Fordham Law School welcomed 25 teams of law student oral advocates from 15 states to compete in the 48th Annual Irving R. Kaufman Memorial Securities Law Moot Court Competition, held from March 24–26.
For the past 48 years, the Kaufman Competition has offered students the opportunity to test their appellate advocacy skills before leading jurists, securities regulators, academics, and practitioners. Its final round is presided over by a distinguished panel of sitting judges, including in past years Supreme Court justices and commissioners of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
This year’s competition problem presented two timely and interesting issues: whether an executive at a private company is subject to primary liability for instructing an employee to distribute a false or misleading statement to investors, and whether the rebuttable presumption of reliance under Affiliated Ute applies where the plaintiff asserts “mixed” allegations involving both omissions and affirmative misrepresentations.
Teams from Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and Seton Hall Law School faced off in the final round before a panel composed of Judges Denny Chin ’78 and Raymond Lohier of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judges Jed Rakoff and Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
In the end, Ohio State’s team took home the top prize. Best Brief was awarded to the team from George Washington University Law School, and Best Oralist was awarded to a competitor from the team representing University of Miami School of Law.
“I am incredibly proud of what this year’s Moot Court Board accomplished,” said Tiffany Monroy ’23, this year’s Kaufman Competition editor. “The competition’s success is truly a testament to the strong leadership of our editor-in-chief, Millicent Kastenbaum [’23], our interschool competitions editor, Danielle Cepelewicz [’23], and our managing editor, Madeline Ritter [’23]. I am so grateful to have had their support from the start.”
“Tiffany did an absolutely amazing job and the competition would not have happened without her,” said Ritter.
Some of Ritter’s favorite moments from the competition included speaking with visiting students about their law school experiences as well as meeting with the four judges ahead of the final round.
“When you realize that these judges are the same people who have written the law and opinions, it is very humbling [to be in their presence], and I’m very glad that I got to experience that,” she said.
The competition is named after Judge Kaufman, who graduated from Fordham Law in 1931. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy nominated Kaufman to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, where he served from 1961 to 1992. Seven of Judge Kaufman’s years on the bench were spent as chief judge.