ua law logo high res | Link                                                                                  July 23, 2014




In February of this year, we launched the Arizona Law Civil Justice Initiative, a comprehensive practical and theoretical approach to studying civil justice. Our launch event was a major lecture by California attorney Thomas V. Girardi, and we are planning talks by our many leading alums in this field in the coming year.


Arizona Law is well-situated to provide national leadership in the changing face of civil justice, with deep and longstanding strengths in tort law, civil procedure, alternative dispute resolution, and constitutional law. These curricular roots are complemented by our people and programs in trial practice -- a generation of unforgettable classes in evidence and trial advocacy led by the iconic Tom Mauet.


The Civil Justice Initiative engages students, faculty, and practitioners in:

  • producing scholarship with practical applications related to civil justice
  • developing thoughtful leadership, dialogue, and research about civil justice issues
  • facilitating education and outreach, with lectures and panels by our alumni and other leading lawyers whose work relates to civil justice
  • increasing course offerings related to civil justice
  • creating regional and national forums for discussing civil justice issues of import to practitioners and judges, including work on procedural reforms
  • reaching out to you -- our alumni and other leaders involved in civil litigation -- and using your perspectives and accomplishments to strengthen both our curriculum and our employment network.


We are also beginning efforts to create the Thomas Mauet Center for Trial Advocacy, both to honor Tom's work and to bring our various trial advocacy efforts under one nationally recognized umbrella. We will have more exciting news on the trial advocacy front in coming months. For more information or to be a part of our efforts, please email Jonelle Vold, Sr. Director for Development. 


Over the next two weeks, we will highlight one element of our Civil Justice Initiative -- our commitment to trial skill development through advocacy competitions.


Until the footnotes,




Trial Team 


The Arizona Law Trial Team, supervised by Professor Tom Mauet and coached by Brian Chase ('11) and Joel Feinman ('06), exposes Arizona Law students to the trial skills employed in courtrooms across the country. Students prepare and try a case, from opening statements, to directs and crosses, and through to closing arguments.


Students practice almost daily -- roughly 10 to 20 hours a week -- in preparing for their competition. The subject matter varies from year to year, and competitors can face both civil and criminal cases.


"My goal as a coach is make sure students feel comfortable in a courtroom," said Coach Chase. "I want our graduates to be able to start their first job and be ready to walk into a courtroom to handle a hearing or a trial. This is the most intensive trial preparation a student can get while at Arizona Law." 


ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition Team 


The Arizona Law NAAC Team, coached by Professor Susie Salmon, aims to have students become nimble thinkers, skilled legal writers, and confident oral advocates.


Student teams participate in a simulated appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Each team writes a brief arguing one side of the issue and participates in at least three rounds of oral argument. At least once, the team argues the side opposite the one it briefed.


Professor Salmon shared her thoughts on one of the many benefits from participation.


"It's a chance to practice professionalism under fire.  In moot court competitions, sometimes the 'best' team doesn't win a round. It can be brutally unfair. Although I will not claim that I don't love watching our teams win, some of my proudest moments have come from watching a team lose graciously."


Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition Team


The Arizona Law Jessup Moot Court Team, coached by Professor Julie Ferdon ('85) since 2005, provides an opportunity to focus on an international legal issue in an international competition. 


The competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between nations brought before the International Court of Justice. Teams prepare written and oral pleadings arguing both the Applicant State and Respondent State positions. The top two teams from each U.S. Regional Competition advance to the International Rounds in Washington, DC.


Professor Ferdon notes, "My goal is to encourage and develop students so when they depart from the law school, they are more agile and confident advocates." 


