UT Law Team Places First at Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition


A University of Texas School of Law team formed by students Emily Chang, Abby Rogers, and Temi Fayiga recently won first place at this year’s Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition. The team was coached by UT Law alumnus and Graves Dougherty attorney Brian Cumings and attorney Hannah Roblyer (Alexander Dubose Jefferson). The Duberstein competition is widely recognized as one of the nation’s preeminent moot court competitions, and the only one devoted entirely to bankruptcy law. It is coordinated by the American Bankruptcy Institute and St. John’s University School of Law and is held in New York City over the course of three days. This year, over fifty teams from more than forty law schools competed. Competing teams submit in advance a brief based on the competition problem which accounts for a substantial portion of their scores in the preliminary rounds at the competition. As preparation for the Duberstein, the law schools in the Fifth Circuit participate in the Elliott Cup, a regional moot court competition that uses the Duberstein competition problem as the bases for oral arguments. This year, UT fielded two teams of three students each. Andrew Bates and Grace Darrah were the oral advocates and Elizabeth Blackford the brief writer for one team, and Emily Chang and Abby Rogers the oral advocates and Temi Fayiga the brief writer for the other team.

At the Elliott Cup, held this year at SMU, the team of Andrew Bates, Grace Darrah, and Elizabeth Blackford took first place, and Andrew Bates was recognized as the best oral advocate.

At Duberstein, the team of Emily Chang, Abby Rogers, and Temi Fayiga won the competition and received recognition for an outstanding brief. The team of Bates, Darrah, and Blackford lost to Chang/Rogers/Fayiga in the quarterfinals. The quarters/semis/final were held in the courtrooms at the United States Bankruptcy Courthouse for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. The judges for quarters and semis were prominent bankruptcy judges from around the country. The judges for the final round were Bankruptcy Judge Jil Mazer-Marino (E.D.N.Y.), Chief Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn (S.D.N.Y.), U.S. District Court Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil (S.D.N.Y.) and Chief Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr. (6th Circuit Court of Appeals).

In addition to coaches Brian Cumings and Hannah Roblyer, coaches for the practice sessions included Chapter 13 Trustee Langehennig, Jay Ong (Munsch Hardt), An Nugyen (Munsch Hardt), Evan Atkinson (Dykema), Jameson Watts (Husch Blackwell), and Todd Headden (Hayward).