Matthew Leaper and Stephanie Papastephanou won the Northeast Regional Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court Competition in Boston on March 17.
Now in its 40th year, Giles Sutherland is the premiere advocacy competition for law students interested in intellectual property law.
The pair trounced their rivals, taking the top prizes for both appellant and appellee briefs, in addition to winning the overall competition. They advance to the national finals, which will be held April 17-19 in Washington, D.C.
Coached chiefly by Gary Levin, a partner at Woodcock Washburn, the students said they also benefited from the guidance of Roy Wepner, a partner at Lerner David Littenberg Krumholz & Mentlik, and from Steve Rocci, also a partner at Woodcock Washburn and the Distinguished Practice Professor of Intellectual Property here at the law school, as well as numerous members of the faculty.
Papastephanou said that taking Rocci's Patent Litigation class gave the team a solid understanding of the patent issues involved in the case and ultimately enabled them to outshine the competition.
"It helped us write really strong briefs, which in turn enabled us to make nuanced and persuasive arguments," she said, adding that their victory reflects the strength of the law school's Intellectual Property Law Program.
Since it began participating in the Giles Sutherland contest just three years ago, the school has emerged as force to be reckoned with. In 2011, members of the school’s Moot Court Board were named Best Oral Advocates, received the Best Combined Brief Score and Best Appellee Brief award in the Midwestern Regional Competition. And In 2012, the school’s team won the Southern Regional Championship and the prize for Best Appellee Brief.