Scalia Spotlights

First Year Competition Gets New Name and New Champion

Tom Dossey (‘1D) and Roma Diseati (‘1D)

After successfully navigating five preliminary and advancing rounds in the First Year Competition, finalists Tom Dossey (‘1D) and Roma Diseati (‘1D) faced off on April 16 before Judges O’Grady, Trenga, and Alston of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Dossey was named champion after the final round, which was livestreamed on Zoom. The Moot Court Board also recognized the two best oral advocates from the preliminary rounds: Christian Bush (‘1D) and Douglas Horn (‘1D).

All first year students participated in the preliminary rounds, which were conducted via Zoom on Saturday, April 10. The 28 advancing round matches were held at the law school on Sunday, April 11 and leveraged classroom technology and Zoom to allow judges and competitors to continue participating virtually.

Practitioners around the country judged the virtual rounds, providing competitors with feedback on their arguments. In preparation for the competition, ‘2L and ‘3L Moot Court Board members, led by competition co-chairs Justin Angotti (‘3D) and Kelly Cousoulis (‘3D), held 212 practice arguments for the first year class, including 144 practice sessions in the week leading up to the preliminary rounds.

In recognition of Adjunct Professor Ernie Isenstadt’s more than two decades of service as Moot Court Board faculty advisor, the Board also announced that it has renamed the annual 1L intramural competition the Ernest J. Isenstadt First Year Competition. Moot Court Board Chief Justice Sophie Munroe (‘3D) made the public announcement before the 2021 competition final began.

“Professor Isenstadt joined the Mason faculty in 1998, and for the last twenty years he has served as our advisor, professor, and coach,” said Munroe. “I can wholeheartedly say that I would not be the oral advocate I am today without his patience, guidance, and expertise.”

Isenstadt remarked: “Members of the Moot Court Board exemplify the highest standards of advocacy and service. I am deeply honored that they would recognize me in this fashion, especially in a year when they did so much work to make the competition happen, and when I was able to watch so many exceptional arguments by members of the first year class.”

Congratulations, 2021 Competitors!


  • Tom Dossey

Second Place

  • Roma Diseati


  • Brandon Beck
  • Kevin Kehne


  • Cori Ast
  • Victoria Burke
  • Douglas Horn*
  • Colleen Seidel


  • Angelica Banks
  • Kevin Beck
  • Madalyn Brooks
  • Christian Bush*
  • Natalia Castro
  • Grace Roman
  • Laura Lindsay
  • Kelly Yahner

Sweet 16

  • Mnelik Belete
  • Robert Blizard
  • Brianna Christenson
  • Jake Dillon
  • Becky Fitzgerald
  • Benjamin Hyman
  • Daniel Lynch
  • Luke Marston
  • JJ Medina
  • Timothy Miles
  • Ford Morrison
  • Payal Patel
  • Rachel Preston
  • Kennedy Sattler
  • Kristin Weiss
  • Danielle Wilkerson

* Best Oral Advocate in the preliminary rounds