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Hancock Estabrook First-Year Moot Court Competition Goes Beyond Classroom Learning


As one of the only law schools offering a first-year moot court competition, Syracuse University College of Law continues to prepare its students for courtroom careers and client advocacy. This year welcomed 42 participants to the preliminary rounds of the Fourth Annual Hancock Estabrook First-Year Moot Court Competition. Finalists Amy Doan and Courtney Schott delivered outstanding oral arguments in front of Federal Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles L’75, as well as Hancock Estabrook’s Managing Partner Janet Callahan and Partner Tim Murphy L’89. Amy Doan, who is from Rochester, NY, won the competition.
“I was amazed of the overall level of skill shown throughout the competition’s rounds. Many judges were impressed with the high caliber of advocacy coming from students, after only one semester of law school,” says Christopher Gee, the Hancock Estabrook Competition Director of the Moot Court Honor Society.

The competitors argued the original case of People v. Noah Puckerman, a criminal action that arose out of a cellphone theft involving Mr. Puckerman, a fifteen year-old high school student. The students delivered an appellate argument regarding a trial judge’s suppression of a statement, spoken by Mr. Puckerman in a potential custodial interrogation.

“The Hancock Estabrook Competition allows first-year students a unique opportunity to test their advocacy skills, and in many cases, for the first time. The Moot Court Honor Society is proud to host a competition which opens the door to oral advocacy for first-year students,” says Kristin Volpicella, Executive Director of Moot Court Honor Society.

With the continued generous support of Hancock Estabrook, LLP, the competition has truly become a cornerstone of the Moot Court Honor Society’s advocacy program. 


From left to right, Kristin Volpicella, Executive Director of MCHS; Prof. Lucille Rignanese, MCHS Faculty Advisor; Amy Doan, Competition Winner; Hon. David E. Peebles, Fed. Magistrate Judge, NDNY, Presiding Final Round Judge; Janet Callahan, Managing Partner, Hancock Estabrook, LLP, Final Round Evaluator; Courtney Schott, Competition Finalist; Christopher Gee, Hancock Estabrook Competition Director, MCHS; Tim Murphy, Partner, Hancock Estabrook, LLP, Final Round Evaluator