The University of Texas teams swept the 18th Annual Judge Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition. UT Law sends two teams to the Duberstein Competition and this year both teams advanced to the final round, facing off for the National Championship and National Finalist titles. UT Law students Patrick Schmidt ('10) and David Shank ('10) narrowly beat team members Kelli Benham ('10), Rex Mann ('10) and brief writer Mark Little ('10), to win the national championship. Benham, Mann and Little won the Best Brief Award.
The Duberstein Moot Court teams are coached by Debbie Langehennig ('88), Chapter 13 Trustee, Jay Ong, a shareholder with Munsch, Kopf & Harr, P.C., and Vanessa Gonzalez ('08). In addition, UT Law Professor Jay Westbrook also works with the bankruptcy moot court teams.
The Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition is sponsored by the ABI and St. John's University School of Law. This year's competition was held March 13-15, 2010, in New York, and included nearly 50 teams from 35 law schools across the country. The problem involved Ponzi scheme bankruptcies. The final round panel consisted of federal appeals court judges R. Guy Cole (6th Circuit), Steven Colloton (8th Circuit), Gerald Tjoflat (11th Circuit) and Wallace Tashima (9th Cir), along with bankruptcy judges Carla Craig (Chief Judge, E.D.N.Y.) and Stuart Bernstein (S.D.N.Y.).
The UT Law Duberstein moot court teams also participated in the 2010 Elliott Cup in February. Named for the Honorable Joseph Elliott, former Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Texas, the Elliott Cup serves as a run-up to the Duberstein National Competition. UT Law team members Benham and Mann took first place with Benham also winning Best Advocate. The competition was held at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana.