Law School's European Law Moot Court Team to Compete in Semi-Finals in Florence


New York, Feb. 22, 2010–-Columbia Law School has advanced to the regional finals of the 2010 European Law Moot Court Competition in Florence, Italy.
A team of four Columbia Law School students-Aymeric Dumoulin ’13, Brittany Dillman ’12, Sam Hershey ’12, and Alexia Solomou ’10 LL.M.-will argue European legal issues as part of the annual European Law Moot Court Competition.  The team will vie for one of four spots in the final round in April at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, the highest court in the European Union, where teams plead before the actual Justices.
In addition to Florence, the regional finals will take place at Columbia Law School, Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and CEU San Pablo University in Madrid. Under the competition rules, students are not allowed to present arguments at their home schools–which is why the Law School’s team is not competing in New York.
The European Court Moot Law Competition began in 1988 and is regarded as the most prestigious simulated court competition in Europe. The European Law Moot Court Society runs the competition and sets a case addressing a problem of European law each year.
Along with a few select teams from other U.S. law schools, the Law School’s team faces the challenge of learning and working in a foreign legal system–-and competing against European teams well-versed in that system. Not only must the team undertake an exhaustive study of European law, the students must be ready to present arguments in French.
“It would be phenomenal to beat the Europeans at their own game,” says Diana Marmur ’11, the coach of this year’s team.  George A. Bermann, the Jean Monnet Professor in EU Law and Walter Gellhorn Professor of Law, serves as faculty adviser.
The Law School has participated in the European Law Moot Court Competition since 2006 and advanced to the finals last year. This is the first year Columbia has hosted a regional final.
“We wanted to show students that the European Law Moot Court competition is a notable tournament for students with international interests,” says Franck Chintoya ’11, who is co-organizing the New York regional final with Christodoulos Kaoutzanis ’11. “Bringing this tournament to Columbia is a great way to introduce students to this event.”
Eleven distinguished international law professors and legal practitioners have been invited to campus to judge, including: Petros C. Mavroidis, the Edwin B. Parker Professor of Foreign and Comparative Law; Katharina Pistor, the Michael I. Sovern Professor of Law; and visiting professor Franco Ferrari.
The regional final in Florence will take place February 25-27, the same days as the regional final in New York. Saturday’s oral arguments at the Law School are open to the public.
For more information, visit the European Law Moot Court Competition web site.
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins its traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, national security, and environmental law.