Wednesday, April 23, 2014
San Diego (April 23, 2014) – Law students from the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Team (VICAM) competed in the prestigious Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moots (Vis Moot) during the month of April. Held in Hong Kong and Vienna, the Vis Moots were created with the help of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) to educate students in the practice of international commercial arbitration. This year’s Hong Kong Vis Moot, held April 1-6, 2014, attracted nearly 100 universities from around the world. In Vienna, nearly 300 universities competed from April 12-17, 2014. The Vis competitions represent a unique opportunity for USD law students to gain proficiency and experience in the growing areas of commercial arbitration, alternative dispute resolution, and international business transactions.
This year’s problem involved the purchase of a proton therapy cancer treatment facility by a state-funded entity. The VICAM team navigated interconnected contracts between the seller and buyer to determine the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal and the choice of law applicable to the dispute. Students prepared for the Hong Kong and Vienna competitions for seven months, including research, brief-writing, and oral argument practice under the direction of Professor-in-Residence David Brennan, Adjunct Professor and alumnus Trenton Kashima (JD ’13), and alumnus Michael T. Thorsnes (JD ’68).
USD’s Vienna team, comprised of fourth-year student Charlynne Rejaian, third-year students Samuel Song and Alexandria Gojny, and second-year Bob Schultz, defeated the London School of Economics to advance to the top 16 of 297 universities. Song, president of the VICAM team, won the prestigious Martin Domke Award for the Best Individual Oralist during the Vienna general rounds. Gojny was awarded an Honourable Mention for Best Oralist in the general rounds.
Students competing in the Hong Kong moot, third-year student Kathleen Mara and second-year students Patrick Stormes-Swan, Kelli Killion, and Valerie Phan, earned an Honourable Mention for Best Claimant’s Brief. Phan was also awarded an Honourable Mention for Best Oralist during the Hong Kong general rounds.
Adjunct Professor Kashima said, “The VICAM team’s skill, dedication, and preparation propelled the program to new heights in the Vis Moot Competitions….Although [many] individuals were recognized for their achievements, the entire VICAM board and all the VICAM team members should be congratulated for this year’s great successes.”
About the USD VICAM Team
The Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (VICAM) Team competes in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna, Austria and Hong Kong. The mission of the team is to foster the development of international legal writing, arbitration, and oral advocacy skills among its members, promote professionalism and academic excellence, and maintain the school’s outstanding reputation through international competitions. In addition to competing in Vienna and Hong Kong, VICAM hosts the Annual Michael Thorsnes Pre-Moot Competition at USD and attracts teams from around the world.
About the University of San Diego School of Law
Celebrating 60 years of alumni success, the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.
USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.