1Ls Learn Oral Advocacy in Loiselle Competition

by Brooke Thompson


The 2014 Alva P. Loiselle Tournament’s Final Arguments took place April 17, 2014.  Judge Richard A. Robinson of the Connecticut Supreme Court, Judge Robert E. Beach of the Connecticut Supreme Court, and Judge Jose A. Suarez of the Connecticut Superior Court presided over the final arguments and eventually declared 1Ls Megan Wade and Alexis Beyerlein as the Loiselle Champions.

The Alva P. Loiselle Moot Court Tournament is a longstanding tradition at the University of Connecticut School of Law.  It allows students to hone their oral argument and team work skills and provides them with the opportunity to earn an invitation for membership on the Moot Court Board.

This year’s issue, Wood v. Moss, involved a First Amendment viewpoint discrimination claim against Secret Service agents brought by a group of anti-Bush protestors who were moved by the Secret Service while protesting outside a restaurant in which the former president was dining.

Molly Smith and Abigail Bellafatto argued that the Secret Service did not violate the constitutional rights of protestors by moving them outside of an impromptu buffer zone, necessitated by the sudden change of plans by President Bush.  Alexis Beyerlein and Megan Wade argued that the protestors were moved because of their anti-Bush views, making the act of moving them a clear violation of their First Amendment rights.  Both teams made good use of their allotted time, presented compelling arguments, and provided meaningful answers to all questions posed to them by the judicial panel.

While the judges deliberated, the Moot Court Board extended their invitations to membership to the chosen competitors.  Offers were first extended to the finalists: Alexis Beyerlein, Megan Wade, Abigail Bellfatto, and Molly Smith.  The award for best oralist and concomitant invitation to membership was awarded to Nina Pelc-Fasczcza.  Further invitations were extended to: Kate Peccerillo, Courtney Gardner, Daniel Spruill, Samuel Lisi, Alexandra Rotondo, Thomas Holmgren, Lauren Denault, Ashley Membrino, Jane Kelleher, Alexandra Crean, Breana Vessichio, Kelsey Bond, Joe Gasser, and Chris Stanton.  Congratulations to all of the new members of the Moot Court Board.

Afterwards the competitors, Moot Court Board members and attendees adjourned to The Butterfly for chinese food and karaoke.

Any students interested in joining the Moot Court Board or who would like to compete in the future should look forward to the William H. Hastie competition next fall, which involves solo oral arguments and the option to submit a written brief.