Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

June 15, 2006
Winners of Southwestern's 2006 SCALE Moot Court Intramural Competition Announced

Kathryn Darnell barely slept for two weeks.

She was too busy preparing for the 2006 SCALE Moot Court Competition at Southwestern Law School. And that hard work and research paid off for both Darnell and her teammate Sarah Starkey when they were awarded for their efforts June 14.

Darnell won Best Oralist as well as Best Writer in the intramural competition. Starkey earned second place for oralist and alternate honor for writing.

"We prepared like crazy," Starkey said. "At school, at home, on the phone, through email, even in our pajamas."

Already working at an accelerated pace to complete their J.D. degrees in Southwestern's unique two-year program, SCALE students were required to compete in the first two rounds of Moot Court, arguing a variety of issues including negligence and product liability.

Dean Bryant G. Garth, as well as members of the Moot Court Board of Governors, was on hand to congratulate the winners.

So many SCALE students displayed immense ability through all three rounds that is was difficult to select the winners, according to Todd Fertig, Chair of the Moot Court Board of Governors. 

Also honored were finalist writers: second place Jon Weinman and third place Maia Brewton, who was selected as an alternate oralist as well. In addition to Starkey, Chaitali Gala was selected as an alternate writer. Namisha Patel earned third place for oralist and Dareen Abdulrahim was selected as an oralist alternate.

Professor Catherine Carpenter, faculty advisor for moot court and a third round judge for SCALE Moot Court, said the students were extremely prepared.

"Their arguments were refined and sophisticated and impassioned," she said.
All SCALE students are required to participate in the first two rounds of Moot Court and those interested in possibly joining the Moot Court Honors Program team needed continue onto the third round.

Ivan Chebotariov opted to try as many rounds as he could, calling the experience "an exhilarating rush." Professor Judy Sloan judged some of the rounds in which he participated.

"She told me that she saw an improvement in my later rounds," Chebotariov said.

SCALE Moot Court tackled the same advocacy problem that 1L students in the traditional day, part-time evening and PLEAS programs dealt with during the spring semester. Professor Dennis Yokoyama wrote the issue, set in a fictitious state called Westmoreland. Advocates were asked to argue whether a valid claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress may be stated when a plaintiff, rather than being the physically inured party's spouse, is instead his unmarried cohabitant. It also raised the issue of whether a valid claim for strict products liability may be stated when a plaintiff, having witnessed an injury to another caused by a defective product, has suffered severe emotional distress and if that psychological trauma could lead to physical suffering.

SCALE Moot Court 2006
Darell accepting her second of two awards from Moot Court Board of Governors members Sarah Wolk, Kendall Swanson
and Todd Fertig, chair.

SCALE Moot Court 2006
Dean Garth poses with the SCALE Moot Court winners and members of the Moot Court Board of Governors.