Pace Environmental Law Competition Team


Arizona Law's National Environmental Moot Court Team provides students of environmental law with the opportunity to hone their litigation skills in a national competition hosted by Pace University School of Law in White Plains, NY.  The Arizona team is coached by Associate Dean and Professor Kirsten Engel and Professor Don Large,
The competition problem usually features a dispute between three entities -- the government, a public interest group, and a regulated industry -- reflecting the fact that environmental litigation frequently involves multiple parties. Each team must argue all three sides during the competition. This design provides a tremendous intellectual challenge for the competitors, as they must understand the legal arguments and strategies of each position.
"The Pace Competition is integral to the law school's environmental law program, said Dean Engel. "It gives those students interested in litigation an opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world practice setting."  The Environmental Law Program leverages the resources of a science-based land grant university to provide a working home to scholars and students of environmental law, science and policy.



NALSA Moot Court Competition Team 

The Arizona Law Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) Moot Court Team, coached by Professor Melissa Tatum, concentrates on issues in federal Indian law and/or tribal law and governance.


The annual competition is held at a host school every year, and the NALSA Chapter of Arizona Law recently won the bid to host the 2015 national competition next March! 


Organized through the  Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program (IPLP) and the local student  NALSA chapter, participating students develop advocacy skills that they can immediately use for tribal clients upon graduation. A two-person team briefs and argues the problem before a mock appellate panel.


"Indian and tribal law issues are some of the most complex and evolving areas of law, especially when there can be unique procedures and varying judicial systems," says Professor Tatum. "Students who participate in the NALSA Moot Court Competition graduate with the ability to think on their feet and react swiftly in the best interests of their clients in the realm of this distinctive area of law."


I am very proud of our NALSA chapter and IPLP Program for all of their hard work in bringing this important competition to Tucson.

Arizona Law Alumni at the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference 


I missed the day of the picture, but got to catch up last Thursday morning with some of the Arizona Law alumni at the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.


Front Row: Stephen McNamee, Senior District Judge; Angela Woolridge, Conference Executive Committee & Chairperson of Arizona Lawyer Representatives; Alison Bachus, Arizona Lawyer Representative. 


Second Row: Bruce Macdonald, Magistrate Judge; Raner Collins, Chief District Judge.


Third Row: Cari Dangerfield Waters, CJA Supervising Attorney for the Northern District of California; Rosemary Marquez, District Judge; Kristine Fox, Office of Circuit Executive Case Managing Attorney. 


Back Row: Jacqueline Rateau, Magistrate Judge; Daniel Collins, Chief Bankruptcy Judge; Geoffrey Cheshire, Conference Executive Committee; Charles Pyle, Magistrate Judge; Frank Zapata, Senior District Judge.


Networking Noshes are Back: Join Us!


Help Arizona Law students learn to network! Our talented students are eager to engage with alumni and practice their networking skills. Alumni are encouraged to join us on the second Thursday of every month for a networking reception. 


Networking Noshes are held on campus and provide our students an opportunity to meet legal and business professionals, practice their networking skills, and learn about different practice areas. We are looking for interested alums who can join us at the Law College for these events. Our first Networking Nosh will be September 11th. It is informal reception and runs from 4:30 to 6pm. If you are interested in participating, please email us at


Coming soon!


SAVE THE DATE - Arizona Law in Denver

August 11, 2014


Cocktail Reception

5:30 - 7:30 pm

The Corner Office 

1401 Curtis St.
Denver, CO 80202

RSVP for the reception here.


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SAVE THE DATE - Arizona Law in Albuquerque

August 12, 2014


Cocktail Reception

5:00 - 7:00 pm 

Seasons Rotisserie & Grill  

2031 Mountain Road NW

Albuquerque, NM 87104

RSVP for the reception here.


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SAVE THE DATE - Arizona Law in Las Vegas

September 5, 2014


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SAVE THE DATE - Rehnquist Center's Annual Constitution Day Program at the College of Law

September 15, 2014


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SAVE THE DATE - PLAN AHEAD - Centennial Homecoming Weekend

November 7-9, 2014 

For more information, visit our Homecoming 2014 website.


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Our best wishes and thoughts to all July bar exam takers. Our alumni and career offices will be in Phoenix for the Arizona exam takers, providing lunches, and doing anything we can do to help during this stressful period. Please let us know if we can be of any assistance.  








Marc Signature      

Marc L. Miller 
Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law 
James E. Rogers College of Law    

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