Our two Gonzaga teams competed in the Saul Lefkowitz National Trademark Moot Court Competition this weekend at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. This is our eighteenth consecutive year participating in Saul and once again our teams competed very well.
The Gonzaga teams (left to right in the above photo) were Jonathan Schlegelmilch (2L), Trae Reichert (3L), Yanek Kondryszyn (2L), Melissa Hanna (3L, captain), Elijah Marchbanks (3L, captain), Josie Isaacson (2L), Kevin McClure (3L), and Travis Schwartz (2L). This is the first time the teams consisted of equal numbers of second and third year students.
Saul is a year-long endeavor. “Each of the eight students committed an incredible amount of time and effort in doing his or her part,” explained coach J. Christopher Lynch. “I was very impressed and proud of the effort and the results.”
Saul is sponsored by the International Trademark Association (INTA), which publishes the problem in the fall. The students are required to thoroughly research the issues and submit appellate briefs in early January. Then the team moves to the argument preparation, including eight live evening rounds of practice at 3 hours each. There were no student absences. Several professors and local trademark and appellate practitioners volunteered their time to prepare and judge practice rounds.
Performing Very Well Regionally
The competition is then held in five regions at US Courts of Appeals (Northeast: 2nd , Midwest: 7th, Southeast: 11th, Southwest: 5th and West: 9th) on the same day. There are 23 schools in Gonzaga’s region. The judging panels included one appellate judge and then numerous notable Bay Area IP practitioners.
Gonzaga’s two teams argued against Golden Gate University, Seattle University, U. California Davis, and U. San Diego. “Saul does not judge individual rounds, but we clearly won them all. Our players received commendable critiques including ‘flawless’ and ‘exceedingly well done.’ I was very proud of the performance of each of our eight dedicated players,” explained Lynch. “They displayed mastery of the subject matters, appellate argument technique, and obvious professionalism. Given our strong briefs and oral performance, I had a feeling this might again be our year, but alas the University of California Berkeley Boalt Hall was the winner and moves on to the National Finals at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit next month.”
Building Skills for Practice
“Our players got a taste of real lawyering and the socializing that comes with it. Saul is a life-changing event and I am certain any of our students would be delighted to tell you how so.”
Teams for next year will be chosen in conjunction with the other GU Moot Court applications this April. Please encourage any of your students with an interest in IP to discuss the matter with their Saul colleagues and to seriously consider applying.