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Pepperdine Appellate and Trial Teams Wrap-Up Another Successful Season of Competitions

The Pepperdine School of Law appellate, trial, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) teams wrapped up a successful year of competitions in April.

The appellate teams, led by professor Nancy McGinnis, participated in 14 competitions throughout the country, and two international competitions in England and Hong Kong, placing in all but three. Pepperdine made it to the quarterfinals in seven of those competitions, and clenched three championships. Pepperdine solidified a spot as one of the 26 of 200 teams to attend the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition moot court nationals in Chicago in April. The team of third-year students Brittney Lane and Megan Young Rechberg left the competition as national finalists, having earned recognition for their brief, which received second-place honors.

"It was a particularly spectacular year on the appellate side," McGinnis said. "There are two things I am proudest of: that the students competed with integrity, and that they left an impression that Pepperdine is a force to be reckoned with."

The trial teams, led by professor Harry Caldwell, competed in six competitions in California and Nevada, placing in all but one, and earning two spots as finalists and two championship titles.

"This year's successes ranked very high in the traditions of an already very successful program," Caldwell said. "Pepperdine's trial team of Alyssa Ayotte ('07), Mane Sardaryan, Chalak Richard, and Destiny Ramsey successfully defended Pepperdine's championship from last year in winning the National Civil Trial Competition. This elite competition is by invitation and consistently has the strongest field of teams of any competition in the country. No school save Pepperdine has won this competition more than once, and this was Pepperdine's third win and second consecutive win."

Pepperdine's ADR teams competed in three competitions in California, and one international competition in Paris, placing in each competition, and making it to the final round in one. In the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition in Paris, France, Pepperdine was ranked in the top 16 of an international field of 66 teams.

"They were engaged as partners and not as competitors," said professor Maureen Weston, advisor to Pepperdine's team in the ICC competition in France. "They learned in-depth skills of how to think like lawyers and how to be lawyers. They received feedback from experienced judges that is tough to get in any other kind of academic environment."