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Moot Court Teams Headed to National Tournament

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Four CSUF Moot Court teams will compete in next month’s American Collegiate Moot Court Association’s national tournament after triumphs in November’s Western Regional tournament.

In moot court, also known as mock Supreme Court, student teams compete in simulations of an appellate court proceeding — researching and arguing a hypothetical legal case, responding to questions, and showing their forensic and public speaking skills.

All seven CSUF teams advanced from the preliminary rounds of the regional tournament, then faced each other in the semi-finals. The team of senior music major Chris Hon and political science major Jamie Butts competed against a team from Patrick Henry College in the final rounds. Ultimately, CSUF lost by one point.

“The judges claimed they had never seen such an amazing round,” said coach Pamela Fiber-Ostrow, associate professor of political science.  

Last year, nearly 380 teams from across the United States competed in 10 national qualifying tournaments across the country in hopes of earning a bid to the championship held in Miami. This year’s national tournament is set for Jan. 15 and 16 at Cal State Long Beach.

Along with teammates Hon and Butts, the teams advancing to the national competition are:

  • Erica Phillips, a criminal justice major, and Michelle Viorato, who is studying political science
  • Political science major Kelsey Brewer and criminal justice major Taylor Needham
  • Dakota Durrego-Mealey, a political science major and Carlos Ibarra, a criminal justice major


Six students won speaker awards and four placed in the top 10 speakers: Durrego-Mealey at No. 3, Celina Bontigao at 5, Ibarra at 6, Viorato at 8, Phillips at 11, and Needman at 17.