ND Law's IP moot court team named national champions

Author: Charles Williams


After defeating some 80 intellectual property law moot court teams fielded by law schools from around the country, Notre Dame 3L classmates Mark Relation, Talea Stashin, and Katie Cronin have been crowned national champions in the 2020 Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition sponsored by the International Trademark Association.

Notre Dame’s IP team has won the tournament’s Chicago Regional Oral Argument Competition in two of the last three years, but this is its first national championship.

Due to the scheduled March 21 national rounds in Washington, D.C., being canceled by the coronavirus pandemic, judges determined the champions by ranking the oralist and brief scores earned by the winners of each of the six Regional Oral Argument Competitions in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

Notre Dame turned in the best overall team-based performance at any of the regionals, and then Cronin put the team over the top when her brief was named the Dolores K. Hanna Best Brief for the entire competition.

Relation, team member and outgoing vice president of the Law School's Moot Court Board, extended special thanks to the team’s 2L members, Jaemie Paraon and Chelsea Spence, their student coach, Xavier Romero, the board’s faculty advisor, Professor Christine Venter, and to Mark McKenna, the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and faculty director of the Program on Intellectual Property & Technology Law. “Professor McKenna volunteered to help us practice and to critique our arguments, and that proved to be a huge help,” Relation said.

Professor McKenna said, “We're extremely proud of Mark, Talea, and Katie. They put in a tremendous amount of work, and they represented Notre Dame and our IP program very well. We look forward to all their future success.” 

The IP moot court team was assembled by Notre Dame Law School's Moot Court Board, which runs an oral argument tournament open to all 1Ls based on the prompt from their Legal Writing class. According to Relation, this tournament also serves as a tryout for the board, and all new members are selected based on their individual performance in the preliminary round. Then in the fall, as 2Ls, these new board members participate in an internal tournament for team placement. Based on their performances and individual preferences, the executive board places them on one of the board’s various teams.

More information about moot court opportunities at Notre Dame Law School is at law.nd.edu/mootcourt.

Learn more about the Law School’s Program on Intellectual Property & Technology Law at iptech.nd.edu.