Pictured from L-R: Patricia Ramsey Chronicle, Graciela Cardona, Matthew Rogoff, Brigett Potts, Latoya Brown, & their coach Professor Erin Degnan
This past weekend, the FIU College of Law Board of Advocates Intercultural Human Rights Moot Court team won First Runner-Up at the Susan J. Ferrell Intercultural Human Rights Moot Court Competition. The competition was held at St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami Gardens, Feb. 1-3.
The team, which included 3L’s Latoya Brown, Patricia Ramsey Chronicle, Brigett Potts, Matthew Rogoff, and Graciela Cardona, was narrowly defeated in the final round against the City University of Hong Kong, despite receiving the highest overall oral argument scores from the Honorable Fausto Pocar, the former President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
The Susan J. Ferrell Moot Court Competition is a “competition revolving around a simulated court proceeding, in which teams representing both sides of the argument prepare written pleadings with respect to a fictional problem of international human rights law and policy, and present their arguments in an oral argument before the International Court of Justice.” This year, the competition featured a dispute under a bilateral investment treaty, environmental law issues, and the relocation of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent.
FIU Law competed against 11 international teams including American University Sharjah; School of Law, Christ University; School of Law, City University of Hong Kong; Gujarat National Law University; and Addis Ababa University, Law (Ethiopia). Several U.S. law schools also participated in the competition including: Duke University School of Law; Howard University School of Law; University of North Carolina School of Law; Valparaiso University School of Law; and University of Miami School of Law.
Graciela Cardona attributed the team’s success to FIU Law’s challenging international law curriculum. “This strong foundation gave our team the edge in making the finals at this truly international moot court competition,” she said. “I am proud to attend a law school that recognizes the growing importance of international law and of preparing students to take their place on the global legal stage.”
Brigett Potts agreed. “The IHR Competition was truly an international experience, and I was honored to be a part of such a phenomenal team. I loved getting the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and learn about innovative and topical intercultural human rights issues,” she said.
In addition to placing second overall, the team also finished with the Second Runner-Up Brief/Memorial award. Three out of four team members were recognized in the Best Orator category: Brigett Potts was the Third Runner-Up; Matthew Rogoff was the Fifth Runner-Up; and Latoya Brown tied for Eighth Runner-Up.
“It was an absolute privilege coaching FIU’s Board of Advocates Intercultural Human Rights Moot Court team,” said Erin K. Degnan. “Latoya, Brigett, Matthew, Patricia, and Graciela dedicated themselves to preparing for the competition. They practiced for many long hours leading up to the competition while balancing the demands of full course loads, professional employment and externships, and volunteer commitments. Their success in the competition is a testament not only to their hard work and impressive individual performances but also to their support for each other as teammates.”