One sure sign of spring is the Case Western Reserve University School of Law Dean Dunmore Moot Court Competition, an intramural appellate-advocacy tournament in which students in our Appellate Practice class compete in an NCAA bracket-style competition judged by faculty members, judges and experienced practitioners. The competition is named for Walter Thomas Dunmore, who became the first full-time member of the law faculty in 1905 and served as dean of the School of Law for a record 35 years—from 1910 to 1945.
The 2022 Dunmore competition was held virtually and began with 16 students. Two weeks and six rounds later, Andrew Thompson and Matthew Borcas argued in the final round before Judges Theodore McKee and Thomas Vanaskie (retired) of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Judge Kenneth Ripple of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. In a close match, the judges voted Thompson the winner.
In addition to making it to the finals, Borcas won the Best Brief Award and the Dean Dunmore Award for earning the best combined brief and oral scores. Vincent Jones won the Best Oral Advocate Award.
The students were guided by their Appellate Practice Adjunct Professors Chris Grostic and Betsy Rader. Cleveland lawyer Ben Reese wrote the problem for the competition (which won high praise from the judges). Students on the Moot Court Board (Ali Nourani-Dargiri, John Schon, Megan Moro and Clare Soria) administered the competition and introduced some wonderful changes this year. Professor Andrew Pollis supervises the Appellate Practice curriculum and the competition.
Students who have taken Appellate Practice in their second year are eligible to take the Appellate Litigation Clinic, taught by Professor Pollis, in their third year.