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Final Four: Students Set to Compete in Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Finals

87th Anniversary of Storied Law School Event

Media Contact: Public Affairs, 212-854-2650 or publicaffairs@law.columbia.edu

New York, March 23, 2012Four Columbia Law School students will compete on Monday, March 26, in the 2012 Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court competition, the culmination of a three-round elimination competition in appellate advocacy.

Fifty students entered this year’s competition. In the qualifying round, held during the fall semester, students briefed one of two issues on behalf of either the appellant or the United States, and presented their positions in oral arguments before panels composed of alumni practitioners and professors.
 
On the strength of their brief and oral argument scores, 16 competitors advanced to the spring semifinal rounds.The finalists are: William M. Rollins ’12 and Robert M. Bernstein ’13, counsels for the appellant; and J. Matthew Schmitten ’13 and Kelly N. Sampson ’12, counsels for the appellee. The students will argue a case written by the competition’s director, Michael Rosenberg ’12, concerning the proper boundaries of federal criminal liability arising from the application of obstruction of justice and computer fraud statutes.
 
The eminent panel of judges includes Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Judge Reena Raggi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, and Judge Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. They will award the Lawrence S. Greenbaum Prize to one student for the best oral presentation in the final round.
 
This year marks the 87th anniversary of the Stone Moot Court, which was founded at Columbia Law School in 1925 by the Story Inn—a chapter of the legal fraternity Phi Delta Phi. The competition is named in honor of Harlan Fiske Stone’1898 (1872–1946), who was a member of the Story Inn while a student at the Law School.
 
Stone was named dean of Columbia Law School in 1910. He served as dean until 1924, when President Calvin Coolidge appointed him attorney general of the United States. He was named to the U.S. Supreme Court the following year and was elevated to chief justice in 1941.
 
Philip Genty, the Everett B. Birch Innovative Teaching Clinical Professor in Professional Responsibility and a 23-year veteran of the Law School faculty, serves as director of the Law School’s moot court program.
 
The competition will be held from 4:20 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. in Jerome Greene Hall, Rooms 104 and 106.
 
Columbia Law School’s Moot Court Program is made possible by the generous support of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.  
 
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