Third-year students Daniel Himebaugh and Genus Heidary defeated 18 teams, including Belgrade University and New York University, and took second place in the Foreign Direct Investment International Moot Competition on Nov. 2, in Boston, Massachusetts. First place was awarded to a team from Murdoch University of Western Australia.
The final round was judged by Ralph Alexander Lotz, a professor at the University of DÃ¼sseldorf; Hew Dundas, a chartered arbitrator from the U.K.; and Timothy Nelson, a partner at Skadden Arps in New York.
Participants fought both sides of a dispute between a telecom company and the fictional state of Calpurnia, with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) as the imagined forum. Students had to consider both the merits of the dispute and a jurisdictional issue-whether the investor had complied with a cooling-off period before launching proceedings. The fictional chronology of events included the state's firing and harassment of company executives following a change of government, suspension of dividend payments, and denial of the investor's 50 percent interest in a joint venture.
Nelson said that mooters had to grapple with the "specific cultural clashes that arise in investor-state relations." He added that the tribunals emulated real ICSID panels in requiring participants to respond to probing questioning.
Since 1972, Pepperdine has had a developed advocacy program competing at the highest levels. This time-honored law school tradition allows students to hone advocacy and public speaking skills while participating in mock appellate proceedings. For more information, visit the Moot Court Web site.