moot Court Tournament Champions, 2014 and 2020
  • Falcon Classic Moot Court Tournament 2nd Place, 2018 and 2020
  • Falcon Classic Moot Court Tournament 3rd Place, 2016 and 2018
  • Falcon Classic Moot Court Tournament 4th Place, 2018
  • Hastings College of Law National Moot Court Invitational Champions, 2018 and 2020
  • Hastings College of Law National Moot Court Invitational 4th Place, 2018
  • Long Beach (49er) Classic Fall Moot Court Tournament Champions, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2020
  • Long Beach (49er) Classic Spring Moot Court Tournament Champions, 2015
  • Rocky Mountain Invitational Champions, 2019 and 2020
  • Rocky Mountain Invitational Runner’s Up, 2018
  • Rocky Mountain Invitational 3rd Place, 2019 and 2020
  • Rocky Mountain Invitational 4th Place, 2019
  • South Texas College of Law Undergraduate Moot Court Tournament, 3rd Place, 2012
  • Southern Methodist University School of Law Undergraduate Moot Court Tournament 3rd Place (hybrid with UNT), 2016
  • Southern Methodist University School of Law Undergraduate Moot Court Tournament Runners-Up, 2013
  • Southern Methodist University School of Law Undergraduate Moot Court Tournament 3rd Place, 2013
  • Southern Methodist University School of Law Undergraduate Moot Court Tournament 4th Place, 2013
  • Southern Methodist University School of Law Undergraduate Moot Court Tournament, 2016 Semi-Finalist (hybrid with UNT)
  • Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Tournament Champions, 2012
  • UNT Dallas School of Law Undergraduate Moot Court Invitational 3rd Place, 2015

Winners of the George and Beverly August Moot Court Achievement Award

2020-21  The Squad:  Vaishalee Chaudhary, Aleece Hanson, Barry Klein, Alexis Liautaud, John Littles, Kelton Munch, Marco Romero,

                  Celeste Sanchez, Georgina Tierney, and Jessica Zatarain

2018-19  Anna Sasaki and Jonah Zeko

2017-18  Mindy Vo

2016-17  Myles Chaney and Sarah Geesaman

2015-16  Justin Adofina and Julieta Hernandez

2014-15  Krist Biakanja, III and Kevin D. Poush

2013-14  Ashley Hall and Kyle Maury

2018 Rocky Mountain 2nd Place
2018 Rocky Mountain Invitational Runners Up: Jonah Zeko and Anna Sasaki
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Thanks to everyone else who has supported and continues to support our Moot Court program.  A special word of appreciation to the Joseph Ball/Clarence Hunt/Vern Schooley Inn of Court of Long Beach, this includes the late Governor George Deukmejian, and our many supporters in the Long Beach Bar Association who have donated their time to judge and/or recruit justices for our competitions.  Thanks to the Offices of the President and the Provost and the College of Liberal Arts and Shayne of Public Affairs. Thanks to Professor Teresa Wright and Amelia Marquez and Katie Masterson of the Department of Political Science. Thanks to all of our volunteer students and alums throughout the years — especially Amy and John Lanham.  Thanks to those lawyers and jurists who have devoted their time to judging rounds — especially Justices Lamar Baker and Gary Hastings, Judge John Tobin, and Norma Dawson.  Special thanks to those who have supported moot court through financial donations — especially Beverly August and the late George August, Gail Hutton and Judge Norman Delaterre.