Students from Texas law schools continued their run of great success at the 20th Annual Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, held at St. John’s University in Queens, New York, March 9–12, 2012. The University of Texas, Baylor University, University of Houston, St. Mary’s University, Texas Southern University, Southern Methodist University, and Texas Tech law schools attended the competition, featuring a field of fifty-four teams from law schools across the country.
The University of Texas School of Law and University of Houston Law Center each advanced two teams to the elimination (Octofinals) rounds of competition, while one team from each of Texas Tech School of Law and SMU School of Law also advanced to the Octofinals. Both UT teams, as well as the Texas Tech team and one of the UH teams, also advanced to the Quarterfinals round. Ultimately, UT won First Place at the competition and garnered an additional Outstanding Advocate recognition (B. Cumings). UH received Outstanding Brief recognition, while Baylor won the Best Advocate award (H. Oliver), as well as also receiving an additional Outstanding Advocate recognition (M. Harkins).
The annual Duberstein Competition involves a substantial commitment from students, who undertake fact pattern analysis and brief writing beginning in December. Students from these Texas law schools also attended the Elliot Cup regional competition held this year in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the Federal District Court and Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
This year’s fact pattern involved the current “hot button” issues of the limits of bankruptcy court jurisdiction in light of the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in the case of Stern v. Marshall, as well as the availability of good faith and equitable defenses to avoidance actions by the bankruptcy estate seeking to recover post-petition transfers.
The competitions rely heavily upon local bankruptcy judges, practitioners and professionals, who graciously contribute their time to assist in training and mentoring the teams.