Maine Law enjoys best ever showing at Duberstein Moot Court Competition

The team of Maine Law students Kristy Huff and Micah Smart advanced to the final eight out of 60 teams that competed earlier this month at the annual Hon. Conrad B. Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, held in New York City. In addition, the appellate brief written by Huff and Smart was recognized as one of the Outstanding Briefs.

It was the best showing by Maine Law since the school began sending teams to the competition in the early 2000s. A second team of Maine Law students, Kaitlyn Husar and Joe Smith, also fared well this year.

“The team was successful largely because of the extraordinary efforts of all four members. They collaborated on strategy and practiced together as many as four nights a week from late January through early March,” said Judge James B. Haines, Jr., a visiting professor at Maine Law, former federal bankruptcy judge, and an advisor to the teams.

A total of 60 teams, representing more than 40 law schools, participated in the Duberstein competition. Opening rounds were held at St. John’s School of Law in Queens, and the final rounds were held at the U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse in Brooklyn. The competition wrapped up with a gala awards banquet in Manhattan, attracting a crowd of more than 1,000 bankruptcy lawyers and judges from New York and beyond.

The students from Maine Law were coached by attorney Bodie Colwell of the Bernstein Shur law firm. Colwell, a Maine Law graduate, worked tirelessly to prepare the teams, Haines said.

“This is a great accomplishment for Maine Law. We had the support of Bernstein Shur, Ms. Colwell, and the Portland area bankruptcy bar, many members of which judged practice rounds,” Haines said. “We also had great support from the state and federal judiciary. Chief Justice Saufley, U.S. District Judge Nancy Torreson, and Bankruptcy Judge Peter Cary judged the final practice round.”