The Case Western Reserve University Law School Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court team has just capped off a tremendous year of competitions. From March 28 to April 4, the team competed in the annual Vis International Arbitration Moot Court competition that typically takes place in Vienna, Austria; this year, the event was held online. The competition drew over 380 teams from all over the world.
The 2021 CWRU Vis team consists of Kristina Aiad-Toss (3L and co-captain), Rachel McKay (2L and co-captain), Callan Foran (2L), John Schon (2L), Vaibhav Ganesh (1L) and Reece Disney (1L). The coaches are Professor Katy Mercer and Douglas Pilawa (LAW ’19 and International Dispute Resolution Associate at Squire Patton Boggs).
CWRU competed well on the international stage. In particular, Callan Foran took home an honorable mention for best oralist award. This award is given to the top 40 students out of more than 1000 who competed. Foran is only the second student in CWRU Law School’s long history to receive this award.
The strong performance in Vienna comes after a successful year of international competitions for the team. Before competing in the Vienna competition, the team competed in the Athens pre-moot, the Moot Academy pre-Moot, the Swiss Chambers Arbitration Institution pre-moot, and the Budapest pre-moot. At the Swiss pre-moot, Rachel McKay (2L) placed third as an individual oralist out of a field of more than 100 competitors.
The Vis Moot is an international commercial arbitration moot court competition that centers around a contract for the sale of goods that invariably goes awry. This year’s Vis Moot Court problem involved a contract for the sale and licensing of certain genetic materials to be incorporated into vaccine research, development, and production.
The competition involves two major parts—a written phase in which teams submit two memorials (one for the claimant and one for the respondent), and an oral arguments phase. Teams often compete in pre-moots to practice for the main competition in Vienna. As the Vis’ popularity grows, pre-moots themselves have become larger and more prestigious each year. They not only allow students to practice, but are important competitions in and of themselves.
“We are absolutely thrilled with how the Vis team performed this year,” said the team’s co-coaches Katy Mercer and Douglas Pilawa. “The competition gets harder each year and the Case Western team continues to improve to meet that challenge. We are beyond happy for Callan to be recognized on the international stage for her history-making performance in the Vienna competition and we look forward to what next year brings.”