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Mason Team Brings Home Jessup Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship

2009 Jessup Moot Court Competition Team MembersMason Law students scored a big win in securing the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship in the National Rounds of the 2009 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition held February 19–22 at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. The team will advance to the International Rounds (finals) to be held in Washington, D.C., March 22-28, where they will argue before some of the most pre-eminent jurists and advocates of international law in the world.

The team finished the competition with a 7-0 record, winning all rounds, and brought home a 5th place win for their memorial (brief). In addition, all four competitors finished in the top twenty oralists out of a field of 96, with Adeel Bashir finishing in 3rd place. Teammate Lucas Kline finished 7th, while Alyssa DaCunha and Alex Morris finished 13th and 17th, respectively. A fifth team member, Anna Balishina, participated with research and in the writing of the brief. Commenting on the win, team member Adeel Bashir said, "Winning this competition with such a close-knit team makes the last year of hard work, research, and brief-writing more than worth it. The Jessup experience has been an excellent complement to our law school education, and we look forward to representing our school and our country at the international rounds."

Team advisor Jennifer Thornton, an attorney with the Department of State, praised the team's efforts, saying, "The team demonstrated exceptional facility with the basic principles of international law and a mastery of the relevant international jurisprudence. The members demonstrated consistently that each independently is a gifted oral advocate."

This year's Jessup Competition represents the 50th year of existence for the world's largest moot court competition, which features the participation of over 500 law schools in more than 80 countries. Teams from each school prepare oral and written pleadings, arguing both the applicant and respondent positions in a fictional dispute between nations before the International Court of Justice.

Photo from left: Team members Alyssa DaCunha, Anna Balishina, Lucas Kline, Adeel Bashir, and Alex Morris proudly display their award.