Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Southwestern Moot Court Oralists Share Top Honors at Telecommunications Competition March 13, 2012
Southwestern Moot Court Oralists Share Top Honors at Telecommunications Competition

At the recent National Telecommunications Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C., Southwestern teammates Michael Le and Sarah Moe were both named Best Oralist and will be acknowledged in an upcoming issue of Federal Communications Bar Report.

Professor Michael Epstein, who coached the team, said, "This recognition is all the more sweet considering that Michael and Sarah, as SCALE students, had no prior course exposure to Telecom or the First Amendment. Supporting the team all the way to Washington was writer Jenifer Slott, who diligently helped prep her teammates during their practice rounds." Eleven teams participated in the competition, which included entrants from Catholic University, Georgetown University, George Washington University and others.

In the case they argued, local city officials had temporarily shut down cell phone service at City Hall, during which time a controversial town hall meeting took place and where Occupy Wall Street members were going to protest. The problem focused on three different issues regarding whether the municipality's temporary shutdown 1) violated a federal statute preventing interference with wireless telephone services without first obtaining permission from the FCC and providing advance notice to users, 2) violated the protestors' First Amendment rights, and 3) was preempted by federal law.

"Our success at the competition is truly a reflection of all of the hard work and dedication from all of our peers in the Moot Court Honors Program, the professors and alumni," Le said. "Everyone who helped out our team was generous with their time and advice in ensuring that we were well-prepared before we left for our competition. The team's relentless commitment to making Southwestern proud allowed us to perform at our best and gave us the confidence necessary to set ourselves apart from the rest of the advocates."

Moe acknowledged that their desire to succeed fueled their intense preparation. "The judges all mentioned they were impressed with our knowledge of the record and the law," she said. "It also helped that we had done so many practice rounds, many of which were very difficult. The rounds in D.C. were actually much easier than our practice rounds at Southwestern."

Both Le and Moe were grateful to their teammate, writer Jenifer Slott. "She was amazing because she would type up every question we were asked during a practice round, so that allowed us to review difficult questions and come up with sound bite answers - concise, on-point answers that don't lead to further questions," Moe explained.