Willem C. Vis International Arbitration Moot Court Team Excels in Pre-Moot Competition

Jim FitzGibbon and Nathaniel Sommers

In February, the Case Western Vis Team participated in the annual Vis pre-moot competition hosted by Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Fourteen teams from seven different law schools competed against one another. Case Western’s team of Jim FitzGibbon (1L) and Nathaniel Sommers (1L) were awarded Best Team Orals 1st Runner Up. In addition, Jim FitzGibbon (1L) was awarded Best Individual Oralist 2nd Runner Up. 

Coach and alumnus Douglas Pilawa remarked that “Case Western’s performance simply validates the hard work the students have put in this year.”  He continued, noting that “Jim and Nathaniel, despite being first year students, performed like seasoned veterans and impressed every coach and arbitrator that heard them argue.”

Established in 1994, the Willem C. Vis Moot competition is the largest arbitration moot competition in the world and the second-largest moot competition overall. Crafting problems involving some of the most contentious topics in international business law, the moot is judged by experts in the field who engage oralists in discussion on the proper resolution of disputed legal issues in light of the particular facts of the case. 

This year's problem involves a contract for the sale of drones, novel questions about corruption issues on contract formation and application of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) to the parties’ dispute.  

A Vis “pre-moot” is an opportunity for Vis teams to scrimmage against each other in conditions meant to simulate official rounds in the main competition, which is held in Vienna, Austria every year just before Easter. Pre-moots give students the opportunity to fine tune their arguments as they prepare for Vienna.

The Vis team consists of the following Case Western students: Brooke Behrmann (co-captain and 3L), Frankie Collins (co-captain and 2L), Rose Carlyon (2L), Cody Giles (2L), Jim FitzGibbon (1L), Nathaniel Sommers (1L) and Alexandre Heuzé (1L).

Congratulations to the Vis Moot Court team for their success!