In April 2021, HKM attorney Lee Bennin coached a team of University of St. Thomas School of Law students to another top-four finish in the Giles Sutherland Rich Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition. This year’s team consisted of third-year law student Jessica Hughes and second-year law student Erin Herdeman and was co-coached by Adam Szymanski and Lea Westman.
Moot Court Season
In the fall, students researched the problem and drafted appellate briefs for each side of the case. Throughout spring, the students honed their oral advocacy skills by conducting full run-throughs of the arguments twice per week in front of panels of local attorneys who volunteered as guest judges. Just as in practice, the judges challenged the students with questions, posed hypotheticals, and tested the students’ ability to think on their feet while under pressure. Lee and his co-coaches guided the team through every facet of the competition, from questions on procedure and substance to techniques for presenting an effective oral argument.
The Results are In
- This year’s team won the “MIPLA Cup,” a tournament hosted by the Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association among Minnesota’s three law schools.
- The team then placed second at the Chicago Regionals round of competition in March, which was held virtually.
- For the fourth straight year, the team qualified for the Nationals competition and argued (again virtually) before attorneys at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, judges on the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and prominent attorneys in the Washington, D.C. area.
The team placed in the top four at Nationals, for the second year in a row. Way to go